All Articles Tagged "oversharing"
Men are always saying women talk too much. They don’t really mean it: they love us. When it comes to the basics—our career, our feelings, our wellbeing—the good guys do want to know. So where does the notion that women talk too much come from? This.
When I started my career, I learned quickly that I’d have to navigate the terrain of socializing at the office. I had to learn how to answer the seemingly innocuous “How was your weekend?” and the even more loaded “So what do you really think about the boss’ project?” with tact. Sometimes I was on the receiving end of honesty, offering a listening ear to a colleague venting about a new assignment or chatting about the new love in her life.
There is a fine line between being about business and being sociable at work. Some women find that after opening up to co-workers over time, finding a “work friend” could ease the day-to-day office grind and heavy workloads. It could be as simple as sharing vacation photos over lunch or trading stories about each other’s children. Others may only do lunch with their latest book club pick, eating alone in the break room or at their desks for fear that having to make small talk that’s not work-related could lead to personal territory that could make business interactions murky.
And then there are the over-sharers. The co-workers who are ready to share the details of their weekend’s drunken debauchery, or the cube mates who will tell anyone with an ear how much they hate their jobs. The age of Facebook may have encouraged a generation of I’ll-tell-you-everything professionals, those who teeter between zero boundaries at work and being deemed detached and standoffish for not being more personable.
As Peggy Klaus writes in an article for the New York Times
Social media have made it the norm to tell everybody everything. The problem is that people are forgetting where they are (at work, not a bar or a chat room) and whom they’re talking to (bosses, clients, colleagues and the public, not their buddies). And even if they know it’s inappropriate to share certain personal information in a business setting, they do it anyway because everyone else does.
This is where I mention that a middle-aged colleague of mine once peeled back a Band-Aid to offer a visual update on a minor injury she’d sustained over the weekend. And that another thought it prudent to share with me the horrid details of an infection that kept her out of the office for several days. Whether or not oversharing is symptomatic of generational entitlement (“I’m a millennial. I’m special and important and not only do you have to know what I had for lunch today, but you have to listen to every torrid detail of the date I went on last night and the reasons why I hate this project so much.”), I ascribe oversharing to the need for people to connect, regardless of age. But, with everything else, oversharing in the office can come with consequences.
In the working world, we often are thrust into a group of folks with whom we would never socialize under any other circumstances. We spend most of our waking hours with our colleagues and may see them more than we see our own friends and family. In my own experience, I’ve learned that many folks are just itching to drop the facade. They are almost always down to talk about the new office rules or about their jobs. I’ve seen genuine friendships forged at work, ones that outlast a colleague’s tenure at the office. I’ve seen openness backfire, with colleagues using personal information to bully their so-called work friend on business matters. For many, a simple “I went to the lake this weekend” suffices for a Monday morning pleasantry, and heart-to-hearts are rarely necessary in an office setting. For others, work friendships are vital outlets for expression, appropriate or not.
How do we reconcile our need to connect with our professional boundaries? How do you set the rules for office friendships? Are you an over-sharer?
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Pregnancy is one of those events in life that is as fascinating as it is frightful, exciting as it is exhausting and as stimulating as it is stressful. For those of us who have the honor of being in the presence of a pregnancy, there are some things that we can do to ease the stress and tension on the expectant mother so that we don’t fall victim to her pre-natal wrath (well, at least not a lot). At the same time, it is important for women who are with-child to understand that there are some things you should be mindful of to make sure that friends and family can provide their support and share in your joy without feeling like your pregnancy is taking over their entire lives. Take a peek at a few of our pointers in pregnancy etiquette: