‘’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.”

“So?”

“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.

And it is this vulnerable communication that will also help men fall in love with you lead you towards a committed relationship; a deeper relationship.

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.

 

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  • Wajihah

    I used to be against the idea of anything u written. Up until the point i was desperate to understand why im still unable to find love and healthy relationship at the end of my 20s. (Im glad i have this awareness early) But i keep on reading more articles from yr site even from others. Read some books listening to some audio/video until it hit me, everything make sense. I wasnt being true to my own self. Just because we acted certain way for as long as we knew, doesnt mean its the truest version of us. I used to hold myself perfectly together and i thought that part of me should be enough. Little that i know, even my close friends for years doesn’t feel the real part of me. Without knowing i shut people out of my life (i wasnt aware of this ignorance) by not letting them feel the vulnerable part of me. Sometimes we resent part of ourself; because to be honest i was terrified of my own feelings. To be feminine & vulnerable and to let it show is true courage, to admit that i need love to feel complete makes me feel weak. And i used to hate it. But once i understood, the relationship with myself changed. I start to embrace every “negative” and positive feelings, i feel lighter softer happier. Now i can feel my heart opens and im able to received love as im able to give more love without draining my own self. Thank you renee for believing in the power of being feminine woman and share them with us. Trust the journey and always learning. we all get there eventually, have faith that we are here to find and be better versions of us.

  • Lily

    Hi Renee,
    I completely agree with you on this…I’ve been following your blog for the past 2 years and it has just taught me so much and it has just made me so comfortable with being feminine and truly accepting of myself. Earlier I was in a relationship with a man who was more feminine and I had to show up in my masculine energy, but I took measures to change that and I immediately met someone new and he is someone who lets me be in my feminine energy and takes care of me and we’ve been together for a year now and it just keeps getting better and I just KNOW that he is the ONE(even though I don’t really believe in the notion of there being only one person for you)
    I just wanted to know your views on getting married young (in your 20s) A lot of the people and women around me are very critical of marriage and having a family in your 20s, which is something that I would have agreed with a few years ago but now I’m more welcoming towards the idea. Women I know have said things like “Why would you even want a family so young? You’re supposed to be building a career. That’s what the 20s are for. Earn money, smash goals. You are not supposed to settle now, you won’t ever find yourself.” to me. (Some are dating casually, some are single)
    This makes me feel as though I’m being a horrible example for women and I’m sacrificing on my career and it has me so conflicted that I feel like I’m not being able to be free and carefree anymore. This issue has me feeling suffocated because I keep thinking about this. It has lead to a “Choose him or your career” situation in my mind. Is it stupid to even consider it?

  • Nes

    My new favorite article… <3 <3 <3 Thank you so much Renée!
    And I'm now sharing with my brother's girlfriend: she's just such a feminine and strong young woman. And she's a law student too 🙂
    I'm loving this! Lot's of love to your team!

  • Noemi

    Embracing and communicating vulnerability on a shaky foundation like insufficient self-love is dangerous. You said as a response to a comment bellow that “Vulnerability can allow you to expose a man for real. It allows you to expose his intentions with you”. I believe it to be true for some men. I’m afraid for others will only be the tools to pull the strings.
    I’ve become so afraid to get hurt that I try to hide my emotions. It’s my self-defense mechanism. The irony, it seems, I “protect” myself from deep connection also…

    • Anna C

      “Embracing & communicating vulnerability on a shaky foundation like insufficient self-love is dangerous” Wise words… this I think is related to the second paragraph you wrote when you say “I’m afraid for others will only be the tools to pull the strings. ” When you do not have sufficient self love, you cannot recognise the ones who are fake and who will hurt you and the ones who are real and who will love you.

      The only way to learn this is guided experience (guided from your intuition). Experience is all about making the wrong decisions and learning from them.

    • knuckledragger

      As a dude I can tell you that you may be right. However, if he isn’t into you he will be exposed very quickly once you declare yourself. Guys are incapable of “pulling the strings” for long if they aren’t into a woman who is totally into them. Then you can get on with the Chunky Monkey and heartbreak to move on and try again. With a guy who cares deeply for you.

  • Kat

    To be honest, I know plenty of people who DO these things in their relationships and they don’t get any commitment.
    I’ve had moments where my ex responded negatively to when I’d say “oh I’m scared about this working out between us” (i.e., say oh don’t talk to me about scared, I’m dealing with wayy more in my own life etc)..
    In the same way, when I’d cry and be hurt about something (NOT out of manipulation), he’d be annoyed…
    It’s frustrating to apply the tips on your website and have them not work.. I’d love to hear your comments/clarification here..

