Vulnerability and opening up first

February 16, 2012 by Joshua
in Blog, Tips

A friend asked “Why unreservedly open your heart to anyone or anything when there is such strong potential for disappointment, failure, heartache or apocalyptic disaster”.

I wrote back the following:

I experimented along those lines a few years ago and ended up improving my life and nearly every relationship. I’ll share my experience in case you can use it. I won’t feel bad if you ignore it.

Regarding building relationships, I used to have a model,

Old model: first get to know someone. If they become a friend, then open up.

I saw nothing wrong with the model and figured everyone had a similar model, but people also said things like “I’ve known you for a long time, but I still don’t feel like I know the real you.”

I heard that refrain once too many times and realized I had to change something. When I realized that model I switched the ordering, so my new model is

New model: first open up to someone. If we like each other more, we’ll become friends. If not, we’ll leave each other more time for others we do like.

So I started opening up earlier, like as soon as I met them. I remember times preparing to share what I considered deep secrets — pulse quickening, breathing faster, etc. I was scared. What if they thought I was weird? What if they make fun of me? Won’t I open myself to getting hurt?

What happened? Most times no one noticed I said something unusual. Sometimes people liked what I said. No one said they thought I was weird or made me regret sharing. Usually they would share more too.

In other words we became more friendly.

I don’t know how much I open up compared to others, but compared to me before, I open up a lot more and my relationships are more open, honest, understanding, and so on. I get closer to people I like faster. As for people I don’t like, we leave each other more time for others. I don’t have meaningless, superficial relationships. I don’t have time for bullshit “how’s the weather, so what do you do, how was your last vacation” conversation “friends.” Until I changed I didn’t know I could create alternatives, in my case deeper relationships with more vulnerability. I’ve learned more about myself and the people in my life this way. Intimacy means allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

Regarding your original question, you might ask “Why get out of bed in the morning if you might get hit by a car?”

I think you asked the question not looking for an answer, maybe why you ended it with a period instead of a question mark. I think you might benefit from answering it, which might force you to think about things that may help your life.

So I put to you, why might you open yourself to someone even if you might get hurt? What if you never do?

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1 response to “Vulnerability and opening up first

  1. Pingback: A way to attract anyone, part 2: how to do it | Joshua Spodek

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