Today I’m thinking about vulnerability.
Vulnerable means to be capable of being wounded physically or emotionally. It’s opening yourself up to possible attack.
That’s a really hard thing.
A woman I’m not really friends with and who is incredibly difficult to get along with has opened up to me a bit here and there. It showed me that she really is human under her self-righteous exterior. But I also thought it was weird. Doesn’t she have people to be vulnerable to? Why would she share this with me?
Perhaps she thought we were friends. I’m not sure if she noticed that I never once showed vulnerability back. In fact, when talking to her, I kept my reactions as neutral as possible.
Maybe I’m just more guarded than she is. I carefully select to whom I show weakness. My friends Jen, Lisa and Navani have gotten ample opportunity to wound me physically or emotionally lately. (Thanks for not, ladies! Much appreciated.)
But today I did something I did not want to do. I exposed vulnerability to my boss. I went into the meeting thinking, “I’m not going to tell him anything. Telling him how I feel means opening myself up, and I’m not going to do that.”
After the meeting, I texted Lisa to tell her what happened. “I like to save my vulnerability for you!” I told her. As a good friend, she texted back that it was OK. She understood my wanting to protect myself, but added that sometimes the bosses need to see that these are real people with real emotions they’re f***ing with.
So the two experiences made me think about how and when to open up. I don’t want to be a guarded person. I appreciate that I have friends who I can let that guard down with. But yeah, sometimes you just have to hold your cards close. Trust has to be earned, right?
*By the way, I’ve been playing with the site design, so don’t think you’re in the wrong place if it looks different until I find something I like.