Get Real: Episode 296

Get Real: Episode 296

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Roundtable: Appropriately Vulnerable

If you grew up being told that emotions are bad, you may be frustrated when you're asked to share your heart, especially if what you're feeling isn't all sunshine and roses. How can you share emotions in an appropriate way? How does this apply in friendship, small groups, Bible studies and beyond? How do you know when to go deep and when to hold back? Our panel has some ideas.

Culture: Do U Want 2 D8 Me?

It used to be that if you wanted to ask a girl out, you walked up to her door with a bouquet of flowers. When telephones began to grace every home, a simple phone call became acceptable. But in today's culture, it seems that anything goes. Even texting has become the norm for starting, ending and sustaining relationships or worse non-relationships. Ruthie Dean, coauthor (with her husband, Michael) of the new book Real Men Don't Text, thinks that our standards have sunk too low, and it's time to reclaim them.

Inbox: Balancing Act

If most of your peers hang out in groups, is it OK to join in? How can you balance between being too available and too standoffish in a crowd where seemingly no one is singled out? Will this help or hinder your path to something deeper, if that's what you want? Counselor Christina Browning comments.

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  • --I agree that there can be too much focus on vulnerability in Christian culture.

    The vulnerability discussion was interesting. I have been thinking lately about how I have seen the church try to microwave intimacy. They will have special events a couple of times a year with emotional music and mood lighting/campfires where acquaintances are strongly encouraged to share their deep dark secrets. There is a lot of crying, hugging, sharing, and often some kind of symbolic act to give things to God by writing them down on note-cards then nailing them to a cross or burning the cards, etc...  

    ...Then everyone goes home, and it's like it never happened! I appreciate what the church is trying to do, but I think it is more helpful if safe spaces for sharing are created year-round. If people are allowed to build relationships and disclose their personal lives in a more /natural/ manner, not feeling pressured into it with people they barely know. People need follow-up and to continually encourage one another. I've seen people share deeply personal information before they were ready, and then never come back because they couldn't face the group again.

    Also, I agree with one of the roundtable participants that there can be too much of a focus on the negative things in our lives. Sharing personal, painful things about ourselves often leads to bonding, but I think there is a danger in that. In support groups, people can become very close. But what happens if you heal and grow to the point where you have trouble relating to the people who are still stuck, and they to you? Or if you reach the point where you no longer need the support group, and all of the sudden those close friendships will probably come to an end?

    If our friendships are only built on shared misery, either they will not last, or we will sabotage ourselves to keep the friendships. I have seen this happen in my own life. Growing up, I learned over and over that if you are hurting, people will pay attention to you and shower you with love, but healthy people are largely ignored. But of course, if you are hurting for too long, people will (understandably) get tired and frustrated. So it is a catch 22. I am slooooowly learning how to have healthy relationships without being codependent or enabling someone else's codependency.              

  • --Oops, I meant to delete the first sentence because it does not make sense coming before those first two paragraphs. Ha-ha.

  • --Have seen people get it backwards too often.... Being vulnerable requires that we are able to trust the recipient. Trust must come first.....it must be earned, not demanded.

    Been hurt too often...... Peter

  • --Yeah Lisa you're being a bit simplistic things that Candice has repeatedly called you out on in many of your podcasts.  You should ask the question why are men left with text messaging or even words with friends.  It keeps them from having to give too much before they get rejected.  Maybe you should say yes to these invitations instead of making a podcast that mocks these men.  You keep whining about being single but clearly you have illusions of how a man should ask you out.  

  • --Excuse me rmeyer but men are not the only one who get rejected, women do too. As one of the round table people quoted C.S Lewis saying love is always a risky business and anyone both men and women have to take the risk of being hurt if they want to love or be loved. So don't go hard on Lisa she is far from whining and men do need to take a bit more initiative because rejection hurts all hearts both male and female, its not more painful for man only.

  • --Well Deborah.  CS Lewis is not the bible nor is he God.  A text message or a words with friends text is a great way for both to decide if they want to hang out without risking rejection.  Also when a guy wants to "hang out" in a few minutes is a smooth way to break the nervousness.  Girls don't say yes to dinner dates, they don't.  The author of this book has an imaginary idea of how relationships are and on top of that she spread fear that men that are spontaneous are only looking for physical attention.  Next time a guy asks you to "get a burrito" then let him buy you a burrito instead of thinking he's going to invite you to an Italian dinner on a Saturday night with wine glasses.  Just say yes and no men don't care about validation in a text.  I can't believe this feminist misunderstanding of men.  Scripture doesn't back any of this way of thinking.  Watching too much csi does.

