Did you know the word “vulnerability” already includes the possibility that you WILL get attacked…? By being vulnerable it’s like we are already calling in haters.
I know that when Brené Brown really made that word buzz, she meant for people to learn to OPEN up to a new style of communication and not only share their “pretty” side or public persona to the world, but also their shadow, their struggles, their pains.
This is a good thing. I love Brené Brown.
But, then, I also realized that… every time I said the word “vulnerable” I felt myself cringe. I HAVE been a highly sensitive person who has opened up to many people AND been hurt many times. As I was younger, I was often told how “open” I was.
As the years have passed, blurred lines have made me almost unable to recognize at times: am I being open here? Or vulnerable? Not?
Talking to one of my mentors, she pointed out how I could get vulnerable or open with my husband and tell him what is going on and what I am needing. I realized that meant—I just needed to be transparent and share the stuff going on inside of me. I was probably not setting up or opening myself to be hurt; quite the contrary.
And that’s when I stumbled on that subtle but significant change: when I use the word “vulnerable”, it almost makes me want to hunch over, expecting to be hurt, which is why from now on I will be using the word “open” for when I am wanting to share more transparently about the matters of my heart. I will only use the word “vulnerable” when I truly mean THAT, such as in the case of a population more vulnerable to certain diseases, or an immune system being vulnerable to xy or z, and other examples like that.
When I am open, I can learn who and how to share in such a way that, if others disagree, that’s totally fine, and if they attack for some reason, I know to set a boundary or to simply remember who it’s coming from. If I am hurt, well, okay, I can take that and work with it. But what if I am not? At least with my choice of words I am not always setting myself up for it, not anticipating that will happen. I feel like at this point in my life I am prepared to deal with it in the case it does happen, and I rather open myself to the possibility that it won’t anymore. Done being or playing a victim. I am strong and surrounded by loving people.