oversharers wanted
December 14, 2012 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Where can i seek out people who are into oversharing and instant intimacy?

So back in the day..say elementary school..you made friendships this way: hi i am testamenttograce. My favorite color is purple. Yours too? Lets be bff and share all our secrets and feelings from now on. INSTANT INTIMACY. I have been dismayed to find as an adult most ppl don't want to operate this way anymore. They are guarded and hold back and make the process of building intimacy and trust a slow and tedious process. Not me. I am pretty transparent with my thoughts and feelings (unless they would be hurtful or tempt people into immoral behavior). If i like you i am generally an open book. Heck i am generally an open book with anyone who wants to see inside and dont feel any need for deep privacy. I want ppl to know me, all of me and i want to know them deeply too. This is intimacy and friendship to me. Which makes me an oversharer to some.

So my question is where can i find other people like myself who are ready to form instant deep friendships without backing away in terror? I figure if ppl can go to specific communities and order up all sorts of oddly specific traits in a sex partner there has got to be a place i can find like minded friend potentials.
posted by TestamentToGrace to Human Relations (37 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Hi. Check my previous AskMes. I'm you. Wanna be friends?
posted by thrasher at 2:56 PM on December 14, 2012 [11 favorites]

Yeah, if you want an online friend, memail me.
posted by Autumn at 2:59 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you're religious, how about at a place of worship? I've never done it, but my friends' church groups kinda seem like this. (From the outside, at least.)
posted by tinymegalo at 3:02 PM on December 14, 2012

Response by poster: Promise not to threadsit but, online friends are good YES but especially looking for how to meet ppl locally (so we can hang out!) even if we socialize online first. I'm in the northern va area of the usa.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 3:04 PM on December 14, 2012

I feel "instant intimacy"/"oversharing" sort of thing is not uncommon at all among extroverts. Look for "organizers"-- people who are involved with charity organizations (a big thing in the metro DC area, in my experience, and I can see that's where you are), people involved with community organizations, the head of a local hobby group, etc. And not just the church group, but the person who's the head of the outreach ministry or the person who runs the charity drives.

My only caveat is that you may find this "intimacy" to be a bit one-sided. As in, he/she might be *your* BFF, but he/she will be one of those people that everyone else considers to be their BFF, too, and you might be just "one of the crowd" in this person's circle of intimates.
posted by deanc at 3:05 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I love this question because I see what you describe with my four year-old all the time and it's so uplifting to see how easy it is for kids that age to make friends. Of course adults are more discerning because adults are much more complex in many ways, and furthermore adults have more agendas and are also very busy and overscheduled, but anyway what I have found is that when adults are with kids, adults tend to be more open to new friendships. And perhaps that's true whenever people have something in common (such as being parents, although I think the presence of kids does give adults a softer edge). So my answer for you is take a kid (yours or a friend's or relative's) out to the park and make some adult friends, or if that's not feasible, put yourself in settings where you have something in common with people.
posted by Dansaman at 3:10 PM on December 14, 2012

Toastmasters. 60% of the people there will be extroverts like you; 40% will be introverts trying to improve their public speaking skills. You and your people will find each other.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:14 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

12 step programs.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:17 PM on December 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

Of course adults are more discerning because adults are much more complex in many ways, and furthermore adults have more agendas and are also very busy and overscheduled

I'm not complex. I don't have an agenda and I'm not busy. And I live in VA (though not in DC).
Be friends with me, too!

More constructive version: I am nthing "places of worship." There's something about religion that makes people more open to intimate connections. I find this more true with my Orthodox (or secular with cultural Orthodox tinting) Jewish friends over my Reform (or secular with Reform tinting) Jewish friends, proving my point. Probably because in the Orthodox community you get used to your friends praying in front of you and everything. Religious communities have such an interesting vibe.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 3:18 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Move to the Midwest. That typifies folks around here :)
posted by wwartorff at 3:20 PM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm kind of the opposite of you, so I can answer this question by thinking about places where I feel especially uncomfortable. The toastmasters answer is spot-on, as are the places of worship answers.

Just about any class you take (whether at a university, or as an extra-curricula sort of thing, continuing learning for adults, etc) will have one person who overshares in their questions and comments, and you could buddy up with them and go for drinks after class.

Anything focussed on personal development seems to attract those people too. So for example leadership development or management training, Myers-Briggs sessions, etc.

If you go places where you have to stand in queues a lot you'll notice one or two people who are eagerly trying to chat to the people around them instead of standing there with earphones and a death stare. If you frequent those locations you can probably gradually make friends. So switch to a busier supermarket or post office near you.

