My friends know that I am pretty much an open book. There isn’t a whole lot that I am too embrassed to share about myself. I think that comes from years and years and years of medical issues. I have been programmed to give the details. All of the details. So that nothing gets missed. But sometimes I go too far and by the time the information is out of my mouth, it’s too late to take it back!
3 Signs You’re Sharing Too Much Information
1. You don’t want anyone to meet your spouse. Or your brother. Or your boss.
Early in our marriage, I had to learn to do a lot of things on my own due to my husband’s work shifts. I learned to fix things around the house, I learned which line to stand in at the tax office, and I even learned which car repair place was honest (and unfortunately also learned which ones to avoid). We struggled early in our marriage because we didn’t know how to grow together instead of further apart. Since he wasn’t around for me to talk to, I talked to friends. After our son was born I was tired with a capital TEE-EYE-AR-EEE-DEE and he was still only home one night a week. I created a horrible pattern of dissing my husband to my friends and family because deep down I wanted people on “my side.”
Now, I was never actually in a courtroom battle with my husband, nor did anyone stand us face to face and ask to hear my side versus his side – but alas, I felt the need to gather an army of troops. Let me skip ahead and tell you how that worked out for me in the end. It didn’t. It just didn’t work out. I noticed I would get nervous when people I worked with would meet him because I wasn’t sure what they would say – and vice versa, I got nervous when he would meet people I worked with …. are you sensing a pattern here?
RESOLUTION FOR SIGN #1: Just go talk to the person who is driving you nuts. You don’t need an army. Period. If you can’t work it out, then seek wisdom and guidance from one or two people AFTER you have prayed about your sitation.
2. You start a conversation with, “this is probabaly TMI, but ….”
Again, I admit that there are things I have discussed with people that are just awkward and … weird. Like bowel movements for example. ( I know, I’m not heeding my own advice very well!) But I have to tell you, once you find out who your IBS friends are, you know you can share great tips that you just can’t seek out from anyone in your contacts list! But let’s just say you’re walking through the grocery store and you run into a neighbor you haven’t seen in awhile and she says, “HEY! How ARE you?!?!”
Warning: This is not the moment you’ve been waiting for you share the intimate details of the unidentifiable rash on your son’s rear end. It just isn’t. The chances are that this type of in-passing conversation would be grounds for concise yet honest information. If you are really going through some hard stuff – just be honest and say, “You know – I’m not the greatest I’ve ever been but this isn’t the best place for me to go into details. I would love to catch up with you over coffee, though!” If they bite and set up a coffee date, then great — let’s talk about how you’ve diagnosed your son with a disease that will maim him in 3 weeks thanks to Dr. Google. If they don’t bite – don’t be offended. This is probably not the friendship in which you want to share deep details of your life anyway. And that’s OK! Really, it is.
RESOLUTION FOR SIGN #2: When in doubt (or in a public place), keep it simple and always keep it honest. There’s no reason to lie and say “I’m GREAT!” if you really aren’t great. However, going into the details of your Aunt’s mental illness in the office at the elementary school isn’t really a splendid idea either. Keep it simple, honest, and concise.
3. You are more comfortable talking to your friend than you are talking to God.
Can I just out myself here and tell you that I’m guilty? Because I’m guilty. One of my favorite friends to talk to about big issues almost ALWAYS responds with, “have you prayed about this yet, Ann?” Ok kids — take note: THIS IS THE BEST KIND OF FRIEND TO HAVE! She listens, and she always turns me right back to God which is where I should have started in the first place. Talking to God is prayer. Prayer is talking to God. It’s a relationship. When you met (insert name of a great friend here) you didn’t start in with “so I have this weird bump on my arm” – you had to build the relationship first before you could start sharing TMI types of tidbits. It’s the same with God on OUR end – but not on His end. He is already there. He’s warmed up and ready to go. And guess what? Nothing will surprise Him so you can share every TMI thought you’ve ever had with Him.
RESOLUTION FOR SIGN #3: If you don’t have a friend who reminds you to talk to God — starting BEING that friend. Start asking your pals if they have talked to God about the things they are sharing with you. If you set the stage, you’ll start attracting the same types of encouragement from others. And just start talking to God… He is aching to sit and have coffee with you.
5 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. James 1:5 (The Message)