I used to think that showing my emotions was a weakness. That it would be better if I put them away instead of showing them. I started relationships where I did not always express my emotions well, masked them so that I could please the other or I only showed them when my bucket was already overflowing and there was no other way around. I did not know that my own emotions were signals that actually wanted to tell me a lot and that I could not hide whenever I felt like it. They will always found a way back to me and even harder all together than alone.
These subjects were not taught to us at school. These are not our courses. We have to experience and learn from it ourselves.
It is very easy to give contradicting signals to the person you are in a relationship with (family, friends etc…) and hope that the other person understands what is going on in your head. Unfortunately that is most of the time not the case. Just like you play hard to get to show that you do not like the other person to just protect yourself out of fear of rejection. I mean what if he or she really does not like you, wow what would that for a disaster be… If you play it hard to get, then you can not be ‘hurt’ in any case, right? 😉
You do not want to take the first step by saying sorry to someone you have words with, asking that random person on date or say what you really mean when you get angry at your boyfriend or girlfriend, so you left them guessing. You say the one thing and you mean the other. You want to have certainty that you will survive when you open up and are ready to step into the arena; vulnerable and naked.
You say you want someone’s time, but you actually want someone’s energy. You do not say what you really feel, but at the same time you want someone who understands you.
To build a relationship that is worthwhile, both must be fighting. You must be able to lay down your pride and allow the other to grow towards you by opening yourself up and exposing yourself, by expressing your feelings, how f*cked or shameful up they can feel by times. That is, in my opinion, the most scariest part. Especially if this is not something you have always done. It is uncertain, it feels exposed, afraid of being hurt. You do not want to become too familiar because then it comes close and you prefer to rid yourself away from it. You prefer to walk away and say the common phrase: ‘no, I’m not ‘ready’ for a relationship yet.’
What I did not know is that being vulnerable in relationships is precisely the door to healthy, fine and especially deep relationships with the people around you. When you show emotions, you gain trust and to feel familiar with each other you have to dare to pose your vulnerability and show yourself. That is the key to the other.
A nice piece of a definition that I encountered from Brené Brown regarding vulnerability is that it means “open to attack or damage”. When we are vulnerable, we feel exposed and open to attack.
This is not just about relationships or love, also to show yourself at that job interview, to ask someone a important question or have a different opinion than the rest of the world, a family member say that you love him or her. All situations where you are ‘open to attack’. In other words: the other person has the chance to hurt you or hit your feelings and that, precisely that is the most scariest part, we often want to run away from it. But if we don’t go there if we don’t reach that point where we dare to show our emotions, we won’t get in relationships where we want them to.
If you bravely prepare yourself and show yourself, be open and exposed with everything you feel even though you may feel that you might be rejected, this can only lead to new opportunities, new energy and depth in relationships, when you open up to the right people around you. The people who really care about you will always stay and embrace you and your imperfections in your feelings, whatever it may be that you feel.
Being vulnerable is not a shame, it is not weak. It is strong & yes ALSO FOR MEN. Precisely for men. You are not weak, but strong when you do it and dare to show your feelings.
So.. Beautiful people, be you, do you.