17 Jan Strength Through Vulnerability: 4 Tips For Sharing Myself With Others
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
I will be honest – I have absolutely no idea how I accumulated the fantastic people who are in my life. There is a saying that if you can count the number of people you are close to on one hand you are blessed. Well, I’m counting using both hands and my toes!
I will say that I’m not very outgoing, in fact, I’ve been told I am unapproachable at times. I suppose the friends in my life are the people who probably picked up on my positive vibes and weeded through the walls to get to the yummy gooey goodness in my centre.
When I made that life-changing decision to share my authentic self with my close friends, I was in beads of perspiration. It was a nerve-wracking task of what I should say to whom – how should I phrase this struggle? With each new person I had to think what was the best way to introduce my tribulations, my insecurities, my heartbreak, my confusion. Would they even understand?
I asked myself, what was I really afraid of? That answer was easy. I was afraid of being misunderstood or having my feelings dismissed, of being judged, of no longer being loved or respected by those closest to me.
Being vulnerable is not just about showing the parts of you that are shiny and pretty and fun. It’s about revealing what you deny or keep hidden from other people. We all do this to some extent. I bet you’ve never said to a friend, “Oh my god, I just love that I’m insecure.”
But that’s the point, isn’t it? You’ve got to love everything about yourself if you want to be vulnerable by choice.
There are certain actions I take or techniques I use before sharing deeply with anyone:
I have to truly believe (and I mean TRULY BELIEVE in the depths of my soul) that the person cared about my physical, mental and emotional well-being.
I phased information in bits and pieces and observed how they would respond. More importantly, if their behavior changed after I revealed a bit of my insecurities/vulnerabilities to them. It didn’t even have to be the secret I needed to reveal but some other story which may be uncomfortable or squeamish.
I knew that for most, they might not be able to empathise, but it was a risk I would have to take.
I wouldn’t share a shameful story unless I had come to a deep level of acceptance that it occurred. In my case I don’t necessarily need to resolve the problem before sharing. I just needed to own the story.
I don’t know if you should share your deepest darkest secrets with anyone. I can’t give you a road map on how to determine who is trustworthy or not. We have all been there. We have misplaced our trust and have been burned in the 3rd degree. But I will say this, in my case honesty, has set me free and it has allowed for more open communication with the people in my life.