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Mental Mondays: Signs Your Oversharing Has Become Trauma Dumping

Mental Mondays: Signs Your Oversharing Has Become Trauma Dumping

signs-of-trauma-dumping

There’s always a need to have a support system where you can vent every once in a while, that’s normal. What’s not normal is oversharing to the point of “trauma dumping” on others without consideration. We live in a social world where sharing our challenges has been normalized, and that’s great for human survival. But if we have blurred the boundaries between our personal and public lives, there might be more to it than just a harmless vent.

No doubt, sharing our worries and experiences can be a therapeutic way to relieve stress, and social media has played a major role in this form of stress relief. It’s easier for some of us to hide behind our screens to share experiences we would otherwise be shamed for. While this is great, the anonymity of social media sometimes encourages oversharing. Individuals share highly sensitive and graphic content without the consent of others. These contents might trigger its viewers, and therein lies a problem. While social media is one of the ways trauma dumping expresses itself, it can also occur on a personal level.

What is trauma dumping?

Trauma dumping simply means persistently oversharing personal, inappropriate, or disturbing information at the wrong place, to the wrong person, or at the wrong time. Mostly when a person overshares, it’s not out of a need to relieve stress, but often as a way of soliciting sympathy and/or validation.

These are four signs of oversharing syndrome to look out for

We often vent to let off some steam, and after that, we move on with our lives. If you see yourself exhibiting these signs, then you might have crossed the line into trauma dumping.

Zero boundaries: If you realize you overshare sensitive information without the consent of the individuals involved. You can’t read the room to notice that this conversation is uncomfortable for the listener, or you can sense but continue without consideration like your life depends on it.

No jokes: You find a way to infuse your traumatic experiences into casual conversations. One minute you were all having a good laugh about KFC’s chicken, and the next thing, you navigated the conversation to become about how your toxic ex loved the chicken and all the terrible things done to you. It’s true you might still feel pain, but it is important to channel these emotions healthily.

• Stuck on repeat: You are regurgitating the experience, and worse still, doing it publicly. One of the signs of trauma dumping is repeating the same trauma conversations and showing no sign of moving forward. You might notice the need to ward off the opinion of others pertaining to your experiences, and remain stuck in your world.

Avoidance: You notice no one shares their experiences with you, and they act weird when you start oversharing. This could be because you have become self-absorbed and rarely ask about their welfare. If it persists, they may start avoiding you.

Check out 5 common reasons why you may be trauma dumping…

#1. Mental health smokescreen

Photo: cottonbro/Pexels

When a person compulsively overshares information that should be kept to themselves, it could be a way to camouflage deeper mental issues like anxiety and depression. If you often feel embarrassed after oversharing, but also notice you can’t stop yourself, it is advisable to visit a therapist.

#2. A need for validation

mental-mondayssigns-your-oversharing-has-become-trauma-dumping
Photo: Edmond Dantès/Pexels

We fight different demons daily, and it’s easy for these battles to breed self-doubt and low self-esteem. Social media has made oversharing acceptable. While few of us are using the platforms to share things that make us seem authentic, there are others who dump their trauma on whom it may concern. We live in different times, and it requires us to wear our scars like badges, but it’s easy to cross the line between actual vulnerability and weaponizing this trait.

For example, Anita had an accident that scared sections of her face. She hid behind makeup for so long to conceal these scars. One day, she went on a live stream and revealed this secret to the world. Social media responded positively to this vulnerable and bold revelation. Anita noticed this overwhelming response and decided to capitalize on her scars going forward, as this doubled her followership and also validated her. In search of a listening ear, she runs the risk of oversharing syndrome.

#3. Loneliness

mental-mondayssigns-your-oversharing-has-become-trauma-dumping
Photo: EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA/Pexels

Spending lots of time alone could trigger social anxiety. When you finally get with people outside your lonely routine, the urge to overshare becomes strong. Next thing you know, you unburden all your experiences without considering the repercussions on the listener’s emotions and mental health.

#4. A form of pain relief

Photo: Liza Summer/Pexels

As an over-sharer, revealing the cause of your unrest could temporarily relieve the pain. Oversharing could easily become a faulty coping mechanism. In the long run, however, it can cause more problems than actually solve any.

#5. Fear of judgment

mental-mondayssigns-your-oversharing-has-become-trauma-dumping
Photo: Keira Burton/Pexels

Jim had a terrible marriage. His neighbors, friends, and family members were aware. He constantly fought with his wife, and whenever he stepped outside, he could feel the heavy eyes of judgment penetrating his soul. This often made him overshare even to strangers. He feels the need to vindicate himself but only ends up giving away information irrelevant to the recipient. Even more, he becomes an object of gossip and public spectacle.

“This planet is information. All the time, never-ceasing. Information it wants to give you, information it wants to take from you to share with everyone else. And I think you can respond to that in two ways. You can control how much you give it, like you and I have done. Or you can open yourself to it completely; I say.” ~Patrick Ness

Featured image: RF._.studio/Pexels


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