The CognoZen Column

9 Ways To Stop Oversharing & How To Deepen Connections (Without Draining Anyone)

Keep reading to learn how you can stop oversharing, find your balance, and deepen your connections with people without draining them.

Has there ever been a time when you were busy – maybe reorganizing your house or hanging out with a friend – and someone called you and, without warning, started to go on a long rant about the current problem they’re facing or the person that ticked them off?

And because they never took a break that was long enough for you to say, “Hey, right now really isn’t the best time…” you ended up stuck on the phone for 15+ minutes, awkwardly trying to finish your task and end the call?

And by the time you hung up you felt drained, annoyed, and totally NOT in the mood to finish doing what you were doing?

Yeah. It’s not pleasant.

And (for me, at least) it never feels good to imagine that you’ve made someone feel this way about you, either!

Oversharing seems to be at an all-time high right now. Because we’ve gotten so used to turning on a camera and ranting til our heart’s content, without interruptions or having to worry that we’re bothering someone, it seems like a lot of us are missing the social cues about when it’s appropriate to share our feelings, how we should go about doing so, and who we should and shouldn’t be telling our truths to.

Here are 9 ways you can stop oversharing, find your balance, and deepen your connections with people without draining them.

1. Don’t Overshare

Well, this seems obvious, but it’s worth stating.

Have you ever found yourself pouring your heart out to someone and gotten the sneaking suspicion that they were tuning you out and are completely uninterested in what you’re saying?

It doesn’t feel good. In fact, depending on how personal what you’re sharing is, it can almost feel like rejection. It can be hard not to take things personally when someone is actively showing you that they don’t care.

But here’s the thing: sometimes it really isn’t personal.

For instance, their minds may be preoccupied with struggles of their own that you aren’t aware of. They may want to be there for you but just aren’t able to do so at the moment.

The saying is true: the majority of the time people’s responses have everything to do with them and little to do with you.

We all have a lot going on, and no one likes to be bombarded with someone else’s thoughts and problems without asking. Find the people who want to hear about every detail of your day, wait until they ask what’s on your mind, or ask them if they have a few minutes to lend a listening ear, and THEN share. That way they won’t feel overwhelmed and you won’t feel rejected.

Reflection Questions

  • Do I often find myself sharing personal details without being asked?
  • Have I noticed any negative reactions from friends when I overshare?
  • How did their reactions make me feel?
  • Did I take a moment to consider how they felt before sharing?

2. Build A Larger Support Network

This one can feel like a bit of a challenge for my fellow introverts, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to diversify your support network.

Contrary to what we see in the movies and on social media about “soulmates” and “soul family”, one person cannot be everything to you. It’s simply impossible.

Unless they’re wildly codependent (which isn’t the healthiest thing to be), they have their own lives, emotions, and experiences that need their attention.

Also, they may have different interests, beliefs, and points of view than you so it might not be wise to turn to them on every topic.

Don’t rely on just one friend to be your emotional dumping ground. Build a network of supportive people who can help you process different aspects of your life. Consider a therapist, coach, or support group for deeper issues.

If you’re looking for ways to meet new people, here are a few sites I recommend:

  • Facebook Events
  • Take classes at your local studios or community centers. You can learn new skills and make new friends!
  • Find your city’s Master Events Calendar
  • Join local clubs (e.g. fan clubs, book clubs, hiking clubs, etc.)
  • Join your local gym and befriend people after classes
  • Get involved in your local worship center, if you’re religious

Reflection Questions

  • Do I tend to rely on one or two friends for all my emotional needs?
  • How might they feel about this?
  • How can I build my support network over the next 3 months?
  • What am I looking for from my support network?

3. Get Great At Active Listening

Like we talked about earlier, we all know how it feels when you know someone’s tuning you out while you’re talking. Not only is it rude, but it can also make you feel like you don’t matter to the person you’re talking to. After enough times, this can lead to resentment and the dissolution of a friendship.

Aim to be a master at active listening.

When your friends share, give them your full attention. Listen without interrupting, judging, or offering unsolicited advice. Show empathy and understanding, and ask thoughtful questions to show you care.

This can help you learn more about them, understand them better, and deepen your connection by making them feel seen and valued.

And it doesn’t only benefit friendships! Active listening can greatly improve your business relationships and help open the doors to new partnerships that you might not have been offered otherwise.

Reflection Questions

  • Am I a good listener, or do I tend to interrupt or offer advice before being asked?
  • Do I ask questions that help me to better understand my friend and the situation?
  • How can I improve my active listening skills to be a more supportive friend?

4. Set Clear Boundaries

Somedays you’re just not in the mood to hear other people complain about their problems….and that’s okay.

Somedays you’re just not in the mood to talk to people about the ins and outs of your problems…and that’s okay.

Let your friends know what you’re comfortable discussing and what’s off-limits. Don’t feel pressured to share more than you’re ready for. It’s okay to say “I’m not comfortable talking about that right now.”

Boundaries are important to building healthy, lasting connections. Get clear on what yours are and protect them with kindness and strength.

People don’t have to understand your boundaries. They just have to respect them. And if they aren’t willing to do that, then maybe they’re not people that you should continue to keep in your inner circle.

