Ask Amy: Friend is uncomfortable with overshares

Dear Amy: “Sandy” and I are close friends from college. Our friend group has stayed close, despite living in different states.

We have a group text chat, and occasionally get together.

Recently, Sandy has been going through a rough patch after a painful divorce.

She is something of an “influencer” on social media and has been sharing all of her personal experiences about her mental health journey publicly.

I feel conflicted about the disparity between her public sharing and the lack of openness within the very safe space of our close-knit group.

While I understand that social media is her chosen outlet, I don’t understand why she would do this instead of confiding in a group of people who actually know her well.

I’m very private and find it strange when others overshare on social media.

Additionally, Sandy hasn’t initiated any conversation with me in a long time.

I have very young children at home and a demanding work schedule. I often feel drained and unable to manage it all – however I refrain from airing these issues publicly and only share these things within our friend group.

Should I reach out to Sandy and note her recent posts, asking how I can support her? If the answer is yes, how can I handle my frustration over her choices?

– Confused

Dear Confused: Some people use social media to basically tip out their emotional dumpster and publish their every thought, feeling, and latest meal.

This can seem extremely indiscreet – or even performative – because of the way this rakes in a lot of sympathy or commiseration from followers.

You don’t like this, but some people do. Having access to another person’s struggles can inspire other social media users to feel less alone.

“Sandy” has found her outlet. She may find that her public openness enables her to be more present for her close personal friends. She is venting to a crowd; consequently she is freeing up real estate in your group chats.

You might be baffled by her choices, but harshly judging her won’t help either of you. She’s sharing her frustrations and challenges publicly on social media, while you’re sharing yours with the people who read this column.

Yes, reach out to Sandy privately to check in, but do not accuse her of oversharing.

She is broadcasting using her preferred channels; you should respond using yours.

Dear Amy: The other night I was talking to my husband about a little lie he told.

I said that lying is one thing I won’t tolerate!

I would be far less mad about the truth than the little lies.

During the conversation he threw in another lie, which was easily found out with his search history on his tablet. He invited me to do this and obviously didn’t think I could locate it because he thought he had deleted the history on his phone.

This was not something I was concerned about, by the way. After all, he is a man and I’m not dumb.

When I caught him and called him out, he went on the defensive and gave me no comfort to work through this.

Now I’m at a loss. I’m worried that if he can tell little lies straight to my face, when do the big lies start?

– Lost in Idaho

Dear Lost: It seems extremely unrealistic to expect your husband to comfort you after he’s been caught in a lie. At that moment, he is feeling much sorrier for himself than for you. And maybe you should feel sorry for him, too.

Unless he is flat-out arrogant, gratuitous lying about little things is cowardly. His lies reveal that he doesn’t really trust you. He is afraid of your reaction, or afraid of disappointing you. And yes, I do believe that when this is ingrained, little lies will lead to larger ones.

You and your husband might want to check out the newest book by famed relationship researchers Julie Schwartz Gottman and John Gottman: “Fight Right: How Successful Couples Turn Conflict into Connection” (2024, Harmony).

Dear Amy: Every time you try to answer a question about pot use, you reveal how old-fashioned and uninformed you are.

Marijuana is a medicinal herb, used for thousands of years. It is now legal to use it, and so no one should have a problem with it.

– Happy Pot User

Dear Happy: People who are sober struggle with the very real impact of trying to live with people who are not sober. It’s a drag to always be the designated driver.