Vulnerability is the key to building trust in relationships. People will not trust those who don’t risk of themselves for the relationship.
People who’ll allow themselves the emotional freedom of being safely vulnerable will afford for, and within, their relationships a halcyon of trust rarely otherwise seen. There will be, for that rapport, a level of social mastery over many interpersonal situations.
But, Why Risk It?
Many will, however, ask, and rightly so, “Why be vulnerable in the first place? Perhaps it’s a risk too high to accept.”
At times the risk is too high. This must be weighed, of course. Some people will just take advantage of the grace we’ll give all-too-freely.
Especially in relationships where there is a rapport of low trust, this is the typical concern; but trust can’t be built-up without taking risks—and safe vulnerability is the way forward.
Vulnerability Manifests Trust
If we’re going to be vulnerable let it be used to show people our trust of them—foundationally by access to the safe parts of our inner selves, and via the giving of unconditional concessions of value as way of vouchsafing the commitment.
This is why emotional intelligence is such an important issue; those who are not safe within themselves will not be free to give of themselves voluntarily to be vulnerable and they won’t also be free to give unconditionally—i.e. for the right reasons.
The emotionally intelligent person, however, is able to be vulnerable without being overwhelmed in disabling fear because of the risks of reprisal.
We must understand that by being safely vulnerable we’re completely dignified in our approach, and it’s probably best considered humble. We’re consummately humble—which assertively protects our interests as well as theirs.
Love it is that facilitates dignified vulnerability.
To be voluntarily vulnerable is to be Jesus-like in our relationships—it is to live the beatitudes.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.