showing vulnerability

_DSC7679It’s a commonly held belief that when you show yourself as being vulnerable, you are demonstrating a weakness or a dependency.

A client shared with me that she understands a sharing of loneliness, or if her man treats her badly, hurts her, or ignores her, she needs to express her pain, preferably in the moment.

Or when he does something that makes her feel good, here too she wants to let him know that he done good. For this makes all involved feel loved and cared for, appreciated.

Or if natural beauty moves her, she can speak of her joy and delight in the spectacle of a gorgeous sunset or the feel of sand in her toes as she walks along the beach, the waves gently lapping at her toes or the pleasure which an adorable puppy or kitten brings to her or anything which moves her.

But the feelings of being scared or insecure or unsure or needy, wouldn’t that be showing weakness, and wouldn’t this be bad?

Isn’t this leaving you open for possible attack? Or rejection? Won’t others take advantage? Won’t that make you appear less than in others eyes?

All I have to say to this is a resounding NO!! Let me repeat. NO!!! On every level.

Being vulnerable in whatever form it takes is NEVER a sign of weakness. It’s actually quite the opposite. It’s a HUGE demonstration of strength. It takes a very brave person indeed to show their tender underbelly. It takes a fearless and open heart.

It takes great trust. Trust in yourself. Trust in the person to whom you’re showing your TRUE self, your real self, cracks and all. And this person who is you sometimes feels frightened, insecure, and hesitant, in want of a big hug. To reveal this unabashedly is YOU being AUTHENTIC YOU.

It may seem paradoxical, for your instinct is likely the feeling that you will be railroaded, used, abused, or maybe even abandoned if you show your vulnerabilities.

But here is where boundaries come in. It’s totally up to you whether you allow someone to exploit you or mistreat you in any way. It’s your choice if you allow the hurt to overtake you.And this is where you use your feeling messages with which to express your pain, your outrage, your refusal to abide bad feeling behavior, your whatever it is if someone crosses your boundaries.

A not so good man may feel threatened by this, thus the urge to manipulate and control and the urge to use his perceived advantage over you and against you.

Being vulnerable IS NOT an invitation to walk all over you.

A good man will not abuse the trust you put in him. Most of the time. He is human after all, and humans err. So if he crosses a line, you tell him that whatever it is felt bad.

And this good man will feel badly for having caused you injury, for having made you feel awful. And this good man will apologize, hug you, kiss you, make it up to you.

A good man will love you and your vulnerability. This authentic you, “weaknesses” and all will make him feel safe and warm, protected and protective. And he will be yours for always.


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10 Responses to showing vulnerability

  1. BigLuv says:

    I totally agree with what you’ve said Tinque about vulnerability. I am very “controlling” about showing my own vulnerability. I was raised to be a “warrior” and when I get angry with men I go into female “praying mantis” mode. I am just so grateful I have moved enough off my stuckness that I attracted men with whom I can trust my tender self.Thank you, Good Guys.BL-

  2. tinque says:

    And YAY for you BigLuv. Relinquishing, releasing in this way is not an easy thing. It can feel like your survival is at stake. But you did it. Again, YAY…xxoo

  3. Sherry says:

    You are so right Tinque! It is hard and scary, but always the best thing to be authentic. As you know, I was having problems concerning the dating site. About a month ago, I noticed he was on at a time when he was supposed to be doing something with his friends. It was the last straw for me. I told him, ” If, in the middle of where you were today and what you’re doing, you felt drawn to get online and talk to someone, then there is definitely a desire there for you of some kind. I’m not going to try and determine what it is, or why. All I can do is acknowledge how it makes me feel and that is like you’re biding your time with me until you find the person you want to be with. I don’t want to be “good enough for now”. I want more than that.” It scared me so much to be that honest. I was afraid it would be the end of the budding relationship. Turns out it wasn’t him, but a friend using his laptop which was auto set to sign into the site when he signed online. The result of me being totally honest? He apologized, said he understood why I would have felt that way, and deleted his account on the dating site the next day!

  4. tinque says:

    Oh wow Sherry, this is so awesome. I feel so proud of you for having the courage to be real, and look what happened. YAY!!!xxoo

  5. Sharyn says:

    This is such a hard concept for me, Tinque. Thanks for putting it in a way that I will save as reference when I get confused again! See you soon!xoxo,SAY

  6. tinque says:

    It gets easier Sharyn, really it does. Once that mind shift happens for you, it all changes.xxoo

  7. Amy says:

    Hi! Amazing article… it truly spoke to me. Vulnerbility is one of the hardest things for me to show to someone else. I open myself up and even though I am being 100% authentic, I can’t help but feel weak, needy, or worried afterwards. How do I start to feel comfortable with the expressing vulnerability?

  8. tinque says:

    Amy, this takes time, and the more you allow vulnerability, the more comfortable it will feel. Even if someone tries to take advantage of your vulnerability or maybe makes fun, you can stay secure in the knowledge that this has been their loss, their skewing of what really is. This is NOT YOUR STUFF.If they think they have an edge on you, know that it’s a false sense of feeling superior.At first you will have to remind yourself constantly, breathe through the anxiety and the fear. Remember these words. Keep them close.The people you WANT to be in your life will start to show up more and more, and the others will fall away.xxoo

  9. freya says:

    Hi! Thank you so much Tinque! You are very helpful with your articles… Well, here is my story… I met S about one year ago, and, such is life, we are in a long distance relationships. Everytime we met everything was perfect, we enjoyed each other… But, when we apart, there coming gremlins of doubts, insecurities, and distrust, especially after the last time we connected.. I even bet if all those things we discussed via emails, we would literally bark to each other and would broken up eventually… Because perhaps so the guys like, they much prefer to keep silence and do not share what concerns them… And, it might be silly, but pretty flattering to me,- he made another account on Facebook and started following me. But for me, especially when I got aknowledged your articles, it became more or less clear to me that we are not ready so far for moving forward, we need more time together, coz we both have our own fears and pain from the past… Well, I dunno if Im right or not, but I took his account as his alter ego, and made an attempt to write to him, where I apply to him as to unknown person, where I asked how it would be felt when a person who I care about so much, refuses to share what eat at him… And he answered! he called me babe again! after a long break.! Well, in my reply I told about my concerns, my feelings, how were in the reality all those things he suspected me in, just for making him feel more secure. Might be he thinks now that its childish approach or sort, he didnt reply yet, even though 3 days more past, but in his messages to me I notice like if he gripped my upsetting feelings from that last unread email, and tries to make it better. Well, Im still groping about the way to his emotional core, but I hope its not a wrong one… What do you think, Tinque? xoxox

  10. Dominique says:

    Freya – Thank you for being here, and thank you for sharing.

    First of all long distance relationship are difficult at best. At least you do see each other sometimes, yet to keep this relationship going or actually having any relationship at all, you need to consider either you moving to where he lives or the other way around. You cannot sustain any kind of intimacy from afar.

    So it doesn’t matter at this point whether he shared with you his feelings and concerns. I doesn’t matter how or when you voice your concerns about what you have. I understand it feels important, yet this is not the main concern.

    The main concern is whether the connection is strong enough to continue pursuing this, and if it is, then one or the other will have to move. Yes it’s sweet that you reignited the romance by role playing, but this is not how to build a strong bond. You cannot reach his emotional core without him being there with you.

    Once he is, then we can talk about how to connect more deeply, how to reach and express yourself in ways he can hear.


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