Some of us are very friendly. Others of us are very chatty. Falling into either of these groups can place you in dangerous territory when you meet someone and find yourself doing most of the talking. This is when you easily cross the boundary into "too personal."
Have you ever attended a party you were a little nervous about because you didn't know many people? That nervousness, along with a desire to make a good impression, may have made you a bit overly chatty with some of your new acquaintances. You even noticed it yourself when someone you were speaking with began darting her eyes around to find an excuse to leave your conversation.
Wouldn’t it be grand to have an inner self on the other side of your actual self, mirroring back as you talk to another person? Or sitting on your shoulder ready to tap you into full notice that you’d crossed into too friendly or overly personal zone when speaking to someone you've just met?
It's difficult to catch yourself getting too personal until you're already there. Setting a few rules before you leave your home keeps you focused on what you should and should not share.
In other words, avoid topics that may cause you to forget how long you're holding the conversation. Remember, you're speaking with a stranger or someone you've just met. There's no need to launch into a monologue or tell-all.
The best way to set aside the bad habit of talking too much or getting too personal is to form positive conversation habits. The ultimate goal within any conversation is to connect with another person through communication. Use this as your guide when in contact with someone.
Meeting new people can be intimidating. And being friendly in public situations where you may overshare with a stranger can compromise your safety.
Creating boundaries for the type of information you share with others, in addition to the guidelines above, can make you more comfortable about speaking with people you don't know. Make a conscious decision not to share personal details such as your address, your pet's name, or the type of car you drive. Think ahead before you give too much away.
Always keep in mind that when you meet someone, that person is not your new best friend. Friendship is built over time through conscious sharing and proven trust. Your personal boundaries around the type of information you share will help you pace yourself with new people as you build your talent of being a terrific conversationalist.