Are You Guilty of TMI at Work?

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You’ve probably worked with people who just can’t stop talking about themselves. They rattle on and on about topics in which you have absolutely no interest. When you see them coming, your first thought is “how can I escape?”. These annoying chatterboxes inspired someone to coin the term “TMI”, short for “too much information”.

But before you judge these talkative colleagues too harshly, be sure that your own slate is clean. You may be bored to tears with the details of their vicious divorce, but do you ever return the favor by endlessly bragging on your brilliant children or recounting every shot in your last round of golf? To check your own TMI tendencies, review the list below.

What do you talk about at work? How frequently?
Your spouse’s annoying habits and peculiarities Often Sometimes Never
Arguments with your family members Often Sometimes Never
Twists and turns in your nasty divorce Often Sometimes Never
The activities of your brilliant and adorable children Often Sometimes Never
The aggravating behavior of your in-laws Often Sometimes Never
Intimate details of romantic encounters Often Sometimes Never
Your dog, cat, hamster, iguana, or any other pet Often Sometimes Never
Crazy drunken escapades Often Sometimes Never
Trips and vacations (with or without pictures) Often Sometimes Never
Your swinging single social life Often Sometimes Never
Your lack of a social life Often Sometimes Never
Buying, building, selling, or decorating your house Often Sometimes Never
Problems with your boyfriend(s) or girlfriend(s) Often Sometimes Never
Details of surgical procedures Often Sometimes Never
Illnesses and medications Often Sometimes Never
Disturbances with bodily functions (we’ll omit the specifics) Often Sometimes Never
Pregnancy problems and delivery dramas Often Sometimes Never
Your astounding athletic prowess Often Sometimes Never
Views on political candidates and issues Often Sometimes Never
Your anxieties, addictions, phobias, or emotional problems Often Sometimes Never
Your brilliant investment strategies Often Sometimes Never
Religious beliefs, convictions, and opinions Often Sometimes Never


It’s fine to share information about your life with coworkers. After all, that’s how we get to know people and build relationships. But the more times you checked “often”, the greater the risk of people falling asleep in your cubicle or ducking into the restroom when they see you coming.

Even if you have a conversational partner who’s equally interested in your favorite topic, you are probably wasting huge chunks of work time swapping stories. So save the TMI binges for your friends and family – or at least confine them to breaks and lunch.