Vulnerability vs. Defensiveness: Why Talking to People Feels Harder Than It Is

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Vulnerability vs. Defensiveness: Why Talking to People Feels Harder Than It Is

By: Dr. Laura Gallaher

Summary Points:

  • Being vulnerable is scary, but in the rare case that others respond negatively – that’s just their shit
  • You need vulnerability on your team
  • An unwillingness to be vulnerable is a red flag
  • It takes true courage and self-esteem to be vulnerable

read time: 6 minutes

Our Fear of Being Vulnerable Comes from Fear of Judgement

Her: “Is that story real? I mean, I’m not calling you a liar or anything but…”

 

Me: “Um…” I paused. “I think maybe you are,” I say cautiously, but honestly.

 

Her: “Well…”

 

Me: “It’s a true story, just like I said at the beginning.”

 

Her: “But…there’s no happy ending? That’s really embarrassing, it’s hard to believe you would share that.”

 

Somewhat stunned, I paused for a moment, and then felt my eyebrows raise in...