Vulnerable guys are ugly. That’s what women think at least. Millions of men around the world have been told to show off their vulnerable side. And when they do? Women judge them ruthlessly, making them get angry and frustrated.
But it’s not because they’re vulnerable — it’s because they’re being vulnerable in the wrong way.
Men feel like women don’t respect them for being vulnerable. So if being vulnerable isn’t the answer, then what is?
The right way is definitely not the “redpilled” crowd or dating gurus. They are fearful of women not responding positively to their vulnerability.
So it begs the question.
How do you get respect – while still being vulnerable?
In today’s episode, you’ll discover a “gateway” concept that’s required for deeper connection and intimacy but can sabotage your relationship and leave you lonely if you get it wrong. This episode also reveals the 2 greatest myths surrounding vulnerability.
Show highlights include:
- How getting this “gateway concept” right is required for a successful relationship but if you get it wrong can sabotage your relationship (and leave you bitter and lonely) (0:39)
- Why listening to the “redpilled” crowd and dating gurus leads to a hostile and bitter relationship (1:55)
- How adopting a machiavellian approach prevents you from finding love and happiness (and why adopting this approach attracts unconditional love) (2:59)
- Understand the 2 greatest myths surrounding vulnerability and automatically attract the woman of your dreams (4:05)
- Why seeking empathy from women violates their boundaries (and leaves you miserable) (9:52)
- A “healing way” to be vulnerable that’s required for a growing and loving relationship (15:02)
- How to destroy the cycle of pain and loneliness by getting dumped (16:06)
- The counterintuitive way to destroy your hidden childhood trauma by getting dumped (16:06)
- How spending money on cars, jewelry, watches, and nice cars can actually repulse women (19:16)
Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at https://www.davidtianphd.com/masterclass/ now.
For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/
Get access to all my current and future online coaching courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership program today at:
Listen to the episode on your favorite podcast platform:
Note: Scroll Below for Transcription
Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now, here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.
David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology podcast. I’m David Tian, your host.
In this episode, we’ll be getting into a concept that, if you get it right, is a gateway to deeper levels of love and connection with yourself and others. Its presence is actually required for the growth of love and intimacy in a relationship, and if you get it wrong or if you use it wrongly, it can completely sabotage the relationship. In fact, if you get this concept wrong, there will be no relationship. What I’m talking about here is vulnerability, and vulnerability done right, is required for a successful relationship—that is a relationship that grows over time in love and intimacy, and passion. [01:04.3]
This episode is actually in response to a listener comment from previous episodes in which I shared case studies of couples who were undergoing the therapeutic process versus couples who had not gone through any kind of therapy or therapeutic process. In a follow-up comment also from Eloy, he mentions, “If I feel that I’m being judged for expressing a vulnerable aspect of myself, I would be pissed and not want to be with that person, because I would think that she is not respecting that part of me.”
This example that he raised is one that I’ve heard come up a lot and I’ve noticed have come up a lot in reader or listener questions, this issue of vulnerability and what to do when women don’t respond favorably to a man showing his vulnerability. [01:54.4]
Of course, a lot of the Red Pill and just a lot of men’s dating advice online and a lot of men’s dating gurus are fearful of women not responding to a man’s vulnerability, and their fear response—out of their insecurity and their lack of being able to meet their own needs because of a misunderstanding of what real vulnerability is and what to do about it or what to do with it, because of this big misunderstanding, and because of their fears and insecurities—they end up going one way, a kind of antagonistic, Machiavellian, confrontational style of communication or relationship.
Hopefully, by now, after the episodes I’ve done on what it should look like, what it would look like, if you have gone or were going through the therapeutic process, how a couple would work things out, hopefully, you’ll understand that the therapeutic approach that I’m taking and recommend goes in a completely different direction from the antagonistic, confrontational, aggressive, combative, Machiavellian game-playing approach that so much of the online dating advice comes from, which is actually rooted in fear and insecurity, and this is one of their biggest fears of not having their vulnerability met with understanding. [03:15.7]
They’re so afraid of that because they’re not able to meet their own needs that they then devise all these different layers of coping strategies and mechanisms to, basically, repress their vulnerability, so that they can play this game of manipulation, which, in the end, prevents them from ever discovering love or intimacy, ironically.
