Have you ever been on your way home, after talking with a friend, and feeling that churning in your stomach that says, "Why did I tell them that?" Most of us have had this moment at least once, if we are being truly honest. Oversharing can feel like a heavy weight that we carry, because on one hand, we want to confide in those who are closest to us and get our thoughts and feelings off of our chest by talking them out with a loved one. However, on the other hand there is the fact that once something is said, it cannot be taken back. Even if you said it when you were angry, sad, or frustrated, your words and actions may come back to haunt you in various ways.
It is sad to say, but sometimes even friends will use things against you down the road. They may not even do it intentionally, but often times things come up during conversations, and people will use those things that you confided in them as leverage. It also can cause people to form an opinion about you or your situation, without having all of the facts.
This doesn't mean that you should tip-toe on eggshells around topics. But it is really up to your own discernment and what you feel comfortable with. The key is to decide what you do and do not feel comfortable with, and set healthy boundaries as needed. People can be overreaching, and ask inappropriate questions. Knowing how to field those questions, and step away when necessary will be essential in maintaining those boundaries while also having harmonious interpersonal relationships.
It is understandable that people want to know about each other's personal lives, as this makes them feel a certain closeness and connection with one another. The problem begins when things that are very private or delicate are shared with the wrong people or for the wrong reasons. Perhaps a friend or family member is discussing their romantic relationship, they bring up a situation that they are going through, and ask you if you have ever experienced something similar.
They are seeking to relate, and maybe even garner some advice, which is a very human thing to do. But what if you don't want to share that experience with them, yet you feel pulled in a way to do so? One way to handle that situation would be to say, "I do understand what you are going through, I don't like to relive my past, but I can empathize with you and I am here to listen and support you in any way that I can."
By responding in this way, you are not brushing them aside, you are simply letting them know your boundaries, and what you are willing to offer, which is your endearing love and support. You may also be setting an example for them to model themselves after in the future. Many people overshare for a variety of reasons, most are just bursting at the seams with stress and frustration, so they are willing to spew it all over anyone who will listen. The lesson is, to reel it in and be mindful and intentional when interacting with others. Decide what you feel okay with sharing, and keep the things that are most sacred to yourself.