Craving Connection 2: Why is it so hard to be vulnerable?

Posted by on June 9, 2011

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I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day, which made me think about an earlier blog post I wrote, “The Value of Authenticity in Relationships.” My friend and I have known each other for a number of years, and we have tried to be authentic with each other.   While I thought we were close, recent events happened that pushed us awayfrom each other and made us only discuss superficial topics.  My friend then brought up how I was a “frustrating friend,” as I only talked about superficial topics; so, the friend had lost interest in our friendship. We were both going through hardships, yet we did not share with each other.  This example shows that it is even hard to reach out to share with your friends. The friend had thought that I was always happy and bubbly; while they were having a hard time.  People do not usually confide in people they don’t trust.  However, in order to trust someone, you likely have to build a relationship with them which requires time and effort.

After my friend said that, I had an “AHA” moment.  While I had thought I was authentic, I have a hard time being vulnerable and letting others (even in this case my closest friends) know what’s going on in my heart.   The truth is, I am not always happy and bubbly and am apparently very good at masking.  Maybe I’m good at masking because in the society where I was raised, you are taught to always put your best foot forward.  Your image is very important, and success is what matters.  When people ask, “How are you?”, they don’t want to hear about all the things that are going on in your life, so most people respond with “good.”  I guess I thought/was taught that appearing as if you have it all together shows a sign of strength.  However, truth is everyone has struggles as no one’s life is perfect.  I think it’s important to get people talking about what’s going on in their lives; and for all of us who have walls, to break them down.   I have a hard time letting down my walls as I don’t want to be judged.  However, your friends and family will stand by you and help you through hardships.  Life is not meant to go through alone.  Odds are, others are going through similar things to you.

So THANK YOU friend for the reminder to be more vulnerable in my relationships and to open up more.  I’ve learned my lesson and am going to take off my mask.  I’m going to be honest when people ask me how I’m doing.

It may be hard to be both strong and vulnerable, but it is so worth it!

(c) Arianna's Random Thoughts

(c) Arianna’s Random Thoughts

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!

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8 Responses to Craving Connection 2: Why is it so hard to be vulnerable?

  1. Foxy

    Yeah – it can be very hard to let people in and show them your emotional and perhaps even a little bit crazy side. It sounds like your friend did you a huge favor in letting you know that you don’t have to hold everything in (which can be super overwhelming). It is difficult today to differentiate being strong and independent from opening up to those around you because you are so used to depending on yourself. This post made me smile though, it reminds me about how wonderful it is to have those very close friends <3 – thanks for sharing! :)

  2. ariannasrandomthoughts

    Thanks! You’re welcome. It was a message I had to share :) Very close friends are awesome and such an important part of one’s life. I had opened up to this person before and have other friends that I share with. I’m really thankful for this reminder that you don’t have to go through life alone. Being strong doesn’t mean dealing with it all on your own. However, i think its important to be open in all relationships. If they don’t love you through the hard times, they aren’t true friends.

  3. Foxy

    YES! Totally! A true friend is someone who will stay with you through thick and thin! My friend thinks that God gives us angels in the form of friend to pick you up and let you know that you are never alone…she is cute like that, haha.

    • ariannasrandomthoughts

      I think that’s so true. Thats is cute :) I think its really important today that we reach out to others as so many people feel alone. I think with the internet (specifically social networking sites) we feel this sense of closeness which can be good and bad. Good because we can become closer to people who are willing to get closer. However, it can be bad as some people put out this image that they are so happy, yet could be in tears at the screen.

  4. Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities

    Being vulnerable is so important and also so hard. We are trained to appear a certain way, to mask as you say, and it takes real effort and work to remove that mask. But it’s worth the effort; only when we are real can we truly connect with others and live well and honestly.

    So thrilled to have found you and your wonderful words!

    • ariannasrandomthoughts

      So true! Thanks for reading :) I’m so glad I found your blog. Will totally have to read your posts and contribute a lot as we have similar posts. I’m excited.

  5. matthewneugebauer

    wow I’ve been thinking/feeling the exact same things. gotta go deeper even with just a few friends and not spread myself too thin and only scratching the surface!

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