For a long time, society has carved an image of a real man. He is tough, brave, and never shows any weaknesses at all. If there are emotions he is allowed to express, they are anger, contempt, and pride. Any emotion that swerves away from these categories is considered a sign of weakness.
Ironically, this same society has produced “real men” in the past who made decisions of mass killings and endless violence. They were the men who seemed not to have compassion run through their nerves.
But such is starting to become a thing of the past. Humans have found the courage to go with the pace of the fast changing world. We have slowly become tolerant of the changes that are taking place. We have come to honor the parts of us that make us human. Most importantly, men are starting to redefine what makes a man real.
The modern man is no longer the archetype who is tough inside out, rather, he is the man who has no fear of showing his vulnerability.
Most men try to avoid exposing this tender side in themselves, not because they’re afraid but because letting go of the societal conditioning is never easy. It has been deeply engraved within them. It’s hard to let go of the belief that the only way to become a real man is to maintain a tough facade. Vulnerability has no room in their lives because they aren’t weak nor are they crybabies.
Nonetheless, more and more men have unlocked the secret to masculinity. These men have discovered that vulnerability is the only way to become a real man. They paved the way for vulnerability and described it in the following ways:
Vulnerability is being true to who you really are.
Expressing yourself and your emotions in all honesty is never a weakness. Being vulnerable means you expose your emotions without asking for validity whatsoever. It is showing your emotions in all its shapes and colors. You don’t expect nor demand any reciprocity. You express your emotions because you feel them and that’s all.
Vulnerability is showing sincerity.
If you truly care for someone, you can never stop being sincere to them. You open up your heart and allow them to take a peek of what’s inside. You’re not afraid of rejection because your intention is to let them know how you feel for them.
Vulnerability is a sign of confidence.
There’s a big difference between vulnerability and being clingy or needy. Vulnerability is showing your real feelings without making the other person feel guilty. Being clingy or needy is showing your feelings to someone to make them feel guilty. Most often, this is in cases where your real intention is to prevent someone from leaving you. But when you’re confident, you’re not afraid to express your vulnerable side regardless of its consequences. You are willing to take the risk of making things unfold the way they should.
Vulnerability is a sign of strength.
It takes tons of courage to express yourself in a genuine way. Some will lose the courage before they even begin to try. But a strong man is able to show his vulnerable side because he knows he is man enough to handle things.
Vulnerability is a prerequisite to connection.
Connection can never be established when one or both parties aren’t willing to open up to the other person. When you open up, you allow the other person to take a glimpse of your own world and listen to your unique story. There’s a magic that takes place when two people locked eyes and see something the same way. Nothing can compare to the knowledge that you’re being seen and heard. A deep connection with others is the missing ingredient in the heart of a violent man. When you feel connected to others, it would be hard for you to hurt them ruthlessly. In order to end violence in the world, each man should know how to connect.
Vulnerability is the way to reclaim humanity.
For too long, men became imprisoned in themselves because of poor conditioning. This leads them to feelings of low self-worth, a skewed perception of acceptable behaviors, relationship failures, higher rates of suicide, and a disconnection within themselves. Now is the best time for men to claim their lives back and reclaim humanity in the process.
In his TEDx Talk, David Hatfield said it’s now time to define a new normal of what masculine is all about. Hatfield, who specializes in facilitation and leadership focusing on the areas of masculinity, offers three strategies for men to become more vulnerable and connected with others. He suggested the following:
- Share your story.Share your stories to your friends, family, and to people whom you feel you can connect deeply with. These stories shouldn’t be life-changing. Even the story of how your first pet dog died when you’re at a young age is enough to allow your emotions to be acknowledged and expressed.
Explore your relationship with your own father.
The father figure in your life represents your archetype of masculinity. When you learn about this relationship, you will learn the figure of masculinity on the whole. This will then become a basis on how you relate to other men around you. In cases where you don’t happen to meet your father, ask your mother, relatives, and the people who know your father more about him. Inquire about his emotions including his strengths, vulnerabilities, fears, and victories.
Stop playing along with the weakness mentality.
You cannot allow something to grow in you when you don’t allow something to die. Give space for your vulnerability to sit in by giving up the notion that it can make you appear weak.
Being vulnerable is a part of self-care that you should learn to practice as a real man. Happiness is for everyone. It’s a great disservice to yourself if you let the voice of society run your life.
The way to vulnerability may not be easy for you, but don’t wait for women or other people to shy out of your way because you belittle them, discredit them, and even gaslight them. All these traits are products of a sense of a gnawing emptiness inside you, which can only be filled when you learn to connect with others.
You have the power to make your life happen the way you want it to. Be vulnerable. Be crazy. Be who you are. Cry if you want to. Laugh if you want to. These emotions are the same on a biological level. They both expand your heart once you express them.
Embrace your own vulnerability and heal yourself along the way. Once you do this, you will inspire others to do the same. Do this until society recognizes how it needs vulnerable men who have the power to make a difference and make this world a much better place.