• Jennifer Meliton

Open book or riddle wrapped in enigma?


We've all been there.

Inhaling a salad in the faculty room during a 30 minute lunch, which is never 30 minutes...and there it is.

The overshare.

Sometimes it's the regular over-sharer, sometimes it's you! Nevertheless it's a moment you can't unhear, a visual that has you running for the eyebleach, or both.

Faculties are often like families. We spend more waking time together than we do with our own broods, we share the day to day and support one another through pregnancies, parenting, professional dilemmas, illnesses, deaths, the heights of happiness and depths of despair. So is their a ceiling to openness? Can there be such a thing as too much sharing?

Yes and yes. And yes again.

The quote above popped up on Pinterest at the exact time we had been discussing same at school. I'm sure it was just a coincidence #BigBrother #PinterestKnowsAll.

I'm not sure how possible, polite, or practical it is to keep yourself a total mystery at school or work. After all, aren't we all about relationship building? Remaining impersonal and wrapped tight can lead to labels like "aloof", "indifferent" or "bitchy". But consider the opposite. There are some things in life that should really just stay at home, and while there are staffs who consider themselves to share unconditional love, I'm telling you. It's conditional. And judgement is being rendered.

All things fall on a continuum between extreme privacy and complete openness. As with most things, moderation is the key. First of all, if you think what is said in the faculty room stays in the faculty room, you are going to feel betrayed. It doesn't. Most things do go in one ear and out the other, but overshares are usually overshared in turn.

A good rule of thumb: if it happens in a room that starts with a "B" think twice before getting graphic. School family or not, please allow some things to be a mystery.

Workplace environments are protected spaces, and if someone is offended by a conversation that you take part in, it could mean more than a trip to the principal's office. Human resource policies and Federal law protect the offended and as an offender, "innocent until proven guilty" is not the standard for potential disciplinary actions. If you are involved in a conversation that gets overly racy or "colorful" at any workplace, the best bet is to change the topic or excuse yourself. If something offends you, you have the right to bring it up to your supervisor.

Like we teach our kiddos, think before you speak. Before you diss your spouse on a bad day, remember that your co-workers will be thinking about that when they meet your Mr/s. Trust takes a long time to establish, but only seconds to destroy.

Where do you fall on the spectrum? How much is too much to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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