There’s a scene in the film Jack from 1996 where Robin Williams plays a child in a prematurely aged man’s body. After describing why he was late for something – I haven’t actually seen the film but I remember this scene just from the trailer – using words and hand gestures to describe his visit to the toilet, the lady he’s talking to says ‘well that’s more that I needed to know.’

There are of course many variations on the TMI or Too Much Information phrase where we reveal too much personal information for the comfort of whoever we’re talking to.

I heard one the other day, used by one of my sisters-in-law and I expect you’ve been using it yourself already. It’s the act of ‘oversharing’. I thought this was hilarious, and it describes exactly what’s happening.

Our social adroitness attunes us to what is acceptable in terms of sharing information on ourselves. For some people who don’t have the social calibration set quite right for a given situation, this balance between sharing too little and sharing too much is a hard one to strike.

It has its parallels in work as well, by which I don’t mean social interactions between the individuals in a company or companies, but more the exchanging of information between people as part of a deal or project.

You can share too little, or undershare I guess – which doesn’t seem to attract the level of opprobrium that its generous counterpart does – or you can overshare, providing the other party with more than is useful for them, forcing them to waste time getting to the good stuff.

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