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When one is in a state of emotional vulnerability, he/she has lost power, and this power is now placed on the other person, the decider of a scenario. Simultaneously, he/she that is in a state of emotional vulnerability is susceptible to having his/her feelings hurt, but it is out of his/her control. Although being in a state of emotional vulnerability leaves the victim defenseless, allowing oneself to courageously place trust in others through conversing leads to the opportunity to form profound emotional connections in both romantic and work-related relationships.

In “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” the shepherd proposes a question to his love interest, leaving the vulnerable speaker with intense trepidation because he is at risk of being denied the acceptance of the invitation to be lovers together. The speaker’s emotional vulnerability is emphasized as he is leading up to his culminating invitation for love; throughout the poem, the speaker demonstrates his fiery love by offering to “make thee beds of roses /  And a thousand fragrant posies” for his love, and the multitude of offered gifts seeks to hide the fact that despite all physical efforts exerted by the speaker, no quantity of physical gifts can quell or direct the fatalistic outcome that leaves the speaker in a state of emotional vulnerability (Marlowe 9-10). After pouring out his heart to his love, the speaker finally invites his love to “Then live with me, and be my love,” which demonstrates the speaker’s emotional vulnerability, emotional vulnerability that is exposed to the shepherd’s love through the his open-ended lingual invitation to her at the end of the poem (Marlowe 24). Although the speaker has exposed his feelings to his love, the connection created through a directed invitation introduces the possibility for the unification between two souls, but the shepherd now has to dependently wait for a response. 

Likewise, work-related relationships also require emotional vulnerability to serve as a catalyst for forming authentic and purposeful connections, but in order to do so, trust is required among colleagues. In an article in Forbes Magazine, it is reported that 31% of remote teams in the workforce are improving the formation of multi-faceted emotional connections during the pandemic (Beheshti). At the forefront of this is trust in the process of vulnerability, and the article states that “Thriving teams see that vulnerability as an opportunity for connection” (Beheshti). Simply verbally “Check[ing] in on the whole team” serves as an opportunity to connect with colleagues throughout the day, despite the risk of it being too awkward in a virtual setting (Beheshti). By overcoming the risks associated with vulnerability and by viewing vulnerability as a positive emotion, colleagues are able to emotionally connect, even if they are physically distant in each of their homes.

Embracing emotional vulnerability is a crucial component towards becoming a truly emotionally intelligent person. By embracing emotional vulnerability in one’s own life, he/she is able to authentically converse and communicate with others without forming unnecessary and hindering emotional boundaries. It is through this use of language that one can create genuine and meaningful emotional connections with both romantic interests and colleagues at work.

Works Cited

“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Literature Grade 12, 2012, pp. 486-487.

Beheshti, Naz. “45% Of Teams Feel Less Connected Under Covid-19-But Here’s Why Others Actually Feel More Connected.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 10 Nov. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2020/11/09/45-of-teams-feel-less-connected-under-covid-19-but-heres-why-others-actually-feel-more-connected/?sh=4627324c60a5. Accessed 11 November 2020.

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  1. Rachel 3 weeks ago

    Dear Sarah,

    I am intrigued by your post because I really liked the way you addressed this topic. You fully explored vulnerability in a variety of settings and relationships, some of which involve new dynamics that have never been experienced before in relationships on a wide scale.

    One thing you said that stands out for me is: “ By overcoming the risks associated with vulnerability and by viewing vulnerability as a positive emotion, colleagues are able to emotionally connect, even if they are physically distant in each of their homes.” I think this is interesting because it shows how in a time of distance people are still finding ways to be close and work together. In spite of the unfamiliar isolation, people are finding new ways to connect and persevere with what has to get done. Also, I found it interesting how you said to view vulnerability positively. It usually is discussed in an uncomfortable light, with people trying to avoid it at all costs. Changing this view can be essential to maintaining relationships, both in normal conditions and in our current, more restricted world.

    Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. In May, my family and I were supposed to attend a family reunion. We haven’t had one in about ten years, so there was many of my cousins, aunts, and uncles that I was looking forward to seeing, but because of the COVID pandemic we had to cancel our plans. One of my cousins and I decided to use Zoom together instead, and since then have started to communicate more on a regular basis. It has helped us find a way to connect outside of the ordinary and to form a better relationship than we may have otherwise had.

    Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I really liked your perspective on this issue. You were very thorough in expressing your thoughts on this topic.

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