Vulnerability Armor: “Vulnerability is the last thing I want to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you.” A scarcity mentality leads to shame, comparison (with others), and disengagement (pulling away). An “enough” mindset brings a sense of worthiness, boundaries and engagement. When we were kids, we started to build shields to protect ourselves. Bravado, perfectionism, being cool, critical and more became our armor—the wall we put around ourselves—our protective mask, a persona. Some ways we armor up:
a. Numbing is an addiction shield (anything to dull the pain of being "less than"): Workaholics, alcohol, drugs, sex, eating disorders, bullying, violence, even suicide. Setting up boundaries helps us deal with the numbing of trying to be everything to everyone, all the time.
b. Cynicism, Criticism, Cool, and Cruelty are shields used to protect us from vulnerability: Name calling, putting others down, being too cool. These are all defenses against being seen as vulnerable. Mean-spirited folks hide behind the cruelty shield. Pointing out flaws in others is ultimately a dead giveaway that we’re hurting.