In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher talks about the question of WHEN.
It’s really a question of when.
When to be vulnerable / when to be tough.
If you’ve listened to my other podcasts, you know I’m not a fan of the word vulnerable. I prefer authenticity. But that’s another episode, and you can go listen to it yourself.
For the sake of clarity – let’s use the use the word vulnerable.
When should you be vulnerable, and show your weaknesses, and how does that contrast to when you should steel your resolve and show your strength?
I think it’s important to have a trusted circle of people who see and know your struggles and your vulnerabilities. Even men need a friend they can cry with on a very rare occasion. You don’t have to trust EVERYBODY. But you should be working on building the kind of relationships that support your vulnerabilities. Think about a Danish Shield Wall on the battlefield. They’re all pretty exposed from behind, but they work together to fend off attackers.
Sometimes, you have to suck it up. You have to put the emotion and the weakness on the shelf, and face the battles head on.
Understanding WHEN is sometimes harder than doing it. I think the decision has to be made in a way with the people you are with in mind. Are they trustworthy? Do they have your back? Do you legitimately need help from them?
You can’t live your life as an island, portraying a false image of yourself as strong all the time.
At the same time, you can’t constantly be an emotional ball of wax, melting at the slightest offense or struggle, and unable to function. (Sometimes, you just might be that. And it’s okay to ask for help. But it’s not okay to stay there.)
The answer here has more to do with who you trust and who you surround yourself with, than it does with you. When do you be tough? When you can! When do you be vulnerable? When you NEED to be, and only with those you can trust. And if you aren’t building those relationships with people – they won’t be there when you need them.
When to be quiet / when to speak up
Sometimes, the question of when has to do with when do I open my mouth to speak?
When do I point out what I perceive to be true, when it seems to be none of my business?
This one is not ever easy, and the scale is sliding.
Start by measuring things within the context of relationships. Does the thing I have to say HELP someone? Does the thing I have to say HURT someone? Weigh it carefully, because sometimes it does both.
Someone is in danger – a kid, an abused spouse, etc… always say something!
Someone looks ugly – probably should never say something!
Someone is correcting their kid harshly, but not abusing them… it depends on your relationship with them if you should call them out. (Definitely in private, though!)
Also – speak up in person. Not via text message. Don’t think that confronting someone over text will ever go well. It almost never does. Text doesn’t have tone. Text doesn’t have body language or eye contact, so your message can be reinterpreted differently.
While I tend to be a person who calls people on their crap, and the friend that lets the other friend know he has a booger on his face – I’ve found that in general, I need to shut up more.
You may be someone who needs to speak up more, rather than shut up.
I wish I could tell you the exact answer on this one – but I’ll tell you this.
Make sure that your motivation is good. Speak because you care about people. Speak with the goal of fixing things. Speak with honesty AND love in mind.
Want to weigh in? Comment here, or log in to our private facebook group – The Manlihood Mancave to discuss this with other men!
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