You shared something personal that may have been a hurt, or a fear, or a regret, and your confidant did not keep the secret. You felt completely betrayed. It may have been intentional, accidental, or even in an attempt to be “helpful”, but you vowed to yourself that you would NEVER allow that to happen again! Have you ever felt this way?
When you’ve been hurt, it can be difficult to open yourself up and trust someone again. I believe we have all experienced this in one way or another. In my book Lady and the Tribe, I named this sub-set of our identity Jaded. To some degree Jaded is in our armory of defense mechanisms and serves a purpose – for a moment or short period of time. However, Jaded is not a state where we should exist long term When we “live” Jaded we may think we are protecting ourselves but we are really hurting ourselves by removing our opportunities to be truly seen, known and belong.
We cannot discover where and how we “fit in” to this world and live our purpose if we don’t feel understood. Being understood requires that we are vulnerable and share our hearts with a few trusted allies. Being vulnerable means taking risks, which can feel intimidating and scary after being hurt in the past. However, it is possible to do things differently and allow yourself to become vulnerable again, and there are some steps you can take to help ensure a safe, trusting and deep relationship.
1. Take your time. It’s important to recognize that it takes time to heal after being hurt, and to be open to a new relationship. Don’t rush into it, and instead focus on getting to know the person and building a solid foundation of trust.
2. Open up in small steps. If you’re afraid of being hurt again, it can be helpful to start small. Share something small and personal, like a story about your childhood or a challenge you’ve faced in the past. This can help you start to feel comfortable opening up more.
3. Set boundaries. It’s important to set boundaries in any relationship, and this is especially true when you’re trying to become vulnerable again. Make sure you communicate your needs and expectations clearly and make sure the other person is respecting them.
4. Talk about your fears. Talk to your friend about your fears and hesitations about being vulnerable. Be honest about what you’ve been through and how it made you feel. Talking about these feelings can help you both better understand each other.
5. Have a support system. Building your Tribe, a support network of friends and family, is important in any situation, but especially when you’re trying to become vulnerable again. They can help you feel safe and supported while you’re taking risks and opening up. Your support system can also include a coach who can add perspective from an outside view who will always be in your corner.
Being vulnerable again after being hurt can be scary, but it’s also an important step in healing and trusting again. Sometimes it’s helpful to find a guide or coach to help you grow in your authenticity with steps and strategies that make you feel secure. By taking your time, opening up in small steps, setting boundaries, talking about your fears, and having a support system, you can become vulnerable again in a safe and healthy way, and it’s always ok to ask for help.
All my love,
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