At my recent Relationship Mastery Workshop I asked people to send in questions prior to the event to be answered on the day.
One sparked a debate, based around vulnerability – the question being: How can I be more open and speak up around people without feeling vulnerable?
In the dictionary vulnerable is described as: ‘being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally’, and in general this is how we all relate to it.
The first thing to ask yourself is about the meaning of it to you.
The meaning you give to things will determine how you think and feel about them.
In this case we are talking about vulnerability in a negative sense, as it is stopping someone from being open to connection and allowing themselves to have a voice in certain relationships – exposed to emotional harm.
Saying ‘I am vulnerable’ can trigger a defence mechanism in your mind and your negative bias to avoid the perception of oncoming pain.
What we can do is two things:
1. Change the meaning
2. Tell yourself vulnerability doesn’t exist
Vulnerability is like fear, a word we use to describe a state that we are in. If we change how we see the words, the meanings we give them, or tell ourselves that they do not exist entirely, then we can overcome the blocks that they cause us in our lives and therefore they do not need to hold us back.
Being vulnerable could be seen as a positive – ‘being vulnerable allows me to feel open to the possibility of pain, but I am going to be okay regardless of how this turns out’.
‘Being vulnerable doesn’t exist, so I can be open and connect, I can speak up despite the reaction and I will be okay, even if it ends up with me getting hurt’.
You can try this with any meanings that you give to things that may stop you taking action on something, connecting within a relationship or allowing yourself to be seen and heard are just two examples.
Pain is not something to be scared of in an emotional sense, even though our brain will try and avoid it at as much as possible. It will be something we don’t like, but we will move on and we will be okay.
Please feel free to send me a comment or ask any questions. Would be great to get your take on things.
If you would like to know more about how Interpersonal Relationship Coaching (IRC) can help you on your life then please contact me via the contact form, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07709 350019.
I look forward to hearing from you.