Trust Based on Pebbles

It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.

— Brené Brown

Everyone has their own flaws. Vulnerability is a sense of one’s weakness that leads to a feeling described as insecure. But is that dangerous for our modern time? Now let’s clarify the problem.

Who would like to be vulnerable? It’s the main question of evolution, — “survival of the fittest”. Biologically speaking, to be vulnerable means to be killed by a predator. But don’t you think that nowadays we are less exposed to dangerous situations such as deficit in food supply, an attack by a predator or fight for territory and so on? People’s life has changed; it became more dependent due to the society we live in. We think that the inability to confront an emotional attack increases the chance of rejection. The vast majority of population is not ready for it, so they pretend to not have vulnerabilities in order to reduce their overall weakness.

Why are people so afraid of the idea of being vulnerable? It is definitely frustrating without a doubt. Some people prefer to stay in their cave of solitude while others prefer to interact with semi-open characters and showing their best traits and skills. Are we isolating ourselves from society or isolating ourselves from who we really are? Some decides to abandon society by saying “I don’t need them”, while some puts on a fake mask to only show their good traits to deceive others. Both of these situations share one thing in common, which are both can be considered as lies, one to yourself and another to society. Nobody wants to spend time dealing with a liar, which gives us a feeling of desolation to such interactions. Of course we don’t say it out loud when that little voice says “Oh that person I can definitely trust.” The word “trust” does not only mean to speak with an open heart, but also to understand their point of us and not a fake a pattern. There are no positive outcomes when building connections either with relationships or business, if there is no trust involved. In the future we would barely rely on that person too.

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Dr. Sue Johnson, clinical psychologist said on The Knowledge Project, “We need connections with others like we need oxygen.” Social connections sustain us but meaningful social connections may only be with mutual vulnerability.

Professor Brené Brown said, “The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we become.” How can we be less afraid to vulnerability? We can create a list of all the things that we are afraid to do and ways to avoid interactions with those who we are afraid. Our vulnerabilities turn into barbed wires — we don’t want to be enslaved by it, but we can avoid it. We might suffer more than we already are, but freedom is the recognition of necessity.

When we let ourselves be open and vulnerable, we get a chance to build unique and reciprocal interactions. According to Robert Cialdini, it is one of the main principles for effective communication.

When we are able to say: “I don’t know”, “I made a mistake”, “I’m so sorry for causing you pain”, “I’m afraid”, “I cried last night” or “I’m struggling with this”, we actually relieve ourselves from an emotional burden point of view, and these efforts are not directed to our blinding illusion anymore. When we open up, we give people the opportunity for them to open up too. As a result, we can build stronger interactions with another soul.

We are constantly afraid of something, as example, to be honest about our fears. Revealing our own fears, we send a signal that others can share their fears with you back. We won’t judge it, nor could we.

By the way, it reminded me of social media. The endless posts over Instagram on career or marvelous vacations deepen our depressive mood and make us feel incomplete. As the result, it increases our fear to be vulnerable. Nobody let us see the outtakes. Our life is complex and what we see over posts is just one dimension of a geometrical shapes.

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The modern world seems even tougher than it was twenty, fifty, or seventy years ago, but this is not the case. The only difference is that we simply forget to look at the horizon in the morning and at the fading rays of the sunset on the way home. Life flowed slowly and people could do way more things even though to receive a letter took some time. Nowadays, someone barely has time, twenty-four hours is not enough even for one-fourth of our to-do list for the day. We forget to look around and always having our heads glues to our smartphone. The pace of life is speeding up thanks to development of technology causeing sunrise and sunsets getting blocked by tall grey skyscrapers. People hide themselves from the sun having inside sense of loneliness. Stress and loneliness are the symptoms of an unknown disease in modern society.

We don’t have the right to make a mistake. Our personal time becomes a bargaining chip. For some time is an enemy. But we grow stronger when we accept of our mistakes, increasing the value of success. We become more aware by analyzing the steps made before the mistake, reviewing events of the past. Yes, it takes some time out of your daylight. But we can’t develop ourselves until we learn to hear the mistakes of our own and others. When you listen to a story of a person who ran a successful business and sold it for big money. What will this teach you? Hear what mistakes he made, what stopped him and what made him change direction — this will be a valuable tool in inspiring your self-development.

Everything starts from honesty. Nobody can’t help a woman that hides the physical abuse she gets from her husband. Suicidal thoughts are difficult to read in the eyes, if there is a fear just to look into them. What reason made us to have fear of expressing our worries and thoughts with another? If you are afraid of it, what can we say about social workers? They are strong and they see their goal as to teach people to trust another. If it weren’t for them, then nobody.

Everyone clearly remembers the phrase by Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi that “If you want to change the world, start from yourself.” What kind of lock did we hang inside ourselves?

When we expose our soul to someone, we find people with whom we can walk together to the horizon. Only then healthy and valuable connections are formed. We need to trust each other if we want to achieve something in this life. As Professor Sue Johnson explained on the Knowledge Project “if you suddenly become vulnerable for a moment and the person catches it and protects you, then know that this is the one with whom you are on the way.” In such case, this situation becomes a litmus test that helps to determine the level of relations. Well, what can you get from a relationship where you are constantly pointed out to failures, forget about something to say that you find yourself in troubles. Why should you be with someone with whom you cannot fully relax and be yourself?

When we have people with whom you can be vulnerable with, we are better able to cope with problems and anxieties, which improves the quality of our life. When we decide to open the lock to your heart, we increase the chance to create meaningful interactions with people. If you look for people in your life that you can trust, then it won’t be difficult to resist something more frightening than your own vulnerability.

text Yuliya Filippovich
edited Samraj Shiraz

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