I also want to point out that I’m responding to a listener’s comment, so when you write your comments, I read as many of them as I can and respond to as many as I can. Please comment, let me know your feedback and what you think about this episode or any of the episodes. I always welcome listener feedback. [03:53.3]
Eloy’s question is about the case where he says he’s, quote-unquote, “vulnerable” and then she’s judging him or he feels judged by her for opening up, for being vulnerable, and so many guys express the same fear and there is a big myth underlying this fear. The myth is that vulnerability is supposed to be attractive or the myth that vulnerability is always attractive.
Here’s the truth. Okay, don’t buy into that myth that vulnerability is always attractive or that vulnerability should be attractive. The truth is that vulnerability can be attractive, but if you are doing it or if you’re being vulnerable as a way to be more attractive, you will have undermined the attractiveness of your vulnerability.
Okay, so that rolls right into the first type of vulnerability. I’m going to be covering three types of vulnerability. The first is a manipulative vulnerability. The second is a retraumatizing vulnerability and the third is a healing vulnerability. I only recommend the third. I don’t recommend the first or second. [04:59.3]
How most guys do vulnerability is by using it to manipulate others, and sometimes it’s not a conscious manipulation. It’s an unconscious bid for mothering. What they’ll often do is start giving their sad story and crying or something along those lines, and what they’re looking for from the woman is “Hug me. Tell me everything is okay. Tell me you still respect me and love me. That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’m showing my sad face and my sad story and all my tears.” It is a bid for connection, a bid for affection. “Take care of me” is what they’re saying, the underlying message.
You can know if you are doing vulnerability in a manipulative way, if you’re experiencing manipulative vulnerability or putting out manipulative vulnerability, if you are nervous or fearful of the response. That’s like most guys on the internet who talk about vulnerability. [05:57.8]
Manipulative vulnerability is neither healing for you, the person who is opening up and being vulnerable, and it’s actually, from a psychotherapeutic perspective, violating her boundaries, because the unconscious drive or motivation, and the underlying message, which is obvious to anyone who’s mature, is that you are trying to get her to take responsibility for your feelings.
When a guy is manipulatively vulnerable, he’s opening up, giving his sad sob story, maybe he’s crying and he’s demonstrating to her that this is something he feels very sad about and he feels his weakness, and he’s going on and on about it, in a bid for connection, in a bid for her to feel empathetic and to caretake his feelings.
What he’s doing there is he’s exerting pressure on her to caretake him, exerting pressure on her to take responsibility for how he feels. That’s why he’s so scared when he does it, because he’s unsure and insecure about whether she’s going to meet his needs, because when you’re manipulatively vulnerable, you’re not meeting your own needs yourself. [07:08.2]
Now, there are different styles of manipulative vulnerability. I’ve just been talking about one particular style of manipulative vulnerability that I see a lot among men, especially on the internet, but there’s also obviously the much more straightforward type of manipulative vulnerability when the person is consciously manipulating using vulnerability.
This is common among Asian parents when they guilt trip their kids, usually adult kids by this point because they can’t force them, so they guilt trip them into taking care of, or caretaking, really, caretaking Mom or Dad’s feelings and manipulating them that way through their sad stories and their crying to control their adult children.
Also, some very unethical pick-up artists and players, and, of course, they’re also very commonly, for women, seductive women who manipulate men, as well as men who manipulate women, through selective vulnerability. It’s basically just a kind of acting, right? [08:09.5]
This is more obvious and, generally, is not the type of vulnerability, manipulative vulnerability that is in question here. I’m focusing more on the unconscious or seemingly unconscious manipulation that men try to do by thrusting their vulnerability out onto an unsuspecting woman or onto their dates or onto their new girlfriend, and, basically, trying to get her to mother him, to, basically, take care or caretake his feelings, and exerting pressure on her to take responsibility for how he feels, thereby violating her psychological boundaries. This is a boundary violation on her by having her take responsibility or making a bid to have her take responsibility for your feelings.
