We Are All Vulnerable
All our lives we are led to believe that vulnerability is a weakness, something that we should try to eradicate or at least not portray to others, especially in business. We put on a mask of our best selves while on a first date, a job interview, on social media, or even on a night out with friends. The truth is however that everyone has vulnerabilities, and we all know that other people do too. So what are we actually gaining by hiding them away and portraying this fake illusion of someone who has no flaws whatsoever?
Of course it’s natural to want to try and hide our weaknesses away, it’s in our nature. We as humans are very sociable creatures, and what better way to induce sociability and communication than by portraying yourself to be this ideal version of yourself to others? If they found out about your true self and your little habits and fears, surely they’d go running for the hills! Heaven forbid they should realise that you have vulnerabilities as they do.
People Like Vulnerability
In actual fact, research has suggested time and time again that vulnerability is actually paramount to success. In 1997, Arthur Aron who is a social psychologist performed an experiment which demonstrate the correlation between vulnerability and deeper connections. The experiment put strangers together who had to ask each other a series of questions. One group were given fairly superficial questions, while the other group had some very personal, prying answers to give. The results were that the second group felt themselves to have formed stronger, more meaningful connections and had a much more intense bonding session than the others. Two of the participants even got married after meeting each other during the research study!
Vulnerability And Success
Okay, so we’ve established that opening up and sharing vulnerabilities can build stronger and deeper connections, but what about success? Well recently Javier Sarda researched the consequences of writing vulnerable blog posts. It was discovered in actual fact that the more personal the blog post, especially if displaying a vulnerable side, had much more shares and comments than other blog posts from the same author.
Entrepreneur Tim Ferris even opened up about his long struggle with depression online, and his battle with frequent suicidal thoughts. Although you would naturally be put off sharing something so personal with the world, readers really connected with him and his exposure and content grew as a result.
Successful businessman Derek Halpern explained in one blog post how his childhood was very difficult and he was often surrounded by drug and alcohol abuse. This fragile side to the entrepreneur actually made people warm to him and again increased exposure.
Get Out There
So in conclusion, sometimes we have to battle that inner natural urge to hide our vulnerabilities, be it in a job interview or on a first date. It won’t be nearly as disastrous as you imagine it would be, in fact studies have proven that it will probably have the opposite effect. Open up about yourself and you will connect with people on a much deeper level, and positive results will follow. Successful connections with other human beings equal a successful life.