I Can Be Candid… So Why Can't I Be Vulnerable?

Happy Wednesday, everyone! πŸ™‚

I wanted to start with a quick little thank-you note to a fellow blogging family (www.ourdidjourney.com) that I met recently online, who wrote a really, really, really generous and validating post about my blog and my writing. You can check out the post here: Up and coming; The anxious powerliftin’ Sadie. (Blushy Ginger). Thank you guys — for seeing what I am trying to do, and in some ways articulating it more clearly than I have been able to myself. And for just being fun and friendly generally.

For the past week or so, I’ve been mulling over the difference between candidness and vulnerability.

I realized that while I don’t balk at candidly sharing the details of my social anxiety journey, that’s not exactly the same thing as being truly vulnerable.

This is true for me in real life, too. I’m candid in conversations about so many things. I’m not afraid to talk openly about mental health or sexuality or the weird things our bodies do. (Provided the person I’m talking to is not put off by those topics.)

But to be truly vulnerable? To share my unfiltered, un-curated thoughts in real time? To show raw, messy, potentially unpalatable FEELINGS and reactions?

I think it’s rooted in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of conflict, fear of disapproval. Fear of losing control over myself. Fear of what others might think if they meet the Unfiltered Me — because I don’t even know who that is.

Social anxiety is so, so much more than “shyness.” It’s a barrier between me and the world. Between me and YOU.

And the barrier has been there for so long that it has been internalized. It’s become an internal barrier between me and myself.

And I’m tired. Tired of the constant tug-of-war between my true desires and the disorder that stifles them.

Maybe it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t crave connection with others. If I didn’t yearn for creative expression. If I didn’t still have a feisty little redhead trapped somewhere inside me.

But I do. I do.

I want those things.

I hesitated to write such a heavy post. I like to be positive and encouraging. But I should probably be real, too, right? Vulnerable.

And so, the journey continues. My weapons of choice against my struggles are insight, resilience, and hope — but the proactive kind of hope.

(Ah, there’s the happy ending I was looking for. Hope.)

31 thoughts on “I Can Be Candid… So Why Can't I Be Vulnerable?

  1. “Fear of what others might think if they meet the Unfiltered Me β€” because I don’t even know who that is.”. Pretty brave thing to write; “Social Anxiety” you say? Awesome post, too.

    Worrying about what others think of you is a waste of precious time and energy; Impress yourself. Self validation is the most important. And thank you for what you wrote about us – That’s very kind of you. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not sure there is much difference between being candid and making yourself vulnerable. By being candid, you have already opened up and made yourself a target for whatever it is you think might make you uncomfortable. And so far, nothing negative seems to have happened. So maybe the reality is different from what you think it is. But I think you already know that, based on what you have written in past posts. Make yourself vulnerable? You are already doing it, and showing inner strength in doing so.

    Interesting post. With a positive ending…..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚ I guess I think of being candid as being open about sharing mostly pre-digested thoughts, and being vulnerable is more about sharing raw, unprocessed feelings. That’s a bit oversimplified maybe, but sometimes like that. Xoxo

      Like

  3. Real is good. I agree with you that candidness and vulnerability are not quite the same thing. I’m very candid on my blog, but that doesn’t usually feel vulnerable. Vulnerability I tend to think of as more a one-to-one thing, with a stronger element of uncertainty and risk of rejection. Like saying “I love you” and not being sure if you’re going to get the I love you return or something more along the lines of “uh, thanks, I guess….”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. There’s a “putting yourself out there and showing your cards” feel to being vulnerable like that. Being candid is less speaking freely and being vulnerable is like feeling freely. I guess that’s just a paraphrase of another reply I wrote lol

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We read on a phone. No danny devito. No link. Blank space with two, tall, vertical lines at left margin. Thanks for describing it!

    OMG: bodies and what they do? We were watching a TV-14 show with Younger Child and Spouse last night and we shut our eyes as the estranged wife slipped into the shower with estranged husband lol. Argh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback on what you see! I enjoy GIFs but it sounds like a lot of readers aren’t seeing them. May have to rethink that.

      And eep! Watching sexy sexiness on TV with family members present is basically a recipe for Awkward Noodle Soup.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Sadie, I read a blog-post recently where the writer described their social anxiety as a sense of feeling unsafe in others’ presences.

    I think this can be a useful way of looking at it because it acknowledges the reality that people with social anxiety perceive a threat and perceive themselves as vulnerable, in certain situations.

    As children, we were vulnerable, and, even, as adults, we can be vulnerable. However, we can also do things to increase our capacity and make ourselves less vulnerable.

    Anyway, I really recommend the blog post: https://onemillionguavas.home.blog/2020/01/15/social-fucking-anxiety/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you so much for this! You’re absolutely right, it is a feeling of being unsafe in social situations, on several levels. That’s an interesting angle to approach thinking of vulnerability. It’s hard to be vulnerable (in the sense of emotionally open) when you feel unsafe. I’ll check out the post πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Your honesty makes you even more a brave and inspiring writer. It is so important to be genuine and be sure that your authenticity is valued by your readership and true feelings show real greatness of a person! All the best

    Liked by 1 person

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