Friendships are beautiful because they just happen. You don’t plan them nor do you randomly pick people on the streets and befriend them. However, at the very heart of any friendship lies something important and that is none other than vulnerability.
Being vulnerable can be quite frightening. Sure, you can always vent out about your struggles with your spouse but it can be a bit more difficult to open up to your friends. In fact, opening up even to a professional is tough in itself, especially if this isn’t something you are used to.
But, you are not the only one feeling this way. The truth is that a lot of people are struggling with vulnerability.
There are actually a lot of good reasons why you need to know how to be more vulnerable with friends.
What Does It Mean to Be Vulnerable with Someone?
There’s a lot of talk about vulnerability in the self-help and psychology world, but what does it really mean? Vulnerability is often confused with weakness, but the two are actually quite different. To be vulnerable is to be open and exposed, both emotionally and physically. It can be a scary thing, but it can also be incredibly liberating.
When we’re vulnerable with someone, we’re trusting them with our innermost thoughts and feelings. We’re letting them see our flaws and vulnerabilities and we’re asking them to accept us for who we are. This can be a powerful thing, because it creates a deep level of intimacy and connection. When we’re vulnerable with someone, we’re saying “I trust you enough to let down my guard.”
Being vulnerable isn’t always easy – in fact, it can often be quite frightening.
Vulnerability Breaks Down Walls
The moment you break down those barriers, your friends will also feel more comfortable in letting down their own walls.
Every person in this planet wants someone they can discuss their struggles and successes with. People want someone to confide in. It requires you to be vulnerable and sometimes, it can be very scary.
Being vulnerable might mean that you can get hurt easily. If you show your real life, you can feel the hurt and pain if someone disagrees with your choices in life. But, letting yourself form a solid bond with your friends will also give you the chance to feel respected, supported, and loved in your life. This will also let you form deep and trusting friendships so you can form your own tribe with no need to hide.
While it could be easy to fall into the trap of holding back and keeping other people at a distance because you are afraid that they will judge you, it will only make it harder to form true friendships. You have to be more intimate with your shares, share your insecurities, regrets and fears with your friends who could boost your spirits.
The bond you form with your friends will result to lasting happiness.
Vulnerability Creates Intimacy
Are you having a hard time making friends? There is a chance that it was because you are afraid to be vulnerable. To form tightly knit friendships, you need to reveal some private things about you that you just want to hide. If you don’t do this, you cannot consider them as friends but only acquaintances.
You become closer to others if you get to know more about them. Empathy is what cements any friendship. However, how will you share your experiences in life with a friend if you have the fear of opening up? Let your friends know your concerns and fears and don’t just put on a neutral face. When you do it, your friendship will become even stronger.
Vulnerability is Great Way to Show Your Trust in Your Friends
While you might be more comfortable to keep quiet about some of your personal problems, this might give off the message that you don’t see your friends as someone safe or worthy of your trust. Taking that challenge to open up with your friend creates an exact opposite effect.
When you are vulnerable, you are actually showing your friend that you want to connect with them and you have enough trust in them that you are willing to let down your guard. It is also a good way to let them know that you value their personal insights enough that you let them stay by your side even when you hit rock bottom or found yourself at a crossroad.
Vulnerability Helps You Become Open to Changes
Even if you want to change, it would be impossible to do so if you are unwilling to make an effort to change. This work will require vulnerability despite being difficult at first. For example, you got a bad habit that you should break soon such as showing up late to your get-togethers with your friends. You are desperate to break this habit as it is already starting to inconvenience your friends and ruin your plans.
Before you could stop this bad habit of yours, you have to identify its root cause at first. Do you find it follow a schedule? Do you find it difficult to manage your time? You have to dig deeper and to do so, you need to be vulnerable.
It would be impossible to analyze your darkest and deepest feelings if you don’t reveal them in the first place. Honest and serious self-analysis is required to make a change and vulnerability is the secret to find that truth.
Vulnerability Allows Your Friends to Motivate You
Mutual encouragement is one of the key purposes of friendships so you should be transparent. How will your friends validate or encourage you if you don’t even share with them what is going on in your mind?
It can be very comforting if you know that someone can relate to your own struggles and values but for you to get this validation, you have to become vulnerable and let down your guard.
The fear of not receiving this validation can stop you from forming true friendships and connections. As you try to preserve your image, you forget about the basic need for connection and trust in a relationship. When you are vulnerable, you also solidify your relationship with your friends.
Vulnerability Lets You Develop More Genuine Friendships
Yes, it can be risky to let your guard down. However, making the right choice of being your true self, insecurities and all, is the best way to form an authentic connection with your friends. When you are vulnerable, it gives your friends the permission of being and showing their own imperfect self. Your friends will feel more at ease because they know that just like them, you also have your own struggles.
When you become vulnerable to your friends and you let them see you as you are, you can create a stronger bond that is honest, open, and raw in all its glory.