In Praise of Vulnerability
I came across this quote today and I wanted to share it. We have for so long been told sharing our vulnerability with others is a sign of weakness, but many of us would prefer to do just about anything than share something really vulnerable. One of my firefighter clients once told me he'd literally rather go into a burning building than tell his partner how scared he feels inside when they fight!
Being vulnerable is not only a sign of being brave and authentic, but it's also a necessary part of creating real intimacy and security. Vulnerability fuels connection. Sharing something real and tender is a big part of how we build and sustain close bonds. As those of you in EFT therapy know, we get out of the negative cycle by sharing our vulnerable feelings of loneliness, inadequacy and fear vs. our protective, invulnerable anger.
This principle works in any close relationship. If I share something vulnerable with you, and you respond with care and understanding, I learn that you can be safe for me, which makes me more likely to open up to you in the future. I also learn that my sharing this part of me with you doesn't make you reject me, which helps change how I view this tender part of me. "You know the real me and you still seem to like me? Neat." Also, my sharing invites you to share something personal about yourself with me. This creates an atmosphere of safety, acceptance, and closeness between us, a positive cycle where the more you share, the more I share, and we keep feeling safer and closer.