For some reason, many people seem to think that being vulnerable is the same as being weak. If you show your vulnerability to someone, you are just showing them how weak you are. But is vulnerability really the same as weakness?
Vulnerability is not a thing or a characteristic of a person, it’s a feeling. We feel vulnerable when we are upset, anxious or sad, and when we are uncertain and insecure about things. It could be, for example, feeling anxious before a job interview or crying when watching a sad movie. We often do our best to hide these aspects of ourselves from others, and even sometimes from ourselves.
But how do we feel about someone who is always confident and never gets upset about anything at all? We find the person irritatingly inhuman.
And how do we react when we meet others who are brave enough to show their vulnerability, and their real emotions? Well, we tend to admire them. We find them honest, authentic, assertive and grounded. So why do we continue to hide our own vulnerability when we so clearly admire it in others?
Because we know it takes courage to be vulnerable!
Showing your vulnerability to others always involves some kind of risk. You do not know how others will react, what they will think or what they will say. And you’re going to feel a little “naked” for a short while. It requires you to stay with your emotions instead of trying to hide them, push them away or run away from them, and to express them in some way. But in the long run, embracing your vulnerability will only make you stronger. It teaches you not only how to regulate emotions more effectively, but also how to be at ease with yourself. And who knows, you might just gain a new friend or two in the process.