What all men can learn from Jimmy Kimmel (audio)

Elephant Talk; Notes from Andy: What all men can learn from Jimmy Kimmel

How do men show up in partnerships and relationships? Traditionally we don't get vulnerable, we don't open our hearts.

Men are often socialized to sweep any weaknesses under the rug…

and as a result, can be perceived as arrogant and egotistical when in fact they are just masking their true vulnerabilities. For many men, facing the reality of vulnerability, flaws, and fears is tantamount to “failure at life,” but the inauthenticity of that lifestyle is damaging in the extreme. 

So why is it so hard to be vulnerable?

When we are young we understand that being vulnerable is part of being human. We cry when we get hurt, are hungry, or sad. We need and ask for reassurance and help when we are anxious or scared. We tell those we love that we love them—generously, with no expectation of something in return. When does that change? What happens? It all comes down to fear…

  • that people won’t like our authentic flawed selves
  • that we will be rejected
  • of being judged harshly
  • of others seeing our insecurities
  • of losing control
  • of being hurt or abandoned

Don’t let fear of your vulnerability prevent you from being real!

If you are one of the many men who struggle with showing your vulnerability, you may be fully aware of this fact about yourself and still unable to make the change. But in case you don’t know it, there are some very real and very life-affirming benefits to being vulnerable. For example:

  • You gain the ability to truly love and accept every part of you, the oh-so-good, the not-so-good, and the “gotta work on that.”
  • You can open yourself to being deeply loved, seen, and heard for who you truly are. (Even if our “inauthentic self” does find love…how long do you think that will last?)
  • You find you are able to love someone else fully and joyfully, without holding anything back.
  • You realize that even if love fails (this time), you have the freedom and power to be yourself.

Okay, so how do we learn to be honest with the people in your life… aka vulnerable? 

I’m not saying it’s easy. The messages we receive—from society, our own heads, our parents, partners, bosses—about how we have to be perfect, show no flaws, and stay calm and carry on. But here is a starter list of being vulnerable:

  • Take a look at yourself. Honestly. Interestingly, most people find it easier to identify their flaws than their strengths… to themselves, though they project the opposite to the world. So when you take inventory of your qualities, be sure you acknowledge strengths and Caveat: accepting a weakness or flaw does not mean you can’t work on it. It just means you don’t hate yourself for it!
  • Know that you are enough. Look in the mirror. That person, there, is enough.
  • Face your fears. Dig down and find your courage. Whatever you are afraid of—say to yourself, “Yup, that scares me,” then do it anyway.

There is a lot on the line here. I don’t intend to oversimplify this concept—it is at the root of happiness, in my opinion, and not easily reduced to bullet points. But this is a start. The risks to your ego are balanced by the great rewards for the real you.

You don’t want to miss out on the love, the connection, and the beautiful, rich life waiting for you to be vulnerable and open to receive them.

Words by: Betty Russell
Source: The Good Men Project