Keeping integrity, no matter what, is a great thing. Learn my guest’s opinion on vulnerability and integrity from the interview below.
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1. What is your interpretation of vulnerability?
I have always been told by many people that I am vulnerable. It’s not because of what people have perceived of me (I, anyways, do hardly bother to be defined by what people label me as). However, from an analysis over time, I have felt that I am vulnerable. I personally feel that I am an open book, and it is not difficult to read me. Anyone interacting with me for a while can read me well enough.
“Life is precious! Never, ever compromise it, by being dual faced!”
To answer that question in one straight line:
I am what I am – I am an open person – with a voice and a mind, who does not hesitate to open up with the fear of being attacked or harmed.
Having said that, being vulnerable has caused me enough danger in several stages of my life; I’ve been threatened at many points, due to various twists and turns. But that never changed my inherent trait. I never compromised being myself for the fear of being attacked.
I always trust people and situations on their face value. I never judge people at the first go. I always believe that time will speak for itself. I appear to myself and to people just the way I am. I accept myself, with my vulnerabilities. I have taken decisions which, at times, did not allow me the time to contemplate on them. Sometimes they [the decisions] worked and sometimes they didn’t – throwing me into trouble. But that is what life is all about.
We are not born astrologers. There are things that go beyond the fine lines of defined goals and we have to learn and practice to trust our inner voice.
2. Can you tell us about a time when you were vulnerable in the workplace?
Yes. Again, being who I am, is more than what some people can handle…
I had an experience at my workplace where I had opened myself up to people; and that, later on, was used as a weapon to take me down. It did affect me initially, but nothing can beat honesty! My seniors, reporting head & my boss eventually understood what had happened and stepped up to protect my integrity and valued my honesty.
3. What happened?
Due to the uncertainty of the job (with the attrition policies adopted by the company), I had a couple of nervous breakdowns. This was also triggered due to a negative personal issue I experienced at the same time.
I was hospitalized and was almost dying. I recovered from there, came back from the dead, had to run my own show: from running around between job possibilities, lawyers, doctors, police stations and don’t know what else. That led to a couple of leaves from the workplace and I confided in my seniors about the situation I was in.
A smart trap was laid out by some of my senior colleagues, with personal attacks, connecting them indirectly to my professional life.
“I never judge people at the first go (…) and I accept myself, with my vulnerabilities”
When the CEO of the company called me, I told him that – though it goes against my professional ethics to complain against anyone – I was going to resign, but not solely for professional reasons. The CEO was man enough to stand up against the activities and ensured that I get my due respect, not accepting my resignation and assigning me a senior job position.
4. Do you regret it?
Never! I never ever regret for being honest and for maintaining clarity!
5. Nowadays, do you consider that being true to yourself and others is a sign of weakness/ vulnerability or strength? And why?
No human should ever regret being honest and true. At the end of the day, one has to look into their own eyes and, even if they manage to escape others, there’s no way to escape themselves. “Honesty comes with a price tag” – people say – but I believe we should be strong and bold enough to pay the price tag, if any.
People will (mis)interpret honesty in their own ways, but we need to remember that we live our own lives, not those of others. It is only by living our own lives with honesty that we can look beyond fears, apprehensions, uncertainties and embrace and uplift others.
6. How did your experience with vulnerability influence your current state of mind? Would you recommend others to talk about it?
I am always vulnerable. I speak my mind up and express myself, without any hesitation. Yes, there have been many moments when I was apprehensive about being vulnerable, but I finally listened to my inner voice.
My current state of mind tells me one thing, among the many other things: “Life is precious! Never, ever compromise it, by being dual faced!”
“At the end of the day, one has to look into their own eyes and (…) there’s no way to escape themselves”
Definitely, we should learn to speak about ourselves, #goodbadugly. Just remember ONE thing: there’s nothing that can beat honesty and being clear to ourselves and others.
Life is just this one moment we have. And this one moment… Is ours! Live it by dropping your fears, pick up your weapons and fight your demons!
7. If you can sum up in 1 word how you feel about your experience with vulnerability what would it be?
Upalparna Dey can be reached via her LinkedIn profile.
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*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may be object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Upalparna Dey*