Vulnerability Creates Connection

Being vulnerable allows us to connect to other people at a deeper level. Connecting to people at a deeper level will serve to increase our happiness as we feel the joy of understanding and being understood. Connecting to people also allows us to find purpose to our lives. Still, there are people in the world that are not to be trusted with our vulnerability. How can you tell if this is a safe person or not? Here are some characteristics to look for in a person that can serve as a helpful guide.

Empathy: When a person demonstrates empathy they are considerate and thoughtful about the needs of others. They think about what other people might be considering and take time to feel what it might be like in another person’s life. Demonstrating empathy shows consideration for others and allows you to understand that this is the kind of person who is unlikely to be wrapped up in their own interests at the expense of other people.

Personal Responsibility: When a person demonstrates personal responsibility they show that they are responsible for their own actions and the possible consequences of those actions. They do not blame others for their circumstances but take responsibility for the contributions they may have made. Demonstrating personal responsibility can be as simple as taking ownership for a situation. For example, rather than blaming traffic for being late, they admit that left late.

Impulse Control: When a person demonstrates impulse control they have control over their emotions and do not act impulsively to get their needs met. This can range from controlling the impulse to spend money to refraining from angry outbursts. A person who demonstrates impulse control does not allow their emotions to rule them and has learned how to have emotions whilst regulating emotional relief with proper coping skills.

Time is the key feature in gathering information to understand if a person demonstrates these three qualities. When we rush to disclose information we can find ourselves disappointed in the reaction, or lack of reaction. Remember, the goal of being vulnerable is to connect with another person.

If an individual demonstrates these qualities it is highly likely that they are worthy of your trust. Remember that people aren’t perfect, but seeking relationships with these types of individuals is a healthy way to build lasting relationships.

So…do you demonstrate these characteristics?

-Loni Kennington Harmon

*adapted from Dating Game Secrets to Marrying a Good Man by Alisa Goodwin Snell

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