August 28, 2017
Let’s Talk: Vulnerability
We all get into these patterns of disconnection. Underneath our defensive strategies, we are just feeling hurt and afraid as humans. This is universal in all human nature. These softer and deeper feelings can take two forms, either fearing abandonment, or fearing rejection.
Abandonment might sound like: I’m alone, uncared for, unseen, I don’t get responded to.
Rejection might sound like: I’m criticized, I’m inadequate, I’m failing, I’m unwanted.
When we are hurt and fearful at such a deep level, it’s very difficult to reach out and admit this. To actually share this with one another, takes tremendous courage. Of course, when we are feeling abandoned or rejected, we don’t want to take a risk and then be dropped even more.
It feels counterintuitive to give this advice, but it’s one of those universal truths. If you take the risk and share these deeper, submerged feelings, most often, you will get a supportive response. The Latin word for vulnerability means to wound. So to open yourself up in this way, instead of putting on your armor, means you open yourself up to getting hurt. Your partner will see this, and will see the tremendous gift you are giving them in digging up these difficult-to-reveal feelings, and offering them open hands, open heart, white flag, to them in the process.
Take a chance this week, and when you feel yourself getting hurt or afraid, let your partner know that you are having a hard time.
Tell your partner that you have got a deeper response going on inside of you, that might be hard to share, but that you are deeply impacted by what is happening between the two of you, when you feel so disconnected from each other.
Not sure what feelings you need to be revealing, or needing a open and accepting space to reveal them to your partner? Close friend and colleague Kimberly Sandstrom Therapy and I are holding an upcoming Hold Me Tight class, a Couples Therapy San Diego workshop at the end of September that might be the helpful nudge you and your partner need to start.
Couples Image by The Kitcheners: http://thekitcheners.co.uk/2015/05/glencoe-wedding-photography.html