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Are You a 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 OftenSometimesNever
Arguments with your family members OftenSometimesNever
Twists and turns in your nasty divorce OftenSometimesNever
The activities of your brilliant and adorable children OftenSometimesNever
The aggravating behavior of your in-laws OftenSometimesNever
Intimate details of romantic encounters OftenSometimesNever
Your dog, cat, hamster, iguana, or any other pet OftenSometimesNever
Crazy drunken escapades OftenSometimesNever
Trips and vacations (with or without pictures) OftenSometimesNever
Your swinging single social life OftenSometimesNever
Your lack of a social life OftenSometimesNever
Buying, building, selling, or decorating your house OftenSometimesNever
Problems with your boyfriend(s) or girlfriend(s) OftenSometimesNever
Details of surgical procedures OftenSometimesNever
Illnesses and medications OftenSometimesNever
Disturbances with bodily functions (we’ll omit the specifics) OftenSometimesNever
Pregnancy problems and delivery dramas OftenSometimesNever
Your astounding athletic prowess OftenSometimesNever
Views on political candidates and issues OftenSometimesNever
Your anxieties, addictions, phobias, or emotional problems OftenSometimesNever
Your brilliant investment strategies OftenSometimesNever
Religious beliefs, convictions, and opinions OftenSometimesNever

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.

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