Over-sharing in the Office: When More is Too Much

Share Article

For many people, the office becomes a second home and - according to a recent article in the New York Times (http://nyti.ms/OCnkvV) - this lends itself to a lot of sensitive information being shared. Therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil worries that, in the same way couples can "talk a relationship to death," employees may end up talking their way out of a good career or job.

For a variety of reasons explored in a recent New York Times article (http://nyti.ms/OCnkvV), people are sharing more in the workplace; sometimes over-sharing. Relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil suggests that for many, the office has become a second home, another relationship. "People want to make this relationship comfortable, and that means communicating and sharing personal information. But you can talk a relationship to death." In the same way she worries that people who over-share in the office may be putting their careers or jobs at risk.

The article suggests a variety of contributing factors: people are becoming more comfortable airing personal details thanks to social media; the younger generation suffers from an "overblown sense of self worth" and believe everything they do should be shared; people are searching for a sense of connection.

Dr. Bonnie believes we seem to be doing an over-correction of transparency. Companies often used to foster secrecy but because of the cultural shift, what's happened on Wall Street, and corporate financial infidelity, Dr. Bonnie says people are doing complete transparency instead and as a result it's lead to over-sharing.

"There are a number of explanations," says Dr. Bonnie," and people need to consider how their proclivities will affect their relationships at work. In an effort to connect and be comfortable on the job, they may actually be doing more harm than good." She suggests being a little more cautious about airing dirty laundry, and encourages people to ask themselves a few questions, also outlined in the New York Times article:

  • Who's listening to me? "Telling something to a close friend at work is different than broadcasting it to the office, or airing dirty laundry in earshot of a boss!" points out Dr. Bonnie.
  • Why am I sharing? Oftentimes people are motivated to over-share in order to get people to pay attention to them, not because they really want to share their story.
  • Does what I'm sharing further my career? Drunken exploits, drug habits, relationship issues, and so forth can turn people off. "Not only that, but they can have a detrimental effect on your professional future," reminds Dr. Bonnie.

Dr. Bonnie encourages people to remember - less is more. "A person's colleagues don't have to know everything about them in order to have an enjoyable workplace. In fact, sharing less and leaving baggage at the door will make a better environment for everyone!

To see Dr. Bonnie talking more about how to deal with narcissism, click here: http://youtu.be/nmEShUlejj8, or check out her book Make Up Don't Break Up, or Financial Infidelity which discusses when transparency is too much.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Dr. Bonnie Weil
Visit website