Yesterday, I admit to my dear friend that I'm not good at being vulnerable. I'm better at listening and giving advice and pretending I have it all together. I'm better at being cheery and funny than admitting when I'm not feeling well. Maybe, deep down, I think that folks won't love me as much if I admit my struggles and my weaknesses.

I spent five years studying the emotion of shame. One would think I could see through my tactics! We hide away and protect ourselves from feeling vulnerable. We preempt the mere possibility of feeling inferior, exposed, or judged by tucking ourselves away in protective spaces of various forms. But my research regarding shame proves this: when we make ourselves vulnerable, we create pathways for intimacy. Our capacity for intimacy directly correlates to how vulnerable we are.

My cats perform dramatic displays of vulnerability. When they roll flat on their backs and expose their tummies, they welcome affection. Dogs enact even more impressive acts. With incredible submission, a dog will lay down, roll over, and endanger himself by revealing an unprotected belly and throat.

In the animal world, showing the belly and offering submissive gestures signals love and trust. What submissive gestures might I enact to signal to my friends that same love and trust? A willingness to expose my underbelly--those weak and unpleasant things about me--might seem dangerous and shameful. But these impressive acts of vulnerability are what make friendship happen.

Who wants a friend who can't be vulnerable? Who wants a life shackled by the fear of shame? Roll over, show your belly, and just see what love you find.

More flair at www.livewithflair.blogspot.com

Views: 28

Comment

You need to be a member of She Writes to add comments!

Join She Writes

OUR LEADERS

Latest Activity

Casey Hagen updated their profile
3 hours ago
Mary Anderson posted an event
Thumbnail

This week, let's write about fractals! at Everywhere!

December 7, 2016 at 6pm to December 14, 2016 at 5pm
Write anything you'd like, using fractals as its theme. A poem, a bit of memoir, some fiction, whatever. There are no rules. Submit your piece by next Wednesday, December 14, by 5 pm or so, and then we'll get our next word!See More
3 hours ago
Diana Y. Paul updated their profile
3 hours ago
Profile Icon via Twitter
Details are everything! Here's why it's important to take a little more time for them. #amwriting https://t.co/B0IMhPKeY0
Twitter5 hours ago · Reply · Retweet

Members

Badge

Loading…

© 2016   Created by Kamy Wicoff.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service