Vulnerability

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One of the most endemic masculine pitfalls men have faced since the rise of feminine social primacy has been the belief that their ready displays of emotional vulnerability will make men more desirable mates for women.

In an era when men are raised from birth to be “in touch with their feminine sides”, and in touch with their emotions, we get generations of men trying to ‘out-emote’ each other as a mating strategy.

To the boys who grow into Beta men, the ready eagerness with which they’ll roll over and reveal their bellies to women comes from a conditioned belief that doing so will prove their emotional maturity and help them better identify with the women they mistakenly believe have a capacity to appreciate it.

What they don’t understand is that the voluntary exposing of ones most vulnerable elements isn’t the sign of strength that the Feminine Imperative has literally bred a belief of into these men.

A reflexive exposing of vulnerability is an act of submission, surrender and a capitulation to an evident superior. Dogs will roll over almost immediately when they acknowledge the superior status of another dog.

Vulnerability is not something to be brandished or proud of. While I do believe the insight and acknowledgement of your personal vulnerabilities is a necessary part of understanding oneself (particularly when it comes to unplugging oneself), it is not the source of attraction, and certainly not arousal, that most men believe it is for women.

From the comfort of the internet and polite company women will consider the ‘sounds-right’ appeal of male vulnerability with regard to what they’re supposed to be attracted to, but on an instinctual, subconscious level, women make a connection with the weakness that vulnerability represents.

A lot of men believe that trusting displays of vulnerability are mutually exclusive of displays of weakness, but what they ignore is that Hypergamy demands men that can shoulder the burden of performance. When a man openly broadcasts his vulnerableness he is, by definition, beginning from a position of weakness.

The problem with idealizing a position of strength is in thinking you’re already beginning from that strength and your magnanimous display of trusting vulnerability will be appreciated by a receptive woman. I strongly disagree with assertions like those of various Purple Pill ‘life coaches’ that open, upfront vulnerability is ever attractive to a woman.

The idea goes that if a man is truly outcome-independent with his being rejected by a woman, the first indicator of that independence is a freedom to be vulnerable with her. The approach then becomes one of “hey, I’m just gonna be my vulnerable self and if you’re not into me then I’m cool with that.”

The hope is that a woman will receive this approach as intended and find something refreshing about it, but the sad truth is that if this were the attraction key its promoters wish it was, every guy ‘just being himself‘ would be swimming in top shelf pussy. This is a central element to Beta Game – the hope that a man’s openness will set him apart from ‘other guys’ – it is common practice for men who believe in the equalist fantasy that women will rise above their feral natures when it comes to attraction, and base their sexual selection on his emotional intelligence.

The fact is that there is no such thing as outcome independence. The very act of your approaching a woman means you have made some effort to arrive at a favorable outcome with her. The fact that you’d believe a woman would even find your vulnerability attractive voids any pretense of outcome independence.

Hypergamy Doesn’t Care About Male Vulnerability

When I wrote Women in Love and the followups, Men in Love and Of Love and War, I described men’s concept of love as ‘idealistic’.

Naturally, simple minds exaggerated this into “men just want an impossible unconditional love” or “they want love like they think their mothers loved them.” For what it’s worth, I don’t believe any rational man with some insight ever expects an unconditional love, but I think it’s important to consider that a large part of what constitutes his concept of an idealized love revolves around being loved irrespective of how he performs for, or merits that love.

From Of Love and War:

We want to relax. We want to be open and honest. We want to have a safe haven in which struggle has no place, where we gain strength and rest instead of having it pulled from us. We want to stop being on guard all the time, and have a chance to simply be with someone who can understand our basic humanity without begrudging it. To stop fighting, to stop playing the game, just for a while.

We want to, so badly.

If we do, we soon are no longer able to.

The concept of men’s idealistic love, the love that makes him the true romantic, begins with a want of freedom from his burden of performance. It’s not founded in an absolute like unconditional love, but rather a love that isn’t dependent upon his performing well enough to assuage a woman’s Hypergamous concept of love.

Oh, the Humanity!

As the true romantics, and because of the performance demands of Hypergamy, there is a distinct want for men to believe that in so revealing their vulnerabilities they become more “human” – that if they expose their frailties to women some mask they believe they’re wearing comes off and (if she’s a mythical “quality woman“™) she’ll excuses his inadequacies to perform to the rigorous satisfaction of her Hypergamy.

The problems with this ‘strength in surrender’ hope are twofold.

