Contrary to popular belief, vulnerability is not, nor is it a sign of, weakness. If we think about it, most of us would agree that it takes a whole lot of courage to be vulnerable, so it could be said that courage and weakness are actually near opposites. Being vulnerable is a risk. It means being exposed and being honest, and the outcome is often uncertain. However, vulnerability is the birthplace of change. It’s really hard to explore ourselves and experience growth within ourselves and within our relationships with others if we’re not willing to be honest and thus vulnerable. An interesting question to ponder is whether it’s more challenging and takes more courage to be honest with others or to be honest with ourselves. I mean really honest – that means no far reaching justifications (which, if we are really being honest we know are just excuses to avoid feeling guilty for the things we know are not good for us), and no putting the responsibility for our problems solely on others.
Buyer beware, there are risks to being vulnerable: when we are real with ourselves and others we will be exposed to potential judgement. We can mitigate this risk to a certain extent by choosing judiciously who we are vulnerable with, but there is always a certain degree of risk involved. If we are courageous enough to take that risk, there is great potential for significant growth in so many ways– not to mention the fact that by using our courage with others we inadvertently also give them the permission and safety to be honest and vulnerable themselves.
There is a really great Ted Talks YouTube video on Vulnerability and Shame given by Brene Brown. I recommend having a watch.
Is there ever any point in avoiding an uncomfortable situation or conversation in the hope that it will just turn out the way we want it to? Or are we merely just kidding ourselves into simply prolonging the inevitable? I’m a bit stuck on this one.
I just had a conversation with a woman who has been getting hot and cold messages from a love interest. This has been going on for several months now without resolve either way. It is causing her a great deal of confusion, and albeit some frustration, but what are her options for a resolution? And are there actually any good options? If she avoids the issue there is the chance that the love interest will make up his mind either way at some point in the future: he may decide he wants to date her, or decide that he in fact does not, and then make either of these choices clear to her. However, how long might that take? Weeks? Months? Years? Is it fair to expect the other person to address an issue we are having a hard time with? Is it worth waiting around to find out?
The other option is for her to get right down to business, and I’m going to say it, address the issue openly and honestly (gasp!). This seems as though it would be an effective way of resolving the issue and ending any emotional turmoil perpetuated by a lack of clarity. However, there are risks to approaching a situation this way. If the dreaded transpires and the person does not provide us with the response we’re hoping to hear our hopes may become crushed and the possibility of the possible is no longer.
This situation also pertains to either addressing or not a potential pursuer toward whom we have no interest or affection. Is it fair to string them along in the hopes that everything will just turn out and they’ll get the message without us having to initiate a potentially uncomfortable conversation?
So I ask again, maybe hurt now? Or maybe hurt later? I think, though, that the more accurate to ask is, do I honestly think that something mysterious will happen between now and later which will increase the chance of me getting the result I want? Am I willing to take that gamble? Or, am I fooling myself, wasting time, and just prolonging the inevitable?