Everybody is afraid of vulnerability. There’s just something so scary about opening yourself up to someone and letting them see who you are, warts and all.
Men especially find it hard to be vulnerable, especially in today’s society. This is why they find vulnerable women so damn attractive—they’re just really hard to find!
In this article, we will look at the reasons why men find vulnerable women attractive, plus some tips on how you can be vulnerable, too.
1) It inspires them to be vulnerable, too
Society makes it hard for men to show emotions. They like women who make them feel safe to be vulnerable around. And when you’re vulnerable around him, it inspires him to be vulnerable, too.
The important thing for you to remember is to not be afraid of being vulnerable. Being afraid of it is normal, but research actually found that we like when people are vulnerable around us—it’s called the “beautiful mess” effect.
In the same study, it was found that we usually don’t like being the first to apologize after a fight, or confessing our feelings to someone, but when someone else does these things for us, we find them desirable or attractive.
This is why men are inspired to be vulnerable when you open yourself up to them—because as people, we naturally perceive vulnerability to be attractive.
Despite this, vulnerable women can still be pretty difficult to find.
2) Because vulnerability is rare these days
Vulnerability is rare these days because people generally find it difficult to practice. We usually feel the need to keep up a perfect facade and feel ashamed when we let other people see the less than perfect sides of ourselves. This causes a lot of shame to be associated with vulnerability.
Why is this?
Because vulnerability is associated with weakness. However, this could not be farther from the truth.
Because men are constantly expected to be strong, they also often avoid being vulnerable. This is why they like vulnerable women—because vulnerable women teach them that vulnerability doesn’t equal weakness.
If anything, in a society that shames people for showing vulnerability, being vulnerable is a strength. In a world that scorns you for your imperfections, showing your insecurities is a f**k you to this standard, and men like women who own their insecurities.
3) It shows that you’re not afraid of showing your insecurities
When you are constantly expected to be perfect, you have a tendency to hide your insecurities. Because of this, it can be terrifying to show that at the end of the day, after every performance of perfection, there are still things about yourself that you’re not content with.
But we all have insecurities. We’re all human, and insecurities make up the very fabric of our humanity. What makes vulnerable women different and attractive to men is how they’re not afraid to show them.
This is what men want to know and feel—that despite our world’s constant expectation of them to be productive, perfect beings, there’s women who understand that they’re not flawless, and it’s okay.
They want partners who can be their safe haven; to whom they can be the ugliest versions of themselves without judgment; to whom they do not have to keep up a perfect facade for.
When you show your man that you, too, have insecurities, it inspires them to let you know that they have insecurities as well. It is a sigh of relief to them to know that with you, they are accepted, no matter how far from perfect they are.
Being vulnerable to him about your insecurities also lets him know that you trust him, and mutual trust in a romantic relationship is sexy.
4) It shows him you trust him
There is a famous saying that goes:
“Trust is like an antique: once it’s broken, it can never be replaced.”
And it is famous for a reason, because it’s true.
Trust is an indispensable part of relationships, romantic or otherwise; it is key to having happy and healthy relationships. Without trust, a relationship cannot prosper or even survive.
The best way to show a man that you trust him is to be vulnerable around him. It shows that you are open, honest, and are not trying hard to be perfect.
This is especially true if you don’t usually open up to the people around you. It makes him feel special that you trust him with very personal things that you usually hide from everyone else.
5) Because vulnerability is attractive
We’re usually afraid that professing our love for someone, asking for help when we need it, or taking responsibility for our mistakes makes us look weak or stupid. However, the people we do it for believe otherwise.
This is called the “beautiful mess” effect. It explains how we hate being vulnerable, but love it when other people are vulnerable around us.
Personally, I believe in the beautiful mess effect. The first time my friend told me about her childhood trauma, she felt ashamed—but I ended up loving and admiring her more, honored that she would share something so personal with me.
This also goes with my relatives after a fight. My Asian mother does not vocally apologize, but when she cuts up some fruit and brings them to me after a fight (for non-Asian people, this is code for ‘sorry’ in Asian households), I feel more loved and cared for because it showed a vulnerable side to my usually non-affectionate mother.
As humans, whether we like it or not, we’re all a mess. The difference is, when we willingly show that mess to other people, we become a beautiful mess.
If you’re afraid of professing your love to a man in fear that he might think you’re trying too hard, this is your sign to do so. He might just think you’re much more beautiful after—and it also shows him you’re not afraid to love.
6) Vulnerability means you’re not afraid to love
In order to love, we need to be vulnerable. We can never truly love if we stay closed off and unwilling to share our life and ourselves with someone else.
