Opening your heart to your loved ones can be scary, even if you feel safe and comfortable with them. We don’t want to scare them away or make them think less of us. For some people, there is often a seed of doubt; whispers that say the other person isn’t as trustworthy as they seem.
Here’s how to not fear being vulnerable:
1) Learn to trust.
The truth is, there are more trustworthy people in the world than you think. Everyone needs people they can be completely transparent with. Being vulnerable will exponentially strengthen your relationship and encourage the other person to open up to you as well.
Of course, you still need to exercise caution, but if you’ve known somebody for a while and they’ve proven themselves capable of sticking with you through any bad times. I implore you to take the chance.
2) It’s okay not to be perfect.
People usually enjoy showing only their best selves to others, but a close friend or significant other already knows you well enough to know that you aren’t perfect.
If you spend enough time with someone, you start to notice that they have flaws, even if you don’t know their depths. There is no perfect image to ruin by being vulnerable.
3) Don’t bottle things up.
There are many benefits to being vulnerable, and there are many drawbacks to bottling things up. If you can’t be real with your emotions, it can be hard for others to trust you.
On the other hand, bottling things up can cause an issue to accumulate, to a point where it can’t be fixed anymore. Life is short and unpredictable, but clear communication makes it easier to navigate.
4) Be more elaborate when planning a talk.
One way you can try to mitigate your fear is by telling someone that you have something to say that you’re afraid to talk about. Planning a time and place to talk where there are no interruptions, time limits, or looming responsibilities; promoting productivity and clarity. Having some control over the situation can help put both of you at ease. If possible, try to be a bit more specific than “we need to talk,” because that phrase triggers anxiety in many people.
5) Take the risk.
It can seem impossible to not be afraid of vulnerability, but you don’t have to let that fear paralyze you. A lot of worthwhile things are scary, because they involve change and risk. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve survived a lot of scary and heartbreaking events in life. You’ll survive this too.
If you can’t seem to shake the fear, then acknowledge it, thank it for letting you know about the risk. Don’t let it paralyze you.