In today’s society, displaying emotional vulnerability is mocked and shunned. Some would argue it’s a sign of weakness, while others may believe it’s a lack of emotional control. In all actuality, it is a sign of strength. However, this was not my perspective on the matter until now. Years ago, I lived in a world where I was too afraid to open up and be emotionally vulnerable with anyone. The truth is my childhood traumas contributed to the lack of confidence I should have had in myself and the capability to display deep emotions. As a result, this behavior continued into adulthood and eventually led me to shut down completely.
I was so aloof in my behavior that even my ex-boyfriends would label me as a cold, uncaring, and distant partner. For a while, I could not see the destructive ways in my demeanor. I certainly did not recognize that I was not expressive with my feelings; that I lacked showing affection and was bare on being attentive. I knew something in me had to change. So I vowed in my next relationship, I would be emotionally vulnerable and let my partner see a side of me that I was too afraid to show anyone else.
Shortly after, I took that leap of faith. I wanted to show my partner the softer side of me as well as for him to understand who I am. When I opened up, I told him everything. My hopes, dreams, past, and fears. The distressing circumstances in my life that were too painful for me to think about. However, I soon discovered that being emotionally vulnerable with the wrong person came at a cost; to my mental and emotional health. Unfortunately, he used my most vulnerable moments to manipulate, control, humiliate and degrade me. And in an instant, I was back to square one. I remained in that energy for a couple of years, not realizing the damage I had been causing to myself until now.
I finally understand that emotional vulnerability is a Strength. Although we cannot control someone’s intentions or if they will be honest, we can choose if they will have a place in our life. People are flawed. There’s no way to know if you can trust someone, as this will take some time to reveal. However, never being vulnerable only sets you up. It shuts everyone out, and you may find yourself lonely, missing out on those who may serve a purpose in your life. I know how hard it is to open up after being burned many times. Not everyone has impure intentions, so take baby steps. Remember, it is a strength. Embrace it.