How to Stop Oversharing When You Have ADHD

Oversharing at a party

If you have ADHD, you might find yourself often sharing more information than intended in conversations. This tendency to overshare can sometimes lead to uncomfortable situations or misunderstandings. But why does this happen, and what can you do about it?

Why Oversharing Occurs

Some of the factors that may contribute to your habitual oversharing include:

  1. Impulsivity: One of the hallmarks of ADHD is impulsivity, which can manifest as speaking without thinking. This impulsiveness can cause you to share personal details before considering the consequences or the appropriateness of the setting.
  2. Seeking Connection: Many adults with ADHD struggle with feelings of isolation or being misunderstood. In an attempt to connect with others, you might overshare personal experiences as a way to find common ground or elicit empathy.
  3. Difficulty with Social Cues: ADHD can make it challenging to read social cues that indicate when others are disinterested or uncomfortable. You might not notice when it’s time to stop talking or when the topic is too personal for the context.

You Might Be Oversharing If …

  • During a first meeting with a colleague, you might dive into deep personal struggles or family issues instead of sticking to more general get-to-know-you topics.
  • At a work meeting, you could end up sharing opinions or experiences that are off-topic or too candid, drawing attention away from the main discussion.
  • In social settings, you might recount stories that are too intimate or private for the level of acquaintance with the group.

Tips to Help You Manage Oversharing

Below are some tips you can use to curb your oversharing impulse.

  1. Pause Before Speaking – Try implementing a brief pause before responding in conversations. This gives you a moment to consider what you’re about to say and assess whether it’s appropriate for the situation.
  2. Evaluate Trust Levels – Before sharing personal information, assess how much you trust the person or people you are speaking with. Trust is built over time and through consistent interactions. Ask yourself whether the person has proven to be trustworthy and consider the potential consequences of them knowing personal details about you. This evaluation can act as a crucial filter, helping you decide what information is safe to share and what might be better kept private until a stronger, more trustworthy relationship is established.
  3. Set Personal Boundaries – Before going into social situations, decide what personal information you are and are not willing to share. Having clear boundaries in mind can help you navigate conversations more safely.
  4. Determine Your Emotional State – Be aware of how your emotions influence what you share during conversations. High emotions, whether positive or negative, can lead to oversharing as you might feel an urgent need to express yourself. Before divulging personal information, take a moment to recognize your emotional state. If you’re feeling particularly excited, upset, or anxious, it might be wise to hold off on sharing sensitive details until you’re in a more balanced emotional state. This practice can help prevent impulsive disclosures that you might later regret.
  5. Practice Active Listening – Focus more on listening to others than on what you want to say next. This can help shift your focus away from your own stories and toward genuinely engaging with what others are sharing.
  6. Seek Feedback – Talk to a trusted friend or a therapist about your conversation habits. They can provide insight into when you might be oversharing and offer advice on how to maintain a balance.
  7. Prepare Topics in Advance – If you know you’re going into a potentially nerve-wracking social situation, prepare a few safe topics to discuss. This preparation can help keep your conversations on track and prevent impulsive detours into personal territory.

Oversharing can be a challenging aspect of living with ADHD, but with awareness and practice, you can develop more controlled and satisfying social interactions. Remember, managing oversharing is not about suppressing your personality but about enhancing your communication skills to foster better and more meaningful connections.



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