‘’You don’t bleed. That’s why you can’t keep a guy.’’ Erol said to his long time friend, Jacinta, whilst twisting his foot into the ground to kill his cigarette butt.
They’ve been friends forever and always love to chat about their relationships…
“I…what? I don’t bleed?”
“Yeah, you don’t bleed. You need to bleed in order for him to have feelings for you. I’m exaggerating, but I’m kind of not, too.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Erol chuckled. “Look, I don’t actually mean bleed, that is a metaphor to say, hey, you should make it obvious how you feel. By actually letting him see how you feel. I don’t mean you need to suffer…what I’m actually saying is that unless you show how you feel loudly and clearly, a guy won’t understand it, and he won’t….bond to you. At least that’s just what I’ve noticed.”
“Oh. I get what you’re saying…you’re saying don’t pretend everything is okay…but I tried expressing my feelings and being you know, vulnerable, cause everyone has been saying I act like I don’t need a guy and it’s been annoying the heck out of me…so I just told Jake that I wanted to share a future with him, and he shut the whole conversation down and ignored me. And you are telling me that I don’t bleed? I felt like I was bleeding at the time!”
“Yeah, I understand you felt that way, but it’s not clear enough I think. That’s just what I think, I could be wrong.” Erol shrugged his big shoulders and looked down at the ground.
“But I did bleed, I finally told him that I saw a future with him, and that I want to share my future with him.”
“No, I’m talking about your feelings. Trust me, I’m a dude. That’s not bleeding! You have to bleed.” Erol chuckled warmly. “See with my girl, Francine, I know I can’t take my mind off her because she needs me.”
“Ugh. I’m giving up on men. And by the way, I DID bleed. I bled inside; I just told you, that I told him I saw a future with him, which feels really scary to me.”
“Yeah, I know. But that’s just you starting a conversation. That’s just talk.”
“Conversation!? I felt scared as hell to say that to him! And he didn’t even respect what I said!
“How was he supposed to know that you were scared? You didn’t say you were scared!”
Erol continued. “Why can’t women just make this stuff a bit more obvious? It frustrates me. Women are so wishy washy and indirect. If you feel scared, say it… let us know. We’re not mind readers. Most of us guys are pretty thick and we need to see it clearly or hear it loudly. We don’t understand this indirect BS.”
“How can I be more direct? If I was direct then I might break down crying.”
“Well don’t guys hate emotionally unstable women?”
“No. It’s not that guys don’t like women expressing their feelings. Guys don’t like surface crying that is more just used as manipulation and blame. If you were to cry as if you’re bleeding, then they will respond, if they love her.”
Jacinta looked confused and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that.
She was used to her quirky friend being funny, but this caught her off guard.
This reality has hit her hard and it’s completely not what she’s used to.
The subject of vulnerability is getting more attention these days; I’m sure you’ve noticed…
It’s all about vulnerability; because many of us have started thinking about it in this world where people are not prioritising relationships enough, they are overworked, and so well connected on the interwebz but under-connected in person.
Many of us are thinking and realising we might be too numb, too un-vulnerable, too rough around the edges, or whatever else we think we are.
It’s hard to blame anyone for being that way, as once you’ve been hurt enough, it’s kind of a relief to shut down and tune out.
Even though there’s nothing “wrong” with having rough-around-the edges moments, there’s something to admire about a totally real, un-brushed woman who is being raw (and men, too – men are beautiful when they are being themselves – whatever it looks like). So, we all want to know how to access that dormant part of ourselves.
And let’s be honest, often, our vulnerability has to remain dormant – because it’s inappropriate for certain situations, and not everyone deserves to see our vulnerability!
It’s all about being vulnerable. I’m pretty sure I was one of the first to begin talking about vulnerability (which is of course not true, but I like to think that anyway), and at The Feminine Woman, we define it as “High Value Vulnerability”.
If you want to learn more about High Value Vulnerability, it is one of the core concepts of our Commitment Control 2 Program.
Because it’s one thing to feel vulnerable inside, and it’s another to be high value vulnerable. And the difference between vulnerable and high value vulnerable is that you could feel vulnerable deep inside yourself and in the moment (you could feel like you risked something by saying or doing a particular thing), but you may not come across as vulnerable or be perceived as vulnerable to your man, or to another person.
So to explain…you could feel vulnerable, shaky, or out of sorts emotionally, but you are not really accessing your vulnerability in it’s raw form. This could be because you developed coping mechanisms to cover it up, or because it’s just far too painful to go deep into who you really are.
I’ll say that again. You could feel vulnerable inside, but not appear vulnerable because it’s far too painful to go deep into who you really are. Today I’m going to give you ways in which you can begin to do that.
And, hey, maybe you don’t want anyone to see you as who you really are, because, well, f**k everybody, right? All those humans who hurt you in the past can go lick mouse balls.
So whilst it’s highly valuable for your personal growth to feel vulnerable inside…it’s another to feel in a totally vulnerable way, to also communicate vulnerably, to connect with another vulnerably, and it’s another to relate to another human being, or to a man through vulnerable emotion.
Here are 4 ways to do it:
1: Access your primary emotion (the deepest, core emotion behind all the superficial thoughts or fears you think are okay to admit having). In order to access your vulnerability, you need to access your primary emotion, which is hard. Learn more about primary emotions here. As soon as you’ve gone into freeze mode or even just thought something in your mind before responding, it is already too late to show primary emotion.
