Your level of vulnerability with yourself and others is the foundation for the depth, quality, and intimacy of every connection – including with yourself.
It takes vulnerability to acknowledge that you’ve made mistakes. That you feel resultant guilt or shame (instead of repressing and ignoring your feelings), for example.
In fact, it takes vulnerability to connect with any feelings you might be experiencing; and cultivate a curiosity about them.
Why do this? Because without knowing what you’re feeling, you can’t appreciate positive emotions like compassion, understanding, love… any more than so-called negative ones like fear, shame, anger, or grief.
Whether we’re talking family, friends lovers, co-workers – literally every relationship will benefit from higher emotional maturity – which includes feeling safe to own and discuss your feelings (AKA vulnerability).
Naturally, there are different levels of vulnerability appropriate for each of these contingencies. Being deeply vulnerable and holding space for a lover to do the same will create deep intimacy, trust and connection beyond what’s possible otherwise. But it wouldn’t be appropriate to apply that same level of vulnerability with your boss, for instance.
The bottom line
As I mentioned earlier, vulnerability is just one aspect of emotional maturity. You can’t share what you don’t allow yourself to feel. And you can’t relate very deeply with others if the conversation remains at a surface level, like most men – for example, sports, women, job, drinking and cars.
If you seek deeper connection with others, I would strongly recommend boosting your emotional maturity level.