Image by John Hain from Pixabay

As a male growing up, I always heard from other guys to not show your weakness or vulnerability. They told me, as a man you need to only be strong and tough.

And, if you express yourself, then you are a weak man.

However, I disagree and with others as well. Showing vulnerability is not a weakness if it’s shown with confidence.

What a minute?! How do you that? Well, before we dive into that, let’s talk about the PROS and CONS of expressing vulnerability, then how to do it.

What’s the PROS of expressing vulnerability?

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Building Connection. It’s a good way to build connection and trust. You open yourself up to another being. That’s why people trust their dogs when they tell them things.

  • I’ve noticed when I express vulnerability, I build a meaningful connection with the person I’m sharing with. I feel I can trust that person and vice versa. It’s a great way to start towards a friendship, relationship, etc.

Self esteem and Self-love. Expressing vulnerability builds self-love and improves self-esteem. You start accepting yourself and become open to your world.

  • When I express myself, I feel good about myself. The love and acceptance for myself increases.

Self aware. It helps build awareness with your emotions. Sometimes, neglecting your emotions has horrible consequences.

  • For me, sharing is important. Repressing your emotions and avoid, doesn’t solve the problem. It’s only going to grow if not dealt with right away. That’s why I had anger issues for a while. Glad, I became aware of the damage being done to myself before it’s too late.

Relief. Showing vulnerability and expressing them helps free us emotional turmoil. The weight is off our shoulders.

  • I remember, expressing and I just cried. It was tears of relief because all the baggage that held me back disappeared. That’s what makes expression of vulnerability so amazing.

Knowing your support group or person. Expressing opens doors for new relationships. It’s also a great way to know who those people are. When your vulnerable, you’ll know the people who will stay for you.

  • I remember a friend of mine expressing her vulnerability to people she knew for years. But, they didn’t care and started ignoring her. It confused her, but she realized it was important. It showed her who are true friends.

Confidence. When you express your vulnerabilities, it shows your courage to open your heart and be willing to take a risk. People can say expressing your vulnerabilities is a weakness. But, those people are scared to show themselves. Showing vulnerability allows you to become your authentic self, not a persona.

  • I remember, a stranger told me to never show weakness in public. Show them that you are strong. At some points, he was right. But, I didn’t feel happy and authentic. I kept showing a facade to people. I thought I was a tough guy, but deep down I was a sad person. Until I realized, expressing my vulnerabilities was my freedom. It made me accept myself, down to the core. There is no need to hide. You’ll be brave after doing it!

What’s the CONS of expressing vulnerability?

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Coming from a place of need. Expressing yourself is great. But, if it’s coming from a place of victim mindset, then it comes off cringe. Rather than giving yourself to the person, you want to take something. Try not to mistake a victim mentality for genuine expression of vulnerability.

  • The first time I did it, it was genuine. I wanted to express myself because I wanted to let go of the baggage I was carrying. But, there was a point when my expression for vulnerability became neediness. Rather, than expression how I really felt, I started complaining. As a result, it turned off many people from listening.
  • This might sound cheesy, but listen to your gut and know the right time to be vulnerable.

Perceived as a weakness by others. Let’s face it! There are many ignorant people. They might feel a genuine expression of vulnerability as a weakness. So, the main problem is worrying the opinion of others. Just feel free!

  • When I was a kid, I see some dads telling their sons to man up. Don’t cry or show weakness. I followed that for a while. Then I realized, it affected my emotional growth. I was stunted! It just made me more angry.
  • So, don’t worry about expressing weakness and vulnerability. It’s beneficial for your emotional health.

Expectations. The problem with expressing vulnerability is the surrounding attention. The more attention, the more you want to do it.

  • There was a point when I felt good expressing my vulnerabilities, so I wanted to do it again. Plus, I had a positive feedback from people. When I did it more often, I had expectations from people. It became an obsession for attention.
  • I just had to let it go and free myself from the expectations.

Too early and too much of it. Expressing vulnerability takes trust and openness of others. If you express too much and too early, probably in the beginning phase, then people might lose respect for you. It’s just a might. Not always the case.

  • Someone once told me a story that they expressed themselves to people they barely knew. After expressing herself, she noticed people ignored her. She was confused and it discouraged her.
  • Glad, she realized that those people are not worth wasting energy on. It’s a great way to know who are there for you.

How I express vulnerability and how it can help you?

Everybody has different ways to express their emotions. I will show you how I express my vulnerabilities. I hope it works for you. This when I’m going through heavy stuff.

  1. Acknowledge that you are bothered.
    1. The first phase will be confusing because we lie to ourselves that we are okay. We say to ourselves that everything is fine, despite being uncomfortable. Being honest to ourselves that we are bothered is a good start.
  2. Find what’s bothering you.

    1. After acknowledging what’s bothering you, search yourself for answers.
    2. What is it exactly that is making you uncomfortable?

  3. Once you found what’s bothering you, take your time to fully analyze it.
    1. When you find that reason, analyze it. For example, when you’re bothered with a person, but can’t point a finger why.
    2. It is really the person or something similar in the past?
  4. Embrace it and feel your emotion.
    1. After diving deep within yourself, accept it and embrace.
  5. Share it and express vulnerability.
    1. Once you embrace it, you can express. It takes strength to let yourself go.
  6. Let it go.
    1. You’ll notice that you feel good about yourself. You are happier and confident.
  7. Make it part of you.
    1. Weakness is part of life and part of you. Without it, people will just be cardboard cutouts. Be proud of it!

Conclusion

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

In conclusion, expressing your vulnerability is good! Do it! Look at the benefits listed earlier. Who can deny that?

Expressing your vulnerability is important for emotional growth and it shows you are mature. Holding back or trying to act tough will just help for a mask, but not for emotional growth.

You’ll notice, you are free when doing it. You are happier and confident with yourself. It feels good to show your weakness.

I urge people to do it when they feel like doing it. Don’t be afraid! There is nothing to fear. It part of life!

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