Please don’t congratulate me on being vulnerable.

Cathy Goodwin
2 min readMay 15, 2023

Talking about sensitive topics doesn’t mean you’re “vulnerable.” It means you’re comfortable with the topic at that place and time.

Attending a dinner with people from one of my alumni groups, gathered to plan an event. I’ve seen these folks before but don’t know them well.

We were talking about taking leisurely walks around the city. I said that during the early stages of quarantine, I used to get up early and walked the neighborhood for an hour every day. It was fun to discover the historic buildings and local stores. I went out early so I could avoid masking — nobody else was there.

In response, another person complimented me on being “vulnerable” as I shared this.

I tried to be polite, but I wanted to say, “Gimme a break. What’s vulnerable?”

First of all, many people confuse vulnerability with oversharing. Brene Brown never said to bare our souls to strangers. She talks about being brave, taking a stand, and living with the consequences. I wrote about this in detail in my book, Grow Your Business One Story At A Time. (It’s free to Kindle members.)

Second, I make conscious choices when sharing stories. Even disclosing that I like country music can be hazardous to my reputation. I encourage my clients to be especially careful as…



Cathy Goodwin

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