Why is it so important to be vulnerable in our relationships and why do so many people struggle with it?
These days, it seems more common to mask vulnerability – seeing it as a weakness rather than a strength. A lot of us prefer to present a tougher exterior: that we are perfect, strong and invincible.
However most of us can pick up when someone is being inauthentic; and are more naturally drawn to people who are real and down to earth.
Uncertainty and risk
Thanks to US researcher Brene Brown, vulnerability has been discussed often and endlessly on every available channel the past few years. I think one of the main reasons that it has struck such a chord is that we recognise it so much in ourselves, and others.
Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. And falling in love is the ultimate risk as there are no guarantees – our partner could leave or betray us. So it does come with potential pitfalls such as being hurt, judged or rejected.
Being vulnerable can naturally feel dangerous and uncertain. Particularly when we have been hurt before.
But it’s impossible to connect meaningfully without being vulnerable and avoiding it doesn’t work. Without it, relationships flounder badly and you miss opportunities for greater, in depth interactions with others.
Some tips if you struggle with being vulnerable:
- Be curious about why you are feeling this way, it is important to get to the root cause.
- Journal, write or talk to a counsellor if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your partner yet.
- Mind your boundaries: you don’t have to overshare, take baby steps.
- Be honest about it – let your partner know what you need.
- Pace yourself, there is no rush.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch 🙂 – Karen