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  • Writer's pictureAubrey Harris

Is It Honesty- Or Is It Oversharing?  

Updated: May 28

Privacy and honesty are two topics that generate reasonable tension between many couples.

It’s common for one or both partners to believe that a relationship should have full transparency; Suggesting partners share every thought, dream, fear, or fantasy.

Knowing what to share and when to restrain yourself is essential to relational harmony and peace.

 A healthy relationship allows you to communicate vulnerable thoughts and feelings but it doesn’t enable oversharing to the detriment of your partner or relationship.   

Below are a few considerations for exploring healthy, honest communication:  

What is the intent and desire behind what I’m sharing?

Disclosure is essential to intimacy and closeness, but it’s okay to have ideas and thoughts reserved for yourself.

Relationships that lack privacy are often fueled by low self-esteem and unhealthy validation seeking.

Find a balance between getting the feedback/connection you need while decreasing expectations for your partner to fix or complete you.

How will what I’m sharing impact my partner mentally/emotionally?

Consistently sharing negative feedback, thoughts or emotional flooding  (i.e., overwhelming your partner with surges of intense emotion) can be harmful to their mental, emotional and physical well-being.

As much as possible, try to communicate from a space of self-regulation. 

Is this something I should investigate myself?

Speaking of self-regulation, oversharing or excessive venting is often an effort to find emotional stability and empathy.

Be sure that you’re taking time to challenge and process negative thoughts/feelings on your own along with expressing them to your partner

In conflict, is my honesty fostering growth or chaos?

Especially in disharmony, full transparency can be employed as a means for control or retaliation.

Partners may lash out, mock vulnerabilities, or make intrusive demands.

The goal of honesty is to build trust and understanding.

The ‘when, where, why and how’ of communicating truths with a partner is critical.

Relational privacy does not equal secrecy, manipulation or withholding essential information.

It is a healthy boundary that allows both partners to continually choose to let one another in.

This type of honesty increases relational satisfaction, respect, trust and positive regard.

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