Why It’s Okay To Be Emotionally Vulnerable

a male student sitting outside on a sunny day.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Marco Imperiale sitting outside of Robinson Hall.Meet Marco Imperiale, freshman psychology major, from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County). He hopes his article, “Encourages the Rowan community to know it’s okay to be vulnerable. Everyone at one stage in life was placed in a situation that they had felt vulnerable and it may seem uncomfortable to let your guard down, but if you do so there is the only chance for growth
in one’s self or in a relationship.”

According to Google, “vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed emotionally”. For as long as we know it, the stigma of emotional vulnerability has been associated with unprotectedness, defenselessness, or essentially anything that can make a person seem weak. However, research says otherwise, In Brené Brown’s TedTalk “The power of vulnerability” she goes onto explain how being vulnerable actually leads to a life of “meaningful human experiences”. Then goes on to say “It opens us up to love, joy, creativity, and empathy.” 

It is acknowledged that to become emotionally vulnerable one must let down their guard, which can be mortifying due to the consequence of no guarantee, but the act of being emotionally vulnerable is more than just spilling out feelings. It allows us to say “ I love you” with the chance for someone to say it back, it allows a child to come out as gay to their parents with the opportunity for acceptance, and it allows the ability to liberate one’s self from a toxic relationship. What these situations have in common is the ability to portray strength, courage, and fortitude, all characteristics that encourage growth.

In a sense, vulnerability is the essence of emotions, a passageway to a more intrinsic way of life because “to feel is to be vulnerable” – Brené Brown. 

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Story by:
Marco Imperiale, freshmen psychology major

Photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

Reference Page 

Tartakovsky, M. (2018, July 8). 3 Myths about Vulnerability. Retrieved from 

https://psychcentral.com/blog/3-myths-about-vulnerability/ 

Brown, B. (n.d.). Transcript of “The power of vulnerability”. Retrieved from 

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability/transcript?language=en

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