One of the greatest human needs is to feel connected to others and this can relate to an intimate relationship with the opposite sex or the same, depending on one’s sexual preference and to family and friends. To share who one is and to be involved in the sharing of another, plays a vital role in our wellbeing.
Without the deep sharing of who one is with other people, life can be lonely and feel empty. And like most things in life that are meaningful, to experience deep connections with others can take time. This is because trust needs to be formed and this is not something that can be rushed or forced to occur.
There is the possibility that a deeper connection can form sooner, but this will depend on how open the people are and now much of a connection there is. One can meet someone and the connection is there more or less instantly. And with others, this can be a gradual process.
So in order for this deeper connection to form, one will need to be vulnerable and the other person will need to mirror this behaviour at some point. If one person becomes vulnerable and the other person doesn’t mirror the behaviour at first, it might not be a problem.
But if they don’t become vulnerable at any point in the relationship, then the chance for a deeper connection to form will not take place. There will be no growth made and the relationship could stay as it is, or it could come to an end.
For if one person has the need to connect and the other person does not, one could move away and place their time and attention on another relationship that is has the potential to be fulfilling.
While the need to connect deeply with other people can be there, there are fears that can get in the way of this taking place. And if these are strong enough, they will stop one from achieving a deeper connection with others.
What they truly need to experience is then replaced with what is not fulfilling. Here, one could have relationship with others that are superficial in nature. They might call these people friends or someone their partner, but there is very little depth involved.
At a conscious level this person could also complain to themselves and others that no one is there for them. But the reason they are not experiencing deeper connections is due to their own inner blocks and the conflict that is going on internally.
When one is vulnerable, they are open about their lives, how they feel and how they don’t feel and their challenges and achievements for instance. This is what enables a relationship to be real and fulfilling. If there is only an exchange of what one did or didn’t do that day, their plans for the weekend or what other people are doing, then this can’t take place.
It is important that on shares who they are and what is vital, is that one listens to what the other person has to say. And this should be done without judgment, blame or suggestions of what they should or shouldn’t do. To do this can create a parent child relationship, instead of an adult to adult relationship.
As once one knows that the other person will listen to them, they will feel safe with the person and trust will be a natural consequence. Being open will then feel normal and natural.
So instead of thinking about what they can or can’t reveal, they will know that they can reveal all of what they are experiencing in life. This means that one is authentic, because they are not putting on an act just to please another and to displease themselves in the process.
What Gets In The Way?
When one fears being vulnerable, they are unlikely to create relationships that will encourage them to be vulnerable. This person will feel drawn to people who are in the same place and who avoid revealing anything too deep.
They may talk about ‘acceptable things’ and one may connect at this level. But there is likely to be the feeling that one doesn’t really know the other person and they don’t really know who they are.
On one level this may appease their fears of being vulnerable, but it won’t remove the need to be vulnerable. And the pain that this creates will not simply go away. This pain could be channelled into some kind of addiction or escape.
There might be the urge to have more friends to cover this inner emptiness up or to engage in numerous of sexual encounters. workaholism may take over their life or they might become consumed in different social clubs or some kind of charity work.
To be vulnerable means that one is at risk; what one shares with another could be used against them. And while this is true, it is part of being vulnerable. Being vulnerable means that one can lose so much and yet it also means that one can gain so much.
In matters of the heart like these, one has to be discerning; discerning with who they open up to and in who they don’t open up to.
And with experience, one will gain a better understanding in who they can and who they cannot open up to. If this is a real challenge for someone, it could be due to certain feelings that have built up within. These can cause someone to feel extremely vulnerable and out of balance.
In this instance, it might be necessary to see some kind of therapist or healer to release the feelings and emotions that have accumulated over one’s life. Reading books, taking courses or receiving coaching can also assist one in opening up more and to the right people.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.