Practicing relational vulnerability (Part 1)

January 30, 2008 at 1:14 am | Posted in Vulnerability | 1 Comment
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Vulnerability is not a dirty word

There’s a word in our English dictionary that may have a bad rep for some of us. Vulnerability. The negative connotation is understandable since many of us may interpret being vulnerable in the same way the American College Dictionary defines it, as the state of being susceptible to wounding or physical hurt.

Who wants to be thought of as someone who’s easily hurt or wounded, someone who’s defenseless against attack?

I’d like to set forth an alternative, more positive meaning for vulnerability (with a nod of gratitude to my friends at Leadership Catalyst). Manifesting vulnerability also means allowing someone who’s earned our trust to protect our weaknesses, or those areas of limited capacity or immature character that can cause us to harm ourselves or others.

For example, one of my weaknesses can be the tendency not to deal directly with relational conflict; I’ve done a lot of personal work in this area. Fortunately, I have a couple close friends who know me inside and out, with whom I can be vulnerable. I’ve given them permission to let me know when they feel I’m acting or speaking from a place of non-truth or avoidance. I need their protection and encouragement to stay real and honest.

This week, consider this question. Who do you trust enough to be vulnerable with, to let him or her protect your weaknesses?

Watch for my next post — knowing who we can be vulnerable with.

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1 Comment »

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  1. Such a freeing thing, to be able to be truly vulnerable with someone . . .

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