First, the humanness he believes a woman will respect isn’t the attraction cue he believes it is. Ten minutes perusing blogs about the left-swiping habits of women using Tinder (or @Tinderfessions) is enough to verify that women aren’t desirous of the kind of “humanness” he’s been conditioned to believe women are receptive to.

In the attraction and arousal stages, women are far more concerned with a man’s capacity to entertain her by playing a role and presenting her with the perception of a male archetype she expects herself to be attracted to and aroused by. Hypergamy doesn’t care about how well you can express your humanness, and primarily because the humanness men believe they’re revealing in their vulnerability is itself a predesigned psychological construct of the Feminine Imperative.

Which brings us to the second problem with ‘strength in surrender’. The caricaturized preconception men have about their masculine identity is a construct of a man’s feminine-primary socialization.

The Masks the Feminine Imperative Makes Men Wear

To explain this second problem it’s important to grasp how men are expected to define their own masculine identities within a social order where the only correct definition of masculinity is prepared for men in a feminine-primary context.

What I mean by this is that the humanness that men wish to express in showing themselves as vulnerable is defined by feminine-primacy.

For the greater part of men’s upbringing and socialization they are taught that a conventional masculine identity is in fact a fundamentally male weakness that only women have a unique ‘cure’ for. It’s a widely accepted manosphere fact that over the past 60 or so years, conventional masculinity has become a point of ridicule, an anachronism, and every media form from then to now has made a concerted effort to parody and disqualify that masculinity. Men are portrayed as buffoons for attempting to accomplish female-specific roles, but also as “ridiculous men” for playing the conventional ‘macho’ role of masculinity. In both instances, the problems their inadequate maleness creates are only solved by the application of uniquely female talents and intuition.

Perhaps more damaging though is the effort the Feminine Imperative has made in convincing generations of men that masculinity and its expressions (of any kind) is an act, a front, not the real man behind the mask of masculinity that’s already been predetermined by his feminine-primary upbringing.

Women who lack any living experience of the male condition have the calculated temerity to define for men what they should consider manhood – from a feminine-primary context. This is why men’s preconception of vulnerability being a sign of strength is fundamentally flawed. Their concept of vulnerability stems from a feminine pretext.

Masculinity and vulnerability are defined by a female-correct concept of what should best serve the Feminine Imperative. That feminine defined masculinity (tough-guy ridiculousness) feeds the need for defining vulnerability as a strength – roll over, show your belly and capitulate to that feminine definition of masculinity – and the cycle perpetuates itself.

The Mask You Live In” by director Jennifer Siebel Newsom (dual surname noted) is the perfect example of this perpetuation. You have a woman deciding for a larger public in a documentary what the male experience is and then solving the problem (i.e. the tired trope of men needing to get more in touch with their emotions) for men.

Men are ridiculous posers. Men are socialized to wear masks to hide what the Feminine Imperative has decided is their true natures (they’re really girls wearing boy masks). Men’s problems extend from their inability to properly emote like women, and once they are raised better (by women and men who comply with the Feminine Imperative) they can cease being “tough” and get along better with women. That’s the real strength that comes from men’s feminized concept of vulnerability – compliance with the Feminine Imperative.

Ironically Newsom is still oblivious to the fact that she can only create such a documentary in an environment of feminine-primacy. No man could produce this and be taken seriously in our contemporary social climate.

It’s indictment of the definers of what masculinity ought to be that they still characterize modern masculinity (based on the ‘feels’) as being problematic when for generations our feminine-primary social order has conditioned men to associate that masculinity in as feminine-beneficial a context as women would want.

They still rely on an outdated formula which presumes the male experience is inferior, a sham, in comparison to the female experience, and then presumes to know what the male experience really is and offers feminine-primary solutions for it.

From The 16 Commandments of Poon:

IV. Don’t play by her rules

If you allow a woman to make the rules she will resent you with a seething contempt even a rapist cannot inspire. The strongest woman and the most strident feminist wants to be led by, and to submit to, a more powerful man. Polarity is the core of a healthy loving relationship. She does not want the prerogative to walk all over you with her capricious demands and mercurial moods. Her emotions are a hurricane, her soul a saboteur. Think of yourself as a bulwark against her tempest. When she grasps for a pillar to steady herself against the whipping winds or yearns for an authority figure to foil her worst instincts, it is you who has to be there… strong, solid, unshakeable and immovable.

True vulnerability is not a value-added selling point for a man when it comes to approaching and attracting women. As with all things, your vulnerability is best discovered by a woman through demonstration –never explaining those vulnerabilities to her with the intent of appearing more human as the feminine would define it.

