Whether it’s about your weekend down the shore or your crazy commute, odds are you love talking about your life just as much as the next guy. Stories are how we connect, and we all like to tell and hear them. But in certain situations, oversharing becomes risky. Here are some examples of when you should really just read the room and, for your own sake, stop talking.
1. Telling your boss why you’re late for work
Life is unpredictable. All it takes is one forgotten alarm or a particularly bad hangover to send your weekday morning into absolute disarray. There’s no easy way out—either you bite the bullet and confess your idiocy to your boss, hoping they’ll understand, or come up with some intricate lie. Word of advice: Go with the former option. Nothing looks worse than over-explaining what should be an uncomplicated, occasional byproduct of a 9-to-5 job. Maybe an earthquake did wreck your car and you had to trek nine miles in the blistering heat just to get to work. It doesn’t matter. Remember what we’ve said before: No one wants to hear your excuses for being late; apologize for the inconvenience your lateness has caused. Here’s more on how to be late.
2. Telling your girlfriend about a bachelor party
Could’ve been the coolest party in the entire world—we guarantee your girlfriend doesn’t want to hear about it. To be clear, honesty is important in every relationship but, in some cases, less really is more. Bachelor parties have too much of a reputation to be perceived as anything resembling innocent. Add to that the word “crazy” and stories of how drunk you got, odds are you’ll be able to feel the fight coming before it even happens. So please, do yourself a favor and keep the tales of your epic weekend to a minimum. Unless, of course, you were indeed unfaithful—that’s a whole separate conversation you’ll need to have, and you’re on your own there.
3. Telling your friends about the sex you’ve had
This one should be a no-brainer, but it really is surprising that few guys understand how little anyone else cares about their sex lives. Unless the story itself actually goes somewhere other than “I had sex and it was great,” no one gives a shit. The most obvious reason is because you’re essentially talking about your junk, and people generally don’t want to visualize their friends naked, especially when they’re in close proximity. You come off sounding pathetic, like somebody who constantly needs to reassert their masculinity, and you probably don’t even have a sex life worthy of praising.
4. Talking to a coworker about finding a new job
It might seem innocent, but telling your coworker about finding a new job could look bad from more than one angle. First, if you two become decent enough friends, you’re basically ditching them, and that sucks. Second, you could be illustrating how little regard you have for the company you’ve worked for—a company your coworker still works at, so they probably don’t like being the object of insult. Third, if you have to collaborate with this person in any way, and they know you’re about to peace out, you could run into some secrecy issues. Even if it’s innocent, if your work is going to fall on his or her lap, they might start complaining to others and it could get back to your boss before you even put in your letter of resignation. That’s not a good look.
5. Talking about all the drugs you do
This isn’t universally applicable, but for those who it does apply to, listen up: No one cares or wants to talk about how much weed you smoke. There, I said it. Unless you’re Tommy Chong or Snoop Dogg, there’s really no reason to be bragging about it. And that’s not even touching on harder drugs. Talking about all the coke you snort is an easy way to alienate people, because you’ve just admitted to being a ticking time bomb. Doesn’t matter if it’s something you keep under control—the more you talk about it, the more people with adult jobs or families or any important thing in their lives won’t want to get too close to you.