How emotionally transparent are you? Do you tap into your vulnerable side? Some people are very good at being emotionally transparent and vulnerable. What you see is what you get! Comfort-ability to be emotionally transparent and vulnerable comes from a variety of factors such as: culture, environment, and life experiences. In many cultures emotional vulnerability and having transparency is seen as weak. These two words have a negative connotation. Although many cultures have this belief, both are needed for growth. So, how do you find a common ground between being transparent and vulnerable? How do you stay comfortable in your skin during the process?
For me, the last several years have been about being more emotionally transparent and vulnerable. These two areas have been my focus for growth. The stoic base which was instilled in me has been challenged by many life experiences that were out of my control. We can not control everything..lol. Now, this is not to say that going through these life experiences had a negative outcome. The true plum fact is, while experiencing emotional vulnerability and transparency, you can become quite uncomfortable. But I would never change the end result. For me, repetition of the process made my emotional transparency and vulnerability phase a little easier. The result, was a better me! But, how can you go through the process of emotional vulnerability and transparency, and still be in one piece while trying to better yourself? Here are 7 steps to help you through the transition process. They are as follows:
- Recognize- Recognize the emotion you are feeling in the growth process? Do not react immediately and give yourself time to explore the emotion. How does it make you feel? Once you label the feeling do not judge yourself for having an emotion.
- Understand- Try to understand the emotion. Why do you feel this way? What triggered the emotion? Is it a feeling you have experienced before? If familiar, how did you respond before and did it help your growth? If not, you may need to figure out a different response. Remember, every response does not promote growth and healing!
- Manage- There are a few questions you should ask yourself when going through an emotional process. Do you feel you need to address the situation or did the feeling pass? I know we hate to ask out selves this one- but is it possible that you over reacted to the situation? We all have done this every once and a while..Lol! What have you learned? If the situation arises again, will you feel the same level of vulnerability?
- Allow Room for Mistakes- Growth in dealing with emotional transparency and vulnerability takes time and practice to learn. Allow yourself room for mistakes within the process. Being hard on yourself will cause more stress and anxiety. You may be less likely to complete the process and hinder your growth.
- Build an Environment of Trust- In order for others to feel comfortable to be emotionally transparent and vulnerable, an environment of trust must be built. Weather it is a romantic relationship, a circle of friends, and/or a work circle; everyone has to be comfortable within the circle in order to share their feelings open and honestly. Allowing this level of comfort-ability, everyone's true wishes can be known and the people involved can adjust accordingly.
- Be Present- Make time to connect with your spouse, circle, family, and/or employees on a regular basis. Making one-on-one time with others in your space decreases the frequent need of the emotional transparency and vulnerability need.
- Listen More Than You Speak- When a negative emotion is triggered, and the emotional transparency and vulnerability cycle is in process, be a good listener. Sometimes people need to vent and release all of their emotions. You may be the first person this individual was able to release their feelings to. Everyone who release emotions does not need their problem solved. Ask if your assistance is needed, or do they just need a listening ear? This establishes you as a trusted resource and someone they can depend on during the emotional transparency and vulnerability process.