Tony was the worst at expressing his feelings when we first got married. He would go all around the interstate I-465 and around a few blocks up the street back down the other. It took him forever to really express the issue. I had the typical WOMAN syndrome. Where my ladies at? Y’all know how it is, we have this learned societal behavior that we have to be tough in relationships. Where we say get away from me when we really want a hug. We say leave me alone when we really want them to stay around. Don’t let him see your soft side so instead we start talking crazy, saying all kinds of CRAZY stuff. Imagine that HOT MESS together. Thank God we have come a LOOONNG way. BOY were we jacked up! Being vulnerable brings the same fear that people have with public speaking. When you hear the word vulnerable what comes to mind? You immediately think weakness too don’t you? Well guess what? That isn’t true at all! To be vulnerable shows your strength. Shame and fear are two of the biggest reasons why couples fear being vulnerable. Those are the same reasons Tony and I didn’t want to express our feelings. I know you are saying, he or she should already know what I want? They should know how I feel? If you haven’t told them exactly what you want or how you feel. How will they know? Don’t expect (read about expectations) them to know, that’s not fair. There is power in being vulnerable. It is the key to making your relationship last. Although it is key to lasting relationships it is also one of the biggest challenges.
Here are 6 ways for you to conquer being vulnerable
Lead by Example
Be the change you want to see. Reciprocity is key in relationships. Somebody has to take the lead and why not you? If you share your deep feelings or fears with your mate they will be more likely to open up with you. This will make them feel at ease and allows connection between the two of you. Try with asking questions and answer them before they do. For example, how do you feel about…? What would you do if…? This poses your fears as a question and doesn’t directly expose you right in the beginning.
Own Your “Ish”
Yes I said it. Own your “ISH,” when you are wrong own up to it!! Yes OWN UP TO IT! This is why relationships are for grown people. LBVS (laughing but very serious)!!!! When you make a mistake and hold yourself accountable by owning up to your ish it shows your partner you care about their feelings. Getting offensive doesn’t help the situation. Simply acknowledge what you did and how the next time you plan to do things different. That’s what GROWN folks do!
Show You Can BE Trusted
Can they tell you their secrets and deep inner feelings without you laughing or telling everybody. It isn’t hard to open up to someone so when they do, you can’t break the trust. They are opening up to you in confidence that you will safe guard their heart and feelings. Don’t let them down. Make sure you are their safe place!
Support Support Support
Maybe you don’t agree with how they are feeling. It doesn’t matter support them where they are in that moment. When they come to you and share their feelings or desires how you respond matters the MOST. Judging their feelings is NOT support. It’s ok to let them know how you differ by saying something similar in a KIND TONE, “I didn’t see it that way, I thought.. Or “I didn’t know you felt that way, I’m sorry I…” Just support and not try to defend yourself or make excuses.
When your partner comes to you and is ready to open up don’t assume they are up to something. Innocent until proven guilty in the court of LOVE! You will sabotage them trying to get close to you and connect with you. When they feel they are being accused they will have their guard up. You have to live in the moment. Don’t talk yourself into suspecting something. Yall know how it go. He only rubbing my leg because he want sex. She only being nice so I can buy her something. Let your guards down..
Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
Ladies, Ladies, Ladies we can’t keep confusing our men. Yes he did something stupid. I know how it goes BUT when he comes back to say I’m sorry or hug you and apologize what do we do? We say get away from me. I don’t need you. You make me sick. I can do bad all by myself. Quit calling me. Then when he stop calling, we ask why didn’t you call me? Guys you are NOT off the hook. When your wife has turned you down for sex and you are frustrated, you say, I don’t need sex. I’m not going to ask you anymore. I don’t care about sex no more. Ladies and Gents don’t downplay how you feel. Just say what you WANT!
Being vulnerable strips you down to the core and you expose your flaws. When you feel like shutting down that is the time when you must conquer vulnerability. Don’t suppress your feelings because the longer you hold them the deeper the roots. The deeper the roots the harder it is to pull them out.