Show Them Your Wounds

It’s been a very popular thing to encourage men to do lately, but as a man showing vulnerability is a difficult concept to grasp. Although I agree in principle, I’ve never liked the word vulnerable. To me, it always makes me think of weak and I have too much pride flowing through my veins to show many people that side of me, especially those of the opposite sex. 

It takes a huge amount of courage to open yourself up, take a deep look inside and pour out your heart to another human being. It is often easier to do with a total stranger than a loved one. It is difficult enough to be totally honest with yourself. But if men became just slightly better at talking then we might start to see some improvements in suicide rates. I don't know.

Being a man has many important responsibilities and the typical cliches about man being the protector as well as the main bread winner may be outdated but still ring true for many men. I get it, it’s a good feeling to have something to fight for. 

Perhaps mental health in men would be considerably better if we were able to drop the strong man act, and had the guts to say when we felt inadequate or insecure instead of fighting it with anger and stubbornness. But in reality, thoughts will run through your mind questioning why your partner would want a vulnerable man when she could have a strong man. Our thoughts as to how our vulnerability is going to be perceived by those around us is the bigger battle. I probably speak for most men, but I like being the strong one. 

With these elements comes pressure. Pressure to continue playing the role of the tough man. It’s very challenging to drop the act and show a new side to your character, especially if the people close to you love you for who you currently are. Change is just as difficult for the friends and family as it is for the individual themselves and the fear of how change will be welcomed is often a reason men do not make it. 

It is well worth considering that our own thoughts surrounding this subject may be completely off target. One of the most attractive qualities in a person can be their vulnerabilities. There is very little to discover about another human being with no battle scars, so why would it be any different for those who choose to learn more about you. True strength and real courage is allowing people you love see those wounds and talking openly about them can be one of the quickest ways for them to heal. 

Sharing your stories of previous battles and suffering can create a special bond, strengthen relationships and manifest beautiful friendships. You will find the more you talk, the more you open yourself up for conversation. A man can heal faster if he talks. 

It is very possible to be strong and be a man who lets his guard down. In fact, it takes a stronger man show his weaknesses. Whether it’s with your wife or girlfriend, or a man to man chat with your best mate, just start talking. The thought of doing it is always much scarier than the task itself.  

Alex Myers