Women want a bulwark against their own emotionalism, not a co-equal male emoter whose emotionalism would compete with her own. The belief that male vulnerability is a strength is a slippery slope from misguided attraction to emotional codependency, to overt dependency on a woman to accommodate and compensate for the weaknesses that vulnerability really implies.

I know a lot of guys think that displays vulnerability from a position of Alpha dominance, or strength can be endearing for a woman when you’re engaged in an LTR, but I’m saying that’s only the case when the rare instance of vulnerability is unintentionally revealed. Vulnerability is not a strength, and especially not when a man deliberately reveals it with the expectation of a woman appreciating it as a strength.

At some point in any LTR you will show your vulnerable side, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is the overt attempt to parlay that vulnerability into a strength or virtue that you expect that woman to appreciate, feel endearment over or reciprocate with displays of her own vulnerability for.

A chink in the armor is a weakness best kept from view of those who expect you to perform your best in all situations. If that chink is revealed in performing your best, then it may be considered a strength for having overcome it while performing to your best potential. It is never a strength when you expect it to be appreciated as such.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

475 comments on “Vulnerability

  1. “I don’t see why it isn’t actually preferable to seek counsel from someone who ideally has been in your shoes previously and can offer unbiased advice and emotional support. (Such as a mentor, male relative, friend etc.)” [kateandluca, December 4th, 2014 at 9:00 am]

    In addition to it being more likely that you will get useful and accurate information from someone who has been in your shoes, and thus actually understands your situation completely, this also avoids the problems of dependence.

    Other men do not depend on you for support and stability, so that type of vulnerability will not influence their perceptions and advice, and their well-being will not be degraded by having to absorb the stress of knowing about a serious problem that affects them, but which they have no way to fix.

    When your male friends provide empathy and support, they do so as independent beings who can go back to lives that remain unaffected by your revelations.

  2. Rollo said:

    Notice how the emphasis is on “emotional” support. This is characteristic of a feminine-primary mental point of origin. No where is “material” support or protection security mentioned because “emotions” are the only valuable commodity worth mention or valuable in an egalitarian exchange – not a complementarian balance of mutually valuable support.

    I agree that the emotional support concept is of a feminine-primary mental point of origin. But it is relevant to point out that it is also the by-product of modern luxury. When facing a food shortage because of a crop failure, something like “emotional support” sounds like a joke. These days, even if you lose your job there is unemployment benefits and food stamps. Material support is being doled out by Uncle Sam.

    1. While it is true that the ‘provisioning’ aspect of women’s security-side needs of Hypergamy are more facilitated for women now, it still doesn’t eliminate the psychological need or desire for it from a man.

      It’s like porn for men. From a logistical standpoint, men’s need for sexual release can be facilitated by what’s now an ubiquitous supply of free online pornography. He can get off in a matter of a few minutes with only a cell phone, but the satiated release doesn’t satisfy the need to experience ‘real’ sex with a real woman in the flesh that is part of his own neurological firmware.

      The same applies to women’s security-side hypergamy. The material support is provided by legislation or her own capacity to provide for herself, but a woman’s evolved psychological firmware still expects men to have a superior capacity to provide it for her.

  3. @ kateandluca

    “I don’t see why it isn’t actually preferable to seek council from someone who ideally has been in your shoes previously and can offer unbiased advice and emotional support. (Such as a mentor, male relative, friend etc.)”

    It IS preferable. We all know that and we all do revert to that kind of advice, but you have a role to play too – as a life partner or wife. Your role in this is the following:

    Say to him… you understand. You are sure he can deal with it… (meaning you believe in him – that’s what he really wants to hear). Say to him…we lived in a stressed-out world… Many people are facing struggles. Fortunately there are men who can find a way… who make it anyway… regardless. No matter the challenge… Tell him you don’t know the solution or answer to the problem, but you are confident in him. No need to provide an actual (specific) answer or solution.

    All he needs is support.

  4. Makes sense. And this is why women rarely marry below their own station in life. Sex with the gardener, yes, but not marriage.

  5. @J.J. Maybe I was not clear in that I DO do that. (And by the way, i am the same person as “myrealitle” – sometimes wordpress logs me into a different account). I just want the conversation to end there. I don’t want to have detailed discussions about all of the potential obstacles, mistakes, and hazards of his path. (Today so and so gave me a dirty look and then x,y,z happened and now I feel crappy). This minutia sucks the life out of me.

    And I tell my husband, very sincerely, I believe that if anyone can win the game he is playing it’s him. He actually believes this about himself as well, and I am sure that has contributed to my attraction to him.

