This is a transcript of Podcast #3 that I made on Instagram: @potatopaikia, in which I shared my thoughts for the following question(s) from a follower who is a working adult:
How is being vulnerable strong?
My answer: There are no contradictions when I say that vulnerability is strength. What many people do not realise is that the ability to be vulnerable, is in itself, the greatest display of emotional strength and confidence.
This can actually also be the vital difference between being able to form real human connections with people, the start of business partnerships and landing yourself a job.
As scary as it appears to be, being vulnerable removes the unnecessary walls between yourself and the people whom you are trying to connect with. It removes the need to have a perfect image of yourself, and allows others to meet you halfway.
People who are not confident will not do this, because it involves a huge amount of risk. A risk that may end up with you being seen as less cool, less attractive, less powerful, or just not as good as you would like others to see you as.
One of the telltale signs of someone who is really able to be vulnerable is a person who does not take him or herself too seriously. This type of person accepts that he or she doesn’t have to be seen as cool all the time, or to be the best at everything. He or she will also have no need to put down or speak ill of others to manipulate how others perceive people to be in order to elevate his or her own status subconsciously.
These are the most in tune with who they are, and are also the most likely to accept other people for who they are, without judging them. Their principle is based on knowing their own value does not fluctuate when other people do not accept them for who they are.
There is a quote from one of my favourite books, “Scary Close” by Donald Miller, which was recommended to me by my very first intern, Felicia Quick. It was a book which I absolutely loved. And the quote reads:
It costs personal fear to be authentic but the reward is integrity, and by that I mean a soul fully integrated, no difference between his act and his actual person.
Having integrity is about being the same person on the inside that we are on the outside, and if we don’t have integrity, life becomes exhausting.
This basically challenges all of us to stop being the hypocrites we are, to learn to drop the act by being vulnerable, and in so doing to be more authentic.
How do I develop more empathy through little daily interactions like you said?
This simply means you take a genuine interest in the lives of the people you interact with.
You do not only choose to hang out with cool people. Or attractive people . Or people of great influence and power.
You start becoming someone who treats and interacts with the road sweeper, the helper etc. with the same kind of respect and attention as you would a Director or CEO of your company.
And in each given interaction, you give that person you are interacting with your undivided attention. You basically make that person feel like he or she is the most important person in the world.
Doing this naturally displays emotional strength, and sub-communicates to others that you are someone with power without a word being said.