A New Year and a New You or Just More of You
Instead of trying to be a new person in the new year, how would you feel about bringing more of you into 2017?
Could a new you mean more of you?
Are there parts of yourself you hold back that prevent you from connecting more deeply with others?
Would you be willing to be more vulnerable with people in your life?
Brené Brown in her inspiring book, Daring Greatly states that vulnerability is a paradox, The irony is that when we’re standing across from someone who is shielded by masks and armour, we feel frustrated and disconnected. That’s the paradox here: Vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you.”
On the one hand, it makes sense that we don’t want to let our vulnerability show, especially when it means revealing what could hurt us. On the other hand, seeing how someone is hurt inspires most of us to want to express our desire to help and solidarity.
Recently, a famous pop star spoke up about her experiences as a woman in the music business. She talked about how there was a time in her career where she felt like the most hated woman on the planet. During her speech, there were a few moments where her eyes filled with tears.
The crowd gave her their full attention because there in front of them this confident, well-respected artist allowed some of how she had been hurt to be seen.
Her speech made an impact not with anger, statistics or superficial platitudes. It made an impact because those listening to her could see that she was talking about the truth of her experience, not just the beautiful, shiny, easy-to-digest parts.
The crowd’s nodding heads seemed to indicate they shared some of the same feelings that the pop star revealed. The group felt connected to her as she showed her vulnerability.
In our social media-driven world, where we mostly share the lovely, shiny, easy-to-digest parts of ourselves, are we missing out on deeper connections?
Could relationships with family members, work colleagues, neighbours and friends become more meaningful if we let more of our authentic, vulnerable selves be seen?
I’m not proposing that we burden other people with our problems or that we share our deeper selves in every interaction we have or every post on social media, but maybe there are some relationships in our lives that could benefit from more authenticity.
A client of mine shared a story of how a friend of hers from high school, someone she described as always happy and put together, recently confided in her that she felt overwhelmed by her work and family responsibilities.
For my client, this was a remarkable moment to see that her friend was struggling with the some of the same insecurities and challenges that she was.
Before this woman opened up about how overwhelmed, she felt, my client, admitted she would never have shared her difficult feelings.
After this conversation, she felt much closer to her friend and plans to spend more time with her in the new year.
How about you?
Is there someone in your life with whom you could deepen your relationship by revealing more truth, authenticity and vulnerability?
Is the mere idea of letting down your guard anxiety provoking to you?
Does it feel like opening up in this way is something you would never want to do in a million years?
If the idea of making yourself vulnerable with family, friends or romantic partners is holding you back, this is something a counsellor could help you with.
Through counselling and psychotherapy, we can explore ways to help you deepen the connection in your relationships and what is holding you back.
Start out with us all having a little more courage to be vulnerable with the important people in our lives!