How do you handle it when a person goes into uncomfortable and unsolicited details about their personal life or health?
I'm a social worker, so this happens all the time as a job hazard. When they bring up health crap, I jump in quickly with much concern in my voice, tell them I have no medical knowledge, and ask if they're seeing a doctor and getting it taken care of. If they say yes, I end their train of thought by telling them how relieved I am that it's being handled, and quickly change subject. For other topics they seem to need to vent about, I focus on my breathing and meditate a bit so as not to get sucked in, then find a way to jump in and refocus when I can.
Try looking them in the face and saying "I'm really sorry to interupt but I'm having a really heavy period, my head aches, my piles are playing me up giving me a massive pain in the arse and so I can't really pay attention to your inane twaddle, so excuse me while I go change my jam rag"
Smile sweetly and walk away.
Difficult - I generally make faces when the details start to get too personal, then at the first opportunity I say something like - "Didn't need to know that." or " TMI Dude, TMI."
It will depend on, of course, who it is that's sharing, but some appropriately phrase of "Too Much" along with some awkward and uneasy looks has done the trick for me.
Later - if that person resurfaces, I cut to it and before they start chatting, and ask if we have to talk about "the personal topic" again... That typically dissuades them from bringing it up.
A person who tells the good and bad about themselves is opening themselves to the world, saying here I am, warts and beauty marks. The must be confident and capable of accepting criticism for the warts, without sweating it.
Things that occur in one's life make us the way we are. Knowing those things helps others understand why a person does something. A few hundred years ago, when few people traveled more than 20 miles, everyone knew everyone in great detail. In this world, if we are to make good friends, we must tell them. Being secretive can impede that process, or prevent friendship.
Why do you want to keep secrets.
I don't know since I probably am the one that is guilty of it. Though, I have gotten better about it. Usually my anecdotes have a humorous ending. Nonetheless, I have had people share details that went far beyond even my moderate openness, and though I don't think this is by any means the best way to handle it, I usually just sit there quietly and hope they stop sharing or try desperately to change the subject.
It depends on who it is tbh. If it's my little SIL just know if you tell her anything best to stick to something you have for sale so you can save money placing an ad in the local newspaper, because news will travel far and wide no matter who you are!
I kind of figure whoever it is is going through something and try to be compassionate as I've had my own tmi moments, probably on here even. Just nod and say "oh wow that sucks", or "that's awful" etc etc. YMMV
I'm too curious, or just plain nosy, for this to be much of a problem for me. Some stories I would rather not hear such as confessions of sadistic cruelty. I give those people lots of warning not to proceed. If they continue, I can be quite rude before I leave the scene.