Let others in.
You might find being vulnerable helps:
- Others trust you.
- Heal old wounds more quickly.
- Get rid of feelings you wish you didn’t have about someone or something.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve completely taken your guard down, this is an opportunity. By showing yourself to those around you, you remove the need to pretend you’re someone you’re not. You’ll encourage others to let their guards down, and you’ll create a more transparent line of communication between you and everyone else.
When being vulnerable is no longer scary — because you’ve realized others won’t take advantage of you and, in fact, respect you for being this way — others will see you for who you really are. If making nasty comments about your weight makes you feel badly, the next time someone does this, let them know. If someone in your family no longer believes you can be on time, or thinks of you as clumsy, let them know these judgments don’t make you feel good and you’d like another chance.
Get in touch with your emotions.
In a lot of societies, it’s normal to hide emotions as we get older. First, it’s not appropriate to have an outburst in public. Then, there is a certain way we’re supposed to act in school, at work, and as parents. It’s like an unwritten rules system that encourages us to distance how we feel from how we act. In actuality, I’m going to encourage you to match the two.
Quickly, I suspect you’ll find out that acting depressed, anxious, scared, lonely, jealous, angry, etc. is no fun. When you let your emotions shine through your actions, you’ll quickly get in touch with your emotions and be able to make changes. Combine this with the fact that you’re now letting people know how you feel, and all the sudden, your reactions become understandable.
A friend might say: “you know what? I didn’t care much for the way Kareem was acting today, but he told me he’s feeling super down. I’m going to give him a break, because I might do the same if I felt that way.”
And from your side, you might say: “I really didn’t have any fun today. I was feeling super down, and I let my emotions get the best of me. I was a bit short-tempered with my friends, and I doubt they had very much fun either. Next time I’m feeling this way, I’m going to acknowledge the feeling, connect with nature, and then think about love. I’ll see how that goes.”
You see, vulnerability is a key step to achieve the role of the observer. By first letting yourself feel and be, you will be able to see how your feelings, actions, and quality of day are linked. Once you see the link, you can change your beliefs and actions to anything you want and improve the quality of your life. Plus, those around you will know how you’re doing, and if they have any heartfelt advice, you’ll probably hear about it.
Today’s lesson: open up, let others in, be yourself, and observe how you’re being and feeling. The easiest way to make changes is by first observing what you want to change.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on May 10, 2017.