Reflection Questions

  • Do I have clear boundaries in my friendships?
  • Do my friends respect and honor my boundaries?
  • Do they apologize when these boundaries get crossed?
  • How can I communicate my boundaries more effectively to the people I love?

5. Recognize Emotional Dumping Patterns

Sometimes you can get so overwhelmed with intense feelings that have built up over a period of time to point where you feel like you’re about to explode and the words pour out of your mouth like word vomit before you can stop them.

(Hello, Mean Girls reference!)

It’s okay. We’ve all unintentionally emotionally dumped on someone before. There’s no need to beat yourself up about it.

But ask yourself, has emotional dumping become a habit?

Notice if you tend to unload your emotions on your friends without checking in on their well-being first. Meaning, before you get into your whole shpeal, do you at least ask them how they’re doing first? Do you genuinely listen and care about their response? Do you ask them if it’s a good time for them to talk before you start speaking a mile a minute for almost an hour?

A healthy friendship involves mutual support, not one-sided venting sessions. It’s just as important to be the person your friends can lean on as it is to choose friends that you can lean on.

Reflection Questions

  • Do I often engage in emotional dumping without considering my friend’s emotional capacity?
  • How can I be more mindful of my friend’s needs and create a balanced exchange of support?

6. Be Mindful Of Timing & Setting

There’s a time and a place for everything, and it’s important to remember this.

Avoid bringing up heavy topics or personal problems during inappropriate times (e.g., during a fun outing or when your friend is clearly busy or stressed).

Sure, we’ve all had those tipsy heart-to-hearts in the nightclub or house party bathroom. Heck, some of the strongest friendships are built in there!

But that shouldn’t be your go-to time and place for a long, drawn-out friend therapy session.

Choose a private, calm setting where you can both focus on the conversation. If your friend’s trying to have fun, try not to kill their mood. Either call and talk to someone else, or wait until a later date.

And if your burdens feel so heavy that you can’t wait a minute longer, here are some hotlines that you can turn to at any moment.

988 Suicide Crisis Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)

Crisis Text Line

Reflection Questions

  • Do I tend to share personal information at inappropriate times or places? Why might I be doing this?
  • How can I be more mindful of timing and setting when discussing sensitive topics with my friends?
  • Who are the 5 people that I would call in a time of need? (Create a list so you have other options if one isn’t available.)

7. Assess The Relationship Before Sharing

Unfortunately, most of us have had at least one friend that we thought we could trust but then turned around and spread our business in the streets, or used what we shared against us.

It’s a tragic violation and a toxic act that can have lasting emotional and even professional consequences.

So before you share, remember that not everyone is worthy of being your confidante. Some secrets should be held close to your chest or only shared with a licensed therapist that’s legally required to keep your secrets.

Gauge the level of intimacy and trust in each relationship before unloading all your thoughts and feelings. Some friends are great for deep conversations, while others prefer lighter topics.

Both have their place and can bring value to your life. It’s important to know which category people belong in and act accordingly.

Reflection Questions

  • Who do I trust the most?
  • What have they done that proves they are worthy of this level of trust from me? (They may be good for other people, but are they good for YOU?)

8. Practice Self-Reflection

Before sharing something personal, take a moment to reflect on WHY you want to share it. Are you seeking validation, advice, or simply a listening ear? Understanding your motivations can help you communicate more effectively.

Like we said earlier, not everyone deserves to know your personal business. Are you putting yourself in a precarious situation by confiding in the wrong person just because you need validation?

Getting clear on what needs you’re looking to have met before you start speaking can save you a whole lot of headaches and heartache.

Reflection Questions

  • What do I hope to gain from sharing this with my friend?
  • What other healthy ways could I get these needs met instead of emotionally dumping on my friend?

9. Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Develop healthy coping mechanisms now so you don’t feel completely lost in the moments when you need a friend but no one is available.

Learn to manage your emotions independently through journaling, meditation, exercise, creative outlets, or other self-care practices. This will help you to not be so reliant on your friends for emotional support and create a healthier dynamic in your relationships.

The CognoZen Method is my go-to for regulating my nervous system in as little as 10 minutes. And while this is a promo link, I’m speaking the truth. I created The CognoZen Method because these exercises completely changed my life and I wanted to share them with other people that might need them, too.

If you want to try it for free, join the FREE 3-Day CognoZen Challenge here.


Oversharing isn’t the healthiest habit, but it’s easy to correct and avoid. Just take everything on this list into consideration and you’ll be able to build stronger and healthier friendships in no time!

Get instant access to the FREE 3-Day CognoZen Challenge to learn how to reprogram your subconscious mind for more wealth, happiness, & success!

What To Read Next

“What’s Your Manifestaton Mojo” Quiz (And How to Amp It Up!)

10 Signs Your BFF is a Keeper (And How to Be One, Too!)

7 Healthy Coping Mechanisms To Overcome Unhealthy Habits

16 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Failure and Achieve Your Goals

How To Overcome Self Doubt By Challenging Your Inner Critic

And remember to check out our FREE downloads in the Freebie shop!

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