"I don't know how to be vulnerable"
Why is it so difficult to expose our emotions? Is it because we are afraid of being rejected or judged for being the way we are? Is there also the risk of being shamed? Sometimes all of the above!
When one talks about being vulnerable it basically refers to emotional vulnerability. The general assumption is that being vulnerable makes you appear weak. The truth is, we can connect in our personal relationships only if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Being vulnerable with someone requires you to trust them. Some of my clients say that they have often been hurt after being vulnerable with a person and so cant risk facing that pain again.
Why do we choose to hide our emotions?
While growing up if we have heard statements like “ Don’t cry all the time like a girl” or “You are too sensitive, you feel hurt easily” ,we then learn to hide our emotions unless we are sure of validation. This is normal because instinctively we try to protect ourselves and put ourselves on high alert.
How can we show more vulnerability?
1. Our ability to be vulnerable depends a lot on your acceptance of yourself.
We don't have to be perfect ….just need to embrace our mistakes .
We don’t have to prove your worth….we are good just the way you are.
We don’t have to criticize ourselves so much….we can be our best friend.
We don’t have to make everyone happy….it’s not our responsibility
Let the other person know that you struggle with vulnerability and that you
will make an effort, but it may take some time to open up.
2. Your first step could be a response that is truthful to the question ‘how are you?’
You may be automatically replying with “I’m fine". Try giving a response which is closer to the truth. This helps bring in more honesty in the relationship.
3. Try to remain in the moment .
Sometimes the emotions may make you uncomfortable. The fear of being judged may make you want to quickly get out of the situation. Avoid doing that and you may find it leading to your growth and the growth of your relationship.
4.Remember that Vulnerability is a strength!
Yes it can be a very powerful feeling when the armor of protection is lifted and we are free to express ourselves without fear or anxiety. It's a difficult but worthwhile effort. It empowers us to have better relations and stronger bonds. So give it a shot!
Illustration Credits - Hebe.studio