Because being vulnerable has become a bit of a buzzword in relationships, it is sometimes distorted into something it is not. Most of us have not been taught to express our emotions freely, probably because our parents didn't express their emotions either, and we have been raised to suppress what we are really feeling.
What is being Vulnerable?
In this context, being vulnerable is the behavior of exposing yourself emotionally to the possibility of judgement or rejection. Once we suppress what we are feeling, we lose the ability to clearly express ourselves, and we are often unable to connect with others in a meaningful way. Many who have been raised in this way find it hard to know what vulnerability is. If you have always hidden your emotions, it might be time to practice expressing your feelings now.
Many of us don't do this because it can mean putting ourselves in a position where we may be emotionally scarred. Sure it can be risky, but it is a way of showing that we are vulnerable, which is not always an easy thing for an adult to learn. None of this is surprising as we look back in time at our parents and grandparents. Most dinner discussions didn't include any meaningful topics like their feelings in religion, money, and politics, etc. Teaching vulnerability should be considered a priority to children, as so many adults lack the ability and self-awareness to be that original.
It is hard to change, but it is important to be more honest about what we are feeling, and if you are going to form a lasting relationship, you will need to show that you can be vulnerable. Unless the relationship is built on a foundation of honesty, it probably won't survive without a willingness to change and be more open with your feelings and heart. Being in love is a big step, and it is hard to show bravery by expressing your feelings, but ultimately that is what it takes to show you are vulnerable. Life is full of difficult conversations, so the sooner you start, the better you will feel. We all want to be understood. You can't expect your potential or current mate to read your mind.
Why is Being Vulnerable Important in a Relationship?
Being vulnerable in a new relationship will ultimately help us ask for what we want and build trust. When you break that barrier within yourself, you encourage your partner to do the same. This is building the foundation of a solid relationship.
Some tips on being vulnerable with your partner are:
Do your best to be honest at all times.
Talk about your past ( illustrate why being vulnerable is difficult for you)
Share your feelings
Don't be afraid to speak your mind
Pay attention to your partner's behavior
If you find it hard, ask for help
Building a Stronger Connection by Showing that we are Vulnerable
Showing that we are vulnerable makes us look 'real' and a bit imperfect and will ultimately enable us to connect with our partner in a much more meaningful way. Of course, this does not happen overnight, and it will take time and intention to achieve.
Your willingness to show you are vulnerable will also be valuable in your connection with friends and colleagues. Obviously the vulnerabilty you share with a partner should not be the same vulnerability you share with a friend or collegue. If you are looking for a leadership role at work, admitting a few faults and taking responsibility will help you become more powerful and respected.
How is being Vulnerable Perceived?
Being vulnerable has traditionally been seen as a weakness. It is important to be vulnerable to create trust with colleagues and our partner, proving that the concept of being vulnerable is anything but weak and is more about sharing and being more accessible. It requires a certain strength and courage, and in many cases, it has to be learned.
Being Vulnerable in Creating Intimacy
If you fear intimacy and have trust issues, it will be hard to progress your relationship. In order to achieve true intimacy, you will need to show that you are vulnerable and put aside your trust issues. If you are avoiding intimacy, it does not mean that you are not looking for an intimate relationship but maybe avoiding showing that you are vulnerable. You don't want your feelings to be misconstrued as indifference.
Some signs that you fear intimacy are:
history of unstable relationships
live in self-imposed isolation
have trouble committing fully (if at all)
Some of these fears go back to childhood, and it may be wise to go into therapy and work on them. A trained Psychologist / therapist can identify and work with all of these problems. You may have an avoidant personality disorder that leads to fear of intimacy and showing you are vulnerable.
Overcoming Fears and showing you are Vulnerable
Once you have overcome your fear of intimacy, you will have learned to value yourself more and show that you are vulnerable. You will now be ready to communicate openly and honestly with your partner and fully commit to the relationship. Keep the lines of communication open. Some people are afraid of relationships, and it does take a bit of overcoming, but showing you are vulnerable will help you move forward.
Showing that you are Vulnerable is the key to a Better Relationship
It is important to connect with others in a meaningful way, but when we are forming a lifelong relationship with our partner, it is even more important. Showing that we are vulnerable drives this connection, and without it, we are unable to connect.
Many young people make themselves tough and strong to survive in the World and in doing so, have shielded themselves from being vulnerable. Without the ability to be vulnerable, a relationship will struggle. Sometimes we will find that being vulnerable is scary, and of course, there will inevitably be discomfort in any relationship, but this is the time to be brave and forge ahead with the risks.
It is important to be vulnerable and take risks, listen to our gut feelings, and try to connect in a truly meaningful way. If you don't show that you can be vulnerable, there will always be something missing in your relationship. You need to be more courageous while still having the chance to commit, trust, and form a lasting relationship.
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