    So, the important take home message here is: I believe rationally that my husband will do amazing in the long game (he has done amazing so far and he is a truly gifted person), but his day-to-day complaints and pointing out errors that he has made or little paranoias that he has STILL have a strong negative impact on my feeling of safety and also my attraction. I feel that if he needs to perform a mental sweep of his day and work through all potential threats in his mind, he should do that at the gym or with a male relative/friend/mentor.

    Anyway, because this issue has been dealt with in my relationship (for the time being at least), I am losing interest in this topic 🙂

    I’m sure I’ll be back commenting on other posts sporadically, but for the time being I wish all of you well.

  6. @ kateandluca / myrealitle

    “I just want the conversation to end there. I don’t want to have detailed discussions about all of the potential obstacles, mistakes, and hazards of his path. (Today so and so gave me a dirty look and then x,y,z happened and now I feel crappy). This minutia sucks the life out of me.”

    Fair enough – as someone else here suggested I think you should tell him this, because he doesn’t realise that he’s doing it (sharing too many details) – explain this to him – it’s preferable to communicate it to him – rather than allowing it to fester and eventually to cause you walking away, without trying to solve / resolve it.

  7. Rollo, thank you for your reply. I just want to point out that the extract I cited from that report implies that women have always been expected to provide emotional support – traditionally:

    “Previous blueprints for romantic relationships emphasized separate roles for men and women (Cancian, 1987). According to this traditional idea of relationships, women were responsible for providing emotional support to their partner, but men were not.”

    This report indicates that support from women is dwindling and emotional support from men is increasing. My issue is with men being asked to give up any expectation of support, because apparently it is / has not ever truly the case that they were proving such support and this is what I am refuting. What I explained earlier on was that this is “a duty” (perceived as a duty by some) which women would like to absolve themselves from.

    Yet no matter how we rationalise it – mutual support, albeit in different ways, is the foundation of relationships. Your opinion that this need on the part of men is due to the feminisation of males, I disagree with, but I respect your opinion and this is your blog. This is a human need.

    If I don’t need any emotional support I would simply remain single, and / or GMOW (Which I am doing – no problem).

    If I am purely meant to be a support system (basically, a host for a parasite) for a/any woman – with little to zero benefits, except for a bit of sex now and again – if I’m lucky – I would be… nothing less than a host for a parasite. I don’t and I won’t host parasites.

  8. Rollo:

    “Notice how the emphasis is on “emotional” support. This is characteristic of a feminine-primary mental point of origin. No where is “material” support or protection security mentioned because “emotions” are the only valuable commodity worth mention or valuable in an egalitarian exchange – not a complementarian balance of mutually valuable support.”

    Could it be that there is no other type of support a woman would provide to a man anyways. Even in a complementary relationship, what woman would provide material support or protection to a man? Most men don’t even see it as a possibility. If a woman does provide material support, it is very temporary and the man will have to pay it back with interest unless he is the “alpha” who fucks her without any type of commitment.

    All that is to say that “emotions” are the only commodity any specific woman has to offer. Sex and children you can have with most woman. You don’t need to “love” her or be in a relationship with her because she is “special” to you

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  10. Well said. Women when they truly acknowledge how they are made don’t want their husband to be like their girlfriends – they want him to a be a man. His strength and steadfastness is what makes him attractive.

    Even beyond initial attraction – wives respect when their husbands correct them and help them to see through their own emotional clouds, even though they can’t always admit it. Women in their heart of hearts don’t want “yes men” – they want a man who leads them.

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  13. Recently a guy told me that the height of a romantic relationship for him would be a girl being entirely emotionally vulnerable with him. This notion confused me at first. But I have heard it from other “dating coaches” for women before, too.

    I am wondering, @Rollo Tomassi, whether vulnerability is regarded as a female/feminine strength (opposed to a male strength) and/or attraction point to most men?

    If so, perhaps this is another reason why many men falsely believe vulnerability could be attractive to women – another case of projection.

  14. All of this bad boy crap is why women are giving up on men en masse. No longer is it possible to find a functional, responsible male. Only women seem to have that most beautiful of expressions of love and fullness–responsibility. None of the things you have described her describe the attractiveness and beauty of the responsible male.

  15. @Alice:

    Yeah, I know life ain’t fair and it sucks to be over 30, but if you pet the cats and have another pint of Cherry Garcia before you go to bed you’ll feel a lot better about things.

  16. @Mylia

    If so, perhaps this is another reason why many men falsely believe vulnerability could be attractive to women – another case of projection.

    It’s partly projection, but mostly because feminists have been telling men for 40 years that it’s true. Perhaps it piggybacks on the projection, or maybe it just goes alongside it. Bottom line is that men are told women find it attractive even though they don’t.

