In my therapy groups and in my therapy group organization, I am witnessing conversations about fragility (defined as “the quality of being easily broken or damaged”).
My experience is that focusing on the fragility of ourselves, other people, and established systems can lead to
- resistance to change,
- avoidance of action, and
Yesterday, during a conversation about racism in a racially diverse group, I brought up the concept of “white fragility,” defined by Robin DiAngelo as follows:
White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include
the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such
as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar.
I was the only person in this group who had heard the term “White Fragility.” As we discussed the concept, people nodded and shared their experiences.
In group discussions, I often witness vulnerability, which Brené Brown describes as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure” and the unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control.
It occurs to me now that fragility and vulnerability are two very different things, although both are, of course, human.
My hope is to face the future with more vulnerability and less fragility.
Do you see fragility or vulnerability in any of these recent photos?
When I search for “fragility” on YouTube, the second thing that comes up is this video by Newsbroke:
What are your thoughts and feelings about fragility, here and now?
Strong thanks to all who are reading this “Fragility” post today, including YOU!