To share a real-life experience or obscure the details? That is the ultimate question; many have to face, every time they sit down to draft a piece.
My personal experiences inspire most of my content. However, for the very touchy subjects, I do my best to keep “I’s” to the minimum. It’s a struggle of being somewhat vulnerable and not straying from the image; I think others have of me.
So, rather than owning my story, I try to mask the details and create a third persona. Sometimes, this fear causes me to leave out great ideas for a blog post. I mean, I don’t want to be judged; no one likes it.
What is to be Vulnerable?
It’s the tendency to react self-protectively, towards the world and others; as Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. puts it. This fear often emanates from The fear of Rejection. It causes one to build walls around them.
However, in doing so, it keeps you trapped in your emotional defense. Whereby, when you can’t give or receive love or energy, it may lead to feeling isolated.
A study by Paula Niedenthal shows that we download vast information about others, just by looking at them. It’s a process called “resonance” where one reads the expressions of another. It happens automatically and in a rapid manner.
That’s why we feel uncomfortable when someone is faking and can see through their inauthenticity. Also, we can tell when someone isn’t okay even when that person insists that they are doing fine.
• Case Example: In one of the interviews, I have been to, I was once asked to choose whether I am an introvert or an extrovert. I don’t like feeling boxed in, especially in such a situation where one has to choose from a limited number of options. My personality changes depending on the environment, and mood. There will be times; I would love to be in the company of others, and other times, I cringe at that.
And I responded as so, but the interviewer insisted that I had to pick one of the two. Outrightly, I gave a response I thought he was looking for. Well, that’s one of the critical advice given on interviews; show the company that you are what they are looking for in an ideal candidate.
James Gross, in a study on Expressive suppression (a strategy to regulate one’s emotions), shows that we register inauthenticity in our bodies. So when a person tries to hide their feeling, psychologically, the other person responds with a rise in blood pressure.
What does it take to allow yourself to be Vulnerable?
Courage. It’s the ability to face circumstances that make you less comfortable. It’s what allows you to confront a situation that feels precarious. The challenge then becomes differentiating between courage and foolhardiness.
The latter involves acting impulsively without contemplating the consequences of your actions.
Vulnerability isn’t about acting submissive or weak. It allows you to acknowledge the part of you that you are probably afraid of expressing.
The positive side of Being Vulnerable
Many people believe that when you become vulnerable, you open yourself to hurt. It exposes you to unacceptance and feeling fragile. However, being vulnerable allows you to:
• Connect with others
In the presence of authentic people, we automatically develop an intrinsic sense of comfort. It’s the root of deep social connections. As we are drawn to people, who are their true selves.
• Embrace Imperfection
We all have moments of self-doubt, insecurity, and weakness. It is part of who we are, no matter how others perceive you. Acknowledging your flaws and imperfections is the beginning of your journey of Self-love.
All you need is to realize that your past doesn’t determine your present, or future.
• Find value in who you are
Many times we make decisions out of fear of what people will think about us. In that, we define ourselves by the opinions of others. Add it with the self-created checklist that you try to live by; you limit your potential.
Being vulnerable teaches you to love yourself for who you are. It allows you to get comfortable with yourself. You no longer shy away from taking risks because you feel you aren’t good enough.
When you do that, people will be more comfortable around you as you permit them to be vulnerable too. And this post, is my first step to taking the walls down, one brick at a time and as for this blog, a story at a time.