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1 point
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Vulnerability 'n' Shit

Posted by Bromosapien on May 5, 2016 at 3:20 am in People



I've been reading a lot of work by author and social worker, Brene Brown. She focuses on really interesting concepts. Using qualitative research methods such as storytelling and interviews, she has developed different approaches to how people handle different difficult situations in their life ("adversity").

The book I'm currently reading is called Rising Strong (focuses on how people overcome adversity). There's a lot if different ideas in this book. But the one I find myself meditating on the most lately is vulnerability.

Excerpt from Rising Strong:

"I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage."

Brown talks about how we must be vulnerable within our lives. I find it interesting that she challenges us to do this... Especially because our society tells us to "be strong, don't cry, no weakness!" And that goes double for men in our society.

Vulnerability. Showing our emotions. Communicating our fears. Trying something, even if we may fail at it.

Over the past years, I've found it hard to be vulnerable with people. I used to practice it daily...I connected so well with others because I was vulnerable with them and, in turn, they felt they could be vulnerable with me. That shifted for me in the past years. It's caused problems in my intimate relationships. It's hard to trust people. It's hard to be vulnerable. It's affected my friendships because I feel like I can't truly trust people in my life. Anyways, this post isn't about that. But that is my truth, my experience, so far.

I'm interested to hear what people think. Or have to say on the subject of vulnerability.
Do you find it hard to be vulnerable? When? With who? Why?

that is my truth, my experience, so far.

I'm interested to hear what people think. Or have to say on the subject of vulnerability.
Do you find it hard to be vulnerable? When? With who? Why?

Here's a link to Brene Brown's writing on vulnerability:

Here's a link to her TedX Talk:

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tecksbuk 1 point

Vulnerability is fascinating and has been on my mind a lot lately. (Love the reference to Brene Brown, btw!)
After meeting quite a few people this past year from different cultures I really think that shaming openness is definitely an American thing. Take the phrase "no homo" for example... for some reason it is bad and shameful to show affection for someone of the same sex/gender. In European cultures it is not uncommon to greet your friends with a smooch no matter their gender. Something about the way Americans socialize feels so fake and isolating. It is a curious phenomenon. How did we get to this point?

Muskeg 1 point

In terms of emotional vulnerability, I think that it is safe to say that vulnerability = courage. If you are open and expose your true self to another person that almost always takes courage of some kind, even for the most out-going person. By that same token, it is easy to become scarred from such an experience should it run afoul, and then not move on to the next chapter of emotional vulnerability in your life. I have found that, in that sense, the "heart" (emotional/symbolic organ), is just like any other muscle in that those moments of vulnerability and/or pain that you experience ultimately exercise and expand your heart's ability to function and be compassionate to others. But just like any exercise routine, it is possible to over-do it and hurt yourself irreparably.

Physical vulnerability can be a different topic all together. Think of the times that you are truly 100% physically vulnerable. They are almost always matters of life or death (copulation, surgery, sleep, etc.). In that regard I am not so sure how much courage plays into these events so much as fear and self-preservation do.

Coyote 1 point

Its curious that we are very vulnerable when we're younger. As toddlers we are both vulnerable (emotionally, too) and trusting. We know that, if we cry, nobody is going to make fun of us for it. That's why, when a toddler cries because their sad and some adult mocks them or yells at them to "get over it", "quit whining" or "grow up" you have instant asshole. Its scarring. And when you're a teen and you're just figuring out what the heck your emotions all mean and how to regulate them, you open up to someone and they break your heart (maybe they were the asshole above or maybe THEY were experimenting and it got away from them) and it has the same result. The lesson is scarring and the resultant person learns that vulnerable = target = victim. Some people really are into that feeling but most of us don't like it. So we avoid it at all costs. But I agree with the excerpt above (I've never read the author and don't want to sound like I have): vulnerability IS important! But its hard to do, especially with everyone being judged 24/7 on (other) social media. Got a few pounds on you? Post a bathing suit pic and you feel vulnerable. Bam! People come out of the woodwork to hit you with the "did you make the right decision wearing that?" bullcrap. Yeah, its important to be vulnerable but I can totally see why some people have a hard time with it.

alleyway 3 points

The point of being vulnerable here is not exactly how I would word it though the content does make sense. You can be comfortable in routine and be bored with life or happy but live in the same style as those around. Being vulnerable means having weakness pertaining to different things. Having weakness to those you love and trust is a wonderful thing if they do not take advantage of you. In a world of people that for a majority are actually selfish (it's nature, it's not bad) being vulnerable winds you up with a missing wallet and people that know they can take advantage of you being the peer group. Courage and vulnerability are not one in the same. If the author would choose choice word "selfless" the point would be more clear. Being selfless is the opposite of selfish. It means with out vulnerability you put the same value on others and their needs as your own. With being selfless over vulnerable, you also understand that you are strong, capable and that any change for the people is not done out of vulnerability. Selfless people are not vulnerable though it may seem so, because though few and far between they identify that the best that people can be is together. All of mans' greatest moments were not procurred by one single person but from hundreds of years of constructive trial and error with indexing. None of the scientists that have achieved greatness did it on their own, alone. They needed content, opinion, information to prove or disprove. To take of your shoes and take the last $5 out of your wallet to give it to a homeless, that is not vulnerability. That is understanding from a selfless point that the state of the human in front of you has as much potential as you, no more and no less even if they choose to do nothing with it.


You may be on to something...