Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-07-2009, 07:56 AM
nikkiana's Avatar
nikkiana nikkiana is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 164
Default Is it possible to over-communicate?

One of the things I really like about being polyamorous is the fact that to be able to maintain relationships with multiple people, you've got to use your communication skills... I suppose communication is essential in all relationships regardless of whether it's a poly one or not, but I know when I personally was living monogamously, it felt like it was much easier to become complacent and not discuss important issues than it is for me now. Not saying that I'm perfect with this... I know there are definitely times that haven't had important discussions with people in my life in a timely fashion because I was nervous about of the reaction I might get.

On that note, I've been noticing an insecurity I seem to be having around communication.... and was wondering if this specifically was a common insecurity...

For me, sitting down and having an engaged conversation with someone I love and care about is an important issue that's concerning us, or something that's philosophically important to us, etc. is of equal or often greater of an intimate activity as sex is, and because of this I want to have these kind of conversations fairly frequently. However, this need seems to send me into this odd loop of insecurity... because I want these deep intimate conversations, I feel like I'm constantly bombarding the people closest to me with observations about life, comments about how I'm feeling, etc. in attempt to spark the type of conversation that I'm craving. Occasionally, I get the sort of conversation I'm seeking, but more often than not I get a short response and the conversation ends. The thought was responded to, but the emotional need that sparked the original comment wasn't addressed.

I feel like I have a tendency to want to initiate communication as soon as I feel anything uncomfortable, even if it's something super minor and not a big deal, just for the sake of communicating because I want the emotional connectiveness that communication brings. I feel self-conscious because I feel like this isn't the best way to initiate being emotionally connected but it's the only way I know of to achieve that, and I worry that as a result I'm going to be perceived over time as being a needy person rather than a communicative person.

I know the poly mantra is "communicate, communicate, communicate!" but is it possible to over-communicate?
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 08:05 AM
Sweetheart's Avatar
Sweetheart Sweetheart is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: in my mind
Posts: 125

I understand exactly how you are feeling on this one. I also tend to want to discuss every minor thing! My partner is the sort who gives the short answers and then we're done, which causes me to feel frustrated sometimes, as if we didn't actually discuss anything.

Is it possible to over-communicate? I suppose it could be possible. If it is, I haven't seen it yet...
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 01:31 PM
Magdlyn's Avatar
Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Metro West Massachusetts
Posts: 6,518

I sometimes worry about "over-analyzing" issues w my partner. But we're both into exploring nuances of things that interest us, or issues between us that would hamper intimacy. I try to be sensitive to her feelings tho. If I feel I am beating a dead horse, that I am going on and on too much, even if I feel the subject is not thoroughly explored, I will take a break from it, let ideas simmer in our subconsciousnesses for a while, and then return to it after a day or 2. But I try not to let impt issues slide. This breeds resentment and can hamper intimacy.
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 62)
Pixi (poly, F, 40) my partner since January 2009
Kahlo (poly-curious, M, 45) my bf since August 2017
Master, (mono, M, 36), Pixi's Dom/bf since April 2013
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 03:25 PM
windmarkbob windmarkbob is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 19

I don't think it's possible to "overcommunicate", but I do think it's possible to communicate too much at any given time. Sometimes a person can only handle so much information to be processed, and the processing can take some time. Once they've reached the maximum amount of info they can process everything else just seems like piling on or "pushing". Sometimes people need to let the info they have just percolate a bit.

Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 05:13 PM
redsirenn's Avatar
redsirenn redsirenn is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sunny CA
Posts: 293

It's funny how this forum operates sometimes. I was just thinking about the last night, and here is a post on it...

I do think it is possible to over communicate. I find that there are times when people use communication with their partners as a crutch. It is just as important to be able to recognize issues that you need to resolve on your own, take that time to think about them, and come to some conclusion. There are countless occasions in past relationships I have had that I communicated too much, and if I had simply handled it myself, I might have avoided unneeded drama, tears, and time that could have been spent smiling with my partner, or simply doing something not so serious!

Ouroboros wants me to communicate with him whenever I feel insecure, good, etc. But I want the emotional independence to be my own support and problem solver at times as well... or to bask in my happiness on my own time.

I also feel that too much detail can be communicated. I think it is a good thing to have some mystery in life...
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 06:41 PM
rolypoly's Avatar
rolypoly rolypoly is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 350

Hilarious, so was I just thinking about this same thing. Cosmic.

I often fret about being too communicative. I'm fairly forthcoming and it's common for me to initiate a conversation by saying, "I was feeling embarrassed yesterday when.... and was wondering if there was a way we could maneuver this..... etc...."

The reaction I get from some people seems timid, but I don't actually know what's going on with the person. One of my greatest challenges is not knowing how others feel. Not everyone enjoys someone coming up to them wanting to know what's true for them at that moment. Maybe they don't know, maybe they're shy to share, maybe they feel uncomfortable.

