Use Vulnerability To Connect Better

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I got an email asking why I write a lot of personal stories on this blog. There are a multitude of answers for that and I will answer that question in the hopes that you use the same information to better your own connections and relationships.

The more I can point out my own flaws and wear them as badges of courage, the more real I become to my audience. I write to reach you guys and if It appears like I am a mythical unicorn then there is no hope in me connecting with you. The more embarrassing stories I tell, the more I write about the nerdy things I care about, the more real I become. It also is really rad to write about my first job or a lesson I learned in heartbreak and have you guys comment on it.

It’s a hard thing to write candidly because putting it out there leaves room for others to scrutinize and critique. These are actual thoughts and feelings as well as opinions and beliefs. To run them up a flagpole for everyone to see is nerve wracking. I have no control over what happens after I post an article. I can be applauded, flamed or even ridiculed on my writing skills or lack there of. I have plenty of material I never posted just because I got a little queasy at the idea of someone reading something sensitive to me. But you know what? In the end, the most personal stuff I’ve written seems to get the most comments. The more people can chime in and relate an experience that they have, had the more they can connect.

It’s been hard to throw caution to the wind and say, “fuck it” but without it, connecting becomes difficult. People like people who are like themselves. Just look at the friends you have. Whether they are from school or work or they just have the same interests as you, you feel comfortable opening up to them because you feel they get you. There is an unspoken recognition with each other.

We like to be in control and have a handle on every situation. Unfortunately, connection doesn’t have control. You are disclosing information about yourself without knowing how others will react to it. The sooner you realize it the more comfortable you will be with that idea.  We all have a social mask that we use to protect us from the criticism and ridicule. We do it by either being aggressive, by making excuses or by not doing anything at all.  Being aggressive and making excuses take energy and is tiring. Doing nothing at all leaves us empty and depressed.

It’s not coincidence that the men that come through The Art of Charm who are ready to drop their persona and are ready to be who they have always have been, leave having the most success and live fulfilled lives.

Be real and be awesome!

Here are a few noted quotes about vulnerability that I like:

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

Brene Brown, Vulnerability researcher

“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. the new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.”

Stephen Russell,

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