18/02/08

We’ve all been in this situation at least once: there’s this passenger on a bus who chooses to talk to us about their life and problems. It could also be a person we’re queuing next to, or a stranger on a park bench. It doesn’t really matter who this is and where this happens. What does matter is why this happens and what we can do in such situations!

Check out: 5 Reasons We Tell People More Than We Should

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Intro

What do you think “overshare” means?

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Listen

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Glossary

  • awkward – causing difficulty; hard to do or deal with
  • overshare – reveal an inappropriate amount of detail about one’s personal life
  • embarrass – cause (someone) to feel awkward, self-conscious, or ashamed
  • solace – comfort or consolation in a time of great distress or sadness
  • decipher – succeed in understanding, interpreting, or identifying (something)
  • hasty – done with excessive speed or urgency; hurried
  • disclose – make (secret or new information) known

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Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • Why do hairdressers often hear many personal stories?
  • What is the reason behind people revealing details of their private lives to strangers?
  • Why do people share private details with new colleagues?
  • What do people who lack boundaries also often lack?
  • What can oversharers sometimes manipulate others into?
  • What should you do if you’re faced with an oversharer?

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Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

I once worked with ________ woman who told me and several other people in our office that she was ________ an affair. In fact, her love interest sometimes sent her flowers ________ work. ________ if that weren’t awkward enough, I happened ________ work with her husband at my part-time job. Although I didn’t really know him, I knew who he ________, and I was uncomfortable every time I passed him ________the hallway.

I have no idea what became ________ their marriage. But almost 20 years later, I still remember how strange it was ________ this woman felt so comfortable sharing inappropriate information with her co-workers. Now ________ I’m a psychotherapist, I have a much better sense of why some people share too ________details of their personal lives. [. . .]

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Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in CAPITAL LETTERS.

When you meet someone new—perhaps your new office ________ ASSIST or a blind date—there’s a little ________ TENSE as you start to negotiate the ________ RELATE. You must look for clues to decipher whether the person likes you or is interested in getting to know you better.

Many people find that this ________ INITIATE phase provokes ________ ANXIOUS. In an effort to skip over the “let’s get to know each other” period, they reveal problems with ________ BODY functions or strange phobias. They hope that sharing private details will ________ QUICK take the relationship to the next level.

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