“Are you emotionally vulnerable? Are you sure?”

In conversation with my friend mentioned in yesterday’s post, she said that I was using my ego to protect my vulnerable self.  Having thought about this last night, I do realize that she was spot on, and wanted to give some thought to the matter – and share what I found.

At first I thought that my ego formed a protective self to keep me from being vulnerable.  Meaning that I removed myself emotionally so as not be be hurt by rejection.

However, thinking about it, I found that I was willing to put myself on the line emotionally, as I have done in a more recent relationship.  I am able to throw care to the wind, and hope for the best, making myself totally emotionally vulnerable.

Well, not totally.  Probably about 60-80% depending on the situation.

In realizing this fact, I realized that there is a certain egotistical approach that I take as I meet new people.  I’ve done it for a long, long time, and didn’t even realize that I did it!  More importantly, is the fact that it has bothered me for a long, long time, and I didn’t understand why.

Doing a little research, I bumped into a defense mechanism called Intellectualization.

“Intellectualization: concentrating on the intellectual components of a situation so as to distance oneself from the associated anxiety-provoking emotions.”

Thinking about things a little, I realized that in truth, my friend was spot on.

Basically intellectualization a defense mechanism is a method by which we protect our Self (perhaps aka Ego) from pain, hence the name.   In my case, I was trying to protect myself from rejection by others, since it fed into one of my untruths that caused me pain.

The realization that I am so excited to have discovered is that in fact, my ego has been preventing me from connecting emotionally 100% to others.

Of course, at this point, I have outgrown the need to feel that rejection is personal, which really should allow me to make myself 100% emotionally vulnerable as I meet new people.

That is if I am able to remember this important lesson, that rejection is never personal.

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