    Third wave feminism lies to both men and women.
    “Vulnerability is attractive to women!”
    “Men find thirty year olds with a Master’s degree just as attractive as twenty year olds with a hot body!”

    Assuming the opposite of what feminism says is almost always a solid bet.

  17. what i was taught is simple: the LAST thing a woman wants when she’s crying… is her man next to her, crying.

    do NOT fall for the “get in touch with your feminine side” bullshit.

    if you are a man and are a human with emotions, those emotions need to be revealed HONESTLY and not related to or intended to strengthen your relationship with a woman.

    if your dog gets hit by a car and you get emotional and a tear flows… let it flow. you are a man but you loved and lost your dog.

    if your girl is crying because her dog got hit by a car, offer her a kleenex and a shoulder… don’t sit there and cry with her. she might say, “you should be CRYING WITH ME,” but you better not do it.

  18. In my own experience, you can earn some easy points when revealing vulnerabillity in a short glimbs, for instance if you are moved or touched about something with your kids.
    But I think there’s a lot of truth in this writing in regards to not being a whiny little bitch who cry to every sad movie or when confronted with the tinyest challenge in the relationship.

  19. Im six months into being single again after a failed 7 year marriage where I deteriorated from a confident, masculine man with alpha characteristics to a beta ‘dont rock the boat’ blue pill mindsetl It obviously didnt work, still dont fully know how i fell into that behaviour (but fast finding out) and the result is obvious. I also said I will never behave like that.

    And Im not, currently enjoying an authentic, masculine life, spinning plates, being clear on my expectation with women, and they love this authenticity, and frankly dont mind being part of a harem. (as i joke with them, wondering when the joke will run thin … but it never does)

    Golden rule with women …. they love you not for who you are, but what you represent to them, i.e how you make them feel. In this case they love that Im able to take the lead, be decisive, mainly let them be themselves infront of me and submit to their natural feminine state.

    But … Im also conscious about vulnerability. I have to constantly pinch myself not to fall back into old beta ways and show too much affection, softness and vulnerability. Its a tough battle as sometimes I really do feel vulnerable and needy, but I know i need to keep my shit together. I try to be as authentic as possible (alphy type behaviour comes natural to me) but I also hate that I really need to keep my vulnerability in check ….any others have similar feelings ?

  20. This is my first comment. I’ve been a supporter of the Red Pill perspective for a couple of years now, but only in the last month have I made a strident effort to do serious in-depth reading and reflection on the subject.

    I first read this post a month ago, and have since combed through all your best of posts and have now arrived in year 4.

    I wanted to speak up then, but I’ve saved my comment because I felt I needed to sit back and fully absorb this stuff before I shot myself in the foot.

    Your concept of vulnerability is the only one so far that I have felt is incomplete. I’ll explain.

    I think you’re spot on with your observations on generalized vulnerability, I think it is a turn off for both women and actually men too, even though men are better able to empathize with it. I simply don’t believe that this is the only kind of vulnerability.

    You mentioned that some argue that displaying vulnerability from a position of alpha dominance or strength has a different effect, however that to me is nebulous.

    I’ve been thinking about the concept of vulnerability, specifically, for some time now because I do believe there is power in it and I’ve seen it myself.

    I’ve come to discover there are two types of vulnerability. I’ve been observing the effects of both for some time now, and I feel strongly enough about it to take a position.

    There is the sort of weak vulnerability that you describe here, and it is unequivocally repulsive.

    There is also, what I am coining, a type of “constructive vulnerability” that I have found is quite alluring and is a display of strength.

    It’s completely dependent on character development. In order for vulnerability to be expressed constructively, there must be a change, and most importantly, a victory.

    Most men, and nearly every female I see, express vulnerability as a mere statement of fact.

    “I am lonely and it sucks. I would like a companion.”

    That is weak vulnerability. It begs for validation and sympathy. That is repulsive.

    “I recently came to discover I felt lonely. So I took an account of my life, and decided that I needed to improve my relationship with myself. I did x, y, and z, and now I see solitude as a gift. This has helped me become a better person.”

    That was off the top of my head, but I’m sure you get it. That demonstrates initiative, strength, resilience, and positions the speaker as an authority and a leader. This is the essence of constructive vulnerability. The vulnerability may not be expressed unless it is overcome and defeated: one must express it from the position of conquerer.

