Emotional Depth And Your Relationship: 3 Ways To Build Emotional Vulnerability

For some individuals, sharing their feelings with others can be challenging. Particularly, if they have been through a traumatic experience. In such cases, people may put up emotional barriers as a defense mechanism to avoid potential pain from abandonment or betrayal. However, for a relationship to thrive, both individuals must embrace emotional vulnerability and communicate openly.  

Developing emotional vulnerability often takes time, as individuals need to become more comfortable with opening up. As they gradually relax, connecting with others through genuine and non-confrontational conversations becomes easier. Overcoming the fear of being close to others is the final hurdle. Once this fear is conquered, emotional vulnerability can eventually become second nature.

What Is Emotional Vulnerability? 

Man and Woman Holding Hands Walking on Seashore during Sunrise

Emotional vulnerability involves acknowledging and expressing emotions, particularly those that stem from a hostile place. It’s an important skill and involves building coping skills like sharing constructively and active listening. It requires self-awareness and the willingness to recognize difficult emotions like anger and shame. Most importantly, actual emotional vulnerability entails being authentic to oneself. 

How Can I Become More Emotionally Vulnerable?

Emotional vulnerability can be learned through positive practices that help you feel safer while navigating this new territory and help you build stronger connections. Being upfront and honest with someone about your wants and needs can help them understand your expectations in the relationship. Establishing healthy boundaries can limit a person’s ability to take advantage of you and reduce situations where you feel uncomfortable. Lastly, embracing emotional vulnerability also means recognizing that it’s okay to ask for help when needed.

1. Be Honest About Your Wants and Needs

It’s essential to be honest about your wants and needs, whether romantic or platonic, within any relationship. While you shouldn’t make demands during a first meeting, like a first date, it’s reasonable to bring up important things after a couple of months. For instance, in a platonic friendship, you can express that you cannot tolerate someone dating a friend’s ex for the friendship to survive. This open communication helps determine compatibility early on and prevents the relationship from becoming unhealthy. Additionally, the other person will have a harder time trying to pressure you if you say exactly what you expect to occur during your relationship.

2. Establishing Healthy Boundaries

Establishing healthy boundaries is beneficial because it helps to keep you out of uncomfortable situations. For example, if you agreed to help someone move, but with the condition that you couldn’t stay past 7:00 PM, then your friend tries to persuade you to stay longer, firmly remind them of the agreement. Address the boundary violation. If more personal boundaries, such as where you agree to be touched, are disregarded, it may be necessary to reevaluate the relationship. No one should ever be forced into doing something that they don’t want to do.

3. It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Emotional vulnerability is all about expressing your feelings without fearing judgment. Therefore, becoming more emotionally vulnerable requires being open to asking for help, which can be the first step in the journey. How can you expect to become more emotionally vulnerable without first allowing yourself to be vulnerable? Recognizing the need for help in this area is an act of emotional vulnerability in itself. It all connects together to make you a more complete person.

Opening Up Can Be Scary

The bottom line is that relationships cannot flourish without emotional depth and vulnerability. Opening up and being honest with others is a natural part of the human experience. Being able to do so in a healthy manner is often cathartic and therapeutic for everyone involved. 

If you would like to learn more about emotional depth and vulnerability, feel free to contact me.