Inspiration #2: Be vulnerable? Maybe not

By | June 20, 2016

This is another one of the awakenings I had during the unbelievable afternoon I recently spent with a fellow therapist.

How often have you heard people encouraging someone to be vulnerable, meaning to put down your guard and be open? Although it made sense to me, I felt uneasy about it, as though there was some inherent contradiction. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Clarity came during this unique sharing with the therapist. I realized that it is only from ego (i.e. self-protective) perspective that being open equates with vulnerability. From a fully functional perspective, to be open is to be aware and perceptive, which helps us be strong, centered, and open to support. Does this sound like being vulnerable? To me, it is quite the opposite.

The person who is guarded and shut down is actually the vulnerable one. She often ends up being overlooked, unfulfilled, and frustrated- i.e., victimized. Opening up is being engaged and in your power, which can greatly reduce vulnerability. The next time someone asks me to be vulnerable, I’ll tell him, “Thanks for the suggestion, but I’d rather leave my vulnerability behind and instead be strong and fully engaged.”


2 Comments

Vulnerability is Strength on June 21, 2016 at 8:01 am.

It sounds like someone talking who doesn’t know what vulnerability is… In fact it’s when we are vulnerable that we are the most strong and fully engaged…
You also can’t ask someone to be vulnerable… you have to show vulnerability to get vulnerability…. and I think that’s where you go wrong in your realization/conclusion about that being vulnerable is the opposite of being strong when in fact it is the same…
Instead of reacting to the encouragement people give to be vulnerable, and come up with a reason for why that doesn’t make sense (because it doesn’t in terms of that it’s something you can’t ask of someone), maybe use it as a mirror for yourself instead that perhaps there is something in that worth looking at.
Please watch some native people and how they show vulnerability to get a sense for what it is.

Reply

Living on June 20, 2016 at 11:02 pm.

An Elder of mine once said, “Erase the word ‘fight’ out of your vocabulary!”
Does vulnerability not always imply fighting?
What is “strong” then?—Can I be “strong” without someone else be “weak”? Can I be “strong” without fighting?

From a “functional perspective” I just let all those words be…

Reply

Leave Your Comment

Your email will not be published or shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>