Being vulnerable in front of someone is not something that makes us look cool, but is it a strength or a weakness?
There are a lot of traits and things we do that make us look cool even if they sound like a weakness, like being stubborn, blunt, arrogant, or being a know-it-all and we are not afraid of being called any of those. However, we are afraid of being vulnerable most of the time. The reality is that those are real weaknesses that can negatively impact our life, while being vulnerable has a lot of benefits that we will discuss in this article.
Many times we do things not because they are good or bad but more because they have a good or bad reputation, especially when we are teenagers, if it doesn’t sound cool, we don’t do it. The problem is that this habit is hard to change once you have it.
Is vulnerability a weakness?
No, vulnerability isn’t a weakness, more than that, it is the most important thing for making real friendships and relationships.
All of us have weaknesses, down moments, difficulties, and struggles in life. Being able to open up and show someone else the real you is actually a sign of confidence.
Read Also: Is Being A Good Person Worth It?
Is vulnerability considered a strength?
Vulnerability is a strength because it tightens your relationship with other people. However, it is not considered a strength by many people since if you are not paying attention to when and with whom you are vulnerable, some people might abuse it.
Another reason why it is not considered a strength is that we are not encouraged to open up to people and be vulnerable since we are young. Many quotes and sayings encourage us to do the exact opposite, and people share them all over the internet because they sound good and make them feel good. Many popular quotes are about “trusting nobody but yourself” and this might sound cool, but is it good for you?
We have to start trusting people around us, especially the ones we know better, love and respect, yes you might be disappointed from time to time but trusting no one is a sure way of losing them. Who wants to spend time with people that don’t trust them?
If you are not opening up and talking about personal things with friends, you will have surface-level discussions about work, weather, food, etc. Why would a friend choose you for that and not someone else?
Pros and cons of being vulnerable with someone
Here are some pros and cons of being vulnerable, I talk about being vulnerable with friends and family since we already decided that being vulnerable with people you barely know is not a great idea.
This is the main benefit of being vulnerable, you can build trust since people get to know you better and in a more honest way.
It is impossible to build a great relationship or friendship without being vulnerable.
Being vulnerable gives you a chance to be more authentic and honest. If you don’t want to be vulnerable, you will have to avoid or even lie about your personal life because that is what being vulnerable means, to be able to talk about your personal life and things that you really think and care about.
We don’t like to think this way about people being less or more replaceable, but at the same time, we all changed the friends and even family members we hang out with.
That means that some friends are more replaceable than others, it is not about completely avoiding them, but if someone doesn’t talk about personal things with you, that makes it more replaceable in a way.
The thing is that we all have unique life and special life experiences, but if we don’t want to talk about those with someone, we will end up talking about superficial stuff all the time, and that can be done with almost anyone.
I can talk about work with a dozen of people at least about the weather with almost everyone, but about a friend’s personal life, thoughts, and experiences, I can talk only with that specific friend, and that makes that friend special, I can’t replace that friend with someone else and have the same discussions and experience.
That doesn’t mean you have to talk about personal stuff and experiences all the time, but if you never open up and let yourself be vulnerable, you are more replaceable, even if you like it or not.
When you let yourself be vulnerable with someone, and you open up about your life, you become more relatable because everybody has their problem and difficulties, and them seeing that you also have those makes you more relatable.
We all know those people that seem to have a perfect life, and when you get to know them better, you see that it is not near perfect. That is the moment when they become vulnerable, and funny enough, most people are more respected than compared to when they show a perfect life.
Sometimes you conclude that from some of their behaviors and things they do, but the conclusion is that no one has a perfect life, and being vulnerable makes people in front of you have an easier time opening up themselves.
-Abuse (intentional or not)
The biggest disadvantage of being vulnerable is that people might abuse your trust.
Many times are intentional because they are just bad people and you shouldn’t trust them, but sometimes it is unintentional. Some people will talk about your personal life with others, not necessarily to gossip with bad intentions, but they don’t realize that it might put you in awkward situations or things like that.
So you should be aware of this risk when you open up with someone. If they are very extroverts and like to talk a lot and will share information about you with others by mistake, all you can do is explicitly tell them that this is not something you would want other people to know. Then you at least eliminate the part with”by mistake,” and if they still share that with others, you know who not to trust from now on.
It’s easier to manipulate someone that you know better, and you know what they care about, so being vulnerable has this risk.
I know those two risks sound bad, and they might discourage you when it comes to being vulnerable, but the advantages are worth it, and they happen way more often than the disadvantages.
Yes, you don’t have to be naive and think there are no downsides to being vulnerable, but now, at least, you know what to expect.
Read Also: How To Be Confident Without Being Arrogant?
Being vulnerable, honest, and able to talk about my personal life is a strength. It got me several great friendships and an awesome relationship with my wife since we both see being vulnerable in the same. I might have an easier time being vulnerable with more people than her, but in general, we believe that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness, especially when we talk about people that we really care about.