What is vulnerability?
Do you struggle with admitting that you have a weakness? Think of a time when you were in love with someone-did you struggle with the idea of being the first one to tell them that you loved them? If you answered yes to the two questions, then you have or still are struggling with vulnerability. The Oxford dictionary definition of vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
As human beings, especially adults, we struggle with vulnerability due to the fear of the shame that comes with being open about our struggles. Openly showing the world who you are is not easy. People choose to hide their emotions due to the uncertainty of the outcome. We fear that people around us will judge us and perceive us as weak. However, studies have shown that vulnerability is beneficial and empowering.
What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful-Brene Brown
Dr Brene Brown, in her book Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. This deeply shows that it is hard to live openly and be truly yourself.
The benefits of practising vulnerability
You experience the power of human connection
It is a basic human need to be connected to others. This is why it happens naturally that you have friends, family and you always want to create time to be with them. This kind of connection gives you a sense of belonging. Feeling that you belong to a certain group of people gives you the courage to face the world. You feel safer.
You get emotional support
Life is full of highs and lows. During both periods of your life, you feel the urge to share the moment with your close friends and family. When you are experiencing tough times, you want the emotional support and encouragement. When you are experiencing the highs, you want a part in the back. By being vulnerable and sharing your life experiences, you get closer connections with people which leads to emotional support.
“What happens when people open their hearts?” “They get better.” –Haruki Murakami
You will learn to appreciate your uniqueness
You have beautiful and sometimes strange aspects of you that make you unique. By exploring these aspects of you either by taking time to be self-aware or talking to people about it, you will accept yourself as a special addition to the world. This self-awareness journey will also give you a massive self-confidence boost!
How about you make peace with your past?
Have you ever been in a room with somebody who shared their personal story that got you to appreciate yourself and your past? Yes, sharing the story of your life journey is a big vulnerable step that you should take the next time you have a chance to. This brave step will enable you to get rid of the massive baggage and shame that you have been carrying all your life. It is advisable to confront your past as opposed to hiding from it.
Vulnerability leads to deeper and genuine friendships
Laying yourself bare and sharing your story will bring you the right kinds of people in your life. Doing it often especially in places where you feel safe to do so gives you the confidence to decide whom to keep in your inner circle and who to walk away from.
Some people when they hear your story, contract. Others upon hearing your story, expand. And this is how you know-Nayyirah Waheed
People will trust you more with their stories
Have you noticed that the people you have shared with your deepest secrets trust you more with theirs? Well, this is mostly true with your true friends. Being vulnerable will bring you closer to both your friends and workmates. Admit that you are unable to do something. Ask for help.
Your relationship with your romantic partner will improve
Many people date for many years without taking the brave step of being vulnerable with each other. Being vulnerable will enable you to have a stronger bond as the minute you talk about your fears and secrets, you feel a heavy burden has been lifted from your shoulders. If you want to experience a deeper and more honest love, take the first step and lead your partner towards a deeper love experience.
The biggest benefit of vulnerability is that it makes you empathetic towards the people around you and the world in general. It is important to be compassionate with others when they are struggling. To give them a helping hand and to be their source of hope in times of despair. Being vulnerable will not only help you discover the humane part of you but will also enable you to be kinder to the world. The next time somebody asks you ‘Who are you?’ Tell them your story. And watch the world bring you happiness, peace and loads of love.