Written by Freelancing Writer and Editor : Olayinka Sodiq

When men hear the word “vulnerability,” they immediately associate it with weakness. In general, men are raised to withhold emotions, not to show weakness. Men have too many negative assumptions about the idea of being vulnerable and speaking up to their feelings. I want you to think of vulnerability broadly. Not emotional but physical vulnerability. For instance, making yourself vulnerable doesn’t mean just being willing to share your insecurities or fears. It can mean saying a lousy joke, joining a table full of unknown people. All of these requires you to stick your neck out emotionally in some way, which makes you vulnerable.

In this way, vulnerability represents a subtle form of power. A man who makes himself vulnerable is saying to the world, “this is who I am, I don’t care what you think of me, and I will not be anyone else.” He’s saying that he’s high status and not needy. Most people think of a vulnerable man as a man who begs others to accept him or not hurt him. That is not a vulnerability; this is neediness and weakness.

Look at it this way; we have two men. One stands tall and focuses straight ahead. Says what he thinks and is not concerned with what others think. He shrugs off mistakes when he makes them and sometimes apologizes. He is not afraid to express himself even when rejected. He has zero problems moving on to people who appreciate who he is. And then the other, the second man eyes dart around and cannot look someone in the eye without being uncomfortable. He does not say things that could upset others, and sometimes tell lies to avoid conflict, always trying to impress people. If he makes a mistake, he plays the blame game or pretends it never happened. He’s scared of rejection.

Which one of these two men do you think is more powerful? And Which one is more vulnerable?

A lot of men, like you, and like me, were raised to hide our emotions. For whatever reason — maybe our home situation, perhaps our parents never express their feelings either, perhaps childhood trauma, we grew up with habits embedded deeply into us to keep us bottled up. Do not be controversial. Don’t do anything “stupid” or “crazy” or “selfish.”. Don’t be unique.

Vulnerability is becoming a lovely person and a path of genuine human connection. “Humans are attracted to each other’s rough edges.”. Stop trying to be perfect; do not hide your rough edges. Expose yourself and share yourself without inhibition. Take the rejections and lumps and move on.

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