I never really identified with Superman. I loved Marvel’s universe of heroes instead because they had flaws and real problems that I could relate to. Superman was super everything, with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal boys like me. You could weaken him with Kryptonite, but come on… those space rocks just weren’t that common. Superman seemed so unrealistic to me.
I think we relate more with characters who have obvious vulnerabilities, because we all have vulnerabilities. We are capable of being hurt or taken advantage of. We are capable of having our hearts broken. We are capable of being emotionally wounded in a hundred ways and sometimes it forces us to retreat behind the safety of self-constructed castle walls to keep others out.
No risk, no pain.
That being said, the happiest people seem to be the ones who put themselves outside the walls anyway…. taking a chance on adventure, joy and love. Living outside the walls is where you meet the most interesting people, many of which have already left their castles too.
Vulnerability by definition is a weakness, a hard-to-defend point that can cause you pain. But knowing your vulnerability can be a strength. If you know what your Kryptonite looks like, you have a better chance of addressing it head on. And if others know you are human, you have a higher probability of connecting with them.
Trying to be Superman all the time is exhausting and impossible. When you share your vulnerability with others, most will understand. And beyond understanding, they may even reach out to help you.