Why Vulnerability Is Key, Even When It's Scary

by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Lifestyle Columnist

Published in Lifestyle on 9th October, 2018

Something that becomes more and more difficult for young people is vulnerability. After all, it can be so easy to be hurt when you open up to someone and there's something about you they aren't a fan of. It can be so hard to tell when it's okay to open up, which often results in people deciding not to do so at all.


However, vulnerability is a very genuine, beautiful thing that can bring people closer together. Take a look at this article to find out what it means to be vulnerability and exactly what benefits you can achieve by exercising vulnerability.

What Is Vulnerability?

When you open yourself up and share your deeper thoughts and feelings to someone, you become vulnerable. Most of us are aware that when you share those deeper feelings, they can sometimes be thrown back in your face. You can be rejected or downright treated poorly and it's a painful experience.

That said, there are also other situations in which those feelings are reacted to in a positive way, which can be very fulfilling. Some people can begin to fear the prospect of being vulnerable due to the possibility of rejection, but it's more worthwhile to feel out the situation before deciding.

How Is It Scary?

Rejection is a terrifying thing, and potentially being made fun of or treated poorly for the things you share is even scarier. It's only natural that you'd want to protect those parts of yourself as best you can.

how is it scary vulnerability

The pain that can result can sometimes feel overwhelming, and it can make you want to keep people at an arm's length. In some cases, you may also find that you start to feel very bitter towards other. While it is important to make sure that you share carefully, avoiding sharing at all can be a lonely existence.

Do It Anyway

While it may feel more safe to keep your deeper feelings to yourself, it can get very lonely. Human beings tend to need connections with others in order to be completely happy. If the connections you have never leave the surface level, then you can easily begin to feel alienated.

In time, those feelings can lead to a sense of being generally depressed and alone. At which point, it can also become harder to reach out after spending enough time keeping people distant from yourself. That said, it's not impossible to begin to open up to others.

The Benefits Of Vulnerability

There are plenty of benefits to being vulnerable, which can improve your relationships, your self esteem and your life overall. Read on and learn about the benefits that may be able to help with improving your life the most, through the simple act of being completely vulnerable.

Better Communication

When both sides of a relationship are open and honest about their thoughts and feelings, it can allow for a deeper level of communication. As a result, both sides will have an easier time voicing their thoughts and concerns when something comes up.

better communication vulnerability

This aspect is likely to be most useful in romantic relationships, but other kinds of close relationships can absolutely benefit from it as well. Just be careful to make sure it's the right time and person, who will handle your vulnerability with respect, if not reciprocating the action. It can take a little time to know that the other person can handle a deeper layer.

Deeper Intimacy

Understanding one another on a deeper level can lead to a greater feeling of intimacy overall. That emotional intimacy can strengthen your relationship from the inside out. As a result, you'll have a relationship that can truly handle it all.

Furthermore, you'll have a greater empathy for one another. Knowing how certain events can effect the other person on a deeper level can give you insight into knowing how to celebrate with that person, or cheer them up when they need it. It's truly a useful way to know those around you in more powerful ways.

A True Understanding Of Others

When you don't quite know someone, it can be hard to tell what they're thinking or feeling at a given time. However, once you do understand them, you'll know how they may react. Learning about one person on a deeper level can also allow you to recognize that the same humanity resides in others.

Eventually, you can start to see that everyone has a unique story, and certain aspects of life that may effect them more than others. This can help you to understand even those you haven't met before, as you'll look at them in a new light.

The Freedom To Be Yourself

When you're around people that you have a secure vulnerability with, you can be fully you. This isn't something most people can get from just anyone they happen to be around. In most cases, there's usually some side of you that it's just better to keep to yourself. Not because it's bad, but just because it may not sync up with a given person.

freedom to be yourself vulnerability

However, once in a while you find someone you can be completely you around, and it's such a freeing feeling. Knowing you won't be judged or hassled is a truly carefee feeling.

Greater Support

Being vulnerable with others opens yourself up for people to be able to provide some support when you're feeling down. For example, if you have depression that can sometimes flare up, it's good to have a support system that can help you.

While it can be very tempting to keep your depression to yourself, people can't help you when you're feeling down if they don't know. This is a good time to be vulnerable, and let people in who care about you. That way, you won't have to feel alone when the mental illness is at it's most nasty.

It Can Help At Work

Greater support, vulnerability and seeing the humanity in others can really help to improve your performance at work. It can help you to get along well with your coworkers, and make you a more personable presence to just about anyone you come into contact with.

If you work in customer service, hospitality or another environment where you come into contact with a lot of other people, seeing their humanity is key. Furthermore, a newfound confidence in yourself can help you to feel more grounded when handling upset customers. You may even find that you get a little less stressed out by them.

Acceptance and Motivation

There can be a lot of changes that occur when you accept vulnerability and make it a part of the important relationships in your life. You can become a little more confidence and learn to better accept yourself as you are, regardless of what flaws that may encompass.

acceptance and motivation vulnerability

When you're better able to accept yourself, you may also find that you're more willing to take the risks included in reaching your goals. It can be easy to simply not try, but having a little more self-acceptance can go a long way when you're trying to make your dreams come true, or just get out a little more.

Make Peace With The Past

In addition to your self-acceptance, you'll also have an easier time letting go of past mistakes. This is incredibly useful because old regrets can create a lot of negative emotions, which can make enjoying the present much more difficult.

We all make mistakes, and it takes some time learning to learn how to accept and let those mistakes go. Continuing to beat yourself up over them isn't going to make anything better. Instead, it just makes you feel worse, resulting in the potential to make more mistakes as you can have trouble seeing the present clearly.

Humanizing Yourself

Just as you learn to see the deeper levels of other people, you'll also humanize yourself in the eyes of others. Empathy can be contagious, just like bad moods or smiles. When people see you empathizing with others, they begin to empathize with you in turn.

This all really helps to create a more flowing situation in just about every relationship you have, whether it's with a romantic partner or a coworker. It's able to create a good balance that allows you to see others more clearly, and them to see you more clearly as well.

Greater Appreciation Of What Makes You, You

Finally, you'll see that you become more human to yourself. Being our own worst critic is part of human nature. However, when you see that others can see the deeper aspects of you without judging, you may begin to wonder why you judge yourself so harshly.

It's worthwhile to consider that, and begin to question the criticisms you may have about yourself. Most likely, you'll find that those negative messages aren't founded. Knowing that can allow you to appreciate all the little quirks, flaws and perks that make you who you are. In time, you can learn to enjoy them rather than dislike them.

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