In an effort to be memorable, we have to place ourselves in vulnerable positions. The jokes you perform will leave you in a vulnerable state until laughter from the crowd validates your creativity. The heartfelt speech you deliver leaves you vulnerable to others’ interpretation. Will your passion be interpreted as coming from a place of love or hate? Will your tone be interpreted as soothing or harsh? Will a word you don’t think twice about when speaking get you in trouble with those whose outlook differs from yours? Moments within which we find ourselves vulnerable are sensitive. When we place ourselves in a position of vulnerability, we want the moment to pass by undisturbed. Once we get that laugh, that understanding, or other forms of acknowledgement, our vulnerability will pay off. We are vulnerable when we take risks, and the act of being vulnerable is not something people actively strive to be.
This article aims to propose that you should not force others to relive their vulnerable moments. Do not get attached to someone’s moment of vulnerability, and do not strive to make others relive times in which they were vulnerable. If your friend cries on your shoulder, don’t bring it up a week later. If someone’s joke does not get a laugh, don’t use that example to have a laugh yourself. Should someone’s heartfelt exclamation of truth not get the reaction they anticipated, don’t fault them for trying. Protect the vulnerable, because progress in life requires people to bravely take steps across a series of brittle, unstable, vulnerable bridges toward their goals.
A Malicious Opportunist
If we use someone’s vulnerable moments against them, we’re diminishing the bravery they operated with. Positions are vulnerable because they cannot be defended. They are easy to attack and benefit from. If you choose to derive benefit from those who show their vulnerability to the world, you’ll be perceived as cowardly. Not only will you make the ones in question hate you, but onlookers will be exposed to your tendency to exploit the weak. The benefit you gain will be short-lived, and people will label you as exploitative and self-serving.
Protect the bravery of those who show their vulnerability, and try to reward it. If people express their vulnerability in the wrong ways, do not yearn to punish as much as to teach. Protect those who pour their hearts out and who show real emotion to the world. They are valuable to you and others around them. The vulnerable, are those who come up with the best jokes, give the most heartfelt speeches, and teach us the most important lessons. The vulnerable start movements, they change culture. They are to be listened to and protected, even if you don’t agree with what they present or preach. The malicious opportunist will be shunned – they will win one battle at the expense of making the ones to come more difficult. If you profit from others’ vulnerable state, you will not escape living through vulnerable moments of your own. Your future vulnerability will be put under a microscope, and chinks in your armor will be pried open with full force.
The Vulnerable Will Run
Apart from the fact that you will now be a target for other malicious opportunists propelling the cycle of exploiting the vulnerable, you will also lose out on all the lessons one can learn from those who aren’t afraid to show their vulnerable sides to others. If you exploit the vulnerable, they will avoid showing vulnerability to you. Their music will slowly silence, their art will turn bland, and their speeches will morph into casual conversation. You will cut out beauty from the world around you, and will miss out on many of life’s important lessons.
Don’t throw away future opportunities to expand your understanding by benefiting from someone else’s vulnerable state. Vulnerable states come and go. They are sometimes insignificant, such as someone having a Freudian slip, or are sometimes an explosion of emotion amidst a moment of pressure. Your employees will sometimes say what’s on their mind, your kids will sometimes scream out with tears running down their face, and your significant other will share painful stories from their past.
Once others share their vulnerable moments with you, accept them, understand them, comfort them, and then forget. Do not remind them about vulnerable moments from the past, and don’t use their vulnerable moments of today against them later on. Others’ vulnerable moments should be protected, not utilized as building blocks for your reputation. Improve your reputation by never exploiting vulnerability in both enemies and friends. Defeat your enemies in as fair of a manner as you can, and protect those close to you from others who aim to exploit their vulnerable states.