Being Vulnerable vs Being a Victim

Source: Rach Wilson

4 September 2013 at 09:00

In a post in a secret group of friends there was a question about the difference between what it looks like to be vulnerable versus when someone is being a victim.  Allowing ones self to be vulnerable increases a connection with self and others as it is being truly authentic and real, no mask and no agenda.  Allowing people to see and connect with the real you.


Vulnerable: “I’m struggling right now”
Victim: “Things never work out for me, I’m unlucky”
Vulnerable: “I made an error in judgment and I accept the consequences”
Victim: “<insert person or entity here> made the mistake and now I have to suffer the consequences!”
Vulnerable: “I feel scared to admit I don’t know the answer”
Victim: “I’m just too stupid to know anything”
Vulnerable: “I acknowledge that I feel fear/shame/guilt/judgment triggered by <situation> and that’s my stuff to process.”
Victim: “<situation> is wrong. They shouldn’t have done/said that to me! They’re <insert label here>.”

Vulnerable sheds tears in the moment they are sad or moved by something; they are being real without needing something from others by doing so. Victim says I can’t because that’s weak or worries what will people think of them if they do … Or they overdramatize it for attention…


Vulnerable asks for help when they really need it with the intention of getting to the other side. Victim asks for help when they can actually do it themselves but they want attention or to stay a victim for more attention, or refuses to ask for help because of being seen as weak (a victim of keeping up appearances which is not being real).

The energy behind each is different, one accepts and the other deflects. Being vulnerable is being real and raw but taking personal responsibility. Victim shares feelings and thoughts to either gain sympathy (poor you) or to manipulate others into getting what they want… When you are being open about your thoughts and feelings, just check in with your intention behind what you say.


As a leader, if you allow yourself to be seen vulnerable, you give others permission to be vulnerable too therefore breaking their perception of your perfection; if you were always super positive, nothing every knocked you down then others feel like they have to strive to be like that perfect too and get down on themselves when they aren’t.  People more easily relate to others who are human, who don’t always get it right and it’s a whole lot easier to be real/vulnerable and human than to try to keep up appearances.

Feel free to add your thoughts 🙂

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