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Vulnerability… or oversharing? How to tell the important difference between the two

Vulnerability and oversharing are not the same.

We often hear how important vulnerability is to our relationships. It’s the key to deepening and strengthening them, but there’s vulnerability, and then there’s oversharing. A fear of oversharing may be holding you back from being vulnerable.

Therapist Kristin Hodson shares how to understand this balance and the subtle differences between the two.

You can find more from Kristin online at


The Differences Between Vulnerability and Oversharing

Defining Vulnerability vs. Oversharing

In essence, vulnerability involves gradually building mutual trust by sharing within appropriate contexts and relationships. It’s a gradual unveiling of oneself that fosters deeper connections. On the other hand, oversharing tends to be one-sided, lacking the necessary foundation in a relationship or suitable circumstances to support the extent of information shared.

Timing and Context in Vulnerability

Vulnerability isn’t just about what’s shared; it’s about whether the relationship and context can support the level of openness. Kristin emphasizes the importance of timing and context. Not every moment or setting is conducive to vulnerability, even with a desire to connect.

Self-Worth and Imperfection in Vulnerability

Kristin shares the significance of self-worth in vulnerability, emphasizing that acknowledging our own worthiness enables sharing without constantly seeking validation. Embracing imperfection becomes important; vulnerability isn’t about flawlessness but about embracing the imperfect process of sharing, acknowledging that mistakes happen.

Boundaries and Respect for Privacy

In a world where social media has eroded privacy boundaries, Kristin says it’s important to set boundaries and recognize the sanctity of personal information. She advocates for respecting others’ boundaries and sometimes reflecting on shared experiences afterwards rather than in the moment.

The Role of Showing Up

Vulnerability isn’t solely about sharing; it’s also about showing up for others. Being present and creating space for someone else’s vulnerability can create deeper connections.

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