Is it wrong to show emotions and vulnerability?

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Gracelyn 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #783392 Reply


    I got dumped by a person who I know actually cares about me. Overall the conversation about it was respectful and not bad, but a bit uncomfortable of course, because we were having dinner in cafe and I just shut down and was mostly quiet. I was sitting in front of him visibly unhappy and since my natural instinct is to have tears in hard moments, some tears were there. A bit dramatic obviously, but it was my natural reaction. I didn’t blame, beg, accuse, scream, shame him, run out etc… I was just genuinely sad in front of him.

    Later on I was discussing it with my female friend. She laughed about my description how I acted and she said that she had probably not shown nothing in front of the guy, but cry later alone, because she has that attitude she needs to show herself strong.

    This brings me to the question in topic – is it wrong to show your emotions and vulnerability to a guy? Even if it’s not my natural reaction?

    #783402 Reply


    People are not robots. If you can’t show emotion and vulnerability you are with the wrong person.

    Is your friend single?

    #783403 Reply


    Khadija, she is not :) however we have really different personalities with her in relationships – she is strong woman, basically never has had heart-to-heart talks with a guy she is seeing/together in relationship with. She prefers to be a bit closed (even a bit playing sometimes), mostly strong and demanding.
    I’m in the other end of it – most of my emotions are visible, I prefer to speak from my heart and not hide my feelings etc.

    I even read from this forum (or whatever dating advice sites) occasionally that don’t show how you feel to a man not to be seen or taken as weak one or don’t say this or that, you give your power away etc…

    #783404 Reply


    I wonder how that relationship is working out for her.
    Be you and don’t take that approach to relationships.

    I think with the exception of being a total drama queen, you should be able to express how you feel.

    If you can’t open up to your significant other than who can you do that with?

    #783406 Reply


    Thats easy for her to say. I cry when i get emotional. Not about everything and sometimes about things i dont even understand why i do. But then i tear up too. I cant control it. And i guess neither can you. So in the end he knows you felt sad about the break up. But thats not embarrashing if you were sad. Dont worry

    #783408 Reply


    I’m thinking that there are completely 2 approaches: “high-value woman” or whatever they are called in dating site advice would have smiled, said to him that your loss, darling! and walked out… or something like this (and cried pillow wet later if necessary, but never at front of him).

    And then was me, with teary eyes and unhappy and probably so far away of being sexy and confident (at least I stayed 100 % polite and without accusations or begging etc)… I was just genuine with my emotions at that moment.

    I actually even don’t know, which approach is more right. To show or not to show vulnerability. (For clarification – it was a dating situation between 2 persons who genuinely care about each other, but not in committed or long term relationship).

    #783409 Reply


    That high value sh/it makes me mad every time i read it, and that bs about being wife material (like a woman is a fabric). Also women here saying: i know my worth. I mean really? You sit down and then you actually think about how you know your worth? Thats silly, i didnt spend a second of my life thinking about it. You just need to be yourself and of course it helps if you know what you want and stand up for yourself. Most men like independant women but also a womans feminine side. And guess what? That describes pretty much the whole population. The rest is the x factor and you cant control that. Thats personal preferences.

    #783411 Reply


    It is ok to be & show vulnerability…

    #783413 Reply


    Showing emotion and being vulnerable isn’t some awful thing.
    In doing so it does not lessen your value.

    If I’m upset about something and cry about it, I’m not worried about how I look to others. Perhaps your fired doesn’t feel safe or valued enough to open up and share herself.

    I think the I’ll cry later approach is that of a insecure person. Maturity and being secure with yourself, to me is being able to be in your emotions at times and being okay with it.

    Stop listening to your friend and be yourself. Again I’m not suggesting being a total drama queen either.

    #783414 Reply


    I would say yes in these circumstances crying is unnecessary. I believe he saw it as a form of manipulation in that by shutting down and showing tears you were looking to manipulate the situation by making him feel bad instead of working through or discussing a difficult conversation like an adult.

