Vulnerability is a value

Who I am
Robert Maurer

Vulnerability is a value

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is an act of courage. After all, it is not strong who bears more or who wears the mask of happiness the longest. Strong is the one who shows what he feels, admitting his mistakes and his wounds.

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

Beyond what one might think, vulnerability is a value. It is another face of the reality of us human beings and, as such, it deserves to be accepted. Through it, we not only welcome the other part of our emotional universe, but we also facilitate a more intimate, as well as authentic, connection with everything around us.

You need to have great strength to allow yourself to be vulnerable. In a world where security, efficiency and strength are so highly valued, those who dare to drop their armor of apparent perfection clearly demonstrate remarkable courage. And this way of acting does not show a defeat or an act of weakness at all.

Vulnerability is a value; it is not a lack of strength or courage. It is another side of the human character. Basically, another part of our nature, which allows us to be more sensitive to our needs and, at the same time, to empathize with the pain and emotional realities of others.

"I'm so thankful because feeling so vulnerable means I'm alive."

-René Brown-

Vulnerability is a value

We are not superheroes, we are people

Mario Benedetti affirmed that perfection is nothing more than an accurate correction of errors. However, let's face it, people are not inclined to accept the mistakes, failures and changes sometimes imposed by fate. Somehow, society has accustomed us to navigate in an orderly universe made up of appearances, of masks with which to pretend resolve and good humor even when fears, pains and anxieties are throbbing within us.

From a cultural point of view, emotional and even physical vulnerability has always had a derogatory and even shameful imprint. Those who stray from the model of perfection, strength and resolve - and accept doubts and mistakes as part of the game - get to feel bad about themselves because they don't fit in with what society expects and reinforces.

On the other hand, it is curious that in the world of literature, poetry or existential philosophy of authors like Martin Heidegger, vulnerability was understood as necessary and constructive. The works of Dr. Robert D. also remind us that this dimension is another area of ​​existence. On the other hand, we are all limited, sensitive, deadly and erratic.

The balance between vulnerability and strength

It is wonderful, for example, to show our skills and abilities in certain activities or challenges, it is wonderful to demonstrate how good we are in a certain area of ​​expertise. However, admitting that sometimes you can't do or know everything is just as acceptable. In fact it is so; it is a reality.

Taking responsibility for your mistakes, showing pain, frustration or sadness in the face of circumstances that are beyond our means, or even admitting that we are going through a bad time is all admirable and recommendable. There is nothing wrong with any of this, nor do we lose value in expressing that our strength coexists with our frailty.

Vulnerability is a value, hardness is not

The toughness of character, the personality that makes use of a hard and seemingly infallible attitude, does not reach any peak in life. At least not in what really matters: happiness, well-being, respect, coexistence. Not even in the professional field are certain skills based on toughness, resoluteness and relentlessness any more recommendable.

Nowadays, it is now evident that aspects such as sensitivity, empathy and vulnerability create better work environments; better agreements are reached and the contexts in which we operate are made more human.

You are perfect when you allow yourself to be vulnerable

Brené Brown, a professor and researcher at the University of Houston, states that vulnerability is the cradle of love, of belonging, of joy, courage, empathy and creativity. Why claim that when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable we are imperfect?

For example, those who have never given themselves permission to be sad are. Who has never dared to open up to someone to communicate their emotions, feel the pain or happiness of others. Unhappy is the one who is obsessed with always showing others his competence, the hardness of his character, inflexibility and the inability to take responsibility for his mistakes. These are the dynamics that show imperfection, and this is where unhappiness lurks.

Courageous is the one who is able to show himself with his lights and shadows, with his strengths and weaknesses. Courage is falling when you can't do without it and getting up at the right time. The power of vulnerability makes us human, it gives us perfection because it makes us accept ourselves and others with all the inner richness. Nothing can be more comforting.

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