I was walking with a friend the other day and they and they said they were working on being honest in all their relationships. There was a little part of me that cringed. In my experience in having people “be honest” with me it usually meant that I was about to be criticized, honesty often has the quality of telling me about something they judged about me. In a momentary burst of genius I said “I would rather you be vulnerable with me”. They got it immediately and agreed that vulnerability would be more productive and lead to more closeness and intimacy.
In my mind, and I think culturally that there is a big difference between honesty and vulnerability. In vulnerability we tend to share about ourselves, we are willing to be seen and have nothing to protect, we recognize and take responsibility for our feelings and actions. In honesty: “I think you are a real jerk sometimes”, in vulnerability: “sometimes I feel insecure around you”. Which one creates more connection? Which one makes you a victim and which one empowers you to grow and change? I would love to hear your honesty vs. vulnerability comparisons; post some examples to help us all see the difference.