    I had a employee who did this to me once where I didn’t see her as a 29 year old adult but a 3 year old trying to manipulate me through tears. I told her that crying is a form of manipulation and I’m not going to let her manipulate me that way as none of my other employees broke out in tears when I confronted them with an issue and expect the same of you. She had terrible coping skills that ultimately led to her termination.

    Unless you are truly happy (happy tears), being emotionally abused, suffering a major loss, or seriously injured then I see no reason why someone would shut down and cry and would not be in a relationship with someone who did.

    #783415 Reply


    Lane, from my side there was no manipulation at all – I guess manipulation would have more been to put happy face on, although I wasn’t feeling so at that moment. Really, my brain was collapsed and tears come really easily for me in the difficult situations (happy situations as well). I still tried to talk with him, had my initial questions answered, just I needed time to process it more – it all actually came really unexpected, I wasn’t ready (there weren’t “We need to talk” warnings beforehand). He sent couple of hours later a message where he apologized for hurting me, that I’m important person to him and he never wanted to hurt me.

    It took me 2 days to process my feelings. Once my head and emotions were more clear and under control I called him, nicely and calmly thanked him for being honest and talking with me. And also there was no manipulation at all from my side – I just felt that it would be right thing to do and I had processed my feelings and thoughts enough.

    #783416 Reply


    P.S.! Love is not a job interview, obviously I had feelings and hopes invested, I was sad and upset at that moment. It was a first reaction.

    #783417 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    You were authentic in the moment. You weren’t manipulating him. You’re a human being who cared about a person that you were breaking up with. Why wouldn’t you cry? That’s totally normal.

    I think we all know the difference between a hysterical drama queen and someone who is being genuine and sincere during an emotionally vulnerable moment.

    From what you describe I think what you did sounds normal and healthy, even.

    #783419 Reply


    No normally i can relate to lane but not with this. I can as i think you can mara, start to tear up even when i think its a ploy to get sympathy myself. So i am accusing myself. You are way off here.

    #783420 Reply


    Lol i dont understand my own post. Ill make it up later

    #783424 Reply


    I’m going through that now. I’m like your friend somewhat, vulnerability is not my strong suit. However, mines stem from not trusting others with my emotions, so when I feel consumed by them I back away. Which I know comes from being disappointed in the past and only have myself to do the healing and constant ( cause you will always have your own back right?). You are not weak in anyway with how you express yourself. It makes you HUMAN!!! I hope who you express these emotions to can be strong for you at those times to carry them or at least ease them.

    #783428 Reply


    I’m sorry, I misread the original post where I thought you were having a difficult conversation when you clammed up, got teary, and then broke up with you.

    I retract my last post and say that you are justified in clamming up and being teary as it was a sad moment and how you reacted to the bad news. Sorry for misreading your post.

    #783506 Reply


    No problem, Lane :)

    I have one more question about situation which I am thinking did I react overly vulnerable or not. Situation happened in New Years Eve – the guy who I was seeing and who knows my friends was invited to come to NYE party with me and them because beforehand he acted as my boyfriend in front of them and everyone kind of thought we are together. He chose not to come unexpectedly, instead went to another place and as next day came out with another female friend (at that time platonic one, but now few weeks later turned out to be romantic intrest between them). And when he told me that next day over the text conversation he added “don’t stay angry for too long :)”. We weren’t technically committed or exclusive so he could go out with whoever he wanted. But that sentence from him came out as rude for me – day before in the party everyone kept asking where is he and why he didn’t come, it already had ruined my mood enough. I’m sure he actually wanted to be funny and it wasn’t to hurt me, but obviously I took it offensive and I replied something like “I got a bit offended now” (English is not our communication language, so its actually hard to put my answer directly to English – it wasn’t too dramatical “oh you hurt me so much” answer, but definitely it did hurt me a bit and I let it know (conversation was over text).

    Doesn’t matter anymore did I do right or wrong with him, but for the future sake I am curious how would you have replied and was my answer too much?

