Vulnerability is often seen as a weakness in life and relationships, but it’s actually a strength. Dr. Brené Brown, a renowned expert on vulnerability, explains that life is best lived when we really “sink into” the joyful moments—daring to show up and let ourselves be seen. She writes, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”
This article will discuss reasons why we feel vulnerable, the effects of vulnerability on ourselves and the importance of vulnerability in our relationships.
What is vulnerability?
The dictionary definition of the word vulnerability reads “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon” and many who’ve taken a dip in today’s dating pool would agree. The act of opening oneself (physically or emotionally) to another leaves a great possibility of walking away with injuries.
We resist feeling vulnerable because we fear being hurt, rejected or judged by those we want to love. We’re scared that after playing all our cards, we still won’t be “enough” for said person. In this mindset, many singles try to avoid vulnerability by being numb to feeling altogether. Why get involved in something when you may leave in worse condition than you started, right?
Although it can be uncomfortable, vulnerability is an integral part of both self-love and romantic relationships.
What does vulnerability have to do with me?
Vulnerability is an important part of self-loving because exploring vulnerability allows one to see a greater picture of themselves. Deepening your understanding of vulnerability can be challenging, as it is often hard to face your deepest fears or flaws; but it is important to remember we are each only humans. By acknowledging your feelings and accepting yourself as you are at this moment, you are giving yourself permission to be vulnerable. Know that this does not mean you are unlovable or undesirable. To be vulnerable is to be strong. It means to stand tall, dressed in your strengths and flaws and experiences and to say “who I am is enough.”
But why open yourself up? Why risk the heartbreak of rejection?
Start by asking yourself this: Do you think you deserve to be happy? Do you think you deserve to have a loving relationship?
To establish a genuine, happy relationship you must first lay a sturdy foundation of trust; trust is formed when both partners open their hearts and let the other see them in a less-than-perfect light. This process deepens the emotional intimacy of a relationship and allows partners to feel more unified as a couple.
Vulnerability is crucial in keeping a happy, committed relationship, because the opposite of being vulnerable is being numb. It is possible to close your heart and your mind to new experiences—hoping that this will prevent bad things from happening—but it is impossible to predict and completely avoid unfortunate situations in life. If you block out the bad, you are very likely to block out the good as well. But if you open your heart to the possibilities, you never know how happy you may be.
Brown advises that it’s best “to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee.” If we start with a strong understanding of our own vulnerability and have a sense of self-love, we can live our lives more authentically which creates joy.
Having a deep understanding of our vulnerability is an important part of self-loving. By exploring your vulnerability, you are allowing yourself to be okay with who you are in life at this moment. To be vulnerable is to stand strong and say “no matter who doesn’t like it, no matter who doesn’t accept me: I am proud to be who I am, and that is enough.”
Vulnerability is key in strengthening relationships—romantic and otherwise—because showing one’s vulnerable side is one of the important building blocks in a trusting union. Being able to expose our vulnerable side in a relationship helps our partner see our flaws and encourages intimacy between couples.
Always be yourself, in all of your glory. Be happy, be flawed, be vulnerable, be genuine. If you can accept yourself at your best and at your worst, your confidence will attract partners who are able to do so as well.
Conclusion: Being vulnerable is essential for happy, healthy, and committed relationships. If you have a hard time being vulnerable or want to talk about what vulnerability looks like in practical terms, I am always free for a Free 15-Minute (no obligation) phone session. Call me at 512.922.4822 or skype: 1+512.394.8768 Or Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org