U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

Vulnerability is what connects us to other human beings. It is when we “expose” something about ourselves whether that be experiences, emotions, feelings, and/or behaviors to another person in order to form a connection and learn about each other. Since childhood, many men are taught vulnerability equals weakness and therefore men are not supposed to be vulnerable. It can also be difficult to be vulnerable as there might be a fear of feeling embarrassed or being hurt by someone’s response. 

Vulnerability is actually a strength. In order to be a strong and healthy individual, vulnerability must take place with the people that you have built trust with. In doing so, one strengthens relationships, improves mental health, and improves quality of life. Being vulnerable also takes away the pressure that you have to do this on your own. A study has shown that being able to voice your feelings actually helps to decrease the impact of one’s emotions and overcome them faster. Therefore, being vulnerable with someone creates the opportunity to put words to feelings and to process them. 

Watch the video to hear a group of men from actors to athletes to CEO’s discuss more about why it is so difficult for men to be vulnerable. 

Read the article below to learn more about being vulnerable and the benefits of it.