Men like women who are not afraid of love. Or, more accurately, men like women who take the risk of loving despite it being scary. Because love is scary. It is more than just a feeling—to love means to share your life with someone, to let them into your life despite the risk of them leaving. To love means to acknowledge that love can change; that the person you love can change their mind and leave one day, no matter how much you love them or how long you’ve been together.
And showing him that you choose to do it, nonetheless shows him that you’re not afraid.
7) It shows that you’re genuine
If you want to establish a meaningful connection with a man, it is important that you are genuine. This is because good men want meaningful connections, which they can only achieve with people who are true to themselves.
In theory, being true to yourself sounds easy. Sticking to your values, acting in accordance with your morals, it all sounds like an easy feat, doesn’t it?
Well, in practice, being genuine can be quite difficult to achieve. It’s so much easier to hide your true self from the world, especially if the world thinks you have no place in it. It takes a lot of bravery to be who you are in a society that actively condemns people like you.
This is why it’s so rare to find people who are true to themselves, and why men like women who are genuine.
But how do you stay true to yourself?
Vulnerability plays a huge role in being genuine. When you’re vulnerable, you’re showing your real self to the other person, including your less-than-perfect traits. We’re usually afraid of showing our real selves to the world in fear of being hated on, yet we take that risk with people we love.
Showing him your vulnerabilities doesn’t just mean you’re genuine—it also means you’re good at communication.
8) It means you’re a great communicator
In any relationship, communication is vital. It’s how we build relationships with other people, share our experiences and needs, and make meaningful connections.
And when you allow yourself to be vulnerable around someone, it shows them that you’re a great communicator.
Being good at communication doesn’t always mean you have to be articulate. You don’t have to know all the right words all the time. Sometimes you just need to be vulnerable, to be brave enough to take that scary step that shows someone how you truly feel.
With all that said, how do we become better communicators?
First and foremost, you should know what your needs are. Ask yourself questions such as the following:
- What do I want to get out of this conversation?
- What would make me feel more safe and secure in this relationship?
- How do I get a better sense of reassurance from the other person?
After knowing what you need, the second most important thing is to learn to ask it from the other person. Know that asking for what you need is completely okay; unlearn that feeling of fear when you ask for help, because everybody needs help sometimes, and that’s perfectly fine.
Now that you know what you need and how to communicate it, the next step is to learn what the other person needs. Do they need more reassurance? Intimacy? Attention?
Remember: communication goes both ways. It is not just your needs that should be addressed, but the other person’s as well. This is why vulnerability also shows that you’re empathic.
9) It shows that you’re empathic
Empathy and vulnerability are similar in a sense that people think both of them signify weakness.
But I beg to differ.
Contrary to popular belief, I believe both of them signify strength.
Men usually think strength only manifests physically. That emotions equal weakness. This is why they like women who are emotionally strong, because they show them that there’s more than one way to be strong.
It takes strength to feel what others feel just as it takes strength to open yourself up to people. This is why the act of opening up itself shows that you’re capable of experiencing empathy.
Wanna know why?
This is because people who avoid vulnerability have a facade that they need to maintain. They have a character that they feel the need to keep playing, which is why they avoid showing their real selves at all costs.
On the other hand, people who are willing to be vulnerable around other people don’t have a character to play. They stay true to themselves, despite their insecurities.
These are the traits that men admire in women. In a way, men and women are two sides of the same coin: men embody physical strength, while women embody emotional strength. Like yin yang, they both need each other to achieve a balanced life.
10) It helps them feel less alone
Think of an instance where someone, perhaps a close friend, opened up to you; when they told you they don’t feel as strong all the time, or that they have insecurities that they try to hide from other people.
Didn’t they make you feel less alone?
As people, it is in our very nature to hate feeling lonely. Even the most introverted people can feel lonely at times. Studies find that loneliness can actually lead to a number of mental and physical health issues.
Craving company, looking for people who feel the way you do, who have the same experiences you have, these are all natural parts of human life. We crave socialization; we want to see people who experience life the way we do.
This is precisely why men admire vulnerability in women—because it helps them feel less alone. The world can often feel cold and uncaring, and men need emotionally strong women to provide them warmth and comfort at the end of each difficult day.
These are the reasons why we should all try to practice vulnerability, no matter how scary it can be.
Below are 5 tips on how to be a more vulnerable person.
5 tips on how to be a more vulnerable person
1) Realize that vulnerability doesn’t equal weakness
Why are people afraid of vulnerability? Because they’re afraid it would make them feel weak.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Vulnerability doesn’t equal weakness. In fact, showing your insecurities to other people and letting them see your darkest parts equals strength.