Primary emotion is instinctive and it’s vulnerable and it often feels inappropriate to show it. For example, a friend’s little girl runs up to you and says: “Wow! Your tummy so big! When you gonna have baby?” and depending on who you are, how much time you spend feeling on a daily basis, and how you feel on that day, your primary emotion could be to burst out into tears of hurt and pain.
Well, maybe that’s just me. But the best thing about primary emotion is that if you’re at least mildly used to feeling primary emotion as it comes, and if you’re engaged with life, then after a short amount of time, it is over. Done. You generally don’t seethe over it; because most of your hurt and pain is felt.
But the problem is…it’s not okay to burst out crying in “primary emotion”, because you are supposed to be a “thinking adult” and you should really know not to take a kid seriously. But that’s not taking a kid seriously, thing is an afterthought – it is not the primary emotion.
I suggest that in this situation, it’s okay to let yourself feel a little bit. It’s okay to have tears in your eyes. I know there are rules about how you should be; but there are also huge costs to adhering to what you should be, and that is numbness. Once you ‘do’ numbness enough, you end up dead inside, and eventually, you can risk becoming one of those boring people.
Not only do you end up boring, you end up with a ridiculous amount of past hurts, anger and pain that you’ll need to catch up with feeling through later on.
Another example of how to access primary emotion is to notice when you feel like blaming someone. Blame is toxic, however, it’s useful in the sense that before you go to blame someone – you need to stop and ask yourself what it is that you are truly avoiding feeling – is your primary emotion just fear? Scared? Are you afraid of feeling like a failure (which of course you are not, but sometimes we still feel like we are a failure due to the rules that other people push on to us).
See my article on Does Fear of Abandonment Make You More Beautiful?
2: Verbalise the deepest, scariest thing about this particular moment. For example, let’s say on a particular day, you feel bored, envious and angry and notice yourself putting others down too much. Verbalise the deepest feeling you can (the feeling you are too scared to admit that you have). Here are some examples, so you can start to access deeper emotions:
“I can’t stand to be me right now.”
“It hurts to be alive.”
“This hurts too much.”
“I don’t enjoy being like this. I feel lonely and terrified inside.”
My hope is that you’ll get a chance to peel back the layers, and get down to exposing your truest, most surrendered emotion(s). Why? Not because I’m sadistic. But because, this will be a huge, orgasmic emotional release for you, and it will feel GOOD some time after you’ve done it. And it will feel good because you can finally be free (until the next lot of pent up emotions).
3: Open your arms to the side as wide as you can, and open your chest out to the world. Obviously you don’t want to do this in the streets out in public. Do it at home. And when you feel the right moment, you can consider doing it in front of someone that you trust.
You can try this in your backyard at night, or you can try this with the cold water coming out of the shower. (Cold showers help you practice being okay with being vulnerable. However, I am not a medical expert or a doctor. Please research cold water therapy for yourself before trying it – it can shock your body especially if you have not had much practice.)
Hold your arms out to the sides, and your chest pushed out for as long as you can, until you can’t deal with it anymore and end up crossing your arms, holding yourself tightly, or end up in the fetal position (crying is okay too).
It is a practice of surrender. This is surrender instead of the “push” and the resistance which often surfaces as defensiveness. It is surrender instead of resistance. It is softness and femininity instead of defensiveness.
When you do this, try to notice the flow of feeling. Enjoy being yourself, getting to know yourself, and remembering all the hurts that you’ve pushed down in the past (so that you become unlocked, soft and ready to spontaneously experience more joy, ecstasy, hurt or happiness in the future).
When you have become unlocked, you become able to show high value vulnerability in front of a man more. He will feel more of your softness, more of your deliciousness and more of your aliveness. It will potentially inspire him (and maybe even women), in a way you never thought possible.
This is how men become inspired to enter committed relationships – it is through a woman’s softness of surrender and trust. Trust for whom? Trust for the process of life, and eventually, trust for him.
4: Turn retaliation and self defense into total submission. I don’t necessarily mean submitting to a man (thought that could be part of it). I mean submission to the flow of life, and submission to the flow of your own emotion. Your own emotions are here to guide you and show you who you are. Some people are sure that emotions and feeling emotions make that person ‘less’, or weak.
Yet – How strong do you think it is to not know who you are? How strong are you if you can’t feel in real time? We become weakened when we block emotion out as a way to retaliate. It’s okay to feel…it’s okay to feel the resistance to yourself feeling….just keep accepting the moment and accessing the emotion.
You can try this first by saying ‘I hate this….this is awful….I don’t want to feel how alive I am! I don’t want to feel how painful this is! Who will be there to catch me?’ When we verbalise our resistance instead of retaliate, that is a beautiful, admirable thing because it is the beginnings of a healthy relationship with our High Value Vulnerability.
This might sound like a dangerous thing to suggest. It might sound like dangerous advice. But think about it. What’s the only real way to be free? What’s the only real way to stop being low value (ie: wanting to take value from the world?) It is to feel the vulnerability we avoid feeling. We become low value when we want to take from the world, and not give back. We want to take from the world and be stingy when we resist what is happening. We resist, so we become un-calibrated and value-taking.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
Take a look at our Commitment Control 2 Program where we will delve deeply into High Value Vulnerability.