That’s why it feels so yucky and icky. It’s not because you’re actually showing weakness. It’s because they’re sensing the manipulation behind it and it’s also demonstrating that you are not able to meet your own needs. Therefore, you’re demonstrating your neediness in a very upfront way. [09:12.3]
You would know from my earlier episodes, neediness is the number one attraction killer. My friend, Mark Manson, put it best in this succinct formula: your attractiveness as a male is inversely proportional to your neediness. The needier you are, the less attractive you are. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you just blurt out your sob story and then just start dissolving into tears, that this would somehow make her more attracted to you or that this is a good way of building connection.
There is a healthy way to be vulnerable in front of an intimate partner or on a date, but this is not one of those. If what you are doing is waiting for her to caretake your feelings or making a bid for her or the other person to empathize with you to make you feel better, then you’re actually violating their boundaries and you are not meeting your own needs yourself. [10:09.3]
Also, a sign of immaturity is being angered by the immaturity of other people. There are plenty of women who are immature, just as there are plenty of men who are immature, and a lot of young women will not know what to do with your vulnerability, your sad stories, you’re sobbing and crying. They’re probably meeting you to have a good time. I mean, that’s what you would do on a date, right? And now this isn’t a normal thing to be sharing sob stories as a way of having a good time, and if they’re immature, they won’t know what to do with it, so you shouldn’t be surprised that most women will not be mature enough to be able to hold this space like a good therapist would. Don’t turn your date into a therapist and expect it to be a great date. I mean, some women might have a fetish for guys who cry and they love to cry together with other guys. I don’t know, this is a minority of women. [11:02.8]
Even a mature woman would understand that there’s a time and place for vulnerability and there’s a way to do it that I will share at the end. In fact, I’ll share a personal story, as a way of illustrating this. There’s a way to do it and there’s a kind of healing kind of vulnerability that can be done in an intimate setting that will actually deepen the connection and is actually required for a growing, loving relationship.
But if you’re nervous about whether she will judge you for your display of vulnerability, then you’re actually not doing it properly. You’re not meeting your own needs. Instead, you’re using vulnerability, you’re bringing up your vulnerability to exploit it to manipulate a particular response in the other person. Stop doing that and stop expecting women to respond positively on a date or in a romantic setting to your manipulative vulnerability. [11:57.5]
Instead, learn how to meet your own needs yourself and not need the woman to meet your needs for you, and get a therapist. That therapy room and your therapy session is the perfect venue and context and environment to open up and be as vulnerable as you can. Take responsibility for your own healing and don’t require her to be your therapist or to heal you.
Okay, that’s what to do about the first type of vulnerability, the manipulative vulnerability. The second type of vulnerability is a retraumatizing vulnerability and I think a lot of guys might be experiencing this type of vulnerability as well, and this type of vulnerability is one where there isn’t a healing space and there isn’t any kind of healing context for it or any kind of greater understanding of the traumatic event about which there is sadness or pain. Instead, it’s just a revisiting and re-experiencing of the traumatic event. [12:56.3]
This is where a guy just remembers and brings to the forefront of his mind the sad thing that he has not gotten over, and he doesn’t have any deeper understanding of it, any bigger lessons that he’s taken from it. He hasn’t grown through it. He’s not going through any kind of recovery process in relation to it. He’s just re-experiencing the traumatic event again, and it’s making him all sad and weepy and depressed again, and this is what I call retraumatizing vulnerability.
Let’s say you just got dumped and you had a really bad breakup with a longtime girlfriend, and now you’re listening to sad songs at home, just crying endlessly. You’re, I don’t know, replaying those happy moments in your mind that now are completely sad and depressing. I don’t know, you’re looking at her social media feed where she’s got a new boyfriend and it’s driving you crazy and you’re sad, and you’re alternating between sad and angry, and you’re watching sad movies.
