We have all struggled to open up to others at some point. If you have ever been hindered by the simple thought of getting close to someone or something new, rest assured: That is very normal. Because the list of what we likely lay bare in relationships is endless rejection, attack, lack of mutuality, betrayal, or the loss of our self-sufficiency, to name a few. Regrettably, our fears of vulnerability are surprisingly common & greatly influenced by the earliest relationships we had. Fortunately, there are some ways of Overcoming the Fear of Vulnerability.
Ways to Get Over the Fear of Vulnerability
1. Be In Touch With Yourself
Keep track of your feelings. A diary can help to note down the emotions you feel from dusk till dawn & how you respond to those emotions. Becoming more conscious of your thoughts, feelings, & behaviors can help you to understand what is really going wrong & what needs to change for you to feel better.
If you find yourself acting in self-destructive ways (such as cheating; lying; drinking, eating, or avoiding your partner by staying late at work even when you don’t really have to), note that as well. Each is a sign something’s wrong.
2. Start With Patience & New Objectives
Firstly, you will need to accept that Overcoming the Fear of Vulnerability will take patience & practice. Don’t pay attention to anyone who tells you to open up & talk more. It’s not that easy, & it’s untenable. You are trying for real & deep long-term change, more than the surface-level change, which makes other people think you are okay. This is about having a place where you know & feel that you are comfortable.
Secondly, you may need to regulate your expectations. Your goal is authentic connections, only connections with some. You can only expect to please & impress some, & it may look like most of your interactions with people will be just ok. But ok is better than fake, & the people you find who genuinely relate to the personality you show off will make all the conversations & fake starts worth the wait.
3. Take Time To Reflect
Analyzing your emotions & identifying the challenging states is a great skill to develop. You have possibly been living with these negative feelings & what they drive you to do for so long that you don’t even understand what you are doing anymore. You don’t consciously think that you are scared or angry. When your body and mind identify the feeling of intensifying connection, your temper is already up, & you are finding something to lash out of.
Marking these negative feelings, working to recognize their source & motivation, & finding productive alternatives is what self-improvement is. This can happen during or after an intricate moment.
It may seem complicated to slow down & acknowledge our feelings, particularly when prone to react to stress. Taking some time after some social communications & thinking about what went well, what didn’t, & things you can try next time for better development can be beneficial in gradually improving.
4. Talk About It
Being clear & straight is critical. The problem is if you don’t tell people near you what’s happening, even if it may sound crazy, they can’t feel empathy & help you through it. Moreover, if they really want to connect with you, they will be patient, & honestly, they will be happy that you told them about your situation or feelings.
Honest communication is also vital for setting your expectations. Boundaries are significant, but just as significant is asking for the words & actions that will give you the confidence to keep going. If you want some more attention, you can ask for that. If you want your partner to show more affection, that’s ok to ask. Your job is to express your expectations. If your partner doesn’t want to do that, they can state that, & you can reach a conciliation.
5. Get A Reality Check
Studies show that no matter how rational we are, we all hold beliefs about reality that can be mucky how we read our significant other’s behavior. Think about reading way too much a single-worded text or thinking someone is cheating on us when they are actually just out with their friends.
The simplest way to get a handle on this is to check in with your partner & close friends about whether they see you as overreacting, tense, or judgmental. Rather than nullifying what you are feeling, it can be helpful to have a new & different perspective on whether your emotions & actions that follow from them align with the facts of what is happening.
6. Develop Your Core Self
Human beings are the only creatures who do not reach adulthood by design. A cub has no choice but to turn into a tiger. But the world is full of people who are still psychologically stuck in childhood & adolescence, no matter how old they are. To be mature is a decision; adulthood is an accomplishment.
This can take years, but it begins with a vision of the “core self.” This is the part of you that unites with reality, placing you at the center of experiences that you personally generate. To have a core self is to be the writer of your own story; it is the opposite of being a victim who chose to live a life written by others.
7. Stop Giving Away Your Power
Feeling insecure and powerless doesn’t happen in a single minute, like the barbarian pack breaking down your door & burning your house. Instead, it is a procedure over time, & for most people, the process is so slow that they don’t even notice it. They remain more than happy to throw away their power by degrees. Why? Because being weak seems like an easy way to be more popular, accepted, & protected.
Therefore you are giving away your power when you please others to fit in. Or when you follow the beliefs of the crowd. Or when you decide that others’ needs matter more than yours. When you let someone who seems to have more power control you. In small and large ways, however, these decisions decrease your sense of self-worth & without self-worth, you cannot get the power to rise. This way, you can help with Overcoming the Fear of Vulnerability.
8. Trust in a Power that Goes Beyond Everyday Reality
Nothing stated so far will come true without a higher reality. For now, let’s leave aside religion & any reference to God. Luckily, to have even a fragment of consciousness is to be connected to the finite consciousness that supports life, evolution, creativity, & intelligence. None of these things are accidental or an advantage given to the lucky few.
Consider thinking of a greater force beyond imagination; you don’t need to get religious about that. Think about a cosmic power that controls all, from the airflow to the little flowers blooming in the tree. Be thankful for being a part of it.
What Does The Fear of Vulnerability Mean?
Fear of vulnerability happens on a wide scale & can show up basically as general social anxiety & as strongly as nearly complete incapability to relate to others. The problem is you are scared to open up to other people. You are uncomfortable with intimate interactions. You may have defense mechanisms that stop relationships before they can deepen because of fear of getting close to someone. There is likely some part of low self-esteem that induces maintaining some distance.
There are particular phobias related to this, like fear of love (philophobia) & fear of being touched (Haphephobia). However, we are discussing something more common here, the fear of people knowing you in a manner that makes you uncomfortable. The thing is, you may not even understand that is what you are afraid of. The good thing is there are several ways to help with Overcoming the Fear of Vulnerability.