    I think most people’s problem is that they never learn how to express their vulnerability in a constructive way, and it does come off as the sort of weak disparaging vulnerability you describe in this article. I would also add that the FI is advocating this type of vulnerability.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, as I’m beginning to use constructive vulnerability in various marketing and branding efforts with a great degree of success. Turn your biggest pain into your greatest strength kinda thing.

    Thanks for all you do @Rollo I love your work and I am still learning!

    1. Vulnerability is only endearing to a woman when she thinks it’s out of a man’s Alpha character. Feminized equalism want’s men to believe vulnerability is a key to Beta Game, it’s not. If anything it flags a man as a needy Beta. Women evolved to seek competency in men. When your character is to be vulnerable with women this is an indicator of incompetency and possibly a man she would have to provide security for. That is the weakness in vulnerability.

      If you are a competent, dominant man who wisely protects his vulnerable aspects and demonstrates strength and security to a woman, then yes, a brief flash of very rare vulnerability only to her will be endearing. As it stand today boys are taught to out-vulnerable each other in the vulnerability olympics and later, as men, get crushed by both women and the men who were wise enough to see through this generation’s bullshit.

  21. I would also add, that even though a particularly vulnerability might not be conquered *yet*, it is key to express it in a way that demonstrates you are actually doing something about it rather than sitting back and allowing it to control you. Any sort of fear or insecurity can be expressed in terms of doing something about it.

    “I feel ugly sometimes so that’s why I kick ass in the gym. That way if I decide to punch you in the face you’re gonna be ugly too.”

    Vs

    “I’m ugly so I have a hard time attracting girls”.

    Both instances express vulnerability, only one is begging for validation.

  22. Women don’t want men who are a “work in progress”. They want a man whose first impulse is to demonstrate, not explicate. That is what selling your ‘constructive vulnerability’ is; explaining why you’re weak but getting better now.

    “I’m an alcoholic, but I just started AA a week ago” – that doesn’t inspire attraction or confidence. Now, I’m all about men being constructively discontent, but I would never try to convince a guy that his discontent in himself or otherwise would ever be something attractive about him to a woman.

  23. @Rollo

    There went the light bulb. Surrender is one of my new favorite posts now. Your concept of true vulnerability cuts right to the core: we have thrust upon us an implied vulnerability any time we invest ourselves in a woman, and there simply is no way to speak of it, because once we do it becomes an overt appeal to reason. The notion of any LTR or marriage proposal is definitely attached with the notion that I must somehow surrender to it in my brain. I have a hunch that this very misunderstanding is why so many people in this community swear them off completely once swallowing the pill. It’s like a lingering spectre in the back of our minds: going back to a relationship requires a surrender that we are not willing to yield to again.

    It’s as if we cannot fathom NOT over extending ourselves and thus end up getting stonewalled by our own doubt in our ability to take calculated risks.

    Also, rereading “Sorry” in this context definitely made the distinction for me. This “always getting better” mentality allows for accepting fault without self deprecation, which is essentially what my whole constructive vulnerability idea was about.

    I have definitely been presenting myself as a work-in-progress of sorts, and it has held me back from attaining that prize mentality you speak of. My big a-hah right now is realizing that, yes, I am doing this as a plea to be more relatable and approachable and therefore it can be reduced to a form of supplication.

    Thanks Rollo, huge mental breakthrough here.

  24. Shit… when it comes down to it I am selling feelz. Maybe that’s why it seems to sell so well.

    I was justifying it as a sort of, “if I can do it, so can you” kinda thing. Attraction and arousal are two different things. It makes sense now.

    It is easy to confuse discontent with vulnerability.

    So, a person with a deformity would have a sort of implied vulnerability, but voicing discontentment with said vulnerability would be an explication of self deprecation. It may be something that can never be changed, so in such a case there’s no attractive way to ever express such discontent. Demonstrating competency in overcoming it with action along with a positive attitude would be the only way to avoid supplication.

    The person could still take calculated risks and enjoy life within reason, as over extension would only lead to more pain and disappointment. In this way the person is not surrendering to the confines of the disability (system), but accepting them and making the most of them.

    Is this about right?

  25. Wow. What a load of crap. I’m not at all sure the writer here, who I’m not familiar with, has any idea of what vulnerability is. It’s not the opposite of strength. It’s not acting like a woman. All it is is being able to reveal yourself without fear of embarrassment or humiliation. That should be implicit in a trusting relationship—it isn’t expected on a first date, and would in fact be pretty creepy if it happened that fast. The statement that any LTR will obviously have moments of vulnerability is ridiculous. I ended up reading this post because I googled “why men aren’t vulnerable.” A man I was engaged to many years ago just committed suicide. He had posted several things on Facebook lamenting his loneliness and desire for a relationship with someone. During our two years together, he never showed any vulnerability. None. I finally got fed up and broke things off. I didn’t think of him much though the years because ultimately he became, well, boring. He was always “on,” always so “charming.” He was Peter Pan. He literally never had a satisfying, successful relationship with a woman because he was messed up emotionally. If you can’t have a trusting, caring relationship with another person, where you can be intimate (vulnerable), then you are an emotional wreck due to some childhood trauma or lack of affection. End of story.