Basically, you’re sad and you’re totally vulnerable, and you’re feeling weak and exposed, but you’ve got no growth, no greater perspective. You’re not bringing a higher perspective or higher self that can bring that compassion and love to those parts of you that are in pain, and there isn’t a loving presence or you’re not able to hold the space to accept all the feelings that are coming up. [14:16.2]
Instead, you’re just basically feeling like crap and when you open that wound, you start talking about your ex-girlfriend, I don’t know, to your friends or maybe just to yourself, sitting there at your desk, or especially on a date, you bring up the ex and you start just start crying and stuff like this. It’s obviously not going to be attractive, but on top of that, it’s not doing you any good. It’s just, re-experiencing the pain without any growth.
Retraumatizing vulnerability is not effective for growth and it’s not helpful for you, and it’s definitely not attractive. If you’re just simply re-experiencing the thing that’s making you sad or angry or whatever it is, it’s best to stop doing that and go and see a therapist. A good therapist will be able to lead you through the process of healing. [14:58.8]
Okay, that leads to the third type of vulnerability, which is healing vulnerability, and I recommend that if you’ve never experienced healing vulnerability, you find a really good therapist who can facilitate this process for you so that you can get more experienced with it so that you can be there for yourself down the road.
But what’ll happen in a good therapy session with a good therapist is that the therapist will stand in for your higher self or your true self, and bring that compassion, but also courage and confidence, and that loving presence and that loving space where you feel acceptance, no matter what it is that you’re experiencing, and there’s no judgment around it and so forth. Right?
That first step of accepting what is actually happening is required and that’s going to be already really cathartic and healing, and then you go deeper into bringing love and compassion towards the parts of you that are in pain. Eventually, with a good therapist, you’ll learn to do that for yourself, so you’ll learn how to meet your own needs for love and understanding and so forth, and that in and of itself is the most important growth there. [16:04.3]
But, of course, you’ll also derive lessons about what to do next time and insights about yourself, and for many people, when it comes to pain from intimate relationships that have dissolved or broken up, it’s very healing to learn about your childhood issues that led you into this painful relationship in the first place, and to discover these patterns in yourself that repeat so that you can start to heal those parts of you that are repeating these patterns, and so forth.
Just getting that intellectual understanding, even just that is healing, but, of course, the actual experience of it, of that loving presence, that compassionate, loving presence that can hold that space for the parts of you that are feeling this pain and suffering, that and then allowing those parts of you that are suffering to show you those events in your childhood or those earlier events where the pain was first experienced, and so on, basically, the therapeutic process, and there are many steps to the therapeutic process. I’m not going to go through all the steps here. I’m just mentioning there is a type of vulnerability that is a healing vulnerability, and as you are being vulnerable in this way, it facilitates and is actually required for the therapeutic process to proceed. [17:16.0]
Once you get good at accessing healing vulnerability, you won’t need to do it with your date. You won’t need her to understand or empathize with you, or any of that stuff. Now, right now, a lot of these guys, they’re not healing. Their vulnerability is not a healing vulnerability. They’re just in their pain and there’s very little healing going on, and that’s probably because they’re not in therapy or they’re not seeing a good therapist, and it’s really unfortunate.
I don’t really know what to do about that besides [recommend] getting on my online courses in the Platinum Partnership. That’ll take you a really long way through the process or get a really good therapist and commit to it over the weeks and months and years that will be required for you to get facility and skill and experience with healing vulnerability, with, basically, meeting your own needs, accessing your higher self, that can bring that perspective from your higher self, your true self, to the parts of you that are in pain so that you can help those parts that are in pain let go of those burdens. [18:11.3]
Do you struggle in your interactions with women or in your intimate relationship? Are fear, shame, or neediness sabotaging your relationships or attractiveness? In my Platinum Partnership Program, you’ll discover how to transform your psychological issues, improve your success with women, and uncover your true self.
