Papers

Understanding our vulnerability

June 7, 2024by Editorial Team
become imperfectly perfect

Strange are the ways we valorize life, regardless of whether we are living life itself or not. The myths that compel us behave the way we do, lie deep within our subconscious. The onus of breaking forth lies on us

The real and the fake

The world has been conditioned to believe that the capability to suppress one’s real emotions and masking them with a façade of a smile is a sign of ‘strength’. People make their best efforts to express themselves as perfect. It is time now to become imperfectly perfect by embracing our own selves with much more positivity and honesty.
Our reluctance to accept our vulnerabilities.

At the root of our reluctance to accept our vulnerability lies our erroneous notion of life. Our understanding of vulnerability is mostly a restricted one, largely driven by the idea of perfection.It could range from having a perfect score in the report card, meeting unrealistic beauty standards, high income and so on. Life thus becomes a journey of chasing perfections, sadly forgetting how to ‘live’ life itself. We project ourselves as ‘strong’ individuals, unmoved by emotion; with the hidden notion that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness. In reality this makes us lose our uniqueness.

We teenagers have often been told with good intent to stop analysing our emotions and concentrate on studies. However such instructions often cause youngsters to become inexpressive. Human emotions are complex and we all need to give ourselves time to analyse our emotions and introduce ourselves to our true selves.

Intolerance towards emotions makes people lose the courage to embrace their vulnerability. We feel uncomfortable when others try to open up to us, since that is the way we have grown up. We feel that advising that person to stop wallowing can improve the situation, while all he wants could be just a listening ear.

 

Misconceptions about vulnerability

Some people believe that exposing one’s vulnerability is the same as oversharing, or, revealing every minute detail about one’s life. In reality it is all about selectively sharing and connecting genuinely with those around. Further, vulnerability is thought to be associated with weakness while in reality it is a strength; rather the courage to open up and share about our feelings and admit our imperfections.Vulnerability is thought to be associated with negative emotions alone, such as fear, sadness or pain, while it actually embraces the entire world of emotions. Expressing joy, love, and gratitude can be just as vulnerable as sharing our struggles, particularly when it is not addressed to an empathetic ear. Lastly, we feel that vulnerability is all about the other to express to us, blissfully in denial of the need to expose our own. In reality, we all benefit from each others’ vulnerabilities. As we embrace each others’ vulnerability, we are being honest and allow ourselves to be seen.

Mustering strength from our vulnerability

The essence of vulnerability has been most powerfully summed up in the words of Chris Jammi: “To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” Vulnerability teaches us the way to demonstrate authenticity and courage. It takes a strong willpower to be able to admit the fears, insecurities and imperfections rather than putting up a façade of invulnerability. It holds forth an individual’s emotional resilience, which only gets stronger with practice. It opens the door to deeper individual connections and allows us to know each other better. When we share our struggles, hopes, dreams, we create bonds based on empathy.This process of sharing one’s deepest emotions is an uncomfortable terrain which empowers one to take calculated risks. As we treat ourselves with self compassion rather than berating ourselves for being vulnerable, we feel more humane.

 

The art of embracing our vulnerability

Start with self belief as you prioritize your feelings.Develop a mind-set where we accept ourselves the way we are. Simultaneously one should pair this attitude with empathy, providing comfort and assurance to others. Here it becomes important to assess the trustworthiness of the person to share our vulnerabilities with, as reasonable boundaries should be set as well. For this, we need to ascertain whether the person is trustworthy and is worthy enough to share our vulnerabilities with. We need to observe their reaction keenly and be confident of their consistent nature before we become ready to open up ourselves before them.

 

About the author

The article has been contributed by Shoumyosree Mal from Auxilium Convent School, Bandel.

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