  26. So what I’m trying to wrap my head around… vulnerability may not be arousing, but like fuck … without it you block a system from running and regulating. Im not saying to break down without a willingness to grow through it. That’s the prerequisite frame I figure. If you do it you need to see it as a tool for moving forward. I’m an intense systems thinker who also has the trauma history to be somewhat on the dark triad scale. It’s like I understand the system has to work, and try to figure that out enough and to manage it. I know too that I have that fearful-avoidant attatchment style. It comes from a heavily chaotic upbringing. It seems like in a relationship in the past, the one that lasted the longest of about 7 years for me, was with a girl that was attuned to me that actually took me when I was down. (I had not woken up to my trauma nor broke the family fantasy bond yet) My attatchment style does this thing where due to lower emotional regulation (I was disconnected from my own body till 31 too) I end up essentially getting it out or if I hold it in I eventually break down. Like I never was good at hiding things. At same time , the avoidant side of the Attatchment is more like a “fuck you” resistant side. I had done this thing as a kid for a merit badge I had to do for family life where I had to get my crazy family to have a family meeting (family therapy was a disaster so this was daunting at 17). I just remember drafting what a plan / system, to regulate the group – only I feel x statements when y. No “you “ statements, and use third person as much as possible to refer to other people but still get message across. You only talk with talking stick, I say them down and showed them another stick, “talk out of Line I got this stick” I joked. They passed the talking stick around and got things out – And like “Holy fuck, 4/6 members of my family cried and the next day afterward, the family like actually seemed to work, like hell, people were actually considerate of each other.” I sat there in utter Awe that I could with a sort of vigilant Attention to managment and regulation of this could have even done this.

    I took that strategy to every relationship so far and it created some of the most intimate moments of my life.

    Not only that, I think it started to heal my screwed up attatchment style in ways I could not have done so my self.
    Don’t get me wrong, I was the one in control. We were likley at least a tad dysfunctional in some areas. (I had not yet woken up to my high ACE score yet)

    In a setting where I could control the process of vulnerability and focus on feelings using the above method. That’s when I grew the most. I think it was for the same reason that therapy can be transformational for someone, litterally what we all need the most is just someone to hold space for us to exist and evolve in. In my experience guys absolutely suck at this. So when people say , lean into your guy freinds, they are helpful, but it seems none of them truly grasp leading people through emotions in an effort to help them grow. Hell even less of them will help you get to the best version of your self as defined by you. Like please – share resources like this with me, but in truth, none of us really ever fully evolve without this safe space. I’ll admit, at least for how the girl I was with and her perceived options and our arousal attraction map worked, I leveraged this support to run 2 marathons, and (I’m adhd so I def use other people as a way to motivate myself- ironically I won’t do it by your definition though I will support you if needed) and up until I apparently pushed too hard on something at work (in hind sight I learned I have no reason to apologize for I just needed to update my mental models around connection) and yet up till then I was breaking records and doing the impossible. I laughed at the love language test, I’ve taken it 2x once at peak of work mission where my highest area was “acts of service” and everything else was low. Literally that’s because I was managing 900 volunteers and had to keep going in order to pull off the impossible. Anything to support my ego it appeared was my love languages. Because outside of that job it was words of affirmation and physical touch. ( apparently I wasn’t hugged enough)

    So I sit here trying to make sense of life in general and RED PILL is a new layer of that. Working on learning EQ has been transformational it self. I see it as something I need to learn, along with empathy, for my own selfish reasons. Like empathy for instance, it isn’t this “all love and kumbyah” emotional state. It’s a selfish Self-regulation skill. Same with learning EQ. I seem at least to have benefited when I seem to control how any feelings or vulnerability comes out, but make no mistake, I do it out of a selfish desire, especially now. To me it’s about regulating a system. And growing the system. Like if I just start with processing emotions in this – it loosens things in me and helps me resolve things in my self that I seem to have trouble resolving otherwise on my own. Any tile we have don’t this the pattern in the relationship is as such- first we just do talking stick time which focuses on feelings and it gives us the space to unwind what’s inside. We eventually get to a point where emotions are all gone and done. And we are like “so what now” and that’s when you start forming wishes and desires and being able to both untangle the various ambivalent (competing double binds) inside one self related to these desires and goals. That’s when the growth really happens. I turned it into a sort of coaching thing to for developing habits, and we checked in once a day on them and got the support to keep going instead of falling off.

