The Guilt of Oversharing

The Guilt of Oversharing

Ironically I don’t feel super comfortable with writing this post, which is strange because I’ve written far more personal things on here. Yet, somehow, this topic feels different. I’ve never seen anyone acknowledge this feeling so I’m just going to dive straight into and let you see what goes on in my head.

In general I am not an oversharer. In my private life I always prefer to listen rather than talk, even with family, I keep myself to myself. I don’t tend to share problems, feelings, belief, anything really.

But on rare occasions, the mask slips. I let out tiny pieces of information about myself and often it feels good. I’ll tell people how I really feel when they ask how I am, or what I actually worry about or truly am passionate about. But just as quickly as I divulged the information, the anxiety hits. Why did I share that? Why would they want to know that about me?

I think about it for days afterwards. The simplest of comments. I let slip that I play the ukulele or that I enjoy writing in my free time. Things that ordinarily I wouldn’t share with anyone unless they specifically asked the right questions. But these aren’t some kind of personal secrets so why do I feel so guilty when I share?

I’ve thought about it a lot but I can’t come to any concrete solution. Is it a case of self-esteem? I think this is possibly the most likely answer. I think I’m boring or that other people won’t think I’m worth knowing about.

Or is it about a need for control? Also a likely solution. There are so many uncontrollable forces in life but keeping your private life private is one that you can control without doubt, and so maybe that’s what I do.

So it’s funny that I spend so much of my time sharing my life on this blog. I share parts of my relationship and my mental health, and some of my innermost thoughts, but sharing in ‘real life’ feels different. Online, I’m behind a screen. If someone doesn’t like what I share they won’t read my blog anymore or won’t talk to me on Twitter. That’s fine, that’s life. But in ‘real life’ if someone doesn’t like what I share, what happens then? More or less the same, so why do I feel so astronomically different about it?

When it comes down to it, I think I’m scared. Scared that people will see the real me, the flawed me, the one that I try very hard not to put out to the world. Funny then that that version of me is the one I put online for everyone to see.

Rachel x-x-x

Follow:

5 Comments

  1. July 29, 2017 / 9:58 pm

    I think it’s normal to be scared of real-life judgement in regards to a personal blog. I still am as well, even though I’ve been blogging on different sites for years (and broadcasting it to everyone I know!).
    Do you share these posts with people that you’re actually close with in real life, or do you just open up to internet friends?

    As always, lovely post!!
    xoxo
    Srna

  2. July 29, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Can really relate to this. For me I think it’s a control thing, I like people knowing things about me that I only want them to know. I guess it’s the way i’m perceived? I find it quite hard opening up to people, only my true close friends ever catch a glimpse of the realness. I don’t really know why i’m like this but totally can relate to those guilts of oversharing x

    • rach
      July 30, 2017 / 5:10 pm

      Yes totally with you on this. There’s definitely something nice about people only knowing things that you allow them to!

  3. lulublue (luluDigitale)
    August 1, 2017 / 10:21 am

    As often, I have quite conflicted and contradictory feelings, so I can partially relate, and partially not.
    I do tend to overshare, online, or with people. There are various feelings in each case.

    For example, anxiety that the details I tell can become tools to personally attack me – and I have indeed been more than once. I’ve actually been betrayed and lied to, both online off. To me, it’s not a question of real life or not, as I value honesty and full disclosure, openly sharing my life stories, experiences, philosophy and life visions…

    I do feel certain guilt when I notice that some people take their distance after I overshared something (usually my traumas, mental health, or philosophy). I’m scared that by revealing those aspects have pushed them away, that I was too fast to share, and that the relationship is wounded….

    These play with so many fears, that it can turn into an obsessive pattern, creating repeated self-doubt, which only worsens my lack of self esteem.

    Those are the parts that I can relate to your post – those feelings, fears and wishes to control who knows what about me.

    On the other hand, I try to remember that everything in life is a risk and that we must take them – with caution and self-awareness, and that since trusting others constitutes one such an uncertainty – which can turn either way. With me, trust is earned, and never guaranteed. When in doubt about a person, I know that the details I shared can serve as tools to ascertain that individual’s value, and to see if the trust I put is reciprocated and valid, or if I have to cut the person out of my life as they seem to lean towards mistrustful actions and betrayal.

    To conclude, I’d like to remind that in taking risks, we can also find out that a person is a gem and develop such deep friendship, that we won’t see our life without that person anymore. It’s a positive outcome that we can only get if we try.

    Let’s learn to trust our instinct and dare – as I, for one, only ask to know you better and mutually share of ourselves in equal measures, a core value in friendship.

  4. August 16, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    I can relate so much to this. I’m the same with sharing on my blog – i basically ‘came out’ re my mental health in an article for my student newspaper. Before that, NO ONE at university knew about it, not even my ‘closest’ friends. I wanted to open up, as i had gone through a bereavement and wanted to feel more connected. But the thought of face-to-face was too overwhelming!

    Even today, i ended up writing my parents a letter from Inpatient treatment, telling them all about what had led up to the admission. It was so cathartic to do, but i couldn’t bring myself to do it through spoken words. I think the control point is really interesting – i’ve started to think that it’s something like that.

    I think it’s also trust, perhaps? Trust in ourselves to say the ‘right’ thing, or fear of missing something out. In the case of speaking about my mental health, i wanted to have a free space to speak, without fear of being cut off. There’s also the knowledge that i could silence my own voice, as i can feel ashamed of my thoughts. That was especially true in the letter to my parents – there was so much guilt behind the situation pre-admission, i knew i could never say it to them face-to-face.

    Oh gosh i have rambled. In short, i can wholeheartedly empathise and am always here to chat if you ever want. I adore your blog and am so grateful to have found you. You are such a special soul and the world needs more of you!

    Bumble and Be

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *