Why People Avoid Vulnerability

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The fear of vulnerability is probably one of our biggest fears. Many of us believe that opening up to another human being is loaded with risks; if we expose ourselves, we will lose love, respect, and acceptance. As we grow up, we learn to make boundaries, create walls and put a façade around our feelings and thoughts. We begin to realize that exposing our core to another human being can hurt us deeply, so we become practiced in emotional suppression, inhibition, and denial.

vulnerability woman looking out of the window

Also, we begin to internalize other people’s thoughts about us, which makes a perfect soil for our negative thoughts to flourish. We start seeing ourselves as flawed or imperfect which nudges us to distance from other people and avoid vulnerability.

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Vulnerability in Personal Relationships

The fear of vulnerability often leads to unhealthy relationships and pain. Some people become anxious and withdrawn at a first sign that a romantic relationship is becoming intimate. Some become dependent on partner for fulfilling their needs for love and affection.

However, a healthy relationship requires not only love and trust but the vulnerability. This aspect of trust is crucial in building healthy relationships.

In other words, to build a positive relationship, you need to step out of your comfort zone and understand that no one is perfect. To boldly expose your feelings and share your true self with your partner. You need to allow each other to feel safe and protected.

Vulnerability in a personal relationship allows people to connect on a deeper level. It improves communication, strengthens mutual understanding and increases acceptance.

Vulnerability in Society

In a society that highly values self-actualization, independence, and individuality, vulnerability is generally considered a bad thing. Growing up, many of us have internalized a belief that vulnerability is a sign of weakness and imperfection. However, exposing our delicate side to others, we show courage and motivation to form strong connections. We need to learn to be vulnerable and share our deepest emotions and thoughts if we want to build meaningful relationships.

What helps to destress is human connection that evolves from vulnerability. When going through hard times, we usually don’t seek logical explanations and rational advice; we need to feel cared for, accepted, and safe. The vulnerability enables us to openly discuss our concerns and fears honestly and securely.

Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but the readiness to be yourself and to accept and love yourself as you are. It allows you to take risks and forgive yourself the flaws and mistakes. That being said, vulnerability leads to self-compassion and self-love.

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According to Brené Brown, a research professor, vulnerability and courage are two sides of the same coin. Brown believes that we cannot grow and create without taking any risks, seeing vulnerability as a foundation of innovation, creativity, and change.  

There are no guarantees in life. However, openness and acceptance can boost our personal growth and improve our relationships. The vulnerability allows us to grow and sparks our creativity. It encourages us to take risks and teaches us acceptance and self-compassion.

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Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood is a Certified Life Coach, and best-selling author. Her mission is to empower high-performing adults and teens to become resilient self-leaders by reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming imposter syndrome, working through trauma, and re-discovering their AuthenticMe®.

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My name is Kamini Wood, and I’m here to accompany you on your journey toward understanding yourself on a deeper level so can create the life you want personally and professionally. It’s time to embrace your AuthenticMe ™