It’s been a few days since I’ve blogged , and as I searched within for ideas for smart and witty subjects and insights to write about I found myself with the overwhelming thought of, ” Patty, in this moment you have nothing new to say!”
It’s so easy to go right into a self judgment about my lack of having anything new or smart to talk about, and this is after all, a blog all about love and inspiration. Blogging is all about keeping ideas fresh! So why am I so uninspired to write about anything new? Then it hits me. Why the hell am I making it so damn difficult? If there is one thing I have learned in life, that is to keep it simple.
If there is nothing new to talk about, why not focus on something old, as in a subject I’ve talked about before? Just because I’ve talked something in the past doesn’t make it less witty or relevant in the present. I recognize my slight self judgment even in my calling a topic old, but I will revisit self judgment about old and new at a later date. In this moment I want simplicity, and a subject I can talk about.
To keep finding a subject to write about simple, without having to look far, I will use the subject that has been right in my face several times this week. That is the subject of vulnerability, and the fear of being vulnerable in a relationship. This subject certainly qualifies as nothing new; since I’ve written about it a few times, but so what? I’m ready to dive into the pool and the subject of vulnerability.
Whenever I check my blog stats, I notice that some of the most searched queries have to do with either men or women being vulnerable in their relationships, or the fear of being vulnerable. My old posts about vulnerability are still getting traffic. People are shouting loud and clear, ” I don’t want to be vulnerable!” and they are trying to find ways to avoid just that. It seems rather clear to me that if people are still doing queries about vulnerability, then the subject is rather important, and talking about it won’t get “old”.
A good friend recently shared a witty and charming story about Match.com and her dating experience on my Share Your Love Story FB fan page. ( yes this is also a shameless plug to go and “Like” my page) Getting back to my friend and her story: she was very open and honest about her fear of rejection ,her expectations, and her experience on Match.com.
Anyone who has “put it out there” when it comes to dating and love relationships, could easily relate to what my friend shared. However, many would not dare express it as openly as she did.
I made a comment to her about how brave it was that she was so “vulnerable” with what she shared. Her response to me was that she did not think she was being vulnerable, she just thought she was being honest. That’s when it stuck me. My friend did not equate being honest with being vulnerable, but I sure did.
This brought me to a realization about myself and about vulnerability. Vulnerability is a matter of perception. I equate vulnerability with being honest, and part of me still has some fear around it or I would not have mentioned how strong I thought my friend was about being “vulnerable” Part of me still believes that honesty makes you vulnerable. Well ,now I have my blog topic.
Honesty and vulnerability, what is your belief? Have you ever felt that being too honest in a relationship made you vulnerable or put you at some type of disadvantage?
What is interesting to me it that when it comes to LOVE and love relationships, honesty is so valued. How often do we say that we just want “honesty” in our relationships. I know I have. Honesty makes me feel closer to the other person. Honesty opens me to trust and to love. I like being honest about my feelings, if I like someone, I don’t want to hide it. Yet, honesty brings up a fear of being vulnerable and of being at a disadvantage, of putting too much out there. It brings up a fear of being rejected.
So what do you do? Are you ever less honest about how you feel out of fear of being too vulnerable? Doesn’t this seem like a vicious cycle or a wicked joke? One of the most important things people say they want in a relationship is honesty, and yet because it is equated with something you fear or you think is wrong (being vulnerable) you choose to hold back the honesty.
If anyone is familiar with the infamous three day rule of not calling someone you like or are interested in getting to know, then you can laugh right now. If you are smiling or laughing now, then I know you connect and I am not making something up about a “rule” that does not exist. My honesty and vulnerability insight is starting to take shape and have some substance.
The truth is, I’ve been honest about how I have felt about someone ( when I have been interested or liked them) and at times I’ve felt wonderful and at other times not so much, it felt shitty. What is apparent to me is that when it felt wonderful to me, was when my attraction was reciprocated, and that was when I put honesty on a pedestal. ” It’s so good to be honest!” When it felt shitty to me was when my “honesty” or my attraction was not reciprocated, maybe even rejected, and then I labeled it ” being vulnerable” being too honest with someone was not on a good thing to do, but became wrong.
What is so very clear is that what felt so bad or felt wrong to me was not the honesty, but it was how I felt about the reaction to my honesty. It is so obvious that I cannot control how someone else reacts to anything I do, and yet it felt so easy for me to make something I did wrong. Being honest became wrong; it became being vulnerable, and it could lead to something I did not like.The solution was to be less honest and therefore not be in a place of vulnerability. Somehow it made logical sense, like a math equation.
I have a feeling this is how the nice guy/ bitchy girl bad boy/ nice girl syndrome began, but that would be a topic for a whole new blog.
Back to honesty and vulnerability.
What I realize is that our problem with being vulnerable is all about our fear of how the other person will react or our memory of how someone did react when we shared our feelings. Based on the reaction, we then came to the conclusion that being honest/ vulnerable was either good or bad. Labeling vulnerability as wrong or bad, is all about our own fear of being rejected. It is about a fear of not being loved and not being good enough.
When we feel rejected, unloved, or not good enough, our honesty and vulnerability just get the bum rap, as we find a place to lay the blame.
Then we vow to never be vulnerable again! and we continue to wish for an honest guy or girl to some along……….
There is of course another course of action. Stop making honesty and vulnerability the bad guys and something to avoid. Start taking an “honest” look at ourselves and our fears and face them head on. Fears of rejection are not wrong or bad, they just hurt sometimes and as real as they feel, the rejection is also just a perception; and it is a perception that can be changed over time. It takes some practice, but I am willing to make the effort and feel the reward.
I don’t want my life to be governed by a fear of not being loved, of being rejected, or of not being good enough, and I don’t want to hide how I feel or pursue the things in life that I want. I’m not just talking about honesty and vulnerability when it only comes to romantic relationships, because I can see how the fear of vulnerability can affect any area of my life, like personal achievements, my career, or any other dream I can want for myself. When I become aware that a fear is surfacing I don’t want to retreat from life, I want to live it, and I am going to.
I never did like that silly three day rule anyway. To be continued.