Vulnerability is a strange thing. It actually means, technically, that you’re placing yourself in danger. It means you’re taking your heart out of your chest and handing it to the other person and asking them not to drop it. So yes, I would call this danger.
And this is the only way to make your heart more resilient before you take it back and place it into your chest.
Vulnerability is a thumbprint. The words are only built to work in one relationship, at a given moment, and must take into account the history of that relationship, and your understanding of each others past sensitivities in other relationships.
Vulnerability is unique to both of you, for that moment only.
Here’s how to become closer the next time you or your partner hurt each other.
- Remind yourself that the goal is to soften yourself, and soften the other. This means anger and hurt become less.
- Think about what THE OTHER is hurt about.
- Think about all the reasons that you think they should not be feeling that way. Place all of that into the recycle bin.
- Think about all the ways that none of this is your fault. Place that into the recycle bin.
- Temporarily take full responsibility as if you were the entire cause.
- Remind yourself that you are purposefully moving yourself into sensitive feelings, and discomfort is part of it.
- Remind yourself that you’re not alone, and this person wants depth with you also. They will match you if you are vulnerable first.
- Make an attempt at a statement where you explain what the other is hurting about, take much more responsibility then your ego wants to allow, and keep it short and understandable.
- You are on the right track if you feel any of these feelings: fear, overwhelm, tears, second-guessing, incompetence.
- Witness every 3 to 5 seconds if you are pushing them away or pulling them closer. The other’s tears are a good indicator.
If you have done this well, a very short amount of time has passed.
If lots of time and lots of words are going by, you are trying to prove a point, and that is about you, not about them.
Vulnerability disarms the other person and makes them vulnerable also. This is the path to closeness, or separation if you are not met here.
People must earn the right to be close to you if you come at life from this perspective.
Be humble, but know this.
Derek HART is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a Relationship Coach, Speaker, Writer, and the founder of UnderstandEachOther.com based in San Anselmo, California. He has been counseling people since 1990, with over 27,000 hours in experience. The unique experience he brings to his counseling practice is based upon years of doing his own deep inner work. A student and teacher of the human journey, Derek has continually studied the great works of the top psychology and spiritual masters of our time. Read More…