People generally want to be perceived to be strong. We usually suppress our emotions, believing that they are a weakness and don’t do anything but be an inconvenience. However, this is simply not true.
Repressing your emotions is not healthy. In the short run, perhaps it would feel good to not have to feel emotions such as sadness or grief, but in the long run, it is not good, as it would only lead to worse conditions. In fact, suppressed emotions can actually make us vulnerable to certain diseases.
At a certain point in life, we must all unlearn the idea that vulnerability is a weakness. We should all understand that the goal is not to be an emotionless, stone-cold person.
Even if society doesn’t value vulnerability as a trait, as people, we like it when other people relate to us and understand how we feel—and you can’t do that if you suppress your emotions to the point of becoming a stone-cold person.
Trust me, when you realize this and unlearn the idea that vulnerability signifies weakness, opening up to other people, especially to your loved ones, would become so much easier.
2) Practice self-compassion
Everyone on the internet preaches self-love. “Love yourself before you love anyone else”, and “put your needs above others at all times”, they say. But this is an inaccurate depiction of self-love.
This idea of self-love is inaccurate and unhealthy. You can’t learn to love yourself by being selfish and having a “me, myself, and I” attitude. Real self-love comes when you are first and foremost kind to yourself.
And before you learn to love yourself, you must first practice self-compassion.
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is when you don’t beat yourself up for taking the day off to rest and relax after a long week of working. It’s when you allow yourself to feel negative emotions instead of telling yourself there’s no reason to feel sad. It’s quitting things that do more harm than good in your life and make you chronically unhappy.
When you practice self-compassion, it is easier to be vulnerable, because you don’t feel self-disgust or regret after you open yourself up to a loved one. All you’d feel is relief.
How do I practice self-compassion?
If you find it hard to be compassionate to yourself, imagine being compassionate to other people.
Imagine, for example, a friend who is wallowing in self-pity. You would probably quickly tell them about all the good things about them that they should pay attention to.
Now, imagine doing the same for yourself when you find yourself wallowing in self-pity. Tell yourself about all the good things about you that you should focus on, the things that people love about you.
This is because most people find it hard to be self-compassionate, but find it easier to feel compassion towards other people. Try doing this for yourself, and you will learn how to be self-compassionate.
3) Learn to trust your loved ones better
Sometimes, we find it hard to be vulnerable because we can’t trust the people around us. This is a common trauma response: never show emotion or weakness and no one will be out to get you.
However, as we grow older, we are more in charge of the people who get to be in our lives, and you must learn to trust them better.
Know that your loved ones wouldn’t love you less if you show them that you are less than perfect. Your friends won’t crucify you for having insecurities.
In fact, they will probably love you more if you allow yourself to be vulnerable around them, especially when they feel that you trust them better.
Establish mutual trust in your relationships, and soon enough, you will find it easier to be vulnerable.
4) Understand that perfection is a myth
People usually avoid being vulnerable because they feel the need to be perfect all the time. Never show emotion, never show your insecurities, never show your flaws, and the world will have nothing to say of you.
But perfection is a myth.
If you’ve gotten this far in the article, you know this to be true. There’s no such thing as ‘perfect’. No matter how hard you try, you will never be perfect, and that’s completely fine! Being perfect is overrated, anyway.
You know what’s underrated? Imperfection.
We’re humans precisely because of our flaws. Your imperfections are the things that set you apart from everybody else. Believe it or not, someone out there loves you for your flaws even if you believe them to be unpleasant.
Only when you realize that perfection is a myth can you allow yourself to be vulnerable. Realize that vulnerability is not a flaw or an imperfection, but a vital part of our humanity that enables us to make meaningful connections.
5) Let go of the need to be validated by other people
As humans, we’re hard-wired to care about what others think of us. It’s usually how we’re guided to behave in social situations. Social etiquettes are born from actions that we generally perceive to be good or bad, such as dressing up in presentable clothing (good) or picking your nose in public (bad).
However, there is a limit on caring about what others think of us. Of course, caring too little can make you insensitive to the needs of the people around you, but caring too much will make you lose your sense of self.
On one hand, we all need validation; but on the other, you should learn how to be confident in yourself and in your abilities so you wouldn’t have to rely too much on the opinions of others for confidence.
By doing this, we’re able to allow ourselves to be more vulnerable around other people. This is because we realize that the opinions of others don’t matter as much, which allows you to share your insecurities and your less-than-perfect traits without fear of being judged.
Plus, a little bonus: people like you better when you don’t care what they think of you.
Because confidence is attractive. They see you as someone who has a high sense of self-worth, that your self-esteem wouldn’t let you settle for less, and that’s admirable.
When you care less about what other people think, you care more about what you think of them, which ultimately results in better relationships.
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