    #783507 Reply


    You are way overthinking scenario’s in where you think a different response would have created another outcome? Or a better more b*tchier last impression of you? I get it, sometimes we get stuck in moments where we think we messed up and repeat them over and over in our head, but in your case i dont even see where you went wrong. Guy 1 cared about you, so showing him you felt sad was ok. Guy 2 was a jerk and playing you, so whatever you said wouldnt have made a difference. Only thing you can change is stop playing to be the cool girl. Like where you thought guy 2 was your bf, but since you never made that clear, you think its technically ok that he blows you off and goes see smother girl. Thats not ok, and him teasing you about it saying dont be mad, is him toying with you. So that guy was a timewaster

    #783513 Reply


    Thank you Newbie for your opinion. Actually I’m not asking it because I think that my answer would have changed the outcome – it wouldn’t. But I admit I don’t know how to communicate rightly sometimes and that’s which I’m trying to learn for a future sake. That’s why I’m asking your opinion to improve.

    Guy 1 and 2 are the same guy, situations happened few weeks between. I don’t think he played me and we weren’t committed so he could spend the NYE with anyone he liked, me too. I didn’t assume he is my boyfriend, I knew he could be seeing others. He himself acted in front of my friends as my boyfriend which lead my friends to think we are committed. After the conversation when i said i got offended he called me right away and wanted to clear it out.

    This is what I’m trying to learn – not to be a “cool girl” when I actually got offended, but at the same time in dating situations I can’t get mad to a person if he choses to spend time with his friends or even another women. He wasn’t obligated to come with me, although of course I would have liked that.

    It won’t change the outcome with him, but those situations happen in dating probably in the future too. I want to learn how to speak my mind without blaming or overreacting, but not also not leaving impression that I am cool or not hurt with a situation when I’m actually not.

    #783518 Reply


    There is always a lot of talk on this forum to avoid having sex before a guy is committed to you at least in a way to be sexually exclusive and not to date others. If you are looking for a relationship. Seeing lots of failed situations here, i agree with that. Sleeping with a guy without any agreement about being exclusive sets you up playing the cool girl who goes with the flow. But i bet all my money you werent looking for other guys, you were waiting for this one. Just set up boundaries when it comes to dating. There is nothing wrong with expecting a guy to only date and have sex with you and before that talk just dont have sex. That will help you more than saying the right things

    #783521 Reply


    Personally I would not even start to be in committed relationship with a guy before I don’t know we are sexually compatible. I have had so many bad experiences where I have found sexual compatibility not satisfying for me, so physical part comes for me before committment talks. Normal guy (with whom I want to end up together) would never make it a big deal did the physical part come before committment/relationship or not. Im not talking about slu…y behaviour (if there even is such thing, we all are different and have different views for that), just a normal behaviour finding out do you even like and match with the person physically. He didn’t sleep with others while with me, it was agreed, dating wise it was not exclusive, we could date others.

    #783523 Reply


    but that wasn’t even point of the topic :) Point was is it ok to be vulnerable and speak when something upsets/hurts/offends me in non-exclusive dating situation, how to do it right and was I wrong saying/doing those things.

    #783524 Reply


    I do understand the question but the examples you give are very futile to me, so its hard to draw any conclusions from it. You want to know when you can be rightly offended and speak up so you dont act like a doormat or wrongfully offended because your expectations are too high while the situation (non exclusive dating) makes it weird to be offended. But i think you need other people to answer it, because i still feel this guy wasnt that interested and was showing that at NYE when he went out with another woman. That was the actual sign to move on instead of getting in a situation where he had to dump you a few weeks later. In that case at NYE you could have said the two of you are not on the same page

    #783525 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I have to agree with Newbie. This guy was playing you. He unexpectedly chose to spend NYE with another woman instead of you, and then texted you “don’t stay angry for too long :)”. That’s an a$$hole move.

    I realize that you weren’t exclusive and that you can both spend NYE with whomever you want, but he was rubbing it in your face. The insult is not that he spent NYE with someone else, the insult is that he teased you about it. You say you were offended by his text and you should have been. That also should have been the point where you cut him loose.

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