Look, I get it. Leaving yourself emotionally open like that is pretty scary.
If you’ve been hurt by someone you loved in the past, then it’s easy to understand why you’d want to shield yourself from such pain again.
But here’s the thing, if you live in constant fear of getting hurt, you’re actually making it pretty hard to meet someone and have a meaningful relationship with them. There’s actually something to be said for being vulnerable.
Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t be scared to be a little vulnerable from time to time.
Here are 10 ways embracing vulnerability can actually improve your relationships:
1) It shows that you’re human
I mean, obviously people know that you’re human, it’s just that when you try to hide your vulnerable side, you may come off a little… cold.
But when you embrace vulnerability, you acknowledge that you have flaws, weaknesses, and emotional needs like everyone else.
It’s part of the human experience to feel emotions and to need emotional support from time to time.
And do you know what?
When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, it shows that you accept that you’re not invincible or immune to life’s challenges. What’s more, it means you’re willing to be open and honest with yourself as well as with others – your friends, family, and romantic partner.
In short, when you’re vulnerable with another person, it shows them that you trust them with your innermost thoughts and feelings and that’s sure to improve your relationship.
2) Increases intimacy
Once you open up in your relationship, it means that you feel comfortable and safe to show your true self and that you trust your partner with your innermost thoughts and feelings.
And the result?
A greater sense of intimacy in the relationship!
You see, when you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable with your partner, you’re saying, “Here I am, this is me – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take it or leave it.” You’re being honest and transparent about how you feel and that’s something that your partner is sure to appreciate.
Let me clue you into a little something I learned: People who want a real and meaningful relationship aren’t looking for perfection. Nope. They’re looking for someone they can get to really know and they can be themselves with.
So don’t be scared to show your partner who you really are – don’t hide behind a facade.
Share your fears, desires, and dreams with your partner and trust me, it will increase the intimacy between you and strengthen your relationship.
3) Encourages openness
Once you let yourself be vulnerable, you’re creating a safe and supportive space for communication and self-expression. In other words, you’re encouraging your partner to be open and vulnerable too.
And when you and your partner are open and honest about your thoughts, feelings, fears, and experiences, you’re creating a more open and honest dynamic in the relationship.
Thus, by being vulnerable, you’re showing that you’re willing to take risks and expose yourself emotionally. You’re also showing your partner that you trust them and feel safe in their presence.
All-in-all, when you let someone in and show them your human, imperfect side, you’re making it ok for them to also share and express themselves, knowing that they won’t be judged.
4) Builds trust
It’s all linked.
The truth is that it’s not easy to trust someone who doesn’t want to open up to you. Think about it: How can you trust someone who doesn’t trust you?
When you’re vulnerable, you’re basically telling the other person, “Hey, look here you, I’m normally scared to share my feelings with other people because I’m scared of getting hurt but I’m gonna trust you and hope for the best.”
And when you show them that you trust them, then they in return feel like they can trust you. If you’re not hiding, then they have no need to do so.
5) Gives your relationship a real shot
The thing is that if you want to be happy – you have to do the work, you have to open yourself up and give your relationship a real shot.
As the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê says in his amazing masterclass, “Nobody will bring happiness to your life, you must do your job … you must face your challenges, give yourself the chance – grab your energy!”
And I know how your past experiences make this difficult, but as Rudá explains, “ If you must face pain, face the pain. If there is fear telling you that your life will be miserable and you’ll just suffer if you lose this person, try it. Go there to really check if it’s true.”
Maybe you won’t suffer, maybe you’ll find happiness, but you can’t know unless you try.
Plus, once you take the plunge and show your vulnerable side, you’re basically telling your partner that they mean so much to you that you’re willing to put your guard down and trust them!
Trust me, they’ll see the gesture for what it is and you’ll finally be able to take your relationship to the next level!
6) Improves communication
The thing about people who are scared of being vulnerable is that they keep a lot to themselves.
Because they’re afraid of getting hurt, they’re used to keeping their feelings and thoughts to themselves. The problem is, sometimes that goes too far and they end up having a hard time communicating anything.
