Vulnerability is a four-letter word.

This blog post about being vulnerable struck a chord with me. I’m not very pleased about writing this, because I prefer to live in my delusional world that I’m almost always right/perfect and have few if any flaws, but this post really brought me down a peg or 7.

Fact: I don’t do vulnerable.

I can’t pinpoint exactly where, but for a long long time now, I associate vulnerability with weakness. It’s taken me a while, but I no longer think when someone else gets weepy or is emotional that they are less than me, but I flat out refuse to show that side of myself. I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of people who have seen me cry in my adult life (this includes the woman who removes the hair from my upper lip.) I don’t feel comfortable expressing sadness, grief, disappointment or fear. Give me anger, rage, joy and lust any day of the week. I’ve read enough to know that I won’t connect with people or establish true interpersonal relationships with people because I don’t show my vulnerability but frankly, it’s just not in the cards for me to call up someone and tell them that I had a super shitty day and I just wanted to share. I have to be pulled, while kicking and screaming, into sharing my emotions. I go on auto-pilot when someone asks me how I am. The words “I’m fine.” have rolled off my tongue more than a million times and even if I show a hint of not being fine, no one pushes me to elaborate.

While I could have not written anything about this, this sentence struck me:

“Lame not just because I can be a gigantic asshole but lame because I am then never ever getting my actual needs met when I express myself this way. “

Fuck. I hate not being able to place the blame on someone other than me.

The blogger’s New Year’s resolution is to be more vulnerable in 2011. She’s going to accomplish this goal by focusing on 3 tasks.:

“1) tune into my true feelings, 2) disclose those true feelings (admit when I’m wrong, admit when I’m afraid), and 3) take into consideration the feelings of others and be open to their emotional processes (especially when they’re unlike mine.)”

I think I have a good handle on steps 1 and 3; being married to HHP has made me empathetic. I can tell when people are upset and I think I’m ok with dealing with other people’s emotions. But step 2 is the biggest one for me; I think I’d rather go to the dentist and gynecologist while simultaneously getting my upper lip hair removed then disclose any negative feelings I have, but I’m going to challenge myself to try. What’s the worst that could happen?


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