Chapter 3 – Vulnerability
- When most men hear the word “vulnerability,” their immediate reaction is to associate
it with weakness. In general, men are raised to withhold their emotions, to not show
weakness, and to ignore any hint of introspection. I want you to think of vulnerability in
a more broad way. Not just emotional vulnerability, but physical vulnerability, social
- For instance, making yourself vulnerable doesn’t just mean being willing to share your
fears or insecurities. It can mean putting yourself in a position where you can be
rejected, saying a joke that may not be funny, asserting an opinion that may offend
others, joining a table of people you don’t know, telling a woman that you like her and
want to date her. All of these things require you to stick your neck out on the line
emotionally in some way. You’re making yourself vulnerable when you do them.
- In this way, vulnerability represents a form of power, a deep and subtle form of power.
A man who’s able to make himself vulnerable is saying to the world, “I don’t care what
you think of me; this is who I am, and I refuse to be anyone else.” He’s saying he’s not
needy and that he’s high status.
- The way to combat neediness is by opening up to vulnerability.
- If you’re basing all of your behavior on the approval of the other men and are constantly
covering for your weaknesses, it says that you’re low status, not trustworthy, needy,
and probably not going to be a dependable father.
- Other men, when challenged, stand up for themselves, but when wrong they also admit
their fault, as they see no reason to hide their weakness. They have a sense of honor.
They don’t react to any of the other men around them; rather, the other men react to
him. This behavior implies high status, a man who is dependable, comfortable in his
strengths and weaknesses, a man who can be counted on and who is likely to rise
through the ranks and provide for his family.
- We all have weaknesses, embarrassments and vulnerabilities. A needy man is terrified
to show them because they care more about what others feel about him than what they
feel about themselves. A non-needy man is comfortable showing his flaws because he’s
comfortable with how he feels about himself more than how others feel about him.
- Sharing yourself openly with others forces that transition between the two: from needy
and afraid of what others think to non-needy and comfortable in how one feels about
himself. The reason is because sharing these truths about yourself forces you to own
them and accept them, and also demonstrates that feeling embarrassed or ashamed is
just that, just another feeling, another part of your humanity, not the end of the world.
- Expose yourself and share yourself without inhibition. Take the rejections and lumps
and move on because you’re a bigger and stronger man. And when you find a woman
who loves who you are (and you will), revel in her affection. But opening oneself up to
vulnerability, training oneself to become comfortable with your emotions, with your
faults, and without expressing oneself without inhibitions doesn’t happen overnight.
- Slowly, you will chisel away at yourself. You’ll humble yourself, expose yourself, and
then learn that it’s OK. It’s OK to be rejected. It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s OK to say
something stupid. Women will not dislike you for your rejections and mistakes or saying
- They’ll like you for your ability to be OK with being rejected, to make mistakes, and to
say something stupid. The man who always has the perfect line to say to her is a man
she will not trust. Because he shows no vulnerability and his words are inauthentic and
- The true power of vulnerability is that it resolves the investment paradox. The
investment paradox is the conflict between the two aspects of female attraction.
Women are attracted to men who are of higher status than themselves (or in our terms,
less needy). They are also aroused by men who desire them. The paradox is that
typically, if a man shows desire towards a woman, then he’s also showing some degree
of neediness or that he’s lower status. The common term for this is “putting her on a
- Vulnerability short-circuits the paradox. A man comfortable being vulnerable will not
behave in a needy way. And when desire is shown without neediness, it is attractive.
When desire is shown with neediness, it is unattractive
- Women want a strong, independent, high status male -- a “doesn’t take shit from
anybody” bad boy -- but they want this bad boy to have a depth and a sensitivity that
they only open up and show when they’re around her.
- The point is, despite what every fiber of your being may be telling you, opening you
thoughts, actions and feelings up to being vulnerable actually defines attractive
behavior by men. Being an independent and confident person depends on it. Acting on
your desires and making moves on women depends on it. And once she gets to know
you, displaying it to her will make her go weak in the knees. Plain and simple.
- When women connect with you emotionally and your desire for them, it’s not what
you’re saying or the words you’re choosing, it’s the emotion behind those words. If the
emotion behind your words is needy and self-serving, then she will become turned off
no matter what you say. If the emotion behind your words is genuine and vulnerable,
then it will turn her on.
- Your statements must be authentic. Your statements toward women must be
unconditional; otherwise it’s not really being vulnerable. If you tell a woman that she’s
beautiful only because you think it’ll give you a better chance of sleeping with her, then
amazingly, she will not be very flattered. If you don’t believe me, try it out some time.
Give women false compliments and see how they respond. They won’t respond very
- So the catch is that everything you say must be as authentic as possible. There’s no
shortcut. There are no tricks. You say it because you mean it and mean it because you
say it. The more nervous it makes you, the better, because it means you’re being
authentic and making yourself vulnerable.
- How attractive you are is based your non-needy behavior. Your non-needy behavior is
based on how vulnerable you’re able to make yourself. And how vulnerable you’re able
to make yourself is based on how honest you are to yourself and others