(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
Actors are frequently told to be vulnerable in order to tap into the subtle attributes of the character they are portraying. In popular literature people who are vulnerable are seen as somehow better off than others.
In the sense that a vulnerable person is open and openness allows greater awareness, vulnerability has its place. But many people are not comfortable with the notion of being vulnerable. Something about it seems off to them.
It may be that they have “vulnerable” collapsed with “intimate.”
Try this: intimate is what you feel when around your family and friends (or, people who love you) and vulnerable is what you feel when around your enemies (or, if not outright enemies, people who don t have your best interests at heart).
If you find yourself withholding intimacy, maybe you feel vulnerable. Check out how you feel about the relationship.
Coaching Point: Where is one relationship where you feel vulnerable and would like to have intimacy? What needs to change?
Copyright 2006 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.