Vulnerability Creates Connection. Time to Let Down Your Guard?
Be strong by showing weakness- how vulnerability creates connection
People fear that showing their flaws to the world will lead to scorn and derision, but vulnerability creates connection and strength.
Most people have a flawed assumption that their challenges at work and home are so unique that no one else could ever understand. Sure, maybe they’d sympathize but empathize? No way. As a result, they push down their worries, fears, concerns, hopes, dreams, and insights as if it’s their secret burden to bear. Sound familiar?
We never talk to each other about the things that are keeping us up at night, and then tell ourselves we’re alone.
In our minds, we convince ourselves that our situations are different, worse, better than everyone else. We isolate ourselves by choice for fear that we’re right and everyone is going to judge us. However, when we finally open up, something remarkable happens, we discover we’re not alone after all.
Just last week a friend shared some of her concerns about her child over lunch. “I can’t believe I’m telling you this especially when it probably isn’t normal,” she said. That’s when the unexpected news came her way… everyone else had been through something similar. We were all nodding because it mirrored our experience too. We discovered at that moment that our children were not flawed beings but simply human beings.
It’s funny how many people fear being vulnerable no matter how times we hear about the power of vulnerability. Why is that? Why do we read the books and watch the TED Talk yet still only show the world that we have our shit together? We’re on the right track. Have the answers. We’re successful, happy and well-adjusted. We got it going on.
Do you take other people's opinions too much to heart? It can be hard to let things go, but it makes for a happier life. 3Plus can help you with our Returner Roll-Up session on Developing Resilience.
It can be terrifying to go first
Will you share your most vulnerable self only to have everyone blankly stare at you and say, “No. I can’t relate at all”? Unlikely. Still, it takes a moment of bravery to be the one who’s willing to take the risk and share their truth.
Vulnerability takes strength and courage
When you share your vulnerability with others, it’s courageous. It’s inspiring. It’s what the world needs – people who are unafraid to live a life that’s not bound by constantly projecting the illusion of perfection. Let it be you who leads the way.
Instead of pretending your life is worry-free, will you lead the way with vulnerability?
Stress and worry are universal
We live in a world of worriers. No, worry alone can’t change outcomes but it does wear you down. You begin to feel like Atlas bearing the weight of the world. In your sphere of worry, you become so fixated on the weight that you miss opportunities to lighten your load.
Vulnerability creates connection
Like my friend who shared her truth, she discovered connection and support, and it’s there for you too. No one can empathize or connect with perfection; it only serves to make others go deeper into their own shells, hiding the parts that cause them pain, joy, and fear. Parts of themselves that you know all too well.
Vulnerability isn’t a liability. It’s the way humans create connection.
You don’t have to get up in front of an auditorium, or at the next team meeting, and pour your heart out. Grab a coffee with one other person and let your guard down. Say what you’re afraid to say out loud because if you do, then it’s true.
Give your brain a break
Your brain’s job is to keep you safe, but it doesn’t always make the best choices for you. Your brain may tell you that you really are alone, your issues are extreme, people will scrutinize you and even worse, dismiss you. Not true. You need to make the leap, despite the fear response.
If you don’t want to say it, write it
Looking eye to eye with someone can be enough to make you want to stay quiet, keeping your less than perfect bits and doubts to yourself. However, there are people out there longing to hear what you have to share. Write it in a note, a blog, email, or by hand. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes the words you need to say flow better from your head to your fingers than to your lips.
We all spend so much time thinking about our own lives and circumstances that we miss the opportunity to connect with people who are going through the same. We need to support each other, not isolate ourselves.
What about you? How has vulnerability changed your life? … or are you still hiding?
Connecting with people professionally can seem intimidating, particularly after a career break. Our Returner Roll-Up session will help you with Getting Back on the Networking Horse.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
But now post-recession we are apparently still seeing a decline in the office party.This is not because of continued budgetary concerns, but because of how the #MeToo movement is impacting the office party.read more
Actually, you don’t need to increase your empathy. You just need to remember how to access this key skill.read more
Swearing in the workplace used to be a big taboo, but has that changed? Can you now swear whenever and wherever you want?read more