I think I want to control oversharing for both myself as well as for other people.
I also much prefer openness. Personally, I love having deep conversations. I don't like tiptoeing around touchy subjects, and I'd rather just come out and say what I mean. It helps if people understand my context, so I share to show my point of view. In non-work/school settings, I don't mind if people know intimate details about me, because I recognize that everyone has their own story and my experiences are really not all that unique. This is how I relate to people and sometimes I use it to get people to open up about themselves. I generally have no patience for the kind of small talk that doesn't actually communicate anything.
I've recently gotten feedback from a classmate that I talk too much about myself and I hijack conversations. Initially this was very upsetting, because I felt like I was being rejected by my classmates. I took a week of mostly sitting back and observing how my classmates interact and trying to pinpoint what is different about my conversational style. After a lot of reflection, I realized that it wasn't so much that I was turning the conversation to myself, but that I was oversharing, which made conversations unbalanced. Several other classmates also overshare, but I'm seeing that they're having some of the same problems I am in casual conversation.
I know I'll probably always be a little more open than is comfortable for most people. That's a core part of my personality. However this is something that I need to be able to control, not just for patient confidentiality purposes, but also for personal boundaries. When I share something, I want to be cognisant that I am doing it. If it is deliberate, then I can control it better.
Here's my 10 off limits topics:
1. Stuff that takes place in my bathroom. If it happened in the bathroom, it should not be talked about. What shampoo I use, putting my hair up, makeup woes, whether I used deodorant, my period, even decorating choices. Keep this room private.
2. Stuff that happens in my bed. Didn't sleep well, being sick, sex, waking up, etc. My bed is special, and sacred space doesn't get talked about.
3. Medical history of myself or anyone else. The only exceptions should be if I am currently ill right now and the other party needs to know or if we are discussing a patient we are both caring for. This includes mental health, past surgeries or hospital encounters, recent doctor appointments, kids medical history, my pregnancies/childbirths, my family'schronic conditions, and whether I stubbed my toe this morning. This is especially important for patients. We already deal with enough medical stuff, so I don't need to add my own to it.
4. Traumatic history or negatively emotional events. This includes ex-boyfriends, past toxic relationships, self-doubt, embarrassing situations, and caring for terminally ill family members. The past is past. The past is dead. Let it stay dead.
5. Negative comments about other people. Avoid anything that may possibly in any minor way be seen as critical of other people. If a less than positive aspect of a person (patient) must be discussed, be very clinical and impersonal about it. State what happened and what was done, but leave feelings out of it. NEVER be negative about coworkers, classmates, or family members.
6. Politics. Keep it out of the workplace, out of school, and out of friendships. This includes politically charged topics such as gun control or public healthcare. When politics cannot be avoided, keep the tone as neutral as possible and avoid extreme or controversial positions.
7. Religion. Another sacred topic. Religious conversations should be reserved for very close friendships, family, or church members. Concentrate on walking the walk instead of talking the talk.
8. Personal finances. Don't talk about taxes, payment for college, financing of vacations, trying to find good deals, or any monetary transactions.
9. My husband's work. Can state his job description and employer, but stop there.
10. Grades. My grades, other people's grades, job performance, etc. These conversations are often taken the wrong way. Never ask someone else how they did on a test, even before the grades are posted. Also never talk about my own performance - don't even bring it up. The test is done and turned in, so let it be over. If asked directly by a classmate, deflect the topic by saying simply "I did well/not as well as I would have liked."
This is just a list of the topics that tend to land me in hot water. I'm sure this is highly individual and other people are able to navigate these topics with ease and grace. Some of these I already am pretty good of stearing clear of, such as grades, religion and politics. Others, such as medical history and negative past experiences come up far too often. Of course the situation varies, but I made this list so that I can at least pause before I say something and then move forward deliberately.