How does it make you feel?
It probably brings up an emotion. One of fear.
Do you wonder why we fear vulnerability.
What is vulnerability?
There are four main areas of vulnerability:
This article is about emotional vulnerability. The very definition says that you are open to being attacked or harmed. It is no wonder we don't like it. We feel uncomfortable - it puts us into the unknown. Will we get attacked?
In short, you are opening yourself up. Your core areas that are most personal and deeply guarded by you.
Is being vulnerable a good thing?
When we are vulnerable it means we are open. On the positive side this means we are open to sharing, which is a good thing (I will come onto this later). On the down side we are open to attack and others opinions. We do not know if it will be well received.
Vulnerability brings about uncertainty. As humans we like a good percentage of certainty.
We fear what others will say. Let me ask you this - if you knew with 100% certainty that you would get love and support with everything you said - would you share everything. The answer would be yes.
Consider how you can make vulnerability an advantage.
What you may not know is that we need to step outside our comfort zone if we want to grow. When we grow we are improving our lives. This makes it particularly important if you are trying to improve your life. Yet often when we aren't happy with the way things are it is the hardest time to be open.
We CAN gain from being vulnerable and from sharing:
It can mean that we are validated and lead to more acceptance.
It can lead to reciprocal sharing , which leads to intimacy.
It gives others permission to share and signals that sharing is ok. This one can also be good for leadership
This gives us more belonging. ( a basic human need).
Sharing also helps us to process our feelings. Having other's perspectives assists us with our own perspectives but gives us a chance to see that there are other views. everyone has different perspectives due to their life experiences so every situation can be looked at differently. You ay find you have a blindspot and it opens this up. Thereby creating self awareness. You don't need to accept a different perspectives but at least you have seen it and have the chance to review yours.
This can lead to feeling more at ease.
It creates trust and connection.
Brene Brown says that vulnerability is the centre of a meaningful relationship.
It helps you to be more authentic - your true self - this will make you happier in the long run. So it will improve your life, as it empowers you to be who your truly are.
Some short term vulnerability is actually good for you, You can gain from it. Use it as a springboard. Long term vulnerability is not good for you.
How can you safely be vulnerable
(this may seem like an oxymoron)
So given that we can gain so much from vulnerability, how can we achieve this?
The idea is to share safely.
First you have to become comfortable with it. Comfortable with the discomfort!
With the knowledge that you now have - that it can be so good, make a decision - decide you will move through it. Hopefully you focus on what you can gain. This will make it easier.
Practice is good.
Practice with someone you know you can feel safe with .
To get the gains you need to take small steps, so that you get some small wins.
We often don't realise - we always have a choice. The trick is to know this and then find that choice.
In summary, we can use short term vulnerability to our advantage to improve our lives and become happier.