“fuck,” “i’m really sorry to hear that” and (twice), “thank you for letting me know.” that's all i remember saying when the guy i was dating called to break up with me.
yes. i am a professional.
due to my stellar phone etiquette, i wrote him later to ask some questions and explain my perspective. predictably, as soon as i pressed “send,” i felt like a lame, desperate idiot.
leave him alone!
where’s your pride?
who pesters someone after the fact?
accept the truth and be dignified!
these were my disgruntled ego’s admonitions. the way of separation and alienation, ego hates vulnerability.
but however humiliating it felt to send my “dude, here’s how it went down for me…” message, not doing so would have been worse.
someday, scientists will calculate the weight of questions left unasked and feelings that remain unshared. when they do, the world will be floored by the heft of life caused by the pride and posturing we use to protect ourselves.
vulnerability can help the other person, too. sending out emotional feelers of “i’m confused/sad/worried. are you?” gives them a chance to match your openness. you’re sending the world’s sweetest invitation—to experience honest communication with another human.
however, they may resist, saying they’re good on their own. and that’s cool.
they may not respond, which is also ok.
the effort is what counts. because just getting your sentiments off your chest is a huge unburdening.
still, there aren’t that many heartless creeps in the world, so they’ll probably at least say something.
in my case, the guy sent an explanation even he described as “harsh.” about ten minutes after reading it, i was glad it was over.
he inadvertently set me free and simplified my emotional cleanup. if i hadn’t taken the plunge of putting myself out there after being rejected, i might be:
- booking a long weekend in the pacific northwest
- planning an escape to brazil
- adopting a puppy
maybe all 3. instead, i’m happily toiling away in LA, full of ideas. this guy saved me so much money, i feel like i should send him a fruit basket.
instead of believing vulnerability will necessarily make you look pathetic, hang in. when you up the risk by being open you may also up the reward, getting meatier information that clarifies your next steps.
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