- “TMI” (“too much information”), a slang expression indicating that someone has divulged too much personal information and made the listener uncomfortable. (from Wikipedia)
How many times have you been in the situation where someone gives you a little more information than you cared to know? I mean the kind of information where you feel bad that the other person just shared something with you that probably needed to be kept to themselves. In the world of mental health the professional word for that is personal boundaries. It means generally that you divulge private information to another person that does not make you or the other person uncomfortable. Now that changes based on the relationship you have with the person and the ability to gauge what might make that person edgy. Watch young children, they often have few personal boundaries and will tell neighbors, family members, or even strangers almost anything without blinking an eye. (yes it is usually at the most inopportunate time too) As adults we hopefully mature to the point that we can sense or identify when someone is becoming a little uncomfortable with the subject matter of Aunt Phoebe’s hemorroids or the repair man who wants to tell you about his wife’s ass. But there are the people who simply do not get it… They missed the memo about not sharing everything with anybody or everybody or were gone from class on the day when you learned about reading social cues. People as a rule will give you some very clear signs of being uncomfortable by not looking directly at you, putting their head down, blushing cheeks, or becoming visibly anxious. There are many more but I trust ( I know this is me going out on a limb) that you know what they are and if you don’t please pick up a book at your local bookstore on the subject.
Our society however is generally either on one side of the fence or the other and this is the most problematic for me… As I have shared in my first post I am an open and communicative girl who pretty much puts it out there in an appropriate manner ( most of the time) but I find that people have become much more uncomfortable in open communication and discussion of healthy relationships. Example, I have a nameless friend who anytime the subject of sex would come up in general girl chit-chat would say “don’t want to hear it.” Now let me tell you I was not having an in-depth discussion of the Kama Sutra position used between my husband and myself or the time it took for me to become orgasmic. (see an example of too much information there) I would simply be stating something about actually having sex with my husband (gasp!) in passing.
So there it is, in the US where I live, we put sex out there everywhere ( ads, magazines, etc) without having the ability to have an open dialogue about wonderful human sexuality. I guess for me it becomes clear that I am in the minority often in the ability to discuss sexuality without becoming uncomfortable. I know that for me I can read the social cues when someone is uncomfortable and don’t want to become the person who shares “TMI”. For the record however I feel like I am the one who is being genuine and honest and am usually viewed as being a breathe of fresh air in that respect. What I am here to tell you is there is a fine line between “TMI” and talking openly about subjects like sexuality. Please let’s not become the society that shares too much but let’s also not also become a society that also cannot discuss certain subjects that are part of everyday life and our humanity. We do the children of our world a disservice if we don’t give them the gift of openness. Take what you want from what I have commented on above and I would love to hear what you think… I love getting replies and enjoy banter. And don’t worry I was not going to tell you about the amazing sex I had last night…