Being Vulnerable: How Much to Share and With Whom?

Being Vulnerable: How Much to Share and With Whom?

You want to be more open and transparent, but how much do you share, with whom?

Cathy: Hi, everyone. We’re talking about vulnerability and how to know how much to share and maybe who to share with.

Reid: Uh-hum. In the last video, we talked about how not to be a victim so now the question is how much do you share and to whom? I mean I tend to overshare responsibly, I overshare responsibly.

Cathy: Could you define that please?

Reid: Which means I check in with people but I don’t hide stuff.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: So I’m kind of in that, “Hi, this is me being vulnerable. If that scares you away, totally cool because you know what, I’m never going to stop being vulnerable with you.”

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Really for me, vulnerability is about when I notice things that I’m afraid to share that’s usually for me my cue that I might want to be sharing that.

Cathy: So it’s a sign that you might be holding something back or hiding it.

Reid: Yeah. Now that does not mean that I’m doing that with the checkout person at the grocery store. These are with people that are somehow in my life in some sort of meaningful way or whom I’m building a relationship —

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: — that’s meaningful.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: It doesn’t mean everybody needs to know that I grew up with an alcoholic mom and a father who had some trouble telling the truth.

Cathy: You just told everybody that. 

Reid: I hope that’s okay. I feel very vulnerable. But what it does mean is that if you’re of any significance, I’m not going to hide stuff like that.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Or if you’re just a decent person and we’re connecting, there’s not a lot of reason for me to hide that stuff if we’re having a conversation where that is appropriate.

Cathy: Right.

Reid: Where that is within context not me just like spurting out, “Hey guess what…”

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Although that can be a great way to further conversation. Like, “Hey, guess what like I’m feeling — you know I’m enjoying this conversation, I’m going to be a little bit more vulnerable because I’m curious about what was your family like. My family was an alcoholic mom and a father who lied because of their marriage issues.”

Cathy: Right.

Reid: Like I can be vulnerable about that and some people are like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe you just said that.”

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: But I’m role modeling for the people around me that it’s okay for you to be vulnerable back because personally for me I hate small talk.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: I don’t like talking about the weather. Now for those of you who like talking about the weather, that’s okay. But for me, you know if I’m enjoying somebody’s company, I’m interested in what’s deeper to talk about.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: Because I’m a communication dork. Your mileage is going to vary on this so it starts to come down to this idea of is it anybody’s business? Because vulnerable and being transparent doesn’t mean you just blurt out everything to everybody. In the context of the conversation we’re having, is this useful information, is it furthering the conversation.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: And is it any of your business.

Cathy: Right.

Reid: In that way of like if we’re just meeting, you probably don’t want to know what my bathroom habits are. It’s none of your business because in this way you’re like I don’t want to know, it’s none of my business. So that kind of approach is how I think of it.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: You know? And it’s always in service of fostering more communication and more intimacy and intimacy doesn’t have to be romantic, sexual.

Cathy: Right.

Reid: It’s just like —

Cathy: Connection.

Reid: –connected vulnerability.

Cathy: And one of the biggest things, I used to always try to protect everyone from my story. I was so afraid that anything about the abuse or anything traumatic at all would disturb people and cause distress. You taught me actually, ask them.

Reid: Uh-hum.

Cathy: So you can just say to them, “Hey, we’re starting to get to know each other, I would like to deepen our connection. There are some things about me that were kind of tough when I was little and they did influence who I am they made a difference in who I am and I’d love to share them with you, how do you feel about that?”

Reid: Yeah. And that’s really great context I mean because someone will be like, “That sounds really heavy, I’m not in that mood” and then you’re like, “Awesome, thank you so much for taking care of yourself.”

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Because you just modeled that you’re willing to be vulnerable.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: And then you respected their boundaries by checking in and when they said no, you didn’t tell them the rest of the story.

Cathy: Right.

Reid: Don’t be that person who’s like, “Hey, do you mind if I tell you this deep thing about myself?” and they’re like, “No thank you,” and you’re like, “Well my mother and father blah, blah.” Don’t be that person.

Cathy: And if they do say yes then you can trust. You could be more relaxed when you tell them because they’ve already agreed. They’re there because they chose to be and they’re listening because they know that there’s something coming and they’re ready to be there for you. So I’m Cathy Vartuli from the http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com and this is Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com and we hope that you get to go out there and be more vulnerable and be more intimate.

Reid: Awesome. Let us know what you think about these podcasts or videocasts or whatever the kids are calling them these days and we’ll see you next time.

Cathy: Thanks everyone.

 

More articles on improving your communication and relationship skills:

Vulnerability: Sharing without Being a Victim

Vulnerability: Privacy vs Transparency

By | 2016-01-06T12:00:00+00:00 March 3, 2013|Dating, Relationship Skills|