Why Feeling Emotionally Vulnerable Is Actually Good For Your Relationship (& Helps Build Trust)

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emotionally vulnerable relationship trust

While you never want to be in a situation where you feel vulnerable not by choice, understanding your emotional vulnerabilities and showing them to your partner (or maybe even friends and family) can help you grow stronger as a person and have a deeper understanding of self.

Life hands us many challenges, and truthfully, life would be boring if we had no challenges that used our wit, our grit, and our whole self. We are not robots, but humans.

Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher, even states, “We are not humans having a spiritual experience, but are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

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Due to media, marketing messages, and many examples of famous people getting caught in lies and peccadillos, you probably need to look elsewhere for models of honest and authentic living. None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes, have unexpected hurts, and sometimes make choices that are not healthy or wise or ethical, and then we must pay the consequences and take responsibility.

This requires that we find a place, and time, and person who we can come clean with and share our naked truth.

I believe that if you don't, the effect will be like a wound that will fester or cancer that will spread. The sooner you share an emotionally charged life situation, the sooner you will reclaim the energy that is attached to keeping it hidden and unresolved — whether it was you’re doing or something that was done to you, even if unintended.

It is my job as a coach, a mentor, a confidante, to believe in my clients so much that they may begin to believe and begin to say what they have not said, dream what they have not dreamed, feel what they have not felt. What's more, I encourage them to do it out loud in a relationship with a confidential partner who asks to hear and who listens with a deep focus and a trusting presence.

With that said, it's equally important for people to have strong boundaries, which means not to be "naked" with your emotions all the time.

You have to pick your time and place and person to share your truth with.

Just like we wear clothes most of the time, when we are naked we do so within our comfort level of place and person.

Sure, you might have skinny dipped in your life or walked naked on a private beach, or dipped in a natural hot spring somewhere au naturale…. but only with people you trusted. And yet, wasn’t there a sense of exhilarating freedom when you broke those boundaries and did that?

I believe it is similarly freeing when we are able to share what we haven’t shared with someone we trust.

When we share our "naked truth" or when someone else share theirs with us, we are part of any important, transformative experience — one that brings us closer together, as a result.

Is there anything you are keeping hidden that you could share with a trusting confidante? Think about it. When and with whom could you have that conversation? 

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Once you're ready to open up and share your emotional vulnerability with another, here are the next steps to take:

1. Test the waters slowly.

You really cannot trust everyone, but you can trust some. And a few is all you need. Educate those who you think you can trust to be confidential. They don’t have to fix you. They just need to hear you.

2. Make a list of your concerns.

Write about your shames, blames, scars, or unshared dreams and aspirations first to yourself. This will help desensitize you to the story you wish to tell.

Then, have a live conversation about some aspect of this journaling with a trusted other, where you're sharing in the moment — rather than recounting pre-meditated points. Doing so will help you hear yourself and also be heard by another, who can hold what you share and keep it sacred.

3. Hire a professional.

This is someone you can speak to, for example, like a therapist, counselor, coach, or minister. But research him or her first! Make sure he or she has the appropriate credentials and a good reputation with other clients. 

4. Envision your potential.

Imagine the space in your heart and soul that you will open if that which you have hidden in the darkness is brought into the light. Who will you become? How will you live?

Are you brave enough to take the first step?

5. Claim your place at the fire.

A metaphoric phrase Richard Leider, a prominent life coach and my longtime friend, uses to describe finding our tribe. Figure out who you can be in conversation with as a support group, whether it's for mentoring or just for fun and true friendship. 

Remember to not take anyone else's feedback or reactions personally. Opinions are just that. They are not the truth but someone’s perspective, just as your view is.

The ability and willingness to stay present to another’s nakedness is something that many people cannot do. That's why taking it slow and being cautious — but not paralyzed — is important.

Find your trustworthy few, and cherish them. And you can return the favor by being a committed listener to others.

RELATED: 9 Ways To Create Peace In Your Life When The World Is Pure Chaos

For more information about finding peace and other similar concepts, see Also read Dr. Pat Williams's new book, Getting Naked: On Emotional Transparency at the Right Time, the Right Place, and with the Right Person on Amazon or Balboa Press and in Audible books.

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