Finally, committees. If you can volunteer for various committees in your workplace or in your town, you will meet SO MANY oversharers. So. Many.
posted by lollusc at 3:25 PM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]

I'm a total oversharer and I met a lot of my oversharing friends at underground supper clubs (get together at someone's house and have a nice fancy meal), through meetup.com, and through blogging (natural oversharers). I never met such people when I went to church, I might add.
posted by melissam at 3:47 PM on December 14, 2012

Response by poster: popping back once more.

toastmasters: check. a leader in my local, company sponsored group. But that is ironically the one place I don't want to be instant gushy (i like ponies, you like ponies?) since its work related and we have to put on that air of professionalism.

church: we (hubby and I; but he's largely irrelevant to this discussion as a source for finding friends through as he is very very introverted) are both Christian (Methodist but i have a hankering toward Eastern Orthodox at times and was raised Catholic) but at our church, as with most churches we have experienced, the people in our age group (late 30s) are mostly parents (we are DINKs) and we don't have a lot in common.

hobby wise I am an IT geek for a living and that carries over into my interests. I also jet set around the world on weekends (hello flyertalk!) on mile runs for fun and love to throw complicated 6 course dinner parties. i do find people with similar interests through meetup, and flyertalk and such but they trend toward the standard adult lets-take-our-time-and-im-weary-of-oversharers kind of people. and a lot of people who come to my meetup groups (i was an organizer for many years) were actually introverted and loved that i organized everything and never wanted to take turns organizing or being the ones who opened up emotionally. it was like pulling teeth to get them to share feelings, secrets, etc. it felt unbalanced.

politics wise i'm all over the map. very republican when it comes to fiscal policy and following the constitution (i mean VERY) but with a weak soft spot for immigration that is atypical of most republicans (protecting the "culture") or even a lot of dems (protecting the unions). so in that area i can generally turn off anyone who is very much intolerant of opposing views ( do fine with people of all political stripes who can handle having friends across the political spectrum). anyway the point is its hard for me to make friends out of a basis of shared political ideas.

i had a pretty screwed up childhood (see previous posts!) and was also the gifted nerdy type (again, see previous posts) so that no doubt has something to do with my "out there" personality but i don't know that i want to or can run from it and become one of those quiet demure take it slow types. i'm pretty much a golden retriever (i've been told) when i meet new people. oh boy oh boy oh boy lets have fun!

given the added information, any additional or specific hints on where a woman like me might find other people like me for instant-friendship-just-add-water?
posted by TestamentToGrace at 3:49 PM on December 14, 2012

Take a workshop-style class (ideally 6 weeks or longer) in personal essay/memoir writing. Instant friendship due to the honesty of what you're writing plus the thoughtful nature of having to give each other constructive feedback.
posted by xo at 3:56 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

…the people in our age group (late 30s) are mostly parents (we are DINKs) and we don't have a lot in common.

I think you've got something there: four-year-olds have a lot in common, usually, more than you do with a random stranger on the street. As you get older, you develop important differences. Before I start talking to you about art, politics, religion, sports, or whatever, I want to be reasonably sure that you won't be offended, won't act dismissively, won't come back with a completely contrary opinion, and so on. I'm not exactly an extrovert. Around people I trust, I'm completely without guile. All my cards are on the table. But it takes me a little while to get to that point.
posted by Nomyte at 4:03 PM on December 14, 2012 [7 favorites]

Do you have any interest in traditional "nerdy" hobbies like table-top RPGS, Magick, etc? Most people I've met who are over-sharers have been through groups like that.
posted by Autumn at 4:24 PM on December 14, 2012

Your question made me laugh, in a good way. I've never heard it asked before, or thought to ask it.

I've always liked children so much because they're so open and genuine (until a certain age). I wish adults would be more like children in this respect, instead of the games & walls most of us put up to keep others out, and guessing (there seems to be a real aversion/stigma to being vulnerable). I know it's due to the process of going through life, and children have a blank slate, so they're just present, and ready to go! Always makes me so happy to see it :)

Upon reading, what Nomyte just said makes perfect sense to me. I'm very open with people I'm close to as well. On the other hand, I would love to meet people who find it easier to be naturally more open from the start, not in a stalker/"I"m sharing way too much intimate stuff with you from the get go" kinda way. The only thing I can think of to suggest is befriending some local hippies, it's not really my scene but maybe it's yours :P I'm guessing it's not, though!

Thanks for asking this question. I'm curious to see what other people suggest. Online buddies sound fun as well ;)
posted by readygo at 4:43 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by ibakecake at 4:45 PM on December 14, 2012

If you actually are interested in board games, I'm in nova and the bf and I are trying to set up a mini meetup with some of our friends and another mefi person. I think I'm open to new people the way you are but I'm also pretty shy. MeMail me if you might want to game with us! And I totally love ponies tooooo
posted by brilliantine at 4:47 PM on December 14, 2012

Actually an improv class might be exactly what you are looking for. Oversharers are good at improv.
posted by melissam at 5:00 PM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: These are good suggestions so far. Keep em coming. I'm actually a little surprise (i expected to get beat up a little here given the "eww oversharers in my life how do i escape them GROSS" posts that have popped up on askme repeatedly. perhaps there is a contingent that enjoys sharing and instant intimacy and you guys just keep quiet when the shaming of oversharers posts are made.

