I read a book about being vulnerable. It’s almost a curse word in our society, isn’t it? To expose yourself to others, to shed light on your weaknesses, it’s a sign of being inadequate, right? We must “fake it ’till we make it”. Hide our insecurities and prove to people we belong.
The concept I remember most in the book was how people deal with feeling vulnerable. One, going numb, shutting down, shrinking away. Two, addiction, using a substance or activity to use in place of vulnerability. Three, perfection, producing only mastered results so that no one would ever question your credibility.
My vulnerability-go-to? … Numero Uno.
I was aware that I would become silent when feeling upset, frustrated or when there was conflict. Now I am aware it doesn’t occur only with those feelings but also when I am in a vulnerable state.
Now that I’ve realized my reaction to vulnerability I can pick up on my actions. I am more aware of the times I’m beginning to shut thus feeling vulnerable.
For example, when there’s a conversation or a situation that was occurring, and ya know, I start to feel vulnerable, I (would) go quiet, my shoulders fold, my body shrinks. I might as well be in the fetal position, yelling, “I feel vulnerable!” –Although, I’m pretty sure my body language is a dead giveaway.
I’m glad I read this book and became aware of how I portray myself to others. I’m beginning to understand why a number of past relationships didn’t work out. Unfortunately, I think it’s caused a lot of frustrations for people and may have been the reason for the friendships that have fizzled out.
It makes sense though. If there is a conflict and one person is trying to talk about it and resolve it and the other shrugs, won’t make eye contact, and doesn’t add much to the discussion, nothing gets solved.
The good news, now I know how I react when I feel vulnerable. When I begin feeling myself shutting down, I try my damnedest to do the opposite. Saying what’s on my mind and addressing the scenario, adding to the conversation.
After reading this book I felt empowered. I was ready to address the times when I let vulnerability take over, and deal with it.
I called an old roommate and wrote a letter to my high school bestie.
The number I called didn’t answer and after leaving a raw, vulnerable message, completely putting myself out there, I received a text that said, This isn’t who you are looking for, but best of luck. The letter, still in my notebook. Never sent.
I was ready. Or so I thought. I recently stumbled upon the letter. And? I laughed! Why would I ever send such an exposed piece of writing! I envisioned my (ex)friend reading the letter, not knowing what to think, because who is ever truly willing to reveal such vulnerabilities?! Then, showing her husband and new bestie and all three reacting with laughter because isn’t this how we all react when we feel uncomfortable?
I may have better luck sending her the book then send her the letter with hopes we were on the same page and maybe then she’d understand where I was truly coming from.
It would be pretty easy to be completely reclusive for the next year.
Instead, I’m going to accept my vulnerabilities, continue to work through my awkwardness, and transform the way I live, AND how I portray myself to others.
Because in my head, there’s a strong, opinionated woman, with a sense of humor, and inclination to goofiness. I want, and feel ready for others to see that.
Now I’m going to publish this before I start to overthink it and begin feeling vulnerable.
…..And I might still send that letter and find the correct phone number for my old roommate — I’ll keep ya posted.