Yet it's such a great joy in my world when people can walk up to each other and ask how are you? what's alive in you right now?

I guess, as windmarkbob said, some people can only handle so much information at one time.
My heart is too big to fit into one person.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 07:24 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New England USA
Posts: 1,231
Default Maybe not "over"

Hi Nikki,
I guess maybe you could call it "over" communicating but maybe that's misleading. I think maybe it has more to do with timing and giving equal weight to others needs too. Sometimes a topic may just be "too much" for a particular person at that point in time. They be be internally dealing with their own "stuff" and just not be mentally or emotionally capable of digging in too deep on some complex issue on your mind. That's the message you are probably receiving when you mention you get "acknowledgment but not pursuit".
This is one of the nice things about having a bigger "circle" if you will - a better chance that you may find someone who is available right then to get into the thick of it with you.
If it's an issue primarily involving me and the person I want to initiate the discussion with I generally take the approach of saying, "I've got this thing on my mind the WE need to talk about". Then I'll listen for the "go signal". If I don't get it - I respect that - and leave it with a follow up of "we REALLY need to deal with this - ok ? So let's find a time. Only if I see an intentional effort to avoid the conversation over some time issue will I push it.

That's what works for me....

Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 08:53 PM
PickMoreDaisies PickMoreDaisies is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 37
Default same concerns yesterday

Odd that my partner and I were having this same conversation last night...is it the moon?

We communicate all the time about everything and though it sometimes seems that we are 'over-communicating' about things we came to the conclusion that this renewed level of conversation is part of what we enjoy about poly in our lives. Again we feel that we are communicating on a deep and meaningful level about our needs and wants, much like we did at the beginning of our relationship, and we both find it incredibly satisfying.

That being said, we often have to make the conscious choice to STOP and focus on other areas of our relationship as well. Fun, kids, sex, life and poly all have to have a place in our lives. We love to beat dead horses but moving on to other things can change our perspective as well.

When I am feeling like I HAVE to talk about things and others are not receptive I try to remember that life is a marathon not a sprint and all things will come in their own time whether I try to force them or not.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 08:57 PM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,723

While I agree that it can be a bit much for some to hear every detail about how I am feeling I still think that communication is better on the more side than the less side. I just try and balance it out between telling people how much good stuff is going on for me with how much of the other stuff is going on for me.

I find on here that there is not enough communicating about feeling sometimes and I am left wondering what is really going on for people. I know it's a public forum, but we are anonymous and I wish people would use that to try things out a bit more and really open up. I know I do. Some of the stuff I have said on here I would never say out loud in real life and simply keep it a mystery I am glad to have that here as it satisfies my need to try things on so to speak and to practice getting my thoughts and words together as one.... (thanks for baring with me on that everyone )

I just had an evaluation at my job and my boss gave me some good insight into how my communication is perceived at work... as I am relatively the same everywhere I took that as an example of how I am perceived elsewhere in life.

She said that she has come to rely on my openness and quick to the point responses to her and the other staff. She said that I am quick to come to a fair, just, wholeistic view on situations and keep everyones view and feelings in mind when doing so. Apparently the directors of my company also relies on my ability to be honest yet empathetic to those I am speaking to when they invite me to sit in board meetings. They rely on me to tell them what is going on in my part of the company without sugar coating to protect them, but in consciousness that the message needs relaying in a respectful manner.

I have been thinking about this all week and feel proud of this trait. I feel that at this stage in my life I have found a balance that is working for me... now if I can just manage to keep that sometimes easier than it seems.
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 11:12 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,510

Odd that my partner and I were having this same conversation last night...is it the moon?
Man reading all of this makes me wonder if it is the moon!!! I was struggling to explain something about this to Maca this weekend. It was very frustrating because I couldn't seem to find the right words.

I feel a better connection when we talk, and I feel some insecurity when I haven't a clue what's going on in his head. He says sometimes that NOTHING is going on in his head. But that concept is so foreign and impossible to me, becuase there is NEVER, NOTHING going on in my head. Hell some nights I have to take a sleeping pill because I can't STOP the EVERYTHING that is ALWAYS going on in my head!
I have to remind myself that he is not me and I have no reason to disbelieve him when he says that-even if it makes NO sense to me whatsoever.

When I am feeling like I HAVE to talk about things and others are not receptive I try to remember that life is a marathon not a sprint and all things will come in their own time whether I try to force them or not.
This is a good analogy for me. I am hoping to resume training for a marathoon when my neck isn't plaguing me. I was a sprinter in school-but I want to go for the "long haul". It's hard not only physically for me, but also mentally. I'm very much a "here's a problem lets fix it right now" kind of person, and some things simply take time.
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:03 AM.