How much is “too much”?

“Too much food”, “too much talking”, “too much time”, “too much money”…

I wonder, how much is “too much”, and where is the limit that separates “just a little too much” and “if it was only a bit more”. In our lives, we often face these quantities and tell the “too much” phrases, but what actually makes us say them? How do we choose? And is it possible that someone else will understand what a person saying “too much” actually means?

I want to discuss an imaginary situation. Let’s say we happen to be in a market.  A man, called John, is trying to buy a chair for his lovely home.  He asks a marketer: “is 10 Euro enough”. If the marketer is not greedy and a price is close to the cost of making and transporting the chair, he’ll most probably say “yes, it is enough”. Otherwise, he could say either “too little” or “too much”. In this example, it is easy for marketer to answer, because he has the needed information for it.

Moreover, if John does not understand the answer, it is reasonable for him to ask a question: “Why?”, and the marketer could easily answer.

However, in this situation the subject that is being valued is very well known, so it should be relatively easy compared to a situation where the subject is unknown.

If we consider talking – how can we draw a line between too much and too little? It is obvious when only a few words are said or if it never ends, but the question is what happens near the center. There are many criteria to consider – the topic, the speed of talking, the person that is talking and so on. Who can you compare to- yourself, your friends, famous politicians?…

Also,  think about any other “subject” or “thing” that is not very well known or even “unknown” to you. Is it not misleading to say “too little” or “too much” to your friend or colleague, who might know just as little and be trusting on your opinion?

I think that the basis for saying “how much is “too much”” should be the facts that you really know. If you can not answer “Why?”, unlike the marketer, who can, why, then, say “too much?” and confuse yourself and everybody else?

Or, maybe, it could be benefitial to think “too much, because” in your head before actually opening your mouth?

One thought on “How much is “too much”?

  1. Monika

    Interesting idea, but I think everyone has their own standards and intuitions, so has the right to say, for example, “that’s too much studying for today, I have to rest”. Or, another example, don’t you feel when it’s too much salt in your soup? That’s also quite impossible to measure precisely, but I’m sure you would feel certain saying these words. 🙂

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