Avoiding Vulnerability – Is it only a problem for Men?

Is avoiding vulnerability only a man problem?

Short answer is no!

However, what tends to show up in my conversations with many blokes is how they don’t quite know the value and purpose of vulnerability.

A lot of relationship experts talk about vulnerability and how it is an essential aspect of intimacy and connection

For example: 

“Vulnerability is when a person willingly takes the risk to reveal their emotions and weaknesses. This emotional openness is essential in all healthy relationships, as it paves the way for deeper understanding and evokes the empathy necessary for healthy long-term relationships.”

Shari Foos, Marriage and Family Therapist (Verywell Mind)​




“Life happens – really happens – in the midst of our vulnerability. It’s here, in strength and with the greatest of courage, that we ask for help, say the first ‘I love you’, reach out for intimacy, and feel. When we shut down our vulnerability, we shut down the possibility.”

Karen Young (Hey Sigmund)​


Some common mistakes

The belief that vulnerability is weakness often leads to men in particular hiding true feelings and avoiding deep, meaningful conversations.

An extension of this belief is that by not showing fears and uncertainties men are protecting themselves and their relationship. 

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Avoiding vulnerability can significantly impact your connection with your partner.

With the right approach it’s also something that can be addressed.

The Impact

When you avoid vulnerability completely you risk creating emotional distance in your relationship. Your partner may feel shut out and disconnected leading to misunderstandings and a lack of trust.

Over time, this can erode the foundation of your relationship, making it difficult to achieve true intimacy and mutual understanding.


Here are some ideas to consider – 3 Steps to Embrace Vulnerability


Acknowledge Your Feelings

  • The first step – recognise and accept your own emotions.
  • Understand that fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability is a natural part of being human.
  • Acknowledge these feelings and begin to address them openly with your partner   


Communicate Openly                                          

  • Share your thoughts and emotions with your partner.
  • Use “I” statements to express how you feel without placing blame. For example, “I feel anxious about our future” is a good way to start the conversation.
  • Help your partner understand your perspective.
  • Remember, open communication fosters a safe space for mutual sharing


Encourage Mutual Vulnerability

  • Create an environment where both you and your partner feel comfortable being open.
  • Encourage your partner to share their feelings as well.
  • A mutual exchange like this can deepen your connection and build a stronger bond of trust and intimacy.


Avoiding vulnerability is often seen by many men as a protective measure, yet it ultimately creates emotional distance.


When you acknowledging your feelings, communicating openly, and encouraging mutual vulnerability, you can build a stronger, more connected relationship with your partner.

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