Let’s go deeper into one of the most vital parts of building trust: the ability and choice to be vulnerable. It’s fascinating that the definition of vulnerable is: “capable of, or susceptible to, being wounded; open to moral attack or criticism; difficult to defend.” In the thesaurus it is associated with the words: weak, helpless, exposed.

The description of “being vulnerable” makes it sound like something no one would want to be. And yet, it is at the very heart of what creates the healthiest, most intimate and connected relationships. What a conundrum.

In our practice, when we work with couples who are disconnected and emotionally distant from one another, the solution involves helping them be vulnerable with each other. That is where the greatest connection lives. When two people experience pain, or work through a conflict, or share deep emotions that they’ve never revealed before – together they access a feeling of closeness unlike anything they’ve felt before.

Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Texas Graduate School of Social Work and internationally known author, has been studying shame, courage, authenticity and vulnerability for years. Brené says:

We are losing our tolerance for vulnerability.”

She describes how our society has moved toward numbing ourselves from feeling vulnerable and explains the price we pay for that. I think you will enjoy this funny, yet poignant video: The Price of Invulnerability.

It’s fascinating and scary to see what is happening. It’s up to us to remain vulnerable if we desire to have the most deep, caring relationships. We would love to hear your thoughts about vulnerability in relationships.

If you are in a relationship that hurts and feel disconnected, have difficulties communicating, and/or are experiencing a crisis, Bob and I can help. Call us at 410-363-2825 or email info@relationshipswork.com.