Get access to all my current and future online courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership today at DavidTianPhD.com/Platinum.
To illustrate what it’s like when you don’t need her to caretake your feelings and still be vulnerable in front of her, which, to a mature woman, would be attractive, though you shouldn’t do it for that reason, because if you have that as one of your motivations, and it will actually undermine the vulnerability and it will not be healing anymore, it will now switch over to manipulative. Okay, it’s the whole paradox of trying not to try, right? [19:18.8]
If you’re not trying to manipulate or if you’re not trying to be attractive, and, instead, it’s just coming out naturally and authentically, then it would be attractive as a byproduct or side effect. But if you aim for it to be attractive, then you automatically have now shifted it into manipulative vulnerability, in which case it’ll feel yucky and icky, because, in fact, it will be a kind of boundary violation that you are doing onto her.
From the earlier comments and then the comments on the episodes that I made on the case studies, I’ve discovered a lot of guys actually really are yearning for it because they don’t see it in their social circle or in their parents maybe. They don’t see what it’s like to actually have a successful relationship that grows in love and passion over time, and what that would look like if you’re going through the therapeutic process. [20:06.5]
I will share from my life a personal story to help illustrate this. When my now wife, when we were first dating, this was now several years ago, after we met in the club, by the way, where both of us were working in a professional capacity, I was with clients. Shout out to all of those guys who judge people for going club, judge women for going clubbing, the hypocrites that they are. You can find love in a club. Of course, the clubs would have a higher proportion of Cluster-B disordered people, so you’ve got to watch out for that.
Anyway, we met in the club that night, but we couldn’t go home or hook up or anything like that, and it’s not something that I would want to start a relationship with anyway. I mean, the next morning I had to work because it was a client weekend.
After that, we met, I think it was a Monday or Tuesday, we had our “first date”, quote-unquote, where we met for like an hour for drinks and then we went to her best friend’s birthday party, which was a big group of people that went club-hopping on a Tuesday night. That was pretty debaucherous in terms of partying and I think I left at 4:00 AM and the party was still raging. That’s Singapore for you. [21:14.2]
Then, the next day I had to fly off. I was to leave the country. I was in Singapore and I had to fly back to Thailand, so I wasn’t going to see her for, I think it was about three weeks or so. During those three weeks, I had already booked a trip to Bali and it was going to be a solo trip. I had booked a bunch of hotels and at the time I was living in hotel suites all around the world.
I was at the Ambassador level for, at the time, Starwood Hotels, which is now Marriott. I’d booked like two weeks of just checking out different Starwood hotels in Bali and I did this quite regularly, and this particular trip, there weren’t any friends who would be traveling with me, so I had booked all the accommodations and I invited her along.
In response, she did a lot of really good things. I’m not going to get into all of those, but her responses were great and showed a lot of investment and were very promising, even from the first moment we met. I thought this would just take it to the next level. I don’t know, I was too old at that point to just mess around. I was not going to waste time with anyone who wasn’t serious, and this wasn’t just for sex. [22:17.4]
I was only really, at this point, interested in something that would pay off down the road, because I’d had enough sexual opportunities to take advantage of. I didn’t need more sex partners. But I was looking for something that would be more intimate emotionally and have a deeper connection, and so forth, and she seemed like a very promising prospect.
Anyway, I invited her out to Bali. To make a long story short, eventually, I had to fly back to Singapore. We met up, and then from there, my Singapore trip was just work all the way through, and then the next morning I flew out to Bali. We met at the airport. On the second night in Bali, we were at a bar. I had a little bit too much wine or something, a little bit too much to drink, and I was really sad about my goddaughter’s third birthday because it was recently her third birthday and I couldn’t stay for the celebration, because, dammit, I had to do client work. [23:11.2]
I was leading a client event, and I was, at this point, very annoyed with my client events anyway, because I had come into Singapore to run these client events and this was the best time for me to visit. I had so many good friends there in Singapore, but I couldn’t see them because I was working all weekend and these client events were just on the weekends. My friends would work Monday to Friday, and then the weekends are free, and I’d be free on Monday to Friday, but they wouldn’t be able to stay out late so we can have dinner or something like that, but we can’t really party it up and really enjoy ourselves.
