In the past I have struggled with vulnerability. I have faked vulnerability, I have confused love with vulnerability, I have supported others in their vulnerability. Yet I didn’t always know how to be vulnerable myself. It was like the very idea of what that meant was a bit murky to me. “Is vulnerability telling someone all my thoughts? Is it letting someone have the ‘power’ in a dynamic? Is it ‘giving up’?” I wasn’t sure.
I’ve put a LOT of thought into this, and watched very helpful videos on the topic of vulnerability, like this one and this one.
Here’s what I think so far.
I think a huge obstacle in my ability to be vulnerable with others was that I needed first to be vulnerable with myself. I believe it’s impossible to be able to discriminate what vulnerable information we should dispense in our interpersonal relationships and to have the judgment necessary to do so if we aren’t first completely and entirely vulnerable with ourselves.
And what does being vulnerable with ourselves look like?
Well, for me, it looks like acknowledging my emotional reality. It looks like being utterly frank with myself about how I’m feeling about whatever I’m thinking about. It means accepting my feelings for what they are and working with them, acknowledging that there’s no point in trying to hide/cover up/mask my emotions to myself.
This might sound silly or obvious, I don’t know. Maybe it’s easy for most people to acknowledge their feelings for themselves. All I know is my experience, and my experience is that I’m SO guarded with some parts of myself that I will try to protect myself… from myself! I’ll attempt to keep my own emotions at arm’s length with a multitude of useful tools I’ve developed through the years – humor, avoidance, distraction, etc.
If I had to guess, I’d say this deep-rooted belief (protecting myself from my emotions is smart) developed because I FEEL so intensely. Emotions are so overwhelming sometimes, they can seem to just consume me and envelop me in their magnitude. I think I was worried that if I felt them, they would control me.
In retrospect, exactly the behaviors that I thought were stopping my emotions from controlling me were causing my emotions to control me. Funny how that works out, huh?
Because I so often refused to acknowledge my REAL feelings toward things and instead tried to wedge my feelings into a version of myself that I wasn’t, my emotions were in fact controlling me. It’s like I was in a constant game of cat-and-mouse between my head and my heart, and it was exhausting.
Realizing that my emotions will always have power and I might as well accept them has been hugely liberating for me. <- This is what being vulnerable with myself looks like for me.
Being vulnerable with myself allows me to be able to show up for myself. I can protect myself, push myself, be as easy or hard on myself as I need to be in a given moment, and essentially be a better judge of myself ONLY when I am vulnerable. If I’m blocking and refusing vulnerability, I have no chance at being an accurate judge of myself/my character/my behaviors and actions, and that just sounds awful.
Hi jennette me and my daughter are huge fans and we both still love icarly and sam and cat. My daughter is turning 13 in december and has extremely bad anxiety and depression when it comes to school. She is obsessed with your blog and would love to meet you. From donna and denise
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jennette if i may sugest u just stay ur self and be strong and control ur feelings even that its hard for u to control them if u can control ur feelings then u will not be so vulnerable be strong and learn how to control ur feelings
To be honest, I don’t believe in vulnerability. It shows way more that people need to know. It also opens you up to be taken advantage of. I mean, vulnerable: “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Sure, I guess privately you can open up to that feeling, but why do you want to be vulnerable, it doesn’t help you…Vulnerability also leads to a lot of confusion, it can lead to a lot of questions and helplessness. It’s a feeling I don’t want to face. I don’t know, maybe I’m being weak by not wanting to be vulnerable. But… Read more »
Thanks for posting that. Getting peoples brain juice flowing is awesome . Not much of that nowadays. Just a blank society with brain deadards.
Nice post. I think i’m still trying to be comfortable with allotting myself the ability to be vulnerable in any situation. I think most of my vulnerabilities were of a forced nature in life thus forcing me to be vulnerable to vulnerability topics. Kind of an odd sounding topic, but I believe that to be most accurate when referring to myself. Backing out of situations is a serious symptom of ‘forced vulnerabilities’. That or just kind of ‘Hey! Hey!’. i guess it depends on the type of vulnerability. There’s a lot of different shades of grey when it comes to… Read more »
I don’t know about vulnerability, but I know about intense emotions. I learned at an early age to hide my emotions. I know what it is like to look into the eyes of others and see the fear and worry associated with witnessing my feelings. My emotions scare me at times so I don’t blame anyone. Much later I learned that bottling up emotions was a bad idea so I decided on a different approach that works for me. I don’t try to control my emotions. I know that won’t work. I control when, where, and (sometimes) how I express… Read more »
I can relate to the part where you said you feel too much. as a cancer, i also feel TOO much. people see me as a tough kid but i’m actually a cry baby. i think feeling too much is kind of a good thing. The shitty thing about feeling too much tho is that i can’t express my feelings. I can’t show what i’m feeling and i’m a pro on doing that. My feelings consume me and i feel like my heart is being tightened by a giant fist and there’s nothing i can do about. That sucks and… Read more »
i recommend looking into “emotion regulation” natural techniques, like mindfulness, meditation, and breathing techniques!! these things helped me a lot.
woo will do! thanks J!
P.s.: when will we hear more about your values project?!
