Insecurity as a Gateway to Connection

I just noticed a profound shift in how I view insecurities.

I was talking with someone who had just bought a ticket to IntimacyFest and at the end of the conversation she asked “I’m worried about what people will think about ___(insert your own insecurity here)____.”

You know what my first thought was?

“You have an insecurity? Great! I can’t wait for you to use it!”

What I mean by “use it” is use it to create deeper connection. Cause that’s how that stuff works! Man, it feels like I’ve said this 100 times but it never gets old. We bond with people when we share our humanness and get real with each other.

How I used to respond to questions like that is through helping “fix” that person or helping them avoid looking bad. But I missed the gift! I missed the beauty of being human, and as a result I myself was trying to constantly look good.

I remember joining a men’s group in Encinitas back in 2010, when we went around and shared about our life my responses would always be “I’m great! Everything is great! My life is awesoooooooome!” (Yes, I was that guy)

Thankfully these wonderfully patient men would hear me, and then ask questions like “so Dave, what are you really feeling?” I would think to myself “these guys are such downers! how come they can’t accept the fact that my life is just always awesome?”

I didn’t understand what was really trying to emerge. They didn’t really want to know the details of my life, they wanted to see me, to bond, to feel close. That’s what we all want, and I wanted that too, I just didn’t know it was so simple.

Share the things you don’t want people to know about you, then you feel closer to them.

I remember back in 2012 I led a retreat for The Mission (a kick-ass men’s group in San Diego) and one of the exercises was really simple. I said, “We’re each going to stand in front of the room and give a 5 minute speech, the name of the speech is ‘everything I don’t want you to know about me’… ready, go.”

How simple is that?

And yet we make it so complicated. We come up with 101 “interesting questions” to ask, or we try and remember the color of their eyes, like any of that matters at all. It doesn’t. I don’t even know if I could tell you the color of Paula’s eyes, yet I’ve spent lifetimes gazing into them.

So what if we actually re-framed our insecurities? What if we actually saw them as something to be used, rather than something to be avoided?

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