Vulnerability is not weakness. It is the most accurate measure of courage – Brené Brown
In the week’s episode, we unpack vulnerability. With vulnerability comes uncertainty. It’s risky as we are emotionally exposed positioned to be seen for who we are. Vulnerability is key in healthy functioning relationships as it creates an atmosphere for intimacy and togetherness.
There are two sides to vulnerability. When we choose to be vulnerable or when we are vulnerable. An example of choosing to be vulnerable is when we are in an environment of trust, and we share our experience or share our stories to empower others. On the other hand, an example of when we are vulnerable is when a wound is still fresh and sharing our vulnerabilities with the wrong people can make matters worse.
I wonder if it’s fair to say we all have vulnerabilities, we all have stories, we’ve all been hurt, and we have all survived; being aware of these vulnerabilities can help us to create the appropriate boundaries that enable us to choose what we share and what we conceal. Have you ever shared something and then later ask yourself why did I share that? Perhaps you were feeling vulnerable rather than choosing to be vulnerable. I have another one for you have you ever had someone keep pressing and asking questions, and you caved in even though you weren’t ready to share or simply didn’t want to but did anyway. Oh, and you know that feeling that you get in your gut? How often do we go against our intuition and then realise that hunch was calling for our attention, and we downplayed it?
So, when it comes to vulnerability, how do we know when it’s OK to be vulnerable? Perhaps you are the best person to determine that for yourself and what you feel comfortable with. As food for thought, picture a house you have doors, windows, gates and the like that create boundaries. This can be the same with how and with who we communicate our vulnerabilities with.
Level 1. Hallway talk also is known as cliché, it’s non-sharing and can be with anyone, and no real trust is needed like talking about the weather.
Level 2. Facts it’s the sharing of what we know. This can be shared with many, and little trust is required. It’s about something else rather than one’s self.
Level 3. Opinions and sharing what we think and requires some trust as the communication risk starts to increase from this point onwards; however, emotions are not expressed.
Level 4. Emotions and sharing how we feel. At this point, trust levels need to be greater and fewer people are involved. This is where vulnerability and intimacy begin.
Level 5. Vulnerability and the sharing of who we are. This requires complete transparency. This side of ourselves is reserved for those we trust.
Having boundaries can help us choose what we share and how we share it.
So, on a finishing note, being vulnerable needs to be on our terms. Seek support from those you trust when you are feeling vulnerable. As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to share this time with you. Until next time, take care!