A “Superman” or “Wonder Woman” persona can be alienating in relationships. It puts a wall between you and other people – making you seem untouchable and unrelatable. Vulnerability is crucial for intimacy.
Vulnerability is not weak, rather it is the greatest form of courage. Brene Brown defines vulnerability as “the willingness to show up and be seen by others in the face of uncertain outcomes.” That takes courage.
Vulnerability says things like: “I made a mistake.” “I need help.” “I don’t know.” “I’m fortunate to have you in my life.”
There are many benefits of being vulnerable:
• Vulnerability relieves us of the stress of wearing our perfection or achievement mask. (This also frees others from pretending to know it all.)
• Vulnerability helps us own our weaknesses and challenges. Once we know and acknowledge them, we can stop denying and justifying them, and start creating strategies to work with them.
• Vulnerability permits us to receive (and extend) compassion. If we never give anyone any inkling of what is going on for us, people can’t show us grace and compassion.
• By being vulnerable, we create a safe space for others to be vulnerable too.
That all said, it is important to manage your vulnerability: Don’t share too much too soon. Consider the potential impact of what you are about to share. Don’t use the vulnerability to manipulate.