Once I did Men's Work with several men in anger and grief, of which two women of our Facilitating Team were witnessing. This touched the men among themselves, but it also touched the women. In this blog, I want to explain why it touched both groups, and how to welcome your vulnerability as a man. At the bottom of this blog, you will also find some compelling reviews from participants in my Workshops for only male participants.
Vulnerability is highly underestimated
Being vulnerable is more of a strength than a weakness. Being vulnerable means freely expressing your thoughts, feelings, desires and opinions, regardless of what others think of you. Vulnerability, therefore, means revealing yourself. This ability to not care about people's opinions or judgments about you is not only very attractive but can also be the foundation for deep, meaningful relationships.
Vulnerability is usually associated with weakness. A prime example of this is how men are told to suppress their emotions by not crying, hiding their weaknesses, and showing themselves as powerful male beings, even if they aren't in that moment. Vulnerability is also underestimated because most men don't realize how attractive a man becomes when he can just be more open and rawer.
Someone who can be vulnerable and expose his weaknesses without regard for what others will think, says to the world, “It doesn't affect what you think of me; this is who I am, and I refuse to be anyone else.” When you look at it, the true strength lies in vulnerability – in accepting your weaknesses, your imperfections, your mistakes and maladjustments. You also offer the other the opportunity to meet your true self. Putting yourself out there, by being vulnerable—rather than overcompensating and trying to make everyone like you—will also deepen the relationships in your life.
Being vulnerable in your interactions gives intimacy and more confidence. But in addition to intimacy, it can also provide sexual flow, because vulnerability shows that you are safe as a man. Then a woman can feel at home and in the end, she feels undeniably at ease with you. And if you, as a man, dare to admit when you behave like an asshole, you contribute even more to safety.
But it is not without risk. After all, there is the chance of direct rejection or pitying looks or other reactions that lead to the feeling of shame.
Before we learn how to express ourselves honestly, it helps to understand that shame gets in the way. Shame is a feeling of personal deficiency or failure. It may be that voice that tells each of us that we are not good enough. Simply put, shame tells us the need to be found OK in the other person's eyes.
It's a shame it keeps you from asking out someone exciting.
It's a shame you can't say hello to someone unless they say it first.
It's a shame you don't tell your co-workers that joke because you don't think they'll find your joke funny.
It's a shame that you're going to help your partner avoid confrontation when you're actually devastated from a hard day at work.
It's shame that keeps you from expressing yourself fully. With that, you repeat what you experienced before in childhood when it seemed too risky.
We repeat what we have learned over and over again
There is a story that my father forgot about me as a newborn baby, for example when he came home at the end of a working day. My mother was just delighted with me and hugged me completely to death (energetic for sure). Ultimately, the common thread throughout my upbringing became: too much attention and touch from my mother and too little from my father.
When I need intimacy and vulnerability, I will therefore initially knock on a woman's door. Because from an early age I was drawn to the fact that it is not available in men. A lot of men will recognize this. When repeatedly knocking on a woman's door, I repeat the pattern and the lack of a father is emphasized.
That is why I started to look for this phenomenon of vulnerability in contact with other men. When I feel sad or alone (and my father's abandonment is repeated in this) I need much more to be seen and heard by men than by women. After all, most of my male brothers carry a wound of rejection as a boy. They might have similar faith as me. Men who welcome each other in brotherhood and support, experience an enormous healing moment and are given more freedom to be themselves.
Vulnerability in men is sexy
Women melt with the experience that men are vulnerable to and with each other. Men don't realize this, but it's damn sexy. Women will probably respect your confidence deep down, your indifference to everyone's opinion, and your courage to take a risk.
But what women especially experience is that they are not called upon for something they cannot provide. Men who share their vulnerability in brotherhood are no longer boys who need something from mothers (given by their partners). Those are men who carry themselves. And that's sexy!
Reviews of the workshop (for men)
Two days of a deep dive into this theme of intimacy and sexuality. Exciting and liberating. William is a master of this work and makes it less charged, approachable and allows us to have continuous experiences that are so immensely relevant to me. It is safe, and quickly familiar, so the men's group also works great with each other. We share and support each other in this work. Every man should do this.
Just being with men is very valuable, but William helps you to understand even better how and why it is so powerful. He does this by telling and by making intense experiences possible. All hatches open in those experiences. In the constellations, by breathing, in physical and energetic contact with each other and also by talking to each other: deep layers are brought out in a kind and very powerful way. William makes sure you can be open with everything that makes you a man. And that's a lot! – Crispin