Because helplessness and vulnerability can feel very similar, if not the same sometimes, we can shy away from being vulnerable because it can also make us feel helpless. Feeling helpless is one of the core ingredients of being traumatised, which can mean that our vulnerability/helplessness was taken advantage of or abused in some way by others. If we’ve been hurt a lot, or early in life, being vulnerable can feel like too big a risk to take.
Not feeling safe enough to be vulnerable takes a toll on our relationships, we don’t let others see who we really are, so our relationships can’t deepen and become as intimate as they could. We can find it hard to express our needs, because our needs are what make us vulnerable. There can be a lot of shame around having needs, especially with early trauma, so our needs will be denied in order to make us more acceptable to others.
Try tapping on the phrases below and repeat whatever feels right on the tapping points:
Even though feeling vulnerable feels … I honour how that feels for me
Even though feeling vulnerable feels … in my body and that feels … I acknowledge how I feel
Even though I deny my needs in order not to feel vulnerable, I wonder is that working for me?
Even though I feel ashamed of my needs, I’m open to examining that shame