The last few days have included some great conversations with my dear friend Claire. I love that every time we’re together we go deeper in conversation and because of it we continue to grow closer as friends. I tend to be an open book with my friends. I believe good things come from being honest and vulnerable. Letting people in, sharing our innermost thoughts and fears, allows us to learn and grow from each other’s experiences. Furthermore, opening up to someone is how you find common ground, strengthen bonds and learn that you’re not alone in this crazy world. It can feel scary in the moment but it feels really good when you share something personal and the person sitting across from you exhales in relief because they totally get it.
Holding things close to our chest in an effort to protect ourselves, or worse – impress people, causes us to miss out on true connection. True connection with other like-minded souls makes life’s challenges easier to understand and navigate.
Letting our thoughts breathe and be heard makes them easier to process.
Claire & I both tend to overanalyze our conversational skills. We’re both our own worst critics. We used to text each other to clear up something that we were worried didn’t come out right when we had last talked. It’s been fun watching our conversations evolve. We no longer send each other texts out of fear of having said something wrong. We talk it out the moment we fear the words didn’t come out as intended. There is no judgement, only compassion towards one another. This allows us to let our guards down. We accept each other for who we are, flaws and all.
There is so much to gain from leading with compassion and everything to lose from hiding behind walls built by our fears. My friendships (and marriage) are built on honesty, empathy and non-judgement. Daring to be vulnerable creates space for others to find comfort in their vulnerability. From there, meaningful relationships are formed. Relationships that will last because of the strong, authentic foundation upon which they were built.