How I Struggle With Vulnerability

And how it compares to how porcupines struggle in the cold.  

The hedgehog’s dilemma, or sometimes the porcupine dilemma, is an analogy about the challenges of human intimacy. It describes a situation in which a group of hedgehogs all seek to become close to one another in order to share heat during cold weather. They must remain apart, however, as they cannot avoid hurting one another with their sharp spines. Though they all share the intention of a close reciprocal relationship, this may not occur, for reasons they cannot avoid. (Source: Wikipedia)

I find this so interesting and so sad.  

I have had this deep, irrational fear of being a stage five clinger to anyone I meet and that in turn causes me to run like hell in the other direction.  So I’ve thought, that for a very long time, it is difficult for people to get close to me.  

It’s a very lonely way to live. Always at arm’s distance from you.  I feel like maybe you don’t want to spend time with me or I would bother you if I tried to hang out with you too much.  Contrasted with also a feeling of desire to be seen and held and really embraced.  But I won’t let you in. This is one of the hardest human contradictions I have faced.  What do you think about it? 



  1. The fear of failure or rejection often times keeps people from even trying in the first place. In or case, unlike the hedgehog’s physical spines, our spines are the fear of failure, rejection, or being a stage 5 clinger. But unlike the hedgehog, we CAN shed these spines should we live courageously! Life is too precious to live full of prickly spines.

    • CURTIS! You are right. Thanks for explaining more into the metaphor. I hate how fear is such a paralyzing thing that doesn’t allow us to be vulnerable. We definitely should live courageously! Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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