The Benefits of Emotional Vulnerability

A woman is hugging a man.

The Benefits of Emotional Vulnerability

When you suppress your emotions, they tend to build up and expand inside of you. Often, the only way to let out pent-up emotions is by being vulnerable with yourself and with others. 

Vulnerability requires you to connect with your emotions. This may mean allowing yourself to feel sadness, anger, frustration, or any number of powerful and sometimes negative emotions. Vulnerability is a skill that anyone can learn, but it comes easier for some than others. Being vulnerable will allow you to better connect with other people, better understand yourself, and work through your traumas. 

To have a successful recovery, you must be able to be vulnerable with your therapist or mental health professional. The more you let go of your emotions and expose yourself to your therapist, the easier it will be for your therapist to guide you through your emotional journey.

Being Vulnerable

Many people use substances to cope with negative emotions. If you used substances to numb your emotions, then the idea of vulnerability might feel like a foreign concept. The first time you practice vulnerability will probably feel uncomfortable, as being vulnerable requires you to confront darker emotions and thoughts. It will also require you to acknowledge your shortcomings and admit your flaws. 

It’s not always easy to be vulnerable, especially when it comes to being vulnerable in front of others. However, vulnerability is the first step to understanding your emotions and yourself. Vulnerability will allow you to take control of your emotions and find healthy ways to manage them. 

If you struggle with vulnerability, you can practice connecting with your emotions through meditation. All changes come in small steps, so be patient with yourself. The more you practice, the less uncomfortable you will be with letting go.

Creating Emotional Connections

When you display your vulnerability to others, it can create an emotional connection, intimacy, and closeness to that person. Making a personal connection can give you a natural high, enrich your life, and help you grow your support network. 

Being able to communicate your emotions to others is essential for building healthy relationships. It allows you to open up a dialogue with a person where you can set boundaries, lend support, and communicate your wants and needs to one another. When you show your vulnerability to someone, that person is more likely to share his or her vulnerability with you. This will allow you to build trust with one another and rely on each other when support is needed. Seeing someone else’s vulnerability and understanding another person’s perspective can help you feel less alone and may even give you some insight into your own emotional journey.

Working Through Trauma

Most people have experienced some sort of trauma in their life. This could be anything from being a victim of a natural disaster, witnessing abuse, or suffering through a serious illness or pain. Vulnerability is necessary for working through such trauma

Shutting down your emotions could cause you to lock away a traumatic memory, and vulnerability may help you uncover it. While the initial memory of the event may cause you pain, understanding the traumatic event will help you manage your emotions surrounding it. Remembering the traumatic experience will inform you how the trauma has affected your behaviors and thoughts. 

Being able to talk about your trauma to others will help you find communities with people who have suffered from similar experiences. Expressing your feelings and thoughts surrounding the traumatic experience to a mental health professional will allow that individual to put together a treatment plan to help you navigate your emotions.

Expressing Your Feelings to Others

The first step of practicing vulnerability is to be vulnerable with yourself. Think about your emotional state and be honest about how you feel. Be honest with yourself about what you want and what you need. 

Being vulnerable around others requires you to express your feelings of vulnerability to others. Expressing a vulnerability caused by a person and confiding your vulnerabilities to a person will each require different approaches. 

When you’re showing vulnerability due to the pain a person has caused you, it’s important to be calm in your expression. You want that person to understand how they’ve hurt you, and if you’re panicked or hysterical, your point might become lost in your emotions. However, if you’re confiding your vulnerability in someone, it’s perfectly OK to let yourself explode, cry, or feel angry. Sometimes your emotions just need to come out.