Yeah… i think emotional regulation though needs to come with a regulation. Too much regulation is torture.
first of all, amazingg blog love it! and happy late birthday. secondly, on your last blog I commented: Hey Jennette First of all, I’m one of your biggest well, fans doesn’t describe it really well but super duper fans if that makes sense it might seem all creepy and stuff but I’m literally in love with everything about you (obsessed) LITERALLY I’ve even watched every single movie and tv show you’ve acted in and every interview plus songs etc…, I’m just a 14-year-old girl but believe me when I say that I’ve been through a lot, I’ve been bullied at… Read more »
I do not think it’s vulnerability, nor do I think that you should be vulnerable with yourself. I think it is some kind of insecurity with yourself but I can think a lot of things but the truth only you know what is inside you. Ask yourself why you had to delete all your tweets and your instagram photos. I also delete many things but I do not know if for the same reasons that you. Edit: Why was this video delete? ” Website Photoshoot Behind the Scene” The “I like” that you gave to my comment was lost in… Read more »
While I appreciate your comment, I wholeheartedly disagree. I think it’s necessary to be vulnerable with myself in order for my own personal growth and happiness!
Let’s be honest you do not appreciate my comment, I do not even appreciate my comment nor my mom appreciates my comment. The truth I wrote for the simple fact of writing something, I knew that you only respond once in your blogs. I really didn’t know what to comment add to that my poor English+google translate+my terrible Spanish grammar. Mention “insecurity” about this: “I have confused love with vulnerability, Is vulnerability telling someone all my thoughts? Is it letting someone have the ‘power’ in a dynamic? Is it ‘giving up’?” “nor do I think that you should be vulnerable… Read more »
I really like his site you have here, this has opened my eyes more and made me think about my feelings which I can relate to how you are feeling by reading your post a couple times. You are such an amazing person unlike other bozo celebs out there, You deserve nothing but the best and I hope you had great 25th birthday. See you on your next post.
I sometimes feel that my emotions take over my because I would more and more down on myself since I notice that I often try to make others happy while putting my own happiness at risk. Emotions are overwhelming and there are times that I let it control my thoughts; however, I’m the only one that has control over my thoughts and must choose to control it the right way. Reading your post has made me think about how powerful emotions really are and it is possible to push your self to think and stay positive. There are times that… Read more »
good for you!
Sometimes the toughest thing ever is to literally will good thoughts into the mind to make situations better. Some of us get a bit lazy mentally and get drowned in misery.
Miss McCurdy, this is very eye opening to me. I think this is exactly what I am doing. After reading this I honestly think I need to do some digging into myself, lol.
Love hearing this!
I don’t have any thoughts but I’ve never had the trouble of being vulnerable with myself.
Well there has been sometimes when I have suppressed certain emotions like sadness ,lost, anger I only did it because in the situation I thought there I needed to be a strong person to be a rock for others.
Emotions and feelings are strange I guess we never truly understand them.
i encourage you to not suppress!
In the future i will try not to suppress
I’m curious as to the effect of what if you put some emotions up front and leave some for an already solved situation later. Wondering if that would be classed as damaging. I do believe that any storing of emotion for a later date might be a bit damaging depending on the emotion. Hey i’ll use most of my sadness later today. Unsure of the effects of that.
I never used any tools to get away from feels, I have always had my feelings so intensely years before. And years before after huge scars I lost all of them. Dont know what causing it but now I’m numb emotionwise. Feeling intensely and not developing any tool to protect myself made like you didn’t work out for me, now I’m not vulnerable but I would be better if I could feel my emotions as I had before.
i truly hope you spend some time to connect with yourself and feel what you feel
I’ve never had the trouble of being vulnerable with myself it’s always with others that I have a hard time with. But it’s the people I feel I care for a lot, that I feel I cannot be as vulnerable with. I think knowing when to be vulnerable with others and what to be vulnerable about is what’s hard. This is something that has been bothering me for a while. I don’t mind sharing with, but I never really know what I should do with the person involved. I had a situation where I pretty much so knew I’d like… Read more »
You might as well take a chance Kyle and tell her cuz if she decides to not like you anymore then she wasn’t worth it in the first place.
i’m a big fan of honesty. i hope you do what you feel is best!
It is liberating to talk about these issues, to be 100% honest with myself, I would have liked this to be in school time, that I always felt vulnerable, my self-esteem was on the floor, my surroundings did not help me, my classmates, Of me, I did not accept myself as I am, I had those insecurities that sometimes I could not sleep, (to be different from another I am not) and it was difficult to pass that process, with the help of my family, and a therapist, A little I went to leave those insecurities and understood that vulnerability… Read more »
i love hearing about your improvement and how you are working on yourself!
Vulnerability has been,at least in my opinion, admitting to myself that sometimes I truly don’t know or understand what I really need or should do. Once I acknowledged that and truly understood it I found that vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness but yet another strength.
Jennette! In my experience, one of the most enlightening and powerful feelings is when you can be 100% honest with yourself about everything. And, as you covered, being vunerable is really being honest with yourself as to how you really feel. I practice the honesty all the time. For example, if I am thinking of buying something or making a big decision, I always ask myself “Is this the 100% truth or is it to applease, fit in, or hide my true feelings?”. If I ask myself that with anything I run into it, it is very, very helpful. Because… Read more »
love your thought process behind purchases.