Why is it so hard to be vulnerable in intimate relationships?
I can’t count the number of women I’ve worked with that struggle with this question. And while yes, most of those intimate relationships have to do with romantic partners/- it seems more recently, it’s beginning to effect their relationships with their children, parents, and friends.
And you know what they all have in common?
POWER + SUCCESS!!
Yep. The common thread among all these amazing women, besides being beautiful, fit, charming, and friendly is that they are all professionally successful. And to get “there”, they had to choose each day — usually for years, to be strong, to persevere in the face of adversity, and to push their femininity to the side in order to reach the brass ring and be “Super Woman”.
But what they didn’t count on when they started down this path is that… no matter how strong they get… even Super Woman wants to be “seen” and loved. By her lover, partner, friends, children, parents, and sometimes even her co-workers. But to admit that she wants love, attention, or really, the kind of emotional validation only people close to her can give, makes her feel weak.
In their climb up the ladder, or even push to survive, many women have given up the very thing that gives them their real power, their femininity. The part of them that can be vulnerable, ask for help, ask for and express love, and be soft. So then when it comes time to be all those things, they’re at a loss to know how. Creating confusion, chaos, and heartache in their relationships, which then causes them to withdraw from their femininity even more.
So how can you shift this belief, and empower your femininity?
Begin by reminding yourself that every belief you hold to be true, once started off as an idea for you. And therefore, you have the power to change it.
Next, start to view being vulnerable as a “Super Power!” Start playing with ways you can practice being soft, feminine, expressive, or even vulnerable in ways that feel supportive, and make you “feel safe.”
Once you’re comfortable with the idea of being vulnerable, soft, and feminine, practice acting this way in your relationships.
- Tell someone how you feel.
- Ask for someone’s help or company.
- Let a friend know you’d like a phone call.
- Allow a friend or partner support you in a project.
- And most importantly, be gentle with yourself during the process.
It took a long time for you to build up your armor and shield, to become your own Super Hero. So it’s going to take a bit to soften up to let the “right” people in to love and support you.