Vulnerability often gets bad press, conjuring up images of fragility and weakness. Yet vulnerability is not only a mark of authenticity, strength and courage, it is also essential to even more satisfying and meaningful relationships with our loved ones.
We all know people who seem strong, imperturbable, invulnerable, whose shell seems unbreakable, impenetrable. This is perhaps a way of positioning oneself vis-à-vis the other, of valuing oneself, of protecting oneself… but which also turns out to be very costly. This approach can prevent us from saying what we really feel, showing us who we are and creating stronger, lasting and real bonds.
The variable geometry of vulnerability
The expression “double standards” is a good illustration of our relationship to vulnerability. It is not uncommon for a river to separate self-disclosure on the one hand, and on the other hand, the reception, however often favorable, of the limits, faults or errors of a friend, a spouse or another family member.
The prospect of revealing our own weaknesses involves risking the negative judgment of others and too often seems shameful to us, even unthinkable in certain contexts. It is also sometimes likened to imperfection, even mediocrity, as if falling ill, having difficulty going through bereavement, losing your job, or going through a painful separation was a crime!
However, in front of a person capable of exposing his doubts, of naming his limits, of recognizing his mistakes, we often experience true admiration: what a strong and courageous person!
The often winning bet of vulnerability
We are all, one day or another, inhabited by doubt or overwhelmed by emotions. Showing or revealing a certain vulnerability in front of others is above all showing that we are able to recognize and live our emotions, and that we favor frankness and authenticity in our interpersonal relationships: a most valuable and enriching asset. .
In addition to making us more accessible, this attitude shows a sign of trust in the other, while we show him our real moods.
Vulnerability opens up the possibility of new relational horizons, and the echo of this trust can even lead us to review the components of our shell as well as the image we have of ourselves and of the other. From then on, we discover a world where exchanges are infinitely richer and more fruitful, where sharing is done from human to human, where the balance of power becomes futile, and judgments, impertinent.
Choose the right moment
The spreading of our emotions at all times and at all times, and this, in all our relationships? Not necessarily. Depending on the circumstances and our emotional state, it is better to be frank in a moderate and balanced way, and with the right people. Open up to others, okay, but in front of someone who judges your confidences or your sincerity harshly, it is better to pass their turn!
The colossi, the imperturbable beings, those for whom to cry is inadmissible are usually not the best to pour out on… This is why it is important to open up to people whose judgment we do not fear and who have already proven to us that they can listen to us in a spirit discreet, respectful, understanding and benevolent. Our vulnerability combined with their humanism will bring us the greatest good: both for us and for the other and for the bond that unites us.
Vulnerability, a real strength
If you still believe that vulnerability is a mark of weakness, remember Jean de la Fontaine's famous fable, The Oak and the Reed. < /p>
The force of the wind caused the tree, which looked majestic and unchanging, to be torn from the ground. The simple reed, however vulnerable, has bent… without ever breaking.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128