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“Did I Overshare by Telling My New Co-Workers That I Habitually Overshare?”

“I know that I will 100% say something awkward and inappropriate at least once a week. But unlike previous jobs, I broached this topic with my new co-workers during the job interview.”

One symptom of adhd in some adults is constant activity and the ever present feeling of too much energy.
One symptom of adhd in some adults is constant activity and the ever present feeling of too much energy.

As someone with boundary-recognition disorder, I’ve worked all my life to learn where the line is for others. Comedians understand the importance of finding (and sometimes crossing) that line. In the context of a comedy club, it’s socially acceptable to flaunt the audience’s line. At work? Not so much.

Oversharing at Work

I recently started a new job, and I’m working with a fantastic bunch. They’re supportive, understanding, and kind. It’s been two weeks, and everyone already knows the name of my motorbike (Dragon). I can’t help myself — I overshare. I’m so acutely aware of this foible that I keep bringing it up and negging myself before anyone else can.

It makes me sound insecure when I say something and then mutter, “I’m just being an idiot.” I get the laugh, but I’m not sure everyone knows I’m joking. I also tend to say what the most judgemental person could be thinking, revealing a fear of a conversation with human resources, which I don’t want to happen.

But I often can’t find the line until I’ve already crossed it. As a result, I’ve suffered consequences and paid a harsh price in the past.

I know that I will 100% say something awkward and inappropriate at least once a week at my new job. But unlike previous jobs, I broached this topic with my new co-workers during the job interview. I assured them that I would do my best and work hard, and that I would pledge an investment not just in the work, but in the team.

[Free Download: 8 Ways to Get Better at Small Talk]

Honest, Open Communication

I’m lucky — my manager is blunt and makes occasional faux pas similar to my own. My first impression of her from my pre-interview research was that she would be scary, humorless, and stern, but I was totally wrong. My boss is awesome, fun, and appreciates my sense of humor. She knows she made the right choice in hiring me, and I really respect her.

She says what she thinks and speaks her mind. It takes a willingness from me and courage from her to know that she can tell me, “I know you like to be funny and talk, but for the love of god, keep a lid on it for this meeting and just take notes,” and I’m okay with that.

Suppose you go out to dinner with someone in a wheelchair and the restaurant is on the second floor of a building with no elevator. You know it may take some effort to get up the stairs, but you are eating one way or another. There’s an issue, it’s not your friend’s fault, but it is our problem. Having someone who understands your struggles, helps you up the stairs, and refuses to bag on dinner is invaluable.

Be true to yourself, teach others about ADHD (focus on the positives, and let them know the odd bits, too), and make sure they see a person trying their best. Don’t put yourself down before people can form their own opinion either. Just be human, and if the people around you are human too, you’re in the right place.

[Could You Have Symptoms of Adult ADHD? Take This Test]

Oversharing with ADHD: Next Steps


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2 Comments & Reviews

  1. NEVER, ever admit to a prospective or existing employer that you have ADD. I once got fired for saying something stupid at a customer-facing meeting. I have always worked at for-profit companies and these are run by hard-ass dudes to who do not tolerate mistakes or missed deadlines or any mealy-mouth excuses of mental illness. Their vetting process for new hires attempts to weed out anyone who has a penchant to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. This is NOT amusing or funny. Your boss is not your friend. By definition he/she dangles a sword of Damocles over your career.

    Another reason is that if jealous peers find this out they will trash talk you all over the company. You will find yourself eating alone in the company cafeteria, a deja-vu of 6th grade.

    Advocating going public and baring all is highly irresponsible IMHO. Even handcuffed gang members in the back of a police car keep their mouths shut unless they are ****ing stupid. YOU have the same Miranda rights plus HIPAA. No law requires you to reveal your secret health information so why would you?

    I have 40 + years of job experience and after that disaster at my first job I learned fast. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve seen it all. I did not enjoy good paying jobs by being reckless or stupid.

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