It was even worse that my goddaughter’s birthday was being celebrated on a Saturday and they had booked this really great thing, and I came for 15 minutes or I could spare about 20 minutes at the beginning, and then I had to rush to the event to lead this event. What made me really sad was seeing her face as I was getting into the taxi and just seeing this frown appear in her face that I couldn’t stay, and it just crushed me and I was really annoyed that somebody that I loved was feeling bad that I couldn’t be there. [24:14.8]
The thing that I wanted most at that time was just to be there for her and it broke my heart that I couldn’t, and that was what came up to my mind as I was tipsy. We got back to the Villa and I just started crying. I was feeling the tears. I was feeling my face get that way and I knew what I was about to cry, so I rushed into the guest bathroom. We had a Villa with two bathrooms. I was in the guest bathroom crying. I couldn’t control it. It just kept coming out.
I was totally okay with it, because I was pretty far along in the therapeutic process by this point and I was able to be there for those parts that were sad and mourning, and kind of grieving that we couldn’t be there for her and that we missed that special day with the goddaughter and all that. There were parts that were very frustrated with having to do this type of work, this weekend work, and so on. [25:05.4]
I was able to be there with all those parts, but I was feeling fully the feelings that they were feeling, and that’s a big part of witnessing what your parts have to share with you, that you allow them to feel what they’re feeling and that you feel what they’re feeling so that they feel fully understood and seen. I was holding that space for them and the feeling was so strong, the emotions were coming on so strong that I couldn’t physically hold them back.
I was in there long enough that she started knocking, and she was actually, I think, knocking pretty early on as well, like, Is everything okay? Is there anything I can do? I’m thinking it’d actually be worse for me if she thinks I have diarrhea or something like that, so I’d rather her see that I’m actually crying and being with my own vulnerability.
I came out of the bathroom, and when I came out, I still couldn’t stop physically crying. I was crying to the point where my whole body was shaking. It was shuddering and I couldn’t even get a word out, so I couldn’t explain to her why I was crying. I was just non-stop crying from being so sad that I couldn’t be there for my goddaughter, and it’s deeper than that. [26:08.7]
For many of my parts, my goddaughter represented or was sort of like a gateway for accessing my own inner child parts that were in deep need of healing as well, and were feeling lonely and so forth, and were taking advantage of this opportunity to feel seen, understood and held, and so on. So, I was there for my own parts, but I couldn’t physically stop the crying and the shaking of my body.
It occurred to me as I was coming out that I wasn’t sure how she would handle this, but I didn’t really care because it was like, Hey, look, I’m crying and this is totally healthy, and I’m able to be here for it and I don’t need you to do anything, but I wanted you to see that I’m crying and I’m not having some kind of traveler’s diarrhea or something—though, of course, even if I were having diarrhea, that would be okay, too, but I just thought you should see the truth. The truth is always preferable to any kind of subterfuge or trying to manipulate perceptions, right? This is what’s really going on. Here you go. Here you can see it. [27:06.5]
It was also kind of a way of an unconscious test, because if she can’t handle this, I’ve got a lot more of this coming up, so if she can’t handle this, then she’s not clearly ready for a relationship with me. But I don’t think that that was the conscious thought that I had or the conscious motivation I had to come out of the bathroom. I think mostly it was “Hey, look, I’m not having diarrhea or anything. I’m crying,” but I couldn’t get any words out to explain the why, so she kept asking, “Why? What’s wrong?” and I couldn’t say anything.
