By Gregori Savva, Jan 27 2016 11:15AM
Experiencing Vulnerability in Relationships:
People often ask me to help them build confidence and self-esteem, but may wonder whether going down the counselling route is self-indulgent or a sign of weakness. To my mind understand your vulnerabilities is a strength. At Counselling Twickenham EnduringMind, I encourage clients to practice exercises for you to learn to tolerate and accept your own vulnerability. We often develop childlike states of mind when we are under pressure, going through stressful periods or in a personal crisis. However, being aware of your own vulnerability is essential if we are to restore our confidence and sense of empowerment. It may even allow you to open up to the idea of it as a positive emotional experience – building up your awareness of vulnerability in a variety of situations through mindful exercises.
Try not use these experiential exercises to expose yourself unduly to sensations or feelings, which seem unmanageable, distressing or overwhelming to you. Take responsibility for yourself and your own experience. Try to create a sense of balance between safety and challenge in any situation where you feel your vulnerability is present. Put in a safe boundary at the same time. Do not contrive situations to make yourself feel deliberately vulnerable. And take incremental steps rather than push yourself unnecessarily.
• Create an awareness of your vulnerability in real time; both alone and with others when you notice it is present
• Try to tolerate and accept that vulnerability, noticing sensations, feelings and emotions attached to it as they arise in different situations, with different people
• Notice the negative/disadvantages of your vulnerability – e.g. pain, hurt, loss, desensitization, anxiety, loss of boundaries
• Notice the positive/benefits of your vulnerability – e.g. noticing your limits, taking reasonable risks, feelings of liberation and empowerment, being enlivened, challenging yourself, deeper connection with others
At first notice vulnerability by yourself. When you feel ready and more confident begin to express it in some ways to others, without losing your boundaries or sense of self-control