    Now in all this vulnerability and intimacy going on and emoting, I also developed new habits that became really strong, ran 2 marathons, did well at work, got support for things I struggled with inherently (I’m adhd to the max too) And was able to become a stronger version of my self,
    On top of it, the girl I was with was able to think about what she really wanted to do in life, and she with reflection and me challenging her to grow in a supportive way, got her to go back to school as she decided for early childhood care, which She is still in now. We both ended up growing.

    Don’t get me wrong, the idea was always to move forward. Emoting and vulnerability where a tool. A selfish tool to use.

    I def had a “if you can’t take me at my worst then you don’t deserve me at my best attitude”

    Criticism from the girl – as I’m adhd, eventually we always end up getting bitched at for something. In mutiple relationships At the first sign of this I pause and think to my self “this is how mom always sounded, I did not like how mom sounded, this is NOT ok. I can’t be a ruthless dick but this is not ok.”

    So I walk up to her in her bitchy state toward me and put my hand on her waist and look her in the eye and say, “if you have an issue, I’m always willing to hear you if needed, but talk to me like that again, and I’m out the door.” I might explain that’s what I grew up with and we are not repeating that. But when I set this boundary they always look at me like they just saw a ghost but can’t really say anything against me suddenly. And they follow that boundary.

    I just get the sense we need to see some of the science related to this stuff as inherently about improving the regulation of a system within systems. That’s what we are and use it for that growth we want for ourselves that also happens to fill that burden of performance.

    I’ll admit, the hardest parts are when we don’t know how to see past our vulnerability , and we can get stuck. Especially when we don’t know how to work through it.

    I admit I’m in one of those moments a bit now, I’m trying to work through it (this year I’ve been waking up to the trauma I lived with and got retraumatized as I was discovering it to point I dissociated for like a month on my bed.

    Well inherently it’s like – the hardest thing to find I admit in people is people who know how to actually hold space for you to evolve. It’s a skill that if you learn others will only appreciate you more. I’ve realized that when looking for support, it’s like if I’m really a self interested person, I don’t give 2 shits about your morally invested idea of what I should be. I might need a little help sorting out my own selfish drives and how to align them with life better. But really, most people guys especially want to dump on you or even if they try to be supportive, they don’t quite grasp how even small judgments here and there will make us just clam up and stop the flow of the system.
    Cuz you can’t hold space for another half way, either you do it or you end up failing at it.

    It’s immensely frustrating.

    It’s as if we are going to “rely on our mates purely” for emotional support, why is it that guy therapists have dropped out of the market mostly? People don’t find them either as empathetic or trust them inherently. Guys def don’t, that’s why thank god you have Michael Phelps doing commercials for talk space (finnally therapy has a marketing tream..lol)

    Some how, the pure – sexual competition ideal of the stoic man – especially give what I’ve learned about has been our traumatic past. Like for the love of god, tribes in Africa do a better job raising kids with a secure even a super Attachment than we do here in the states where only like 50% or less of kids ever even securely attach to their parents. We Literally swapped out shock trauma for Attachment trauma and other things.

    I do think rollo does a good job of highlighting all the issues we seem to run into and why that is. I applaud hi for blowing my f’ing mind this past week as I’ve been addicted to this blog.

    At same time, I see where he comes from in various things, And grapes his explanation through the redpill lens as to the reality of things on this level.

    At same time I’m trying to integrate how things should work in a relationship, especially given where I’m starting from. I am glad he pointed out it’s not an attraction cue, I will admit that is a trap you can fall into initially. I guess you have to fuck the girl a couple times at least before any forward directed vulnerability.

    I do see guys almost needing like a training on life showing all the moments where we will inherently be vulnerable, and how to work with it , how to create hope when we don’t have any.

    Otherwise, lack of connection – like not trauma bonded connection – but like healthy connection with includes a red pill lens too.

    Something to think about- people who can’t deal with vulnerability in themselves, inherently as a sort of ego defense, can’t deal with it in others.

    If we as guys are supposed to turn to each other for support, somehow we need to contend with that fact, as we don’t do a great job.

  27. Hi, this is a new trend in management method To show his vulnerability in order to develop trust in the team. What do you think of this practice certainly encouraged by feminism ?

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