How to be Vulnerable Blog Post
Growing up we are never taught how to be vulnerable. Our parents were not taught it by their parents and we don’t learn it in school. It is a skill and art that must be mastered if you want true freedom of self expression. And when I say self expression, I mean the beautiful loving spirit of light within us all. We all want to be loved and accepted, yet our ego can get in the way. We create walls and filters that limit us from being REAL and allowing our light to shine out into the world. Therefore, speaking our truth is never easy. Especially to someone we love and care about. We worry about hurting their feelings and of being rejected. BUT if they really love you and are willing to be vulnerable too, they will learn to be vulnerable themselves and really hear what you have to say without making you feel bad about yourself.
Learning how to be vulnerable is like exposing ourselves to the world or the a specific person. Being vulnerable is about being honest. Honest with yourself, how you are feeling, what matters to you, and how you want to be treated. Many of us are taught to be a certain way. Society molds us into what they deem is acceptable. Our family, friends and peers mold us too. We are to talk or act a certain way. We have to behave, smile, ignore, and deny what is real. We may lie and hide from the world. We learn overtime to let people shame us, betray, abandon, or even reject us. Then in the end sometimes, we do the same thing to ourselves. We feel lost and not good enough. We can rationalize and make excuses for our behaviors or the behaviors and actions of another, but are you really honoring what our heart/spirit needs? Are you loving and accepting you?
Sometimes learning how to be vulnerable is scary. People can teach us to control another person, so you can avoid being vulnerable and really expressing what you need. So if there is this need to control the other person, stop and ask yourself this question; “Are you being loving? What are you really feeling inside? What are you afraid of?” Denial is an easy way out by ignoring the real emotional need to control another person. And trying to control another person only creates more resistance. It’s like building a wall of lack of communication and separation.
For example, I remember just a few weeks my son was upset. I was trying to redirect him into becoming more positive because he has autism and expressing his emotions is not his strong point. My son is 8 year old son said to me, “I am the boss of you!”
I have never said this to my son, so I knew he got the phrase from some place else. My response was, “You are not the boss of me and I am not the boss of you. I love you and we are friends. We are a team, right?”
His controlling behavior totally shifted. His face softened and he had this loving expression and sparkle in his eyes as he said, “Yes, we are best friends. We are team.”
“So I know you don’t like bossy people. Therefore in this house, I am not the boss. We work together and love each other. Okay?”
Beaming a big smile, “Yes!”
Now in the past, I would have stopped and done what most parents would have done. I would have put him in his place. I am the boss, you respect and obey me! I would have gotten mad and some parents would have punished a child for saying that to an adult. My parents would have beat me. Yet stopping, understanding the need to control, being vulnerable, and speaking our truth without the angry ego helps us become closer. Closer to love and closer to who we really want to be in this relationship/family. So I stopped and really looked at my son. I knew this was the perfect time to empower myself as well as him. In that moment I was learning how to be vulnerable and speak from my heart and not the ego.
Learning how to be vulnerable is like learning to be born again. It is like stripping away all the false layers of self, society, false beliefs, and waking up to seeing who you really are. Asking yourself, “What do I need to be happy, whole and healthy?” Being vulnerable is like saying enough is enough. I am tried of doing the same old things that make me feel uncomfortable, broken, shamed, used, or weak.
So I want to teach you a technique that has worked for many of my clients and coworkers over the years. It is called the sandwich approach. This technique will help you learn how to be vulnerable by using I statements instead of you statements. For when we say, ” You did _______, you are ________, you act like a ______, you are making them feel the need to put up their shield. They will not hear you and will be guarded. Think of a warrior putting up his shield to avoid the blows from your words. When we use I statements, there are no blows of attack. The space is neutral and it allows communication. Therefore, the bread is the positive and the meat is the issue at hand. Here is an example of what I mean. Let’s say you get into an argument with your partner and the way it ended left you both feeling hurt. This is how you would approach the person by being honest and discovering how to be vulnerable.
“Paul, I am sorry that we got into a big argument. I really love you and want us to be together. I really admire your passion and determination in life. As you know, I am pretty laid back at times. I just feel that the passion and determination is too over powering for me when we get into arguments. It makes me feel weak when we don’t see eye to eye. I feel like I am not being heard. All I want sometimes is for us to agree to disagree. We are two different people with two different minds. But when I feel I am not being heard and just being over powered, I start to feel small and unloved. I need to feel loved Paul. Since I want to feel loved and safe inside, I get angry and tend to fight back. I am reacting and not observing my behaviors. I am sorry. I don’t want to keep doing that or being that weak person. I want to speak from my heart and not my head. I need for us to be open, in a calm tone of voice. The tone of voice is what sets me off. I want us both to listen and understand what both of us need in this relationship, so we can thrive together, instead of dominating one another. This relationship is important to me because you, Paul are important. So when you see me closing down and starting to defend myself by saying hurtful things, help me stop. Understand me. Let’s just both stop and breathe. I need to connect with you and I know you need to connect with me. I love you. Let’s make this work, okay?”
As you can see, learning how to be vulnerable is learning to understand oneself. Really looking inside and figuring out what is really making up upset or uncomfortable. We do we behave the way we do? Realizing what triggers you or makes you feel the need to strike back when you are feeling attacked. It takes courage and a willingness to explore into the shadows of the self. But in the end the light of your spirit does shine out of the darkness when you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
I hope this learning how to be vulnerable blog post helps. Please make any comments or ask a question. I am hear to help and listen.
This learning how to be vulnerable blog post was written by Kerie Logan at Empowered Within.