Social media has nearly erased the desire to hold our business close to the vest. Many people sacrifice secrets on the altar of likes. Going “live” and sharing videos of moments from the private to the hilarious has become second nature. Everything’s not “deep,” but at times, it seems nothing’s sacred.
Many of our grandparents would be appalled at the level of detail we share about what we’re thinking and doing. I know my grandmother would have some colorful language outlining her thoughts about folks posting their food, for example. It would be a treat to have that conversation with her today!
What IS vulnerability?
It’s the act of exposing yourself to the potential of being harmed or attacked, physically or emotionally. In some arenas, it also minimizes the importance of discretion and privacy. However, it’s not all bad. Vulnerability can also be a good thing. I recently wrote a book that required me to be extremely vulnerable.
While I joke about having ‘told all my business,’ my objective was to potentially help someone else avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into. Granted, the kind of vulnerability expressed in a manuscript can come off different than a video or social media post, but the outcome can be the same: breakthrough. A few of my thoughts on what else can possibly happen as a result of being vulnerable are below. I hope you’ll share your own thoughts in the comments!
- Vulnerability can help you let go of a need for validation from people.
While it seems that the opposite would be true, sometimes an increase in the opinions of others can help release you from what other people think. Once you realize how pointless it is to explain, debate, or defend yourself to those who have little bearing on your future, it’s possible you’ll also decide there are better things to do with the energy it takes to do it.
- Vulnerability can open old wounds.
It’s so important to be wise about the environments in which we choose to expose our hearts. Without having someone present who can walk or talk us through the emotions that may arise with our vulnerable moments, we can re-open or even infect a prior soul wound. Worse, we may inflict a wound in someone else if we don’t approach our vulnerable moments with wisdom and care. Everyone may not be ready to deal with what you’re ready to address. Doesn’t mean you should hold it in. Just handle with care.
- Being vulnerable can be a turn-off to people who aren’t whole.
This one may be a reason for celebration! It takes strength and growth to be truly vulnerable. People who aren’t accustomed to or ready for your level of vulnerability will likely maintain a distance. That can mean you’re likely to draw authentic, emotionally mature people in your direction more often than the opposite.
- Being vulnerable can become a negative, overused habit.
“There’s a time and place for everything.” Does that statement sound familiar? Whether or not you’ve heard it before, it’s true. Vulnerability with all its freeing characteristics and confidence can become a habit. And not in a good way. Oversharing and extreme openness can be how you get out of jams or manipulate responses. That’s a dangerous habit can damage the integrity of your relationships!
Can you relate to these or other possible outcomes of vulnerability?