We cannot always have guarantees in place before we risk sharing; however we don't bare our souls the first time we meet someone. Vulnerability without boundaries leads to disconnection, distrust, and disengagement. Vulnerability is not a secret sharing free for all. Vulnerability goes hand in hand with trust.
Trust is built one step at a time. When thinking about the investment and leap that people in relationships have to make before the building process ever begins. One of my favorite researchers on couples is John Gottman. He is considered the country's foremost couples researcher. And he writes...
"What I have found through research is that trust is build in very small moments, which I call "sliding door" moments, after the movie, Sliding Doors. In any interaction, there is a possibility of connecting with your partner or turning away from your partner.
Let me give you an example of that from my own relationship.
One night, I really wanted to finish a mystery novel. I thought I knew who the killer was, but I was anxious to find out. At one point in the night, I put the novel on my bedside and walked into the bathroom.
As I passed the mirror, I saw my wife's face in the reflection, and she looked sad, brushing her hair. There was a sliding door moment.
I had a choice. I could sneak out of the bathroom and think, I don't want to deal with her sadness tonight; I want to read my novel. But instead, because I am a sensitive researcher of relationships, I decided to go into the bathroom. I took the brush from her hair and asked, "What is the matter baby?" And she told me why she was sad.
Now, at that moment, I was building trust; I was there for her. I was connecting with her rather than choosing to think only about what I wanted. There are the moments, we have discovered, that build trust.
One such moment is not that important, but if you are always choosing to turn away, then trust erodes in a relationship--very gradually, very slowly."
Brene Brown, Daring Greatly