All about feelings

Published March 15, 2022, 7:20 PM

by Dr. Kaycee Reyes

Why being vulnerable matters

Let’s talk about feelings. Have you always been comfortable in expressing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions to other people? Or have you been used to suppressing them or keeping them to yourself? This week, let’s talk about vulnerability and how it will help us live fully, instead of living with fear.   

In today’s society, a lot of individuals find it difficult to express their feelings, to be wrong, to be open, to stand up for their beliefs, or to be outspoken—in short, they find it hard to be vulnerable. Brene Brown, an American research professor, author, and academic, studied shame and vulnerability. When subjects were asked how they felt about being vulnerable, they said they felt fear, they felt like they were letting go or not being in control, and naked. This could be why we strive to be perfect in every aspect of our lives, because somehow we can avoid judgement and we do not have to show who we truly are. Or this could be the reason we try to be numb by being busy, or we always have to take control, according to Brown.

But did you know that when you are not vulnerable, you block other emotions too, like joy and happiness? Brown says that when we are vulnerable, it benefits us because we experience a whole lot of other emotions like love and joy. When we fully open ourselves to others, then we also build trust and self-esteem, we improve our relationships with them, and eventually, we learn to accept ourselves fully and be true to who we are. This is what vulnerability teaches us. In fact, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but a strength, according to Brown.

Do you remember the time you enrolled in a class where you knew no one, or when you told your teacher that you did not understand the lesson, or when you expressed an unpopular opinion to friends?

It may be difficult and uncomfortable most of the time, but in return, you begin to learn so much more about yourself and those around you. It makes you braver and it teaches you to be comfortable with uncertainty. If you try to avoid being vulnerable, then you won’t ever know what you are capable of.

Did you know that when you are not vulnerable, you block other emotions too, like joy and happiness?

It is true that it is not easy being vulnerable, and it does take time to get used to. But if there is something that can help you build more confidence, self-worth, self-love and improve your overall wellbeing, it is through vulnerability—being open to others, letting go of what others think, and accepting the unknown.  

Practicing mindfulness, trying new experiences, and being familiar with discomfort are some other ways that can help you become more vulnerable. So, start saying what you feel, and feel what you say. Eventually, you will experience the true gift of vulnerability.