I am really bad at being vulnerable- I mean really vulnerable. Even now as I right, I can feel myself holding my breath a bit. But at the same time I feel like it is an important thing to do.
I’ve had two conversations this week (yes it is only Monday) about being vulnerable, and how it makes me nervous, and thinking about why that is.
One was with a friend of mine. He is someone who confuses me quite a bit, and somewhat makes me nervous. He confuses me because I seem him as the opposite of myself. I see him being louder and freer. I see him hanging out with people that would never talk to me. He confuses me because he has been (and still is) pursuing my friendship (maybe more- at one point it was that as well). No matter how flaky I have been, no matter how long we have gone without speaking- he is then there, calling me, wanting to see him, wanting to talk to me. And it still doesn’t make sense to me, why. He makes me nervous, a bit because I notice his pursuit of me, and I don’t understand (and I like to understand things-even though I know, that there are things I will never understand). He also makes me nervous because he questions me; he wants to know what I actually think- and he is able to tell when I am not actually sharing.
We spoke about this a bit yesterday (well, it was a few day conversation over Facebook), starting with how we met- which was a bit ridiculous. Both of us thinking that we would never see again, but then we did- only a day later. And then, he was talking to me often. I told him that he makes me nervous, less now that he did at first that is for sure. And it is because I know that he wants me to be vulnerable. I know that if I don’t want to talk about something, like really don’t want to, he won’t push me. But he knows when to push me, and how to read me. Something that I don’t let many people do/not many are able to. [I know, maybe I like him/he likes me- that too makes me nervous (yes, I know, a sign) because he is so different, and I couldn’t (still can’t) tell if the nervousness is the good kind, or the bad kind].
After everything that happened last year, someone suggested that I speak to a therapist to try and find a space for everything; to help me put myself back together from being broken. I have to say it is one of the hardest things that I do. All I have to do is sit and talk about myself, and I sit there not sure what I am supposed to say (yes, I know there is nothing I am ‘supposed’ to say). It is really hard bring up conversations that are in my head, and yes I am having them all the time (you all get to read some of them, hopefully they aren’t too rambly). Today, we spoke about why I talk more of things I do rather than things that I feel, and I said that it is because I don’t like to be vulnerable. She asked why I don’t, and my answer was that there aren’t always people to hold me in that state. I also don’t want to sound stupid, and so if it just stays in my head, then no one will be able to think that about me (at least with regards to issue x). But on my walk home I got to thinking about this more.
I started thinking about relationships. Thinking about the fact that I fear that there is something wrong with me, that is why I haven’t dated that much. And maybe that is that there have been guys willing to be there when I was down, listen to things that I say, but when it comes to actually dating me they don’t want to- that I am too much for some reason. That it is scary to be vulnerable, because when I am, they tend to leave at some point. That being vulnerable means that I can fall and break, because people don’t always have time for me.
I don’t like being vulnerable because I don’t want to be a burden on others. For as long as I can remember, I am the one that people go to speak to when they need something. I am very independent, both out of necessity, but also because I don’t want others to worry about me. There is enough to worry about, that I should not be one of them- in some ways I don’t see my problems as that important or big.
I don’t like being vulnerable, because I think that what I am thinking is stupid, and then saying it out loud maybe other people will think I am stupid to. I don’t want to do it wrong (even speaking to her, I am always thinking to myself ‘am I doing this right?’). When I think of ways that people describe me, it is usually “smart” and “nice”- and what if they find out that neither (or either) of these things is not true. Then what am I? Then what good am I?
It is funny that even though I was shy as a child (and even a bit now) I still like people to notice me. I want people to pay attention to me- maybe that is why I picked the job that I want. That I have the quietness, but I want to be noticed, but I guess I look down on the really loud people, so I don’t want people to think that is me- so I find other ways to be noticed. Even now, I find myself seeking out ways to be seen. I have been writing more, and even been thinking about sharing what I have been writing (up until now 99.9% of who reads this, I have no idea who you are- very rarely will I send a link to a specific person), or at least figuring out ways that more people will read what I have to say- because I don’t really know how else to share it. I have done a bit of modelling in the past year- which is kidna funny, I’m not the typical model body type (I’m 5″2, curvy, just normal looking). But I want my pictures places; I want people to see me. Maybe that is it, that I want people to notice me, but not only for my brain (I mean, I have been saying this for years). I have a body, I am female, I too want to be looked at as that, and not only as the one who learns well and is nice to old people.
So, how to be more vulnerable? I really am not sure. It is something that makes me hold my breath a little, but at the same time I think that it is important. I know that it is the only way that things will be able to happen in my life. Taking risks is being vulnerable (although I guess professionally I am more ok with it than emotionally…)
Last night I saw a very interesting TED talk on the idea. Listening to her talk really resonated with me. That the reasons that people don’t like to be vulnerable tends to have to do with shame. But the only way to get farther in life, to allow one’s self to be vulnerable.
So here is to trying to open up a bit more. Make it not so scary- and I will see what happens next.
How do you feel about being vulnerable? What are times that you allow your self to be vulnerable? How do you do that?