Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Vulnerability hangover

So Queen Brene Brown (which is what Momastery's G calls her) has this delicious turn of phrase.

Vulnerability hangover.

This definition is from Brene's teachings:

“the feeling that sweeps over us after we feel the need to connect… and we share something deeply meaningful. Minutes, hours, or days later, we begin to feel regret sweep over us like a warm wave of nausea.”

Sometimes when you're vulnerable like that you're met with acceptance and acknowledgement which is really nice, and makes the sharing worth it. Like my one friend C and I when we both discovered the other was also infertile while chatting at work one day many years ago. Or I hope how I responded to a teacher I met at a school we visited last year.

But what about when there's crickets? Radio silence. Just nothing.

It is honestly one of the worst feelings in the world.

I had one of these vulnerability hangovers recently.

I had a perception of a situation and then received information that was very different to what I thought, which hurt me.

As I usually do, I took a full day and a half to think things through and process, and then I responded by being vulnerable and sharing from my heart.

And absolutely nothing was said about that sharing of my heart.

I felt awful, made another attempt and the awkwardness was worse, if possible.

So I have no easy how-tos on what to do when you're left dangling.

I thought about it and wondered if, in hindsight, I regretted opening my heart, and decided no. It's exactly how I felt then and I own my feelings (to speak a bit of psycho-babble).

But I will admit it's given me pause for the next time.

Maybe you've had a similar situation? 
Did it make you not want to be vulnerable again?


  1. I love Brene Brown, she needs to be mandatory watching from high school age for everyone. I've had the vulnerability hangover, had a whatsapp group with other new moms, shared about a particularly difficult moment and nothing. It was awful, especially because they moved on to talk surface stuff. It has definitely made me reluctant to share - although to be fair I'm generally uncomfortable with emotions, I only easily say love you to J and K.

    1. Agree on Brene Brown! I'm so sorry for you with those new moms. I feel your pain!

  2. Oh boy, in stead of thinking for a day like you I just blabber out! And then very often do I feel very very vulnerable.

  3. I think everyone has experienced this at least once...I tend to shut down towards someone after something like that happens.

  4. I have experienced this, I just can't remember specific examples. I will shut down too. I have issues with being vulnerable, so I have a tendency not to show that side of me.

  5. I'm just over here hiking by myself! I find when I share with people, and generally the only new people I'm meeting are school moms, I'm purposely superficial. Yay introverts. :/

  6. Sorry you are feeling raw! I usually cry and cry and over think the whole thing and then withdraw!

  7. Oh my friend. I know exactly how that feels. It's happened to me countless times, always with the people I love the most. I think it's even worse if you're an introvert because it's harder to let people into your private space like that. I have friends (and family) that I can be vulnerable with. And then I have friends (and family) who will NEVER get to see that side of me again - because they have seen it before and they brushed it off and in the process, hurt me deeply. I hope that you are feeling better. xoxoxo


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