Why is being real seen as being vulnerable?
Have you ever found yourself stuck in limbo while trying to strengthen a relationship?
I am sure everybody has experienced, at least once in their lifetime, an uncertain period in a relationship where it seems that things are not going anywhere, the situation feels unclear and different tactics are leading nowhere. It can be any kind of relationships, from love to profession to friendships. These confused circumstances occur because misunderstandings have stepped in and, those happen because we are not real.
What does it mean “being real”?
Human beings are the only species able to articulate words into speeches, capable of interacting verbally in a complex way and yet, I rarely see this potential being used to our advantage. When we develop a relationship, we inevitably check if our thoughts or feelings are reciprocated or if our opinions are being considered. At this point, instead of directly asking questions or expressing honestly and clearly with words what we feel and think, we adopt tactics, unclear actions and ambiguous games, hoping they can lead us to the answers we are looking for. But they won’t take you or your doubts exactly anywhere.
Let me guess, they would probably lead you to an uncertain state of mind in which you don’t know what has really happened , you are not sure of how to solve it (your games are not working) and everything turns out to be so unclear and misunderstood. You’re stuck. Once again, you have chosen not to be real. If it is still vague, being real means to express your feelings, emotions, thoughts, opinions in an honest and clear way; It means to open up and speak up.
You would ask “Why don’t we just say it? We have the power of the word for that reason!”. YES. Good point. This is what I have been asking myself every time I have dealt with someone who is not being real.
The answer that Madam experience has gifted me is: fear. We are afraid to open up because we would then feel exposed to judgment, refusal, and eventually, abandonment. We prefer not to express what’s inside of us because we feel vulnerable. We fear to be hurt.
I am not 100% certain on when the equation “being real= being vulnerable/weak” was conceived, but it’s a reality. For this reason, we prefer the confusion to the explicitness as it’s better “not to know and being stuck” than clearing things up and move on.
In my experience, I have associated the possible cause of this behaviour to personal insecurities and lack of introspection. Insecurities can be the results of childhood trauma or “growing-up” traumas: situations that have deeply affected us, but we have never taken the time to understand their effects on us and heal from them. With lack of introspection, I mean to not be real with ourselves first. We need to ask ourselves some questions before pretending the answers from someone else.
“Why am I thinking this?” “Am I sure of what I’m feeling?” “How would I react to answer X? Why?” “Why am I not feeling confident in opening up?” “What is stopping me?” “How am I going to deal with a probable opposite answer I would love to receive?”
And so on, until you feel at peace with yourself whatever happens after you decide to be real. What do you have to lose? If you are highly true with yourself, the reaction you might receive should not push you down or make you doubt about yourself.
Being real is one of the best gifts we could have, although it demands efforts. If people don’t appreciate it, it’s their problem. You have been true, and you are confident about your inner self.
Don’t forget: it’s always kind to sort your life out before inflicting it into someone else’s life.
Find and fight your insecurities (how? Invest in knowing yourself better)
You will actually be stronger. Bullshit can wait.