The Power Of Vulnerability

By Anna Gibson

We are taught about the importance of a high IQ, and that it is correlated with success in life that it is a measure of our crystallized intelligence. But, is a high IQ a reliable predictor of one’s success? What about the importance of one’s EQ (Emotional intelligence). “Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you” (Daniel Goleman). For my senior project I interviewed a group of select highschool and college age girls who all shared one thing in common, they all have had the experience of life coaching. When I began interviewing these girls I said to my mom, it feels like I have talked to these girls before, except they were all strangers to me. What I came to realize was that we all spoke the same language. A language of acceptance, awareness, empathy, motivation, and social skills. One of the main reasons we could have such depth in a conversation is because of vulnerability. These conversations I had with the girls were all very vulnerable, not a day to day conversation you would have with a stranger. There is a different type of connection between those who have a high emotional intelligence, one you may not have with a friend who has not done coaching or therapy, or done the work to  develop their EQ. It’s similar to how you would study to gain more knowledge to increase your IQ. I then asked myself how vulnerability, like these conversations I had with the girls, shape our relationships in life. It is important to surround ourselves with all types of friends because different types of friends teach us different things. But some friends are more comfortable with vulnerability than others. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with people that we trust, we can get to know each other better, which can lead to a more trusting and deeper connection. I have always been pretty comfortable with vulnerability, but not all my friends have been. It can take time to develop trust in a relationship, and sharing more vulnerable parts of ourselves carefully enables the possibility for authenticity and real connection. 

I believe that developing your emotional intelligence takes time, it’s not something that happens over night. But as we put in the time to work on ourselves and on our other awareness, our EQ only grows stronger and so do our relationships with ourselves and the others that we choose to surround ourselves with.   

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