Misconceptions About Vulnerability
What are your initial thoughts when you think about vulnerability? Many of us might associate vulnerability with feelings of fear, uncertainty or shame. We may have been taught not to allow ourselves to appear vulnerable (especially men in our society). With vulnerability comes the possibility of rejection or failure, which can be scary. Because of this, we may try to avoid being vulnerable as much as we can. While being vulnerable is often thought of as a sign of weakness, it is actually a deeply important part of the human experience.
“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.”Brené Brown
Benefits of Vulnerability
Even though it can be uncomfortable, Brené explains how vulnerability is also the birthplace for joy, creativity, authenticity, and love. With vulnerability, we can let our guards down and be seen for who we truly are. The truth about vulnerability is that is not a weakness; it is a strength. Here are just a few of many benefits of embracing vulnerability:
- Vulnerability allows us to be our authentic selves, instead of trying to please others.
- With vulnerability, we build empathy. We can let down our walls, understanding and sharing feelings easier, and encouraging others to do the same. In turn, we become more understanding, willing to forgive others and willing to give love to others.
- Being vulnerable can help us to work through our emotions easier (rather than pushing them away). Vulnerability fosters good emotional and mental health.
- Vulnerability also is a sign of courage. We become more resilient and brave when we embrace who we truly are and what we are feeling.
- Lastly, being vulnerable can help us foster better connections and relationships with others. It helps us to find people who will accept us for who we truly are.
Vulnerability is an inevitable part of life. Instead of trying to fight it, we can embrace it knowing that it will make our lives more full in the long run. Think about it. Saying I love you to someone is vulnerable. Trying something new is vulnerable and nerve-wracking. Sharing a difficult experience or struggle you’ve had with someone is also vulnerable and scary. While we initially may want to avoid all of these things, they can actually be extremely rewarding to go through with. Ultimately, welcoming vulnerability will allow us to live a genuinely fulfilling life.