Don’t put up a front, dare to be vulnerable

case: Two Minute Therapy

Vulnerability is strength

In this blog post, an example is given of the kind of issues that can be discussed through TwoMinuteTherapy. In this case: how to show vulnerability. 

Psychologist and coach Jeannette Bolck created Two Minute Therapy. After an intake, clients leave a message on Whatsapp when they get stuck, after which Jeannette leaves them advice in return. Listen in on Annelies (37), who finds it difficult to show vulnerability and often puts up a front.

“Hi Jeannette.. Everything alright? Me.. not really. Yesterday I had that dinner with those friends. Marije had called to ask if it was a problem if she didn’t make a dessert because she was busy with work and my dessert would be better anyways, she said laughing. Anyways, grocery shopping all day, took kid to hockey – which of course wasn’t the plan, but Bas had some more stuff to do for work, so he couldn’t take him – and then cooking dinner afterwards. And then being the hostess. Oh Jeannette, I was doing exactly what I always do: I just felt I had to be the perfect host. Daan and Sabine looked like they just had a fight and Bart arrived without Marjon for the first time, so he wasn’t feeling great either.. And here I am, trying my hardest to create a nice atmosphere. I wanted them to have a great time. Around 10pm I was in the kitchen, and so exhausted I could cry. Bas asked me if I was ok, but what was I supposed to say? It’s not like I’m going be all pathetic about it. Well, I think you get it, and now it’s Sunday and I’m completely drained, but we’re going to Bas’s parents in a minute. Those people never say a word and then I’ll be the one again having to keep the conversation going. What am I supposed to do?”

“Hi Marjolein, I do understand you feel like people are counting on your good spirits during a dinner like that, and that’s probably because you’re always entertaining them. Wonderful, a friend like that! But don’t forget that they are your friends and they probably still will be your friends when you’re honest about the way you’re feeling. It could have gotten Bart and Daan and Sabine out of their rut if they could have been there for you. Everyone likes to help someone out. But with you it’s not necessary or not even possible, you’ll be ok, you’re fine, you have everything under control. Even Bas, your own husband, you’re not letting in. You’re going to have to be clearer, especially with him! Then they will see you’re not made of stone, you’re just Marjolein, who sometimes can’t take it. And that’s not a sign of ‘weakness’. Dare to let them in. As soon as you change your tune a bit, everything will shift. Someone else then can be the entertainer or the organizer for once. And when it comes to your in-laws, I would skip it this time. Maybe even tell them you’ve got the flu. You need to recharge, instead of trying hard again. Do consider this other, authentic, role and if you’re ready for it. It will be easier than you expect! Let others feel important for a change..”