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Being Vulnerable ~ Opening Up


tracyistrying

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I haven't been to therapy yet but I am seriously considering it.  I feel like the relationship with my parents has suffered in part because they are sort of "perfect" people that do everything right and are somewhat critical of all others and in part because I am very sensitive to criticism.  I'm an INFJ on the Meyers Briggs.

So, I have finally opened myself up to my parents and I am letting them help me with some house repairs and things that I just really can't do on my own and that have gotten out of hand due to the depression/anxiety and other health issues.  They are being nice so far and haven't criticized me once for a house that is just a little bit like hoarders.

I tend to keep people at a distance so they won't see my flaws, etc. (or that's sort of my twisted logic)

Do you find it hard to be vulnerable, trust people, let others get close to you?

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Hi Tracyistrying,

      Just finished reading your post.  I can identify with many elements you speak of although I am not well enough today to respond to what you have written in an proper way.  I do find it hard to be vulnerable, trust people and let others get close. 

      I find that much criticism commonly involves the error of over-simplification.   A real, live flesh and blood person is made up of trillions of things and actions and reactions.  So I feel that to "sum up a person" in a critical word [for example, weak, lazy, cowardly, foolish, bad] is untruthful and unfair both to the person and to truth and fairness.  No real person, in my opinion at least, can be reduced to a critical term or expression without gross over-simplification of reality.  I have never met a person yet [and I am age 61] who had not done literally millions of good, strong, brave, clever and beautiful things in their lives and for whom the doing of weak or foolish or bad things did not constitute a small fraction of their behavior.

     Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in a "counting" of negatives, a heightened awareness of negatives.  Today, for example, a plane crashed.  This is something that will make the "news."  Each day, however, as many as 40,000 aircraft transport hundreds of thousands of people safely to their destinations by aircraft.  This is also a "fact" but one that will not make the "news."  I think it is common for people to think of other people in a negative way too, forgetting the huge positives that go unnoticed and uncounted. 

     Recently I talked to a friend of mine who was upset about her "flaws."  She was in a very low mood and pointed out some recent weaknesses and mistakes of hers.  She told me that she was a "terrible" person. I felt that was such an over-simplification of her.    I don't know, but when I think of "terrible behavior" in perspective, I can't help but think of a couple of people, who in the last 100 years gave orders for the "termination" of tens of millions of people in concentration camps.  I did not feel, and still do not feel that my friend's weaknesses or falls came anywhere close to being "terrible".  I only mention this because one of my friend's weaknesses "in her opinion" was the amount of clutter and disorder in her apartment. 

     Although I cannot claim to know you from reading one of your posts, I would bet that you are a really fine person, a really wonderful person who is predominantly an admirable human being in myriad of ways beyond counting!  The world is lucky to have you in it!

Respectfully, Epictetus

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18 hours ago, Epictetus said:

Hi Tracyistrying,

      Just finished reading your post.  I can identify with many elements you speak of although I am not well enough today to respond to what you have written in an proper way.  I do find it hard to be vulnerable, trust people and let others get close. 

      I find that much criticism commonly involves the error of over-simplification.   A real, live flesh and blood person is made up of trillions of things and actions and reactions.  So I feel that to "sum up a person" in a critical word [for example, weak, lazy, cowardly, foolish, bad] is untruthful and unfair both to the person and to truth and fairness.  No real person, in my opinion at least, can be reduced to a critical term or expression without gross over-simplification of reality.  I have never met a person yet [and I am age 61] who had not done literally millions of good, strong, brave, clever and beautiful things in their lives and for whom the doing of weak or foolish or bad things did not constitute a small fraction of their behavior.

     Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in a "counting" of negatives, a heightened awareness of negatives.  Today, for example, a plane crashed.  This is something that will make the "news."  Each day, however, as many as 40,000 aircraft transport hundreds of thousands of people safely to their destinations by aircraft.  This is also a "fact" but one that will not make the "news."  I think it is common for people to think of other people in a negative way too, forgetting the huge positives that go unnoticed and uncounted. 

     Recently I talked to a friend of mine who was upset about her "flaws."  She was in a very low mood and pointed out some recent weaknesses and mistakes of hers.  She told me that she was a "terrible" person. I felt that was such an over-simplification of her.    I don't know, but when I think of "terrible behavior" in perspective, I can't help but think of a couple of people, who in the last 100 years gave orders for the "termination" of tens of millions of people in concentration camps.  I did not feel, and still do not feel that my friend's weaknesses or falls came anywhere close to being "terrible".  I only mention this because one of my friend's weaknesses "in her opinion" was the amount of clutter and disorder in her apartment. 

     Although I cannot claim to know you from reading one of your posts, I would bet that you are a really fine person, a really wonderful person who is predominantly an admirable human being in myriad of ways beyond counting!  The world is lucky to have you in it!

Respectfully, Epictetus

I tried to reply to you yesterday but it got lost in cyberspace and I just didn't feel like retyping everything.  Thanks so much for your kind words!!

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