It was the end of her talk.
She stepped off the stage and down into the crowd. A recess began so some of the audience came up to ask questions.
One man waited patiently in the line.
When it was his turn he said, ‘My wife and daughters…they’d rather see me die on top of my white horse than watch me fall off. You say you want us to be vulnerable and real, but c’mon. You can’t stand it. It makes you sick to see us like that.’
She was actually Brenè Brown and she recounts this story in her book Daring Greatly.
How many of us can identify with that? We want to open up but a part of us knows that society and the people around us expect some stoicism.
On the other hand, to truly be our best selves we have to let go of the needs of those around us and put some effort back into our needs.
I Love You Man
Heartmen came second. I Love You Man came first.
When I realised that I was having a lot of issues being vulnerable with my wife and with my friends I realised I wanted to talk to other people about this. Why is it so hard? And are there any men out there who have worked out how to do it?
As I began talking to other men about this I realised I wasn’t the only one. I wasn’t the only one who was having trouble making new male friends. I wasn’t the only one who shut down friendships when it got too hard. I wasn’t the only one who wished he had a better relationship with his father.
I had been wanting to start a podcast for a while and it became obvious as I talked to these men that this topic was what I needed to create a podcast about.
And that is when the I Love You Man show concept was born.
It’s OK to be Vulnerable
Before we go any further I wanted to clear something up with vulnerability.
I think when men think about being vulnerable they think about being a crying mess. About being depressed and sad all the time from their feelings.
It’s not that at all. OK, maybe occasionally but otherwise you’ve got it all wrong.
To me vulnerability is:
- letting yourself do the things you really want to do
- learning how to listen to your gut
- being able to express your emotions in a useful way
- admitting you don’t have the answer
- not hiding behind stereotypes like having to be the bread winner or the strong man and instead stepping into who you can be
- standing your sacred ground when you’re feeling under attack
- telling your friends and family how you really feel about them
- allowing yourself to be seen, the real you, the hidden you
- being OK with feeling scared
I’ve probably missed some things, but this is what it means to be really vulnerable to me. I still struggle to put these in action and that is why I want to have a conversation about this with other men.
About the show (Episode 0)
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Listen in this week
What was just an idea (I Love You Man) a few months ago is now a reality. I’ve been working away recording interviews with interesting men and asking them about how they show up and be vulnerable.
I will normally publish one interview a week, but this week is the first week so I have 3 awesome guests lined up for you:
- Toku – From touring with bands, nights filled with drugs and strippers, to spending 2.5 years at a Zen Monastery and now coaching established business owners in being successful in all areas of their life. Tune in on Wednesday.
- Riley Temple – Known mostly for the 9 month world wide adventure his family went on when Riley was a teenager, I ask him about something else. What was it like growing up with two strong male role models? Tune in on Thursday.
- Rick Clemons – Gay men deal with the same stuff around vulnerability as straight men. Rick has been a gay men’s coach for years and is an expert in coming out and stepping into who you really are. Something everyone should do. Tune in on Friday.
The first show airs on Wednesday. Pop your name and email in below so you don’t miss out!
I’m really excited to share this with you. If you have a man in your life who you feel could benefit from this, please share it with them.