Here’s a question from Ebony (my comment started here->):
“How do you respond to a man when he shares his feelings and vulnerability? Yesterday I got a text from my guy saying that he was sad and that he wishes that he could win the lottery so that we could start having kids. I was obviously thrown for a loop when he wrote this. I wrote back ‘I love u’ because although I felt happy that he said it I didn’t want to scare him off. He wrote back ‘I love u too but I feel sad.’
When I got home he told me that he was really lonely. I was scared to say the wrong thing, that would in affect be advising him or scaring him off. I just ended up sitting next to him and he pulled me close. I want to be able to let him communicate things like this and know how to respond.. What do you suggest? Ebony”
Ebony, There are two possible scenarios here:
1. The man is WAY too much into HIS feelings (not YOURS, where he SHOULD BE) – and expects you to somehow “take care” of him.
2. He feels safe with you emotionally – because he “gets” that YOU can handle YOUR feelings – that you can FEEL them – and so he feels safe feeling his feelings in your presence.
The way you find this out is how YOU feel over time. If he’s always unhappy – he may be depressed, he may simply have a negative attitude – and he will drain you emotionally and energetically for the duration of the relationship. This would mean you’re always feeling a bit tired around him, and finding yourself more bluesy than you want to be.
And the way to handle this, when a man unexpectedly opens up – is to tilt your head to the left, lean back a bit, and nod your head. If you say anything, let it be “wow…” or “bummer…” o r”sounds awful…” or “crap…” or – “wow, you’re so smart…” or “cool…” or “sweet…” or “great…”
In other words – no advice, no comments, no “active listening” (feeding back what he just said), no suggestions, no anything ….
BE there. This is your chance at Listening at Level 2 (one of my basic Tools – it’s in my ebook). This means not thinking about his situation or how YOU would handle it. (Okay, let’s face it, usually we could handle it better, and it’s just SO nice when he handles something great…) This means not analyzing his behavior or his words.
And Ebony – you did GREAT! You did exactly the right thing, you responded exactly right – so Brava!