In the absence of knowledge the mind will make connections wired by assumption. Bridging the gap in this manner serves no one well. We tend to fear vulnerability as a means of self-preservation, which may feel like a quick fix, but lacks foresight. There too is a balance between leaning into vulnerability for the purpose of meaningful communication and oversharing. Vulnerability exists on the surface and in the present. It’s taking ownership of how you feel in the moment, and expressing it with wholehearted courage. Being vulnerable doesn’t mean doing a deep dive into past pain to justify your present state of well-being of lack thereof. There’s a specific audience for that, and it’s up to you to know the difference. For example, it’s not the burden of your co-workers to entertain your excuses. That level of insecurity borders on arrogance. Everyone is dealing with life, which means everyone is living somewhere on the spectrum of joy and pain too. To presume your reasons are more valid than someone else’s, may very well lead them to assume your are unable to maintain your professional responsibilities. Conversely, never speaking up and/or constantly making excuses that don’t speak to the reality or severity of your situation is equally ignorant. Now you’re allowing plenty of runway for assumptions to be made, which will likely not be made with much empathy. The phrase, “Mind the gap” is used as a visual or audio warning, calling your attention (making you aware) that there is a gap to be mindful of. Minding the gap is the starting line of self-awareness.