If there is one thing about Nice Guys that I know (because I am one) is that they want to reveal themselves, but often times the debilitating fear of being rejected stops them in their tracks.
I recall the first time I really let someone in. I was pretty much a kid, but I stated to my buddy that my dad was an abusive alcoholic. My friend, Adam, did not reject me. He had a look of shock and terror on his face, but he did not cast me aside. For some reason, the rest of my life, I felt that was enough opening up .. for a really LONG time.
I always felt a sense of shame around my home life. I felt like there was no one in my surroundings that would be able to relate and I would be judged and rejected.
The arc of this invalid belief system continued for most of my life, and can still be a trapping today. The invalid belief that my inner world, my wounds, are proof of my flawed nature. And why on Earth would anyone want to spend time with a generally flawed, broken, “bad” person?
The act of opening up for some of us, is an act of pure bravery. The ability to state “this is who I am” to someone else and trust that person will not cast you aside is a vulnerable place. Especially for guys who have already been traumatized in their life. Learning how to trust and model healthy, trusting, relationships can be a lifelong process for these guys. And I like that, I like the idea that I will never “figure it all out”. That I am always in a process, constantly learning new things about myself and others.
The first step in this is, however, petrifying. In my work with men, I can tell who is really digging in deep and who is keeping things at a safe distance. Much like my amazing group of mentors have passed on to me, I give you a non-judgemental compassionate space. And I won’t reject you or make you feel like you’re not heard or understood. In coaching we will brush up against some things that might be scary to reveal. Maybe you are not used to opening up and trusting. The coaching space is a good place to start practicing this vital life skill.