At some point in my adult life, perhaps in graduate school, I learned a style of communication that I refer to as “feminist”, in which people reveal their vulnerabilities honestly. This method has several uses:
- Accurate observation is a key first step in solving any kind of problem. If we avoid reality, we make it harder to address problems effectively.
- If we are able to also be honest with others about our needs and desires, they may be able to help.
- By sharing shameful things we open space for others to feel safe doing so
- Our imperfections can be a wonderful source of lightness and humor.
Unfortunately I’ve met many people who misunderstand my revelations not as courageous, humble self-awareness but as a list of pathetic flaws. They go on to pathologize me. I have learned to interrupt and disrupt this condescension.
I have also noticed that people who can’t humbly reveal themselves, who persistently deceive themselves with obfuscation or wrap everything with “positivity” are just boring.
Honesty about life and emotions is interesting, invites insights, and opens space for deeper connection.