Vulnerability: The Strength You Didn't Know You Had
Jul 19, 2022
Most people, when they think of vulnerability, tend to think of it as a weakness. It is something that makes them weak and exposed. But what if we looked at vulnerability in a different way? What if we saw it as a fortress?
In this article we are going to explore the idea of vulnerability and why it is important to have it in our lives. We'll also talk about how to be more vulnerable in our relationships and why it can be so beneficial.
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What is vulnerability?
Vulnerability can be seen as the ability to be open and honest with our feelings, thoughts and experiences. In this sense, vulnerability is presented as a resource for development and personal growth.
On the other hand, a state of vulnerability would allow us to be able to show our true selves to others. Even if it means we may get hurt.
And this is perhaps why we refuse to experience vulnerability. Being vulnerable requires courage and strength, because we expose ourselves without knowing what is going to happen. We trust that the other person will accept us as we are.
We know that human beings are mostly oriented to pleasure and certainty. This is why vulnerability can be so threatening.
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Why is vulnerability important?
But if the vulnerability does not usually produce a pleasant sensation. Why would it be important to experience it in our relationships?
Vulnerability is important because can help us cross the barrier of superficiality that characterizes contemporary relationships. Helping us establish closer relationships with others. Well, when we are vulnerable, we let the other person enter our inner world and know us as we really are.
This can lead to a deeper level of trust and intimacy. Also, being vulnerable can help us grow and learn more about ourselves. It allows us to get in touch with our emotions and understand ourselves better.
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What are some examples of vulnerability?
Some examples of vulnerability are sharing our deepest fears and concerns with someone, being honest about our mistakes, and admit we need help. Other times, we can be vulnerable by opening up to our feelings or sharing something personal with someone.
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Vulnerability in the psychotherapeutic relationship
A clear example of a relationship where we usually use vulnerability as a resource are the help relationships that are established in the context of psychotherapy.
With a psychotherapist we can experience what some call psychological security. That is, an environment built together with another person (the therapist) characterized by:
- acceptance without prejudice
If you have already been to psychotherapy, you will know that these elements allow us to speak openly with the certainty that the other person is genuinely interested in us. In understanding our world and therefore promotes in us the same attitude, to seek growth allowing us to be who we really are.
But do not forget that this relationship has a limitation. And it is that it only occurs in the context of a helping relationship as a professional health care service. However, we can learn from this example more about how to bring the experience of vulnerability into our daily lives.
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How can we be more vulnerable in our relationships?
There's a lot ways to be more vulnerable in our relationships:
- Try to share some things that we would not normally share with others. Which can include our thoughts, feelings, fears and experiences.
- On the other hand, be more open and honest with the people around you. This means being honest about our feelings and thoughts, even if we are afraid of how they will react.
- Finally, we can also show ourselves vulnerable by admitting that we need help or support from others. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it can be very beneficial for our relationships.
Remember that socially vulnerability is usually considered a weakness and that these transformations in your relationships can surprise more than one. But daring to be vulnerable and allowing others to have a safe relationship to be so is also actually a strength.
Try to practice the attitudes we mentioned earlier (empathy, respect, confidentiality, and acceptance). Giving this to people you know will inevitably bring it back to you.
In addition, creating growth relationships based on moments of vulnerability can allow us to get in touch with our emotions and better understand ourselves.