Vulnerability, by its definition, is making ourselves open to the possibility of being hurt in some way.
This doesn’t necessarily (nor should it!) mean physical harm, but rather those emotional harms that can come with social interaction: rejection, dismissal, embarassment, betrayal.
The “bad news” is that when we make ourselves vulnerable in relationship – by telling our truth, by being open, emotionally available, honest, real and unfiltered – we risk all of those possible feeling states.
Which, of course, can feel deeply uncomfortable, causing many of us to guard against vulnerability in one way or another.
But the “good news” is that when we risk those emotional hurts, when we risk making ourselves vulnerable, we increase of chances of actually connecting with the other person, which is the only way we truly can feel that deep sense of closeness and nourishment in relationships.
In order to feel close and connected, we have to practice being vulnerable with the people we have in our lives.
Ways we can begin practicing vulnerability include knowing and expressing your emotions, your actual thoughts and desires versus what you think you “should” think and want.
Practicing vulnerability can look like answering honestly when someone asks you how you’re doing versus just answering, “I’m fine.”
Vulnerability can even look like reducing the amount of Facebook/Instagram-bragging you might unconsciously do, and, instead, sharing a post about what your life looks and feels like behind the scenes.
At work, vulnerability may look like having that conversation with your boss or supervisor that you dread because of how it may turn out, or it can look like asking for help from your colleagues when you need it.
Have you found that vulnerability has helped you be close in your own personal and work relationships? Do you have any more tips for cultivating more vulnerability in your life? Leave a message in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!