4 Times it’s Okay NOT to be Vulnerable


I spent the weekend in an intensive workshop.   I was the kind I dream of! FULL of good stuff for my clients AND for me + my life.

I’m still digesting most of the info and I’m sure it’ll show up in future posts.   


There was one piece of info that came through so loud and clear that I can’t help but share it today:  sometimes it’s okay NOT to be vulnerable.


Now, I’m a total Brené Brown groupie.   Even snuck into a friend’s work place to see her speak in person.  


(Yep. You know you’ve reached a new life stage when the highlight of your year is sneaking into someone’s work place to see your favorite researcher speak.)


And I’m all about vulnerability.  


I spend my life, work and days doing my best to understand, define, practice + teach vulnerability.  It truly is the key to connection.  And, it’s where our strength comes from.


So, I was totally surprised when the workshop leader started our time together with the standard therapy workshop intro, “Be sure to take care of yourself this weekend” and I heard it totally differently than ever before.


He was giving me permission to NOT be vulnerable if need be.


You know what? There were moments I choose to take full advantage of that permission.   And, it was awesome!


Not that I spent the weekend with my walls up.  I didn’t.


Or that I didn’t choose to be vulnerable at points. ‘Cause I did.  


AND, my choice to take care of myself throughout the weekend and NOT be vulnerable a few times totally changed my experience, interest, willingness and ability to be vulnerable, to learn, to grow + to heal.


It was exactly what I needed to get the most out of the weekend.


So, today I’m sharing 4 times it’s okay NOT to be vulnerable.


1.  When it will totally deplete you.

Depletion totally has it’s place in healing + growth.   It can be a very valuable tool and sometimes is absolutely necessary.

AND, it can keep you from getting shit done if you let it.  

If being vulnerable will create so much emotional fatigue that you won’t take needed action then it’s OK to skip it.  This time.  


2.  When you can’t be nice- or emotionally tolerate– feedback.   Even when it’s positive.

Sometimes we are so raw that any feedback, even love, coming out way reduces us to tears.  

I remember this when vividly when my hubby and I were going through some really hard times.  

If I talked about it, I cried.  
If someone tried to comfort me, I cried.

The only way to keep moving forward + function at work was to limit what I shared with people.


3.  When people aren’t trustworthy. (Different than your trust muscle being weak.)

Brené Brown says, “You only tell your story to those who have earned the right to hear it.”

Just ‘cause an acquaintance, your mortal frenemy, your boss or your sister asks about something doesn’t mean you have to spill the beans.  
Choose who you share with purposefully, intentionally and wisely.


4.  When it’s a bigger fish than you can fry in the time you have.


If you’ve got a story or beef that’ll take an hour to unravel and only 5 minutes to spend on it… probably not the best time to dive into it.  

Knowing the limits of what you can or can’t get to in the time/energy/focus you have is a key distinction between vulnerability and neediness. 


In a nutshell: a truly heartfelt, courageous, compassionate + vulnerable life requires parameters + limits.   Vulnerability is about making choices to share who you really are, what you really need and what you really feel in ways that empower you + deepen your connections with the people in your life. And sometimes, that means NOT sharing.

P.S.  If you haven’t watched Brené’s TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability you’re in for a treat!   It’s 20 minutes and worth every single second! 🙂

[ted id=1042]