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Thoughts Arising From A Conversation

Posted by CitizenGirl , 26 April 2007 · 316 views

A conversation with a friend made me wonder about emotional vulnerability...

What does it take to be vulnerable?

Just thinking about what conditions have to apply before we can allow ourselves to bear our heart and our souls. And what circumstances make us regret our vulnerability and withdraw from the situation at hand?

First of all, and most importantly, I think there has to be a basis of trust. If you don't trust someone, you can't allow yourself to have a more-than-surface conversation with that person. In order to get that far, you have to have some sort of connection between two people that's padded with that special trustworthy lining. Not only do you have to trust that person, you have to trust yourself. Confidence, I think, might play a role here. If you believe your confidant will judge you unfairly for your feelings/thoughts/actions/etc., you're less likely to allow yourself to even enter that mode of vulnerability. So yes, trust. Big thing.

So, you take a leap of faith. You expose a part of yourself to someone, something that you've vowed to keep hidden, and you see what happens. Wondering and waiting for that response to show on their face or in their words can be the hardest...just waiting...for something...anything...

What can make us regret our actions of vulnerability? Not receiving a reciprocating reaction. Did I say that right? Basically, not getting something in return. When you first meet someone, there is a pattern to the conversation. For each bit of self-disclosure, you will usually get the same tidbit of information in return. Example:

"What highschool did you go to?"
"Me? Well, I graduated from Nuff Nuff HS."
"Really? I'm from Nincompoop HS."

Simple, really. And it's the same with situations of vulnerability.

If you bear a bit of your heart to someone, you're letting some privite thoughts leak into their own knowledge. They now have that information to do with as they please. What you hope is that they'll divulge some tidbit to you as well. Maybe it's a similar feeling or a similar situation. Whatever it might be, you hope maybe they'll share something back with you.

When that doesn't happen, and you're met with simply a very closed statement or a simple answer that you weren't expecting, you immediately doubt your decision to share in the first place. You wonder if you made the right choice. Perhaps you should have just kept your mouth shut or not done anything or not written that email or etc. And, because of your uneasiness, you draw back within yourself a bit further. A hesitation is now built up within you to stretch out again, so you'll just stay where you are rather than meet the consequences.

I don't know. Just some thoughts on my mind.

July 2020

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