The theme of this newsletter is how being vulnerable is a prerequisite to creating lasting lifelong friendships.

What happens when people open their hearts? They get better. ―Haruki Murakami

I think elite athletes and especially the Olympians from the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics can teach us a lot about how to form and build lifelong friendships. The same is true for US Navy Seals, which are the U.S. Navy's primary special operations force that leads small-unit special operation missions.

Why do athletes and Navy Seals develop such deep bonds of friendship and trust for one another? A Harvard professor, Jeff Polzer, who researches “insignificant social interactions’, says that when you demonstrate vulnerability, it shows others you have weaknesses and that maybe, you could use some help.

When two people interact, the receiver or second person is the more important person. They have the power because they can choose how they react to someone's vulnerability share. If the receiver picks up on a weakness or vulnerability expressed by the sender, then they have two ways to respond. They can either acknowledge and reciprocate their own weakness or cover-up and say nothing.

If a receiver shares a weakness, a connection is made, which is the point when both people begin to trust each other. This exchange is called a vulnerability loop. The interesting thing is if you want to establish trust with another person, you have to start by both of you sharing vulnerability first.

The hard part is to know who to be vulnerable with because it sucks when the other person doesn't reciprocate by sharing their own weakness or vulnerability. We often feel betrayed and hurt when someone doesn't accept our weakness or vulnerability. Vulnerability loops create trust, not the other way around. Put another way, if you want to establish trust with someone you don’t know well, be vulnerable first.

If you want to learn more about vulnerability loops and how to form deep lasting friendships, through the eyes of elite athletes and Navy Seals, check out this 2,300-word article I wrote here.

Stay safe. Stay sane. Get vaccinated.


PS: If you like this newsletter and want to support us, please share it with a friend or two and remind them to so subscribe here. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

To share this newsletter on social media:

  • For Facebook, click here
  • For Twitter, click here
  • For Linkedin,, click here

CFP News is a weekly roundup of the best links on how people collaborate, create social impact, and build community. An online version is here and archives are here.


TOOLS 🛠️ ⚙️


LASTLY 🏠 ❓ ℹ️