Vulnerable is the capability of being wounded or hurt either emotionally or physically as defined in the World Dictionary at Dictionary.com. Many people view vulnerabilities as a negative thing, and yes, sometimes they are. However, being vulnerable can help in strengthening you as a person as well as help define who you really are.
Learning to live with and love our vulnerabilities can add pleasure to anyone’s life. Being able to be yourself instead of presenting a fake persona to others is important when finding happiness. Having to pretend to be someone else is never fun. Therefore, having the ability to accept ourselves for who we are will allow us to be happy in our lives.
Being vulnerable does not mean that you throw yourself to the wolves. It simply means, taking some risks. The ability to lower those protective defenses so that people can get to know the ’real’ you is important Asking for what you want in any situation instead of keeping silent can enhance the situation and bring it to a whole new level.
We, as humans, tend to care what others think of us. Openly displaying vulnerable emotions can be one of the most difficult tasks for anyone. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed with sadness due to a sudden death in the family but have always been viewed as the ‘strong’ one, it may be difficult to release those emotions. However, in this instance, the ability to show those emotions to a crowd of people may actually be viewed as more courageous than sitting silent and holding them in. In turn, it can give a sense of acceptance to those vulnerabilities as well as a healthy outlet. In essence, you are becoming less vulnerable to those emotions and making it reasonable to suggest that it is okay to convey powerful emotions, even in public.
Effectively addressing our feelings of vulnerability can lead to acceptance of oneself and will allow you to deal with them in a healthy way. Allowing yourself to view them as a part of who you are, can lead to a sense of peace and confidence. It is reasonable to assume that most people want to protect themselves from criticism of others. However, the spotlight illusion in psychology suggests that most people believe live in the illusion that others are paying more attention to them than they really are. (Clark and Wells, 1995) Keeping that in mind, think about how much attention you actually pay to others around you. Either way, what really matters is how you feel about yourself.
Being vulnerable is an important part of who we are. Although there are people that seem to have none, they have learned to used theirs to strengthen themselves. Having the confidence to accept them can make you stronger internally and project a confidence that others will notice.