Being Vulnerable is NOT a Sign of Weakness…

There is this strange belief that if a person expresses a fear or an insecurity, that means that person is weak. I cannot tell you how many times I have been in a situation where ideas ore being exchanged, the atmosphere becomes relaxed, I express a fear of mine and it suddenly turns into a therapy session…one I didn’t sign up for.

I was just recently in a situation where someone did this. And honestly, I couldn’t blame anyone but myself, because this person has shown time and time again that when I express a vulnerability, it is their cue to tell who I am and what I don’t know.

I felt angry and targeted, so I set a boundary and quickly ended the exchange. After I talked to a very close friend of mine about the incident, I really began to wonder where this line of thinking comes from and realized that those who believe this the strongest seem to be the most messed up and tend to offer the most unsolicited advice.

So for those who may have felt shamed and attacked by someone who sees admitting vulnerability as an opportunity to critically judge and analyze you, here are a few benefits of staying vulnerable and open:

Vulnerable People Tend to Be More Courageous

I have a good friend in senior level management who is as gentle as she is fierce. When she feels overwhelmed about something, she will cry. Heading a division of a large company comes with a variety of challenges. However, after she cries, she plans. And by remaining open to her feelings, it has allowed her to move up the corporate ladder quickly and develop a healthy reputation of a tough woman who also has integrity. And integrity will get you into doors that even money cannot.

Vulnerable People Tend to Be More Accountable

You ever been in the presence of someone so proud that they could not admit fault? These people tend to have all of the answers, seldom listen and typically duck and dodge when called out.

People who are healthily vulnerable tend to admit their wrongs easier because their pride is in check. Since they aren’t running from their emotions, it is easier to admit their faults because they are not haunted by shame. And of course, this make for more trusting relationships.

Vulnerable People Tend to Have a Deeper Level of Honesty

Once again, healthy vulnerability means that One is not running from their feelings, so they can express that with others much easier. Ego can seldom function in the same space as vulnerability, because to be vulnerable is to be exposed. Ego is about protecting everything at whatever cost.

Vulnerable People Tend to Have Deeper Relationships

This is one of my favorite perks of remaining open to life. I don’t have many friends, I keep that circle small, however, I have gone down the rabbit hole several times with the friends I do have. There is a comfort in knowing that we can feel angry at each other and not fear the end of the friendship. People who run from vulnerability and see it as a weakness tend have followers, not friends. They have to be the “lead” and when a friend challenges that person, the friendship dissolves or becomes more distant.

So there you have it. And let me just be clear on healthy vulnerability – that is different and I mean completely different from desperation. The two often get confused. The latter often shows up when there has been some form of trauma and the person is seeking comfort and protection. Healthy vulnerability is remaining open to life, yourself and others, even when some interpret it as a cue to attack you. It does NOT mean that you don’t stand up for yourself. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it.

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