What she did was she just held me and I do recall her holding me in bed as I was crying. I basically just cried myself to sleep, because the next thing I know, I wake up and she’s holding me still in bed and it’s pitch black, and I think, by this point, a couple hours had passed and she’s out cold. She’s in deep sleep. I get up and I brush my teeth or whatever, I don’t know, freshen up and get back into bed. [28:04.5]
That night or maybe the next morning, it dawned on me. I reflected on, wow, she handled that really, really well, just holding me as I sobbed uncontrollably, but I didn’t need her to do any of that for me. If she was just super confused, didn’t know what to do with it, later on, I might think, Oh, I guess she’s not mature enough to be in a relationship with me at the level that I am at.
Just in terms of objectively speaking, I don’t think that a woman who can’t handle a man crying is mature enough to be in a relationship, period, but especially with me, because I was, at that point, undergoing a ton of therapeutic healing and so forth. There was a lot more of this sort of crying that ensued in the subsequent years and even now.
All of this crying that I feel feels so good. It feels so cathartic and I really enjoy that, and when I don’t have it for weeks, when I don’t have a really good soul-breaking cry for a few weeks, I have some videos and songs that will help me access those parts of me that are maybe a little bit further. [29:08.5]
Often I’m not able to access that vulnerability when I’m in a heavy work mode, and I know that there are parts of me that love it and, in many ways, are using the sadness as a way of being seen, so I will have ways of accessing them, if I had a really busy work period that I just couldn’t have the time to take the time to be with those parts that are holding this beautiful sadness, what Susan Cain calls a kind of bittersweetness. What, at the time, I was doing was just accessing that beautiful sadness and holding this space for those parts that were sad that we couldn’t be there or I couldn’t be there for my goddaughter’s third birthday.
Now, I don’t know whether that increased her attraction for me, but it certainly increased intrigue and we’re married now, and that was, for me, it was big time kudos to her. Looking back on it, it was an unconscious test. I didn’t mean to test her in this way. It was like an accidental test, but she passed it with flying colors and she had passed so many other of these unconscious tests with flying colors as well, and, eventually, we got married. [30:13.5]
I tell this story as a way of illustrating what it’s like from the inside to be with your own vulnerability and to have that vulnerability out, have it come out in the presence of your intimate partner, and yet not need her to caretake your feelings or to respond in any particular way. She has the free will to respond however she will and you can judge her for it later, but you don’t need her to meet your needs.
Yes, if you do it that way, it will generally be attractive in you to a woman who is emotionally mature or psychologically mature, but that’s not why you would do it, because as soon as that becomes a motivation for why you’re being vulnerable, then you’re now no longer in healing vulnerability. You’re now moving into manipulative vulnerability. [31:03.4]
Okay, to recap, there are three types of vulnerability: manipulative vulnerability, retraumatizing vulnerability, and healing vulnerability. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of different types of vulnerability, but there are at least these three different types of vulnerability.
Don’t fall for the myth that vulnerability is always attractive. When it comes to vulnerability and attraction, vulnerability in a man can be attractive, but if that’s the reason you are being vulnerable, then you have now undermined the attractiveness and you’re now in the first type, the manipulative vulnerability, which will feel yucky, because it is, in fact, a boundary violation on her.
It’s really important that you get good at being vulnerable in a healing, healthy way, because it’s actually required for the level of deep love, deep intimacy and deep connection that is needed for a successful long term relationship. Don’t get caught in the trap of manipulating her or violating her boundaries with your vulnerability. If you find yourself insecure, afraid of her judgment, if you are vulnerable, then you’re not doing healing vulnerability. You’re doing manipulative vulnerability, and the thing you need to do is learn how to meet your own needs. [32:14.8]
The best way to do that is through the therapeutic process. You can do that through my Platinum Partnership online courses and/or you can do that with a good therapist over the weeks, months and years that it would take to get experience and skill in meeting your own needs and holding that space for real true healing vulnerability. Again, real vulnerability in a relationship is required for the growth of love and intimacy and connection in the relationship, and is the gateway to these deeper levels of connection.
Again, this episode was inspired by a comment, so please leave a comment. Give me feedback, I’d love to hear it. If this benefited you in any way, please share it with anyone that it could help.Thanks so much for listening. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. David Tian, signing out. [33:02.4]
This is ThePodcastFactory.com