What is being ‘emotionally vulnerable?’
While being emotional can mean simply experiencing various emotions like sadness, frustration, anxiety, anger, or shame, being emotionally vulnerable means acknowledging these difficult emotions and attempting to deal with them, independently or with the help of others.
Why is being emotionally vulnerable not easy?
Often, individuals tend to bury their emotions and distract themselves from what they are feeling to move on from the situation. It is easy to convince yourself and others around you that you are fine and avoid these negative emotions altogether. While this may work for some, in the long run it can be unhealthy for the individual and their relationships with others.
In addition to this, in society there is a lot of stigma surrounding being emotionally vulnerable and reaching out for help if needed. Often mental and emotional health are disregarded and not given the same importance as physical health. The act of reaching out for help can be branded as ‘weak’; because it implies that the person could not deal with their emotions on their own. Further, such stigma can also cause the individual wishing to seek help fear being seen as weak, or needy.
However, being emotionally vulnerable and seeking help if needed are not signs of weakness. On the contrary, acknowledging one’s emotions and attempting to understand and deal with them with the help of others, be it friends, family, or a professional is a step that requires courage and can have many benefits. In the long run, it can allow individuals to come to terms with their negative or harmful emotions and what is causing them. It fosters self-awareness and a healthy relationship with one’s own emotions.
Learning how to be emotionally vulnerable and asking for help from others also allows individuals to understand that all their emotions are valid and speak up if they are not comfortable with the way something is making them feel. This can help improve relationships with loved ones, as openly discussing emotional problems and reaching out to one’s friend or partner when needed builds trust and communication.
Hence, while learning how to be emotionally vulnerable and reach out for help is not an easy step, it can have many benefits and healthy outcomes in the long run.
Wignall, Nick “Emotional Vulnerability: What It Is and Why It Matters” 18 May 2020,
Shift Workspaces “Why Asking for Help is not a Sign of Weakness” 29 April 2019,
Grande, Dianne “Emotional Vulnerability as the Path to Connection” 24 Feb 2019,