I’ve had to learn how to be vulnerable

Author: Movember
“Mum was the matriarch of our family and she called the shots. Dad cooked and cleaned, he did more domestic duties than Mum. Dad taught me an immense amount that I didn’t realise at the time. He taught me how to love with vulnerability and that is so much more courageous than closing yourself off.

I think a lot of guys are given mixed messages. One person tells them to be strong and not to be weak and cry, and another person says ‘talk about your feelings’. It’s not easy for a teenager to know when it’s okay to do either. ‘If I do that, who’s going to like me, my parents might be happy but my mates might pay me out’. So it’s important to have a discussion where they can explore all of what it is to be a man today.

I think the trap is if you’re stuck with a stereotype that says no emotion, what happens when things go badly and you can’t express that in any way but how you’ve been told how guys solve problems? They sort it out with a fist, they don’t talk about it. They go down to the pub for a beer. We know where those things end up.

We need to change the dialogue to be ‘you can be tough but if things are going really badly and you can’t find a way out of it on your own, then have a conversation with your best mate and shed some tears and release the valve and get some help with it’. There’s nothing unmasculine about that. If you can do that then you’re the most courageous man in the room because, for 99% of guys, that terrifies them.

I was an island for the first sixteen, seventeen years of my life. I didn’t need anybody, I wasn’t vulnerable to anybody and I wasn’t in a relationship. I’ve had to learn how to be vulnerable. It’s not a weakness, it’s actually a gift, because if you are vulnerable to somebody, it means that they’ve got a ticket to you.”
 
 
 

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