Vulnerability is a sensitive topic for men.
There’s difficulty showing vulnerabilities as a man, in part because it can present itself as inconsistency of character; should the emotions be displayed with fragility & uncertainty — which most vulnerable expressions are.
The role model “man” traditionally appears as well kept, collected & withholding the reins of their sense of self, throttling up & down the ego as need be. A “Man” is to be a pillar of strength. A firm & consistent presence. Oh, but then we attempt to be vulnerable.
We attempt to unpack ourselves in the face of others, oftentimes providing no context of the emotional roots that trigger certain reactions or displays of personality.
Large portions of us have gone most of our lives not knowing how to process & make sense of our emotional hues, triggers & breakdowns. Once we finally give way to vulnerability, that which has been buried & suppressed for so long will flow out relentlessly.
It’s different than opening up a soda bottle & releasing some pressure. In our case, when we twist that top open & accept a moment of vulnerability, all of our multitudes that we contain see that window of opportunity. Every aspect of our emotional being ushers forth with a desire to be equally as heard, recognized & expressed.
Should we have been shut down in that transparent moment, we become even more guarded. More ridges to twist that bottle cap down even tighter. More barriers. More coldness. And yet, our true self now knows the freedoms of vulnerable human emotion & expression. That which is inside will continue to press itself upon the inner walls of the barriers we’ve erected.
On the outside? Stern & unfazed. On the inside? A rapid river flowing into several waterfalls.
Most attempts to control or manipulate the emotions transform themselves into various, seemingly acceptable, negative traits.
The Negative: The habits of indulgence. Misogyny. Power. Greed. A Lack of Empathy.
Those that can redirect the flow of the currents within & transmute these emotional waves, ultimately manifest the acceptable, positive traits.
The Positive: Creation. Art. Business. Science. Literature. etc.
It doesn’t matter at which point it started or happened in your life. The process is generally the same. Vulnerability is attempted in some way shape or form & we are either validated or invalidated.
In the moments we are validated, there’s no discrepancy, so we do not tally it as a moment worthy for metrics in our beliefs about vulnerability. We simply enjoy the bliss of being heard, accepted & felt.
In the moments we attempt vulnerability & are invalidated, that is when we begin to run up the score. We, driven by the sensitivity of our emotions, unjustifiably weigh these moments when we have been invalidated, as they have a much more profound impact on us. Therefore, we take very deep mental notes of the experience. That in turn, reinforces a confirmation bias about our emotional experiences with vulnerability.
Even me writing this, detailing vulnerability as such, holding a particular perspective about vulnerability, is based on a personal bias & therefore an unfair assessment of what it means to be vulnerable as a man. After all, I am only one man with a limited amount of experiences. I truly can’t speak for us all.
I would be happily surprised to hear from others that their experiences in vulnerability were quantifiable, noteworthy moments in life where they felt validated. That would make me quite happy for those of us who heal from the scars of vulnerability.
Anyway, one thing I do know is that pain is temporary. Time heals all wounds if we let it. Scars heal to reinforce & make us even more protected against that with which we choose tango.
We could lower our guard just a bit more every time we heal, as our once scarred & damaged parts allow us to approach, with some meaningful resistance to its flame, more of the depths from this deeply cathartic life experience.
In other words, our “Vulnerable” side can be soft in expression, and yet, it can also be made formidable & firm in its presence by allowing it to continuously weather the sunshines & storms of emotional transparency.
Let us take that which has broken us open & toughened our hearts, & learn from it to articulate a deeper sense of personal, emotional awareness & understanding.
All the Best,
Sean aka Mr. Wildenfree
Allow my experiences to paint a picture. My tale is one that will resonate with the disenchanted — the peculiar ones who know how marvelous life really is, yet from time to time struggle to see it all with enthusiasm.
I am peculiar & unashamed. I am not normal — & I never tried to be... I'm living my life so very Wildenfree.