The Line Between Vulnerability and Oversharing

How far is too far when it comes to opening up?

Diana McKeon Charkalis
Forge
Published in
9 min readJul 3, 2020

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Photo: Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Moe Carrick had butterflies in her stomach when she sat down recently with an employee who had just returned to work after having a baby. This was going to be a hard conversation.

Although she was thrilled to have the team member back, Carrick had noticed that during Zoom calls the baby was always in the new mom’s arms. She found herself wondering: Had she come back too soon? Was she ready to take her responsibilities back on? Was she giving her all to the team the way she used to? As a mother of three herself, Carrick felt concern, judgment, and guilt all at the same time.

To Carrick, a leadership consultant and author of Bravespace Workplace: Making Your Company Fit for Human Life, these were all clues that it was time to “rumble with vulnerability” — have a real conversation, even if it’s tough. “My palms were sweating a little bit before that conversation, and I bet hers were too,” says Carrick.

When the two women sat down, the new mom admitted that she had been feeling shame about not doing enough, Carrick recalls: “And I said, ‘You are doing enough. And you may have been feeling shame because I was judging the heck out of you.’”

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Diana McKeon Charkalis
Forge
Writer for

Diana is a freelance journalist who’s been published by USA Today, New York Times News Service, Prevention, Parents and more. Visit dianacharkalis.com for more.