But once they decide to be vulnerable, they’re opening themselves up to communication. Suddenly, they can say what they want, what they like, and what they don’t like. They can share their hopes and dreams, as well as their expectations.
And once their partner sees that the channels of communication are open, trust me, they’ll use them and their relationship will be so much better for it.
7) Deepens emotional connection
It’s true, embracing your vulnerable side in a relationship is most likely to end up deepening the emotional connection between you and your partner.
Let me explain.
When someone opens up to you and lets you see their vulnerable side, you’re going to feel closer to them, right?
So, when you finally get the courage to let your partner in, they’re going to feel like they finally see the real you. They’re going to feel more connected to you.
In short: Once you take off your mask and show your true fragile and imperfect face, the bond that you have with your partner will become even stronger.
8) Helps you deal with the past
There are two reasons we fear things:
- We’re afraid of the unknown. There are so many things out there that could go wrong and taking a chance or a risk can be pretty scary. I mean, what if all turns out badly?
- The second thing is the past. We’re afraid that things that happened in the past will happen again. If we were hurt by someone we loved, we’re scared that we’ll be hurt again, so we keep the next person we’re in a relationship with at a distance.
Why am I mentioning this?
Because, once you decide to embrace your vulnerability, you will essentially be addressing your past. By deciding to be open and vulnerable once again, you’re saying, “I know that bad things happened in the past. They really hurt, but that doesn’t mean that they will happen again. I have to take the risk if I want to find happiness.”
By doing that, your past will no longer have such a strong hold over you.
Sounds good, right?
9) Encourages empathy
When you see someone at their most vulnerable, you’re able to get a better picture of who they are and why they do what they do and act the way they do.
Showing your partner your vulnerable side will help them feel how you feel and understand where you’re coming from. They’ll no longer think you’re just cold or distant, they’ll understand that you’re a complex person with past experiences that have shaped the way you are now.
As a result, they’ll feel more empathy toward you and they’ll be more patient and understanding when it comes to your relationship.
10) Makes you feel empowered
You’re probably wondering, “How exactly does feeling vulnerable empower me?”
I’ll tell you how.
When you finally open up, you can start to express yourself. No longer do you have to hold things in. If you’re not happy about something, you can come out and say so. If you need or want something, you’ll go ahead and express your needs and desires.
And do you know what? It’s a pretty great feeling – it’s both freeing and empowering.
Give it a try, express yourself, and see how awesome it feels.
How to embrace vulnerability
Now that you know just how powerful vulnerability can be, you’re probably wondering how you can become vulnerable. I mean, maybe you’d like to get there, but you’re scared and just don’t know how to begin.
Here are some tips to help you on your way.
You’re gonna want to begin with baby steps. You don’t want to do too much too quickly and then freak out and back out
Here’s what I suggest, start by sharing something small with your partner.
Now, this could be a minor worry or simply something that you feel uncomfortable sharing.
Then, gradually work your way up to more significant vulnerabilities until you no longer have the need to hide anything from your partner.
Practice active listening
Active listening involves really listening to what the other person is saying, asking questions, and responding with understanding and empathy.
This can actually help create a safe space for vulnerability.
Come on, allow yourself to take risks from time to time and put yourself out there emotionally.
This could be trying new things, expressing yourself in new ways, or sharing something you have never shared before with someone you feel close to.
Learn to tolerate discomfort
Yup, vulnerability can be uncomfortable at times, but learning to tolerate that feeling can help you to build resilience and emotional strength!
Be kind to yourself
Vulnerability requires strength and courage, which is why it’s essential to be kind to yourself as you slowly work towards embracing vulnerability.
Finally, remember you don’t have to do this by yourself.
There’s no shame in talking to a therapist about your trust issues and your fear of being vulnerable. They’re there to help you and not to judge you. In fact, they could be the first person you let yourself be vulnerable. They’re safe.
Another way to get support is to watch Rudá Iandê’s free video on Love and Intimacy. Remember – he’s the shaman I mentioned. Well, in his masterclass he digs deep to find the reasons we struggle so much with love and intimacy and offers practical solutions that I think could really help you embrace your vulnerability.
How does that sound?