TMI… It’s an awkward thing for anyone that’s involved. Especially when you have no idea how much information is too much.
Many people assume that being open and honest with others is considered being “emotionally mature”.
However after experiencing a breakup or fight with that someone, one might reconsider just how much information is given as a way to protect themselves from future setbacks.
So…how much personal information is “too much”? How can you show emotional maturity without becoming “emotionally promiscuous”?
Check out this episode to discover just how much you should say, and when to say it!
I have been on both sides of the TMI spectrum. And both angles went horribly wrong.
When I wanted to feel closer to someone in a past relationship, I bared my soul. I spoke about every single thing that dealt with my past, my present, and my plans for the future. This included talking about my credit history, ex-boyfriends, my fears and insecurities, the pains of my childhood, etc.
Each time I gave away this very personal information; I expected to feel “closer” to my boyfriend.
He thought I was completely mental. Our relationship did not last.
On the contrary, I’ve dated some very nice guys and shared nothing with them out of fear that they would see me as being a very desperate “basket-case”.
Because I decided to guard myself and refrain from sharing my personal information, our trust was never fully developed.
He thought I was way too difficult to pursue and we spent many confusing nights trying to figure out where the relationship was even going. Needless to say, this one didn’t last either.
So what’s the secret? How do you establish when to share, what to share, and who to share your thoughts and feelings with?
Baring your soul should come in layers. Just like an onion, you have many layers that need to be peeled away, one layer at a time.
By taking your time to peel back each layer of yourself, this gives you and the other person time to gauge where you both are in terms of vulnerability and trust.
Emotional intimacy, as opposed to emotional promiscuity, actually comes from a variety of things:
Getting close with someone can happen based on what you experience together.
You would probably feel a lot closer to someone if you encountered a near-death experience than you would if you were simply waiting for the same bus.
Exposing certain emotions through experiences can naturally create a sense of comfort to the point where you could share and be OK with it.
Really listen to the one you want to get emotionally intimate with. Notice where they are at in the conversation—are they reciprocating the same level of thoughts and feelings as you, or are they just listening to what you’re saying?
You may be ready to go into deeper waters with them but they may not.
If you don’t see this and continue to bare your soul and expose your personal information, then you’re not practicing “emotional maturity”…you’re practicing “emotional selfishness”. And that is a slippery slope of TMI.
When it comes to being “emotionally selfish” you are sharing your information to people who didn’t necessarily welcome it. In turn, you’re creating an expectation that everyone has to care when they don’t.
If you notice that your emotional level is mutual and the one you’re talking to is also expressing compassion and sharing the same measure of personal information, then that’s how you know that you can go a little deeper and connect.
Always remember that it’s not a bad thing that you want to expose your emotions and take things to a deeper level. This only means that you desire to have a deeper connection.
However, you do want to make sure that you are going at the same pace as the one you’re aiming to connect with.
If your partner is not ready to share, then make sure that your conversations are comfortable enough to receive whatever you say, as well as whatever they may not say in response.
If your partner is a “closed book”, then continue to guard your heart, be patient, and continue to provide that comfortable environment so that the openness you seek will evolve over time.
To these kinds of people, TMI is tense, awkward, and downright scary. Don’t scare them. Give me space and time.
If you NEVER reach a point where you both are comfortable enough to share personal and emotional information, then you have to reconsider if this relationship is worth becoming emotionally intimate with.
Have a TMI experience? Share it below in the comments!