    • nena

      I am not an expert and i know nothing about relationships but i feel like commenting the following:
      You don t act vulnerable to get commitment,thats not how it works!you are vulnerable because you cannot hold your feelings inside and you don t want to!you do it for yourself!i had a boyfriend who had no feelings for me!and yet he reacted to my “real” vulnerabilities in a caring way!i believe men are designed this way!maybe your ex had his own issues,maybe he came from a family where feelings are forbidden!
      But i know vulnerability works!i ve seen it many many times!
      Maybe there is another aspect:real vulnerability is when you don t care if you show up as ugly:when you burst into tears or show your desperation your face becomes ugly!and for us women it is very difficult!do you care about it? i dont

      • Thanks nena, wonderful comment and it’s true that sometimes we need to simply feel and be vulnerable for ourselves.

      • Tina Sage

        True

      • knuckledragger

        Exactly right. Great post. Don’t know much about relationships my eye;)

    • Hi Kat.

      I understand it if frustrating. I’m here to hopefully clear all of this up.

      Re your comment: “To be honest, I know plenty of people who DO these things in their relationships and they don’t get any commitment.”
      First of all, your words are so general, and there’s nothing deep or specific here…just because you say it in a comment here doesn’t make it true. It’s hard to report on other people’s relationships truthfully – especially regarding how vulnerable they were, because that’s hard to asses or quantify, and it sounds like they might not actually have been vulnerable.

      Second of all…if you’re looking to ‘get a commitment’ in return for being vulnerable once, that’s not the idea here.

      Vulnerability is there to inspire the deep connection and attraction between you and a man. Vulnerability is there for you, and for him, and for the strength of the relationship. Commitment happens in small moments through his presence and care and it accumulates over time.

      Your ex may have responded with “don’t talk to me about scared, I’m dealing with way more in my own life” because it was a very bad time for him to respond well to you. In a relationship that doesn’t have much commitment, a relationship that is not mature…sometimes wrong timing can throw things off. Delivering this vulnerability without there being some kind of an already established connection first can be more risky for you, and throw you off a little, so be careful with that. (it also won’t work if you secretly don’t trust the process or secretly resent the process).

      You need to have patience and care for your relationship to use vulnerability in a high value way! You have to care a lot about the depth in the relationship, about the man, and about adding value to yourself, and who you will become. Otherwise this becomes just some ‘strategy’ to take from the world, or from men (and that is NOT how I intend it!).

      Finally – when you are vulnerable, it is no guarantee that a man will care.

      A lot of what I suggest is here to help you weed out bad men. if you are truly allowing yourself to show vulnerability (and also support him), and over time, you consistently feel in your gut that he doesn’t care, then move on real fast!

      None of what I suggest is supposed to out-perform your own calibration and attunement to the relationship, or your gut instincts. You need to trust those before you trust the advice I give you, because my advice isn’t given to you in real-time. Everything is contextual.

      Important: Vulnerability can allow you to expose a man for real. It allows you to expose his intentions with you…it allows you to see how willing he is to invest in you, and if he actually loves you.

      Having said that….don’t forget that your ‘results’ with a man also depends on how you’ve acted in the past in the relationship. He may not trust you, or you guys may not have developed much connection and attraction – sometimes you need to develop more connection and attraction first!

      (This is not your fault, but it needs to be said for the sake of understanding) – If a man doesn’t trust you then of course he won’t trust your vulnerability – plenty of women use this in a very bad way and they complain about not getting results…a man needs to trust a woman’s intentions at least a little bit as well. (sometimes that’s nothing to do with you, it could be that in his past relationships, women were not kind to him and were manipulative).

      It goes back to caring about the relationship. About him, and about yourself. not about getting his resources first and foremost.

      • Dawn

        Hi Renee, thank you for the clarifications-especially that you have to feel it in your gut. What about a man who shuts down when you are tell your feelings, even though you were deeply connected before and you know he does love you? Fiancé broke off the engagement because he is dealing with extreme stress and difficulty in his life, but has been contacting me recently. He opened with a joke and also said I see you are still angry…then he didn’t respond for a week! I said I’m not angry (because I know his life is very bad now) but I’m not a toy so better not to write me if you won’t respond… Now he is dour and doesn’t say much. But it’s like you said–I have to say my feelings or just build up resentment. I can’t wait for weeks to hear from him and when I tell him I don’t like it he shuts down. I don’t know how to support him anymore or why he even bothered to contact me, and I feel very frustrated and angry. I think he still loves me but my gut is not happy :). Please help?!!

        • Anna C

          Hi Dawn, I’m no Renee, but in my experience, when a guy stops contacting to the level you wish him to contact you, then you guys are not both on the same wavelength. There is nothing wrong with that; it’s just that you 2 are on 2 different planes. It’s likely he does need time to figure out his life and that he’s not ready to give you what you need at this point from him. He was loving in the fact that he told you this. I can understand your need to hear from him more often, and your resentment from not hearing from him. Either way, the playing field needs to be leveled. You either have to be so busy and into your life as he is right now (because he’s stressed) so that responding for weeks at a time does not feel odd to you, or he needs to clear up his life to have room to respond to you in the way that you need. He probably still loves you through, but he needs to feel secure in his life, or in himself.

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