meetup: i am in meetup, and working that hard. for years i was in meetup as an organizer and only now have stepped down from organizing and have joined a bunch of meetups as a participant which is more conducive to making friends since participants see you as a peer instead of as the organizer figure. but i think i do better maybe in one on one settings as sometimes in a group i get boxed into the ANNOYING LOUD DOMINATING one and then i can't escape that and it's not good.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 5:05 PM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: Wait, are we all going to hang out? I'm in DC. Just let me know where and when. I'm a little introverted with new people but i just need time to warm up. After that, I'm like a puppy.
posted by kat518 at 5:57 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Get involved in local theater - plenty of over-sharers in that world.
posted by imalaowai at 6:19 PM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

I agree, there are lots of "we hate oversharers" posts here! But I think it's just because certain people get really annoyed by oversharers and don't understand how to deal with them, and it's rarely the other way around. Anyway, since you mentioned you are DINKs and don't have a lot in common with people your age who are parents, I wonder if you'd be interested in joining a "childfree" meetup or group. A friend of mine is very involved in a group called No Kidding! and they do lots of social stuff together, and judging from her and her friends that I've met, I bet someone who wants intimacy and close friendship quickly would fit in very well.
posted by chickenmagazine at 6:21 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hmm, when I saw the tagline outside, to be honest my first thought was "group therapy" or "an AA meeting." But anyway, you seem like a sprightly kind of a person. Maybe if you have that bounce to you, you can just do your oversharing thing and people will respond in kind? :-) I don't know, I don't actually have a good answer to this.

If you're an IT geek and the self professed "gifted nerdy type", something in me says a Dungeons and Dragons group might be a good fit.

I do generally agree with some of the previous posters that it's wise in principle to build up trust before laying it all out there so to speak.
posted by mermily at 8:32 PM on December 14, 2012

(wwartorff, in what part of the Midwest are you finding these people?)

Nthing a gaming/RP group of some sort. The type of person you seem likely to click with is the type I have found in either (a) gaming contexts, (b) church contexts - specifically outside-the-box emergent young congregations, and (c) community choirs.
posted by katya.lysander at 8:59 PM on December 14, 2012

Join a community theater. You don't even have to ask. Be an usher. Just make sure you're invited to the parties.

Trust me. It's a community defined by oversharing, and people who are in a play together act like it's a 12-year-relationship.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:48 PM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

1) Craigslist Missed Connections. I spend way more time solving people's relationship problems than I should on there and, well, the guys inevitably start oversharing with me and sometimes falling for me. It's all in good fun and it's a great way to help people whilst also brushing up on those emotional skills.

2) College roommates. My two best friends were met whilst living in close quarters over the course of a semester. We still talk to this day and know everything about each other.
posted by lotusmish at 10:42 PM on December 14, 2012

Almost everyone I know who is like this is active in the polyamorous scene. I am not, so it's not that I am meeting more people in that group. I have no idea if this is relevant any may be specific to my location. One such friend referred to himself as a social nudist which I think is the most fantastic term!
posted by Iteki at 3:52 AM on December 15, 2012

Postsecret events? I say this never having been to one.
posted by catalytics at 4:31 AM on December 15, 2012

I've seen this a lot at the hippier dippier yoga studios (think kundalini, not vinyasa). There's often some kind of lounge area with complimentary tea and picture books and stuff where people will hang out after class and tell you their life stories and inappropriately* invite you over even though you just met.

*I'm your polar opposite
posted by telegraph at 6:25 AM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Theatre and improv, we're all kinds of over sharing all the time.
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 AM on December 15, 2012

You are me, I am you. Let's share.
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 9:25 AM on December 15, 2012

Your mileage may vary, but here in the metro DC area, I've encountered your personality type in a cappella groups, competitive karaoke, improv, community theater, while hashing, and at churches.
posted by evoque at 9:55 AM on December 15, 2012

I loved your question. It reminded me of my son, when he was young. He'd walk up to a bunch of kids and say, "Hi, I'm Nick. Wanna play?"

This reminds me that child-like is good (not to be confused with childish, which is off-putting).

I'm the opposite. I like company, but don't seek it out. I like my time alone, too. My wife is more like you: she slips into any group with ease. I'm happiest when it's time for the guests to go home. Anyhow, I can't help but think you won't have any problems with your objective. Thanks for cheering me up.
posted by mule98J at 12:58 PM on December 15, 2012

Large group awareness training - Forum, Insight, PSI, Lifespring, HAI, or something similar. Find one that is offered locally to you. These groups are filled with people just like you. The caveat is go for the connections with other people, not whatever flavor of kool-aid the group is selling.
posted by hworth at 7:11 AM on December 16, 2012

Camps can also create this sort of intimacy, particularly those that have shared accomodation. Most hobbies/groups have retreats and camps if you google for long enough.
posted by kjs4 at 3:24 PM on December 16, 2012

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