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Some people are natural "sharers". They have no qualms about giving the most intimate details of their lives, diseases, relationships, etc., to even casual acquaintances.

One example was a colleague who was telling rather graphic details of an argument she had had with her partner (who I have never met), and with the further complication that she implied repeatedly that I should take her side.

In a one-on-one conversation, how do you convey to them that this is more information or detail than you are comfortable with, without coming across as uninterested in them, or uncaring more generally?

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  • Do these conversations typically happen in a group (i.e. where you're not the only person they're sharing this information with?) Jun 30 '17 at 9:51
  • I have now narrowed this to one-on-one conversations as this is more common to my particular experience.
    – r m
    Jul 1 '17 at 17:08
  • If this still seems too broad, please give me some suggestions to tighten it up.
    – r m
    Jul 1 '17 at 20:06
  • try providing an example in your question, it will definitely help make it more specific. While I understand why you want to keep it broad limiting it to 1 example allows for more accurate answers and also allows more questions to be asked, helping keep the site running. Jul 2 '17 at 8:54
  • I added the acquaintance tag to narrow the scope - sorry I thought it would be a suggested edit and you would be able to look at it. Just edit it out if you don't like it
    – user57
    Jul 4 '17 at 0:16
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I think TMI usually relates to either the sharer's lack of a social filter or their overestimation of affinity. Basically they will tend to blurt things out to just about anyone or they consider you to be a very close friend that they can talk to about such matters.

I think that's why the term "TMI" was created. It gives people a short gentle way of saying that they're being given information that's inappropriate​, or inappropriate for the context.

So simply saying "Whoa, TMI." works in most situations.

If you want to convey that you're open to listening to them, but you don't need the graphic details, just say so.

"If you need to talk, I'm listening, but the graphic details are TMI"

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  • 2
    Other equally informal alternatives to "Whoa, TMI" would be "Duuude" (elongate the "u" based on severity), a raised eyebrow, or the good old-fashioned spit take.
    – Flater
    Nov 28 '17 at 16:41

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