Today I’m going to talk about vulnerability. For many this word equals weakness, but if understood could it really free a persons life and become their biggest source of strength?
Many people will do all they can to avoid being vulnerable and the way they achieve this is by creating a self-inflicted numbness within themselves.
So if a person is feeling vulnerable in a relationship they will find a way to numb themselves so they can avoid the emotional pain of feeling vulnerable.
We see vulnerability avoidance in a relationship when two people love each other and they are both fearful of saying it first. We see vulnerability avoidance when a person wants sex, but is fearful of being rejected. We seen vulnerability avoidance in those not wanting a new relationship after a painful break-up. It’s all around us being practised every day.
It’s not difficult to understand why people do not embrace vulnerability in a relationship. They don’t want to create any action that will lead them towards feeling they are not enough for their partner.
Unfortunately couples can find themselves totally confused by what their partner does or says resulting in them feeling unloved or rejected.
So if a person feels rejected time-after-time the resentments can build up until the person starts to numb themselves.
This means the person now has some relief from their emotional pain of not feeling loved. Now they feel in control again. So this is easy to see why this could be a popular route as a person can feel like they gain a new emotional power.
As you can see avoiding vulnerability is a means to gain control.
The question that isn’t being asked is if I become numb in my quest to avoid being vulnerable I may feel in control, but what do I lose.
This is so important…
When a person starts to become numb in their relationship that process also numbs critical values such as love, fun, passion, humour, joy to name a few.
You see you can’t numb just what seems to be bad because you’ll end up numbing many values you say is good too.
Some people feel they will have to totally reject “love” to stay in control.
I hope you’re starting to see what’s happening, in their quest to gain control through numbing themselves they are actually losing control of really important values.
Many people come to my sessions communicating to me their partner seems to have become someone they don’t know.
They are right the person has changed, because they have shut down many values that are important to them.
This emotional shut down is usually in the context of their relationship. The person can feel perfectly normal in other areas of their life, but feel terrible with their partner.
This of course will lead the person to the conclusion that they now have little to no feelings when they are with their partner.
“I love you, but I’m not in love with you!” is a typical response to this process.
Of course if a person is being purposely abusive or purposely mean then numbing and detaching would be totally normal.
For many couples I see people detach through confusion and misunderstandings and many detach due to past experiences that have little to do with their relationship today.
Some people live their whole lives this way protecting their need to control, but actually being out of control of what they say is important.
I hope these thoughts will strike a chord with some of you, because when a person allows themselves to become vulnerable they lay the path to experience all their gifts with their partner and those that are important to them.
So the person that allows themselves to be vulnerable in their relationship is actually the strong one.
Embracing vulnerability is a key lesson that couples will learn with me.