Low self esteem vs inability to show vulnerability
Showing vulnerability is often associated with being weak, a chip in your person that people can potentially take advantage of. Many are unable to show vulnerability as we tend to think that those who put up a strong front display confidence and a strong sense of self-worth. We abstain from showing vulnerability to fit into what we think a confident person looks like.
Ironically, your pretence in doing so, only points to your lack of self-esteem. We put up a formidable facade to hide our true selves. The authentic self is actually weak and needy, and does not think highly of themselves – endeavouring to hide all of this behind a strong front. When they are hurt, need help or are wrong, their ego kicks in, refusing to admit that they are flawed or in need.
Some familiar defense statements are as follows:
“If I have to speak so plainly to express my needs, it is no longer meaningful – the person (my partner) must be able to guess it. He should know it” (Sorry – that person is not God, he/she doesn’t know)
“If I have to say so much, I doubt he/she really know me well” (Again, if you don’t make yourself known, how would the other party know?)
“If I admit that I am wrong, what will he/she think of me?” (Come on, we are all humans)
“If I express my insecurities, will he/she think less of me?” (People are more accepting than you think)
If you have ever made a statement like that, you might have a security or self esteem issue. Do talk to your coach or your partner about this. Essentially, it is pride, insecurity, immaturity that stands in the way of authenticity and vulnerability. The way up is the way down. The way to greater strength is when you are able to access your gentleness.
You might share this view that there is no need to show vulnerability. Friends, vulnerability is NOT weakness. However, knowing and expressing your points of vulnerability is actually necessary for a fulfilling and invigorating life. It empowers you to:
- Connect and make meaningful relationships
- Show that you are human like everyone
- Be understood
- Grow to be your most optimal self
Being able to lower your defences and expose your insecurities enables you to be a better version of yourself. Opening yourself up not only opens others to you and helps you find sources of support and encouragement, admitting and confiding in someone will empower you to true and unprecedented growth. It enables you to be empathetic to others and to be gracious to the shortcomings of others. You would be able to perceive and appreciate your life and other people entirely, knowing that you yourself is imperfect and with shortcomings and that others are entitled acceptance in spite of that too.