Is it possible to over-communicate?

oversharingI have a tendency to over share.

I mean gosh, I’m sure you haven’t noticed, it’s not like I tell everyone on the internet all of the things.

I worry sometimes though that I do it in relationships and that it might be a bit much. It’s hard though isn’t it? There are so many conflicting messages. On the one hand we are told that the secret to any happy marriage is communication, communication, communication and on the other hand we are meant either to be cool, aloof ice queens, with men falling at our feet because we are so mysterious, or we are supposed to keep any sign of emotion under wraps unless it scare men off into metaphorical caves.

So contradictory is the advice in fact that I tend to just think ‘sod it, I’m going to tell him everything and then if he wants to run away he can do it now before I get too attached.’ It could almost be seen as a test; my new counsellor did say this week that she thought I was self-sabotaging. That’s probably for another post though.

So what happens is that I get full of all of these thoughts and anxieties and they all spin around together for a while. Sometimes I just tell myself to man up and keep them inside, sometimes I write them all down and then delete them, and other times I end up sending a long email or text that begins ‘So, I just wanted to tell you how I feel about…’. Then I send it and all the original fretting gets replaced with a new type.

It’s good to keep things fresh.

I have a few questions then:

  • Do you do this or is it just me?
  • Why do we do it?
  • Is it OK?

I don’t know the answer to the first question obviously, and number three I’m not confident about, so I’m going to move on to point two. For me, apart from the potential self-sabotaging element, I think the reasons are three fold. Partly I think it’s as a result of a kind of insecurity, mixed with working at home and having too much time to think about things, that makes me basically quite selfish. ‘Look at me and all of my incredibly important feelings! Please tell me you like me!’*

Sexy right?

Then there is that slightly-desperate-princess-waiting-to-be-rescued part of me; I want a relationship to be this intense, all consuming thing where I think of nothing else and where the other person knows and understands me in a magical way that no one ever has before.

This of course is ridiculous. (New counsellor also says that I am a woman of extremes and should perhaps consider striving for some sort of middle ground).

It also comes from a fear of not communicating enough.

I read a lot, (and watch a lot of TV**) and so much of what I read (and watch) is about a sadness that stems from misunderstanding and miscommunication; a resentment that goes unspoken and festers, an opportunity to share something that is missed and never comes around again. It makes me so sad to think of all of these relationships that break down perhaps just because of a few words that were never said out loud.

I’ve been reading two books this week in fact – Us by David Nicholls and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – and both are about this very thing. Both are about relationships that started out as all relationships do, full of promise and excitement and love, and then drift apart because of words unspoken.

I never again want to be in a relationship where distance grows because things go unsaid, so I say all of the things, just in case.

Do you think it’s possible to over-communicate? Are there some things you should just keep to yourself or is it always good to share?

*This isn’t limited to relationships obviously, it basically applies to everything I do.

**But this doesn’t sound as clever.



  1. 14 November, 2014 / 11:48 am

    It has only been in the past year that I have been in a relationship with a partner that I feel I can share absolutely everything with and it is such a nice refreshing change. In the past i have always been told “You never told me that” and “If I had known that I would have done this instead!”

    Several disastrous relationships down the line and having now topped 40 I have finally realised the person I love will not take that approach if I tell her everything. And if she loves me in return and does the same then there are no shocks or surprises. The right person will just share with you what they need to share and if it is true and real then it works a treat.

    The only down side is you both have a lot to talk about and there isn’t a hope of watching a film without there being something to talk about, not a bad problem to have I can promise you! :)

  2. Lisbeth
    14 November, 2014 / 1:56 pm

    Like Steve I’ve been in relationships where I’ve ended up being guarded but I’m now in a relationship where I can do this …. and it turns out that I literally talk all the time. Literally. Every single thing in my head. Fortunately the boy finds this faintly endearing (I hope) and also analyses everything less than I do, so takes it in his stride. While I am quite sure it will be massive annoying eventually, it does seem to be my default setting… I was apologising for this recently when he said “Don’t worry baby; you talk and I’ll think” and I realised that was our relationship in a nutshell. :/
    So – it’s not just you….

  3. 14 November, 2014 / 9:09 pm

    I’ve always been quite guarded and secretive I realise both as a kid and an adult. There are still things I don’t share with my mum or my sister for example. I wish I could – we’re close but not THAT close if you know what I mean. The only person who knows everything is my husband Greig and it took me a while to truly open up to him :)

  4. 14 November, 2014 / 11:48 pm

    just like not being communicative enough, i do think over-communicating is a thing, yes. saying that, if you are in a relationship with someone that’s also like you on that front, can it balance itself out? sometimes, it’s not a case of over communicating i think ..moreso that you don’t feel listened to (or anything along those lines) and the other person is SO..just..emotionless that it makes you FEEL like you’re saying too much when you’re really not.

    uh, that was a bit rambly and probably didn’t make sense.

  5. Freya Morris
    15 November, 2014 / 11:14 am

    My husband is a Communications officer like me and so we ‘over communicate’. But we’ve been through some tough things in our marriage and it has probably been the one thing that kept us together. In fact, the one thing I didn’t and couldn’t say to him was the one thing breaking us up. So I agree with the others here: if you’re an over thinker (many introverts are – it’s not a bad thing – it’s just a trait), then you need to fund the person who wants to hear what you have to say. Maybe you need to find a blogger like yourself. :)

    You don’t need to change who you are, just the type of man you’re searching for.

  6. 15 November, 2014 / 6:00 pm

    I think it’s better to get your thoughts out there. Even if you think you’re over-sharing. It’s better for you in the long run and those thoughts won’t fester and grow into huge, ugly monsters.

    I used to keep things to myself, sometimes still do, but in the end it’s worse for you. The thoughts eat away at your insides. I share things with the Hubby now and he totally understands me.

  7. 16 November, 2014 / 12:52 am

    I think it’s really important to communicate – all relationships depend on it otherwise they simply don’t work although I have to be honest and say I am a bit like you and tend to overshare – in fact I think being bloggers actually lend to that tendency

    Laura x

  8. 16 November, 2014 / 4:42 pm

    I totally overshare with my husband. I spent so many years being secretive about my real feelings, that it is nice to be able to tell someone everything and not worry about scaring him off. Surely mystery is more attractive in your early 20s. I feel like once you get to a certain age, you just want (and need) to be as real as possible.

  9. 16 November, 2014 / 11:40 pm

    I think ,in the beginning, it can be quite important to hold a bit back, not so as to appear mysterious, but so that you can be sure the other person is safe before making yourself completely vulnerable. But then, I tend to find it difficult to trust people in general. With my husband, I probably over-communicate. But I think now that we’re at the stage we are in our relationship, if I hold things back, I really will just end up resenting him.

  10. Rachel Craig
    23 November, 2014 / 10:25 am

    Communication is two way. Communication :- Common, union (seems these words are part of Communication). Communication :- Verbal, Non-verbal i.e. Body language. Written word etc.

    I believe that I have heard and read that our attention span is 20 minutes. Therefore it seems that we can be overloaded / overburdened with information.

    Partnership :- Mutual, Courteous., Respectful, Considerate etc.

    Johari’s window :- Maybe it is good to share. Though maybe some things should, or need to be kept private. Balance in life. Self worth, Self Respect etc.

  11. 22 April, 2015 / 8:54 pm

    I totally agree! All of a sudden you could find yourself in a rut having not spoken up before and finding it all too late. Always best to speak up straight away. Michelle x

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