With 2020 being here, I thought about something that I have been working on for some time which is being more open and vulnerable. It’s one thing we have heard or experienced at some point in our lives good and bad. When some hear this word, they may make anxious, nervous, or just scared. Sometimes seeing the word can stir our thoughts around and tug at our emotions.
Everyone has their own take on vulnerability. Some will say that it’s good for you while others will say that it means weakness and that its bad. When it comes to being very open with anyone, that can be a risky move because your sharing a very personal maybe sentimental experience or information with someone. Your opening up your heart to someone in the hopes that you will build a stronger connection and bond with this person. You also hope that they will not take advantage of you and not tell other people what you told them. Overall your trust toward the other person or people will be tested.
Being vulnerable is risky because in a way your giving a personal piece of yourself as an individual to someone. This someone can abuse and betray you which is no good and can lead to great pain. The trust you had with the other person or people is broken and may not be fixable. Forgive and forget right? Well not always; it all depends what was shared. If you told a close friend who have known for years a secret, you would expect them to not tell anyone else. If the person chooses to not tell anyone else, your trust builds with this person and you grow a bit closer to them.
Vulnerability can also means sympathizing with someone when they open up to you. For example, if someone shares an experience with you that was hurtful, you would want to sympathize with them because they are a friend or family member. Sympathizing with someone who opens up to you builds trust, strengthens bonds, and you make a deeper connection with someone.
Bring vulnerable with someone can be scary even sometimes when you know the other person so well. A girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, best friend are a few examples of individuals who you believe that you can trust. Openness and honesty are core traits that most people have. These two traits can also be the driving force for wanting to be vulnerable. Not everyone can vulnerable especially on command. It takes some effort to do so because your trying to figure out how you will say what you need to say and when will it take place.
Maybe you were vulnerable at one point and the experience was bad. You decide to put up a wall in your mind toward that person or people who did you wrong. You may even go out of your way to avoid them or keep them at arms length. If you want to be more vulnerable and if you want to be more open and honest, as well as here are some tips you can try:
1. Your Not Alone
If you think you are the only person who is struggling to be more open and honest with people, think again. You definitely aren’t the only one who has trouble being vulnerable. There are people who we can be open and honest with. They can be family members, close friends, or trusted teachers. You will be able to figure out who these people are from how they have treated you in the past, how long you have known them, and how close you are to them.
2. Be Careful Who You Open Up To
I want to emphasize this a bit. Being open and vulnerable is a great way to build a better connection with someone, it also involves some risk. You are, in some way, giving a piece of yourself to another person. That person can do whatever they want with that information. They could keep it to themselves or betray your trust and take advantage of you by telling other people and hurt your feelings. I would suggest that you be open and vulnerable to those real close to you. You also may be hesitant to confide in these people as well and that is a normal response. Like I said being vulnerable can be risky.
3. Share Information Your Ready to Share
We have that little voice in our head that helps us figure out what it is right and what is wrong. That voice can be helpful in deciding whether we’re ready to share something very personal to another person and be open and honest with them. Now this doesn’t mean sharing your whole personal life story with someone, but a piece of it. For example, if you have been struggling with something and you’ve been keeping it to yourself maybe this is what you want to open up and share to others. I have been in this position myself.
4. Trust Yourself
The one thing that could stop you from opening up and being vulnerable is not so much who you want to open up to, but yourself. You may be concerned about the outcome and if you can handle it or not. Think back to other situations that were tough for you, but you got through them. What did you do to get through those tough times? Did you think the outcome was going to be horrible at first, but it turned out to be fine? Did you have a support system? That little voice in your head may be telling you that this one friend or family member is someone who I can share this thing with rather than this one friend.
5. Your Worthy
The outcome and the response you get from opening up and being vulnerable is probably the thing going on your mind. You’re concerned that the response you get is going to be positive or negative. Being vulnerable involves strength, so you tell yourself that you are worthy of a positive response. If you are someone who cares about others, doesn’t cause trouble, and doesn’t put people down then I believe you are worthy of a positive outcome.
Sometimes you have to take risks in life. There are opportunities in your life that you can be open and vulnerable with someone or even a group of people. One thing to keep in mind is that the people who pay attention to you may be in a similar place you are. Your courage to be open and vulnerable may inspire them to do the same thing. I’ve seen it happen and I have also experienced it myself. Trust your instincts.