As we’ve discussed before, every person comes with their very own flaws. And some have more emotional baggage to carry than others, which can often be the result of some sort of negative childhood upbringing or any other events that happened throughout the period of development whilst growing up. It can be that these fundamental experiences that a person has gone through, shape the behavior they display towards other people later in life…. especially those expressed in romantic relationships.
Having a soft heart in a cruel world is not weakness. It’s courage.
Such behavior can be displayed in many different forms… for example, a partner may rapidly back down and go within themselves whenever they face a conflict with their partner. Other people may repeatedly tell themselves that they don’t need anyone to make them happy, as they can fully enjoy life without someone by their side. Others, especially those affected by traumatic or even abusive experiences, may seek closeness but quickly distance themselves again once they begin to feel things getting ‘too close’. These people have learned that not everybody, in fact, most people, are not safe. They associate their past with their future.
These are all examples of so-called ‘protection mechanisms’ or ‘barriers’ people in relationships may use. They simply don’t want to be vulnerable to something.
Understanding that vulnerability is a must for emotional and physical closeness
The world has enough men and woman who live a masked insecurity. It needs more men and woman who live a brave vulnerability.
Closeness doesn’t happen by pretending to be someone that you’re really not. It also doesn’t occur through protecting yourself from someone else. Real and true closeness can only occur when we begin to display our authentic self and overcome all barriers of inner insecurity. It happens when we begin to show someone who we are. Sounds simple. I know. But what does that actually mean?
- Embracing your fears and weaknesses – have the guts to show and communicate your doubts and insecurities to your partner. Express your fears and what really makes you afraid.
- Accepting who you are – Now, this is where it gets difficult! So read this part twice. Most people find it very difficult to be/live their authentic self because they experience a deep-seated sense of insecurity and lack of confidence. They fear rejection. They are afraid that they are not the perfect man or the perfect woman for their partner. Because of what they think their flaws might be, they fear that they may not be smart enough, not good-looking enough or simply said… not ‘good enough’. So what they do instead is ‘protect’ themselves by desperately trying to put on something that they simply aren’t… they display avoidant behavior. Again the latter depends on various circumstances.
“What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.” – Brene Brown
Opening yourself up to your partner
Okay, we know that closeness requires vulnerability. If we aim to be the perfect man or the perfect woman, surely we may display a sense of perfectionism and great behavior, but we will always be haunted by anxiety. So my friend, in case nobody has ever told you… YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!
Here are a few ways that help you open yourself up to your partner…
Remember: A feeling of deep and internal loneliness is probably the worst emotional state a person can possibly be in. Be there for each other.
Is your partner an introvert or extrovert? Being aware of your partner’s mental state is crucial, especially if they are having difficulty opening themselves up to you. But even people who are introverted, who don’t require many people in their lives, need at least one person who they can openly talk to about their feelings. One simple tip to practice empathy is through communication. Engage in frequent talks together and try and make your partner feel comfortable by building a sense of commonality, love and affection.
#2 Realizing that your past is NOT your future.
People who have come out of abusive relationships or who may have been through major adversity with their former partner may have prejudices about new people they meet. They no longer accept that new people are ‘safe’. Even if they get together, there may still be an underlying fear/anxiety of uncertainty and skepticism. The best way to overcome this is to tell your inner self that your past is now over and never to return. Nothing on earth happens twice and as my parents always told me… ‘there is always something better to come’. This is a saying that has always been true for me. Hands down, no dispute. Have faith. 🙂
I know, this may be difficult to manage. Click here to help you understand and manage this even better.
#3 Embracing yourself/Don’t fear rejection
Accepting yourself that you’re good enough is key. Meditate on it! It really doesn’t matter what flaws you have. In fact, no one gives a f**k about them! The only people who do, are the ones that care about you because you are the way you are… in this respect you may as well stay true to who you are and embrace your own flaws. Simple.
#4 Say what you really want
You have a moral obligation to tell your partner what you really want from a relationship. You have the right to be the happiest, fulfilled and best version of yourself. Everyday. Telling your partner what you deeply desire and want from them is crucial if you want to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Again, don’t be afraid of rejection! You will never find out who is the perfect fit for you if you don’t say what you truly want.
Take-home message. Start to embrace your vulnerability and insecurities. Open up to the world. It’s not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of great courage and will ultimately attract and inspire those that really belong in your life. You are worthy of love and belonging. ❤