Aaaaaand we’re back. I had a tonne of topics I wanted to talk about today courtesy of absorbing a tonne of information from a bunch of different sources. There was a major conflict in my mind whether to go with a series about habits primarily drawing from the wonderful book I am reading right now, ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear or to focus on something else I’ve been exploring for quite some time now – vulnerability. Both are incredible topics. The amazing thing is if you choose to look at it the way I did, both are intrinsically linked. I’ll explore that with you later, so expect more posts about vulnerability and forming habits you would consider positive as well as breaking habits you do not desire to have manifest in your life.
As always keep in mind these are things I have explored or am currently exploring personally so the revelation is not exhaustive but progressive and I recommend a DIY approach to find out if it works for you too.
‘Let’s talk about pride baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things and that may be.’
It certainly is corny using a slightly remixed version of the song ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ by Salt-N-Pepa but I won’t apologise for it. Could this very statement be a representation of the aforementioned pride I’m addressing in this post? No, but I’m glad you’re paying attention.
Why don’t we go all-in in our relationships? Why do we sometimes put on masks to hide our genuine selves? Have you ever felt this way yourself? I have, and I think I came up with an answer that accurately depicts what goes on in my mind.
I hate failure, as most of us do. It brings this cloud of negativity with it which if you haven’t intentionally learned to deal with failure can be a real (to simplify it) bummer and affect you and your productivity for an extended period of time. What I would do to mitigate that was to then have a persona of sorts. This was practically a disaster contingency and it afforded me the opportunity to blame the mask for failure or rejection.
If someone was to say, “I don’t like you,” or “You aren’t the right fit for me,” I would walk away sad in that moment but then deflect the feeling and psych myself up by saying something like, “Well they didn’t reject the real me. If I was real from the get-go they would have undoubtedly fallen head over heels for me.”
The maddening thing is that it worked! In the short-term at least. In the long term, however, this only led to surface deep relationships where everyone would encounter a buffer to the true authentic self that resided deep within. I considered the persona as a suit of armour. If it was riddled with arrows I could walk away unscathed and say, “Phew, having the armour protected me from any real danger.” Unfortunately when it comes to relationships the benefit and the vulnerability to opportunities for hurt is proportional. Using the same suit of armour analogy, sure you get protected from arrows but when you lie in bed with the one you love, that same barrier that was originally there for protection eliminates intimacy.
Maybe the secret is in learning when to put on the suit of armour. Perhaps the secret is shedding the armour and steeling the mind to potential disappointment, acknowledging that allowing yourself to hurt is simultaneously allowing yourself to love fully, deeply and to receive love to the same extent. Perhaps being vulnerable heightens the sensations and deepens the experience. I really like the suit of armour analogy. I definitely wouldn’t want to get a massage while wearing one, it would be pointless because I wouldn’t, couldn’t feel anything.
So… the main question. What would cause one to put on the armour? Fear of failure? Self-preservation? Maybe it’s the idea that “I cannot allow myself to be hurt. Anything is better than that.”
I hope I’m not shooting shots, remember this is from personal experience as well – but I call that pride… and the first step to dealing with it is being aware it exists.
See you soon.
Pride: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired
So I’ve had a some interesting responses regarding this post in my phone inbox. Perhaps I need to work on the accessibility of my comment section. I will post some of the more eye-catching ones in the comment section below.