Oversharing (when is it too much?)

May 13, 2022

I remember when I was going through my divorce back in 2013… I was wondering how much I should be sharing publicly at the time and a friend of mine said:

“Share from the scar, not from the wound”

Meaning, don’t share too much while you are going through it all as it might be a turn off for folks. Wait instead to share after you’ve healed so that you can show up in a more empowered ‘here’s what I learned’ way.

At the time it made total sense to me. And I chose not to share too much of what was going on while it was happening (outside of sharing with my inner circle of friends and clients.)

But now? I’m not so sure I agree with this anymore… and I’m curious for your thoughts.

These days I find that I SO appreciate hearing about the sh%t that others are going through, as they are going through it and not just as a ‘lesson learned’ after the fact.

When I pause to consider why I appreciate this… a few things come to mind:

  • It shows me that other folks are dealing with crap as well, and that I’m not alone <– that’s a biggie! it’s so easy to feel like we are the only ones dealing with stuff when we are knee deep in it.
  • It allows me to connect with them human-to-human… and not just based on the “everything is awesome and my life is amazing” persona that it feels like we are supposed to be showing up as online
  • There’s also something about witnessing it in real time, as it unfolds, that feels much more powerful than something shared after the fact.

I so appreciate and value when others “keep it real” and show up in the truth of their messiness BUT I have a hard time doing this myself.

For example, last year was the worst year I’ve ever experienced in my business. There was a circumstance in the spring that resulted in unhappy students and the ending of a business partnership. The experience shook me to the core and caused me to question everything about myself… do I really have anything of value to offer? Have I been letting folks down all along and didn’t know it? How was I so blind to some of what was going on right under my nose?

It was emotionally draining and challenging on all levels, to the point where I was ready to throw in the towel on my business many, many times (and secretly wishing I could just get rid of it all). And yet I still felt like I had to keep showing up in an empowered way. I had to keep showing a positive face to everyone around me so that folks would think I am strong and capable and have my sh%t together.

On one hand yes, as a leader I did need to show up in my strength for my team, my clients and the business. And on the other hand, would it have been wrong to also share some of the challenging aspects as well? There was a part of me that really wanted to, but that phrase “share from the scar and not the wound” kept me from doing so. And my fear that you would think less of me if I did share how much of a struggle it has been. The truth is I lost my mojo last year and am still recovering from all of it.

It was a for real “pull up your big girl panties and keep on going” year (I’ve actually thought of starting a podcast with that name, LOL… perhaps I will?)

I’m curious, how do you feel when people share the tough stuff? The messy stuff?

Does it make you think less of them? Or does it make you feel more connected?

Do you find it helpful to hear about this stuff? Or does it feel unnecessary and maybe a bit TMI?

Do you – like me – find it strangely inspiring to know that other folks struggle as well?

Comment below let me know.,. I’d love to hear your perspective.

And may we all continue to grow together in the messiness of being human in business. <3

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