What does it mean to be "vulnerable" ?
September 29, 2012 3:15 PM Subscribe
"You have to let yourself be vulnerable" is too vague to be helpful. Tell me what it means?
posted by windykites to Human Relations (24 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
So I'm single and lonely, etc., and I've read a bunch of the relationship questions, and they had great insightful advice, which is great, but I need specifics.
This advice keeps coming up: that it's important to let yourself be vulnerable, to be open, to have space in your life for a potential partner. I have no idea what that looks like or how it plays out in real life. I don't have a background that included a lot of people being vulnerable in any way other than to be manipulative. I don't have an example to emulate.
It sounds like really good advice- it sounds exactly like the advice that I should be following; I definitely have a lot of walls, especially when it comes to romance. I know that I keep potential close friends and romantic partners at a distance, but I can't pinpoint what specific behaviours have that effect. I do know that the more I care about or want to be close to someone, the stronger my drive to push them away/ stay inside myself can sometimes become. But again, I don't know what actually makes them remain distanced, unless it's just my internal resistance somehow being apparent. It's not like I start being mean to these people (except jokingly).
I don't know how people who don't have these walls behave. I need practical, concrete examples and descriptions of what "letting yourself be vulnerable" etc., entails. If there are examples in tv. shows or movies or books that I can watch and learn from (while understanding that fiction is fiction, etc), of people who are open, vulnerable, whatever, that's great. Or if you can give me some comparisons of open behaviour vs. closed behaviour, that's great too.
I'm not looking for advice about finding love or on being single or figuring out what happened in my life to make me how I am or about getting therapy, in a general way (I'm already in therapy; this is something that my therapist can't help me with). I need an explaination of a concept, this concept of vulnerability, and how that plays out, because I really can't identify it, unless it's totally artificial, at which point it becomes repellant.
(note that I've seen the threads on steps to take to open up to people and, while helpful, they don't really help me flesh out this idea in my mind; they're coming from the wrong angle to answer this question.)