Make Yourself Vulnerable If You Are Serious About Connecting
If I said that vulnerability is neither good nor bad, it may sound ridiculous. After all, by definition we like to have a positive or negative association with something as part of being able to define it. So the notion that making yourself vulnerable is the most effective way of getting connected, as brought across by Dr. Brene’ Brown in the video below, is an intriguing contradiction, that is in fact true. What’s important here though is how we define vulnerability.
“Make yourself vulnerable!” is probably one of the best pieces of advice I have received along the school of life I am going through. It sounds crazy, so think about it this way; if you disarm yourself, there is nothing for anyone to attack against if they are looking to kink your armour. I am not referring to running around wearing your emotions on your sleeves with no ability to know who you are and what is best for you. “Too Much Information” is not my version of making yourself vulnerable.
“Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” ~ Mark Twain. In a 20 minute TEDTalk, Dr. Brene’ Brown shares some discoveries she made on vulnerability based on research she undertook which did not go towards supporting the envisaged result she was looking to prove. It was mind boggling for her that vulnerability is at the core of shame and fear in people’s search for worthiness. Vulnerability was also the birthplace of joy, love and a sense of belonging for many people that were successful at having a sense of worthiness.
Some of the attributes that people who have a deep sense of worthiness have in common as per her research:
- Courage – These people have the courage to be imperfect
- Compassion – These people know that you need to be kind to yourself first and then to others. You can’t practice compassion if you do not treat yourself kindly
- Connection – Connection occurs when people are authentic in the way in which they engage others. These people achieve connection simply because they are willing to let go of what they think they should be and therefore show more of who they truly are.
- Vulnerability – These people are willing to do stuff that is not guaranteed to work.
“Is there something about me, that if people know it and see it, that I won’t be worthy of a connection?” So often asking this question makes people close up and not look to reach out. How else would you get connected if you did not reach out? Nobody can connect with you, if they cannot see you for who you are. Our sense of belonging is a function of being connected, so since we want to belong, connection is a big part of our purpose. The easiest way to connect is therefore by being vulnerable!