  • --@rmeyer, that was a little hard to follow. Why do you think women never say yes to dinner dates? I would think most women would be pleased to be asked out to dinner if they were interested in the man. Where did Lisa say the first date had to be a fancy restaurant? And it was Ruthie's husband, not either of the two women who originally said some men seek validation through text messages. I doubt Lisa or Ruthie identifies as a feminist, so that was a bit amusing. No one was saying all men are like that. And what does CSI have to do with anything? The majority of men are not murderers.

    About the general topic, even though phone communication is a less confusing way to communicate, a text wouldn't offend me, especially if I knew the guy was shy.

  • --@Alyson I was trying to make a point.  She said that men that want a date quickly are often looking for a physical relationship, which couldn't be more far from the truth.  Guys that you girls probably want to get with (engineers, good with their hands and intelligent minds) have an incredibly hard time trying to communicate with girls, so they treat them like they would a best male friend.  They ask them out in the best way they know possible.  Yeah women do want to be taken on a romantic date, but that would come later.  The guy who's skilled at talking and does all the right moves at the right time does that with all girls and he probably spent his time in college studying how to manipulate women rather than get good grades or even have the intelligence to pass difficult math courses that high paying jobs require.  I challenge boundless to find less feminine males to participate in this show because I believe your views are somewhat skewed.

    Some scripture that backs up a man using words with friends to ask for a date is Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."  The guy's tactic was great, he enjoyed playing a game with Lisa then made a move without having to risk days or weeks or even months of wasted time.

    You are supposed to be careful with the woman to not give too much.  Because women will take advantage of that, they are naturally prone to do so “Genesis 3:16 "You will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

    This is part of a defiant woman's curse and this is why women are so attracted to movies like the Notebook.  I would say to Christian men, don't give anything more until she gives back.  To the women, give back and stop getting off on defiance against the Lord and disrespecting or controlling men.  You hold the keys to a man's heart, respect and be concerned with that.

  • --Rmeyer, I did not listen yet, but Lisa said men who ask early for a date are just after physical relations? Maybe, but sometimes a woman who has gone on for a while being single is an oddity and you just want to interrogate them to gather data points to test your hypotheses. And that's it, honestly.

  • --These questions on communication techniques (text vs. Phone vs. Fb etc.) are amusing. Receny another Xer coworker and I were marveling at the general ability of younger Millenial types to bandle basic communication in person. Simply responding cordially to a stranger saying "hello" seems beyond many of them. But its not just Millenials/Gen Y. We have noticed a few Xers and Boomers who have the same problem.  At least it amuses us.

  • --

    Oh, that should be "general inability".

  • --I could see how this kind of communication could be misinterpreted today by teens and young adults.  For those a little older, like myself... texting is a perfectly fine way to communicate, especially initially when you don't really know the other person, their schedule, etc.  "Would you like to meet for a drink/coffee?" is a pretty obvious sign of interest.  

    I guess the one technology related turn-off (but not a deal-breaker in any way) I have is seeing gals dive into their smartphones - I use an elevator daily and this happens all the time leaving work.  I'm sure for some it's just a habit, but given the short time in the elevator...I have to assume it's just their way of saying "not interested, don't talk to me."  

  • --High school students are texting all day? Is this true? If so, that's a sign of bad parenting. No wonder they can't communicate and are generally illiterate.

    I remember back in the early-mid 90's when I first got online and into IRC, Internet technology, and web development, I saw through the hype about computers in education as the emotion-based propaganda and marketing it was and still is.

    Just because Apple says your kid needs an iphone or ipad, doesn't necessarily mean it is so. It is more like an electronic pacifier that keeps them stunted. Give a typical 18 year old a copy of Homer or Shakespeare and they're completely hopeless. Thanks conventional wisdom!

  • --"High school students are texting all day?"

    Yes, a number of years ago when I went to a conference with my church, the two girls staying in the same suite would send texts, get a reply back about five minutes later, send another one, etc. All the time. But to be fair, the forty-something chaperone was doing the same thing. Constant interruptions like that would drive me crazy, but they were very extroverted. Watching that is the main reason why I didn't get a cellphone until my university canceled the residential land-lines. The youth minister always tried to make no-cellphone rules on trips, but it was futile because the parents always insisted the teens have it to keep in touch with them. We were only gone three days so that doesn't make any sense to me either.        

  • --This burrito thing is strange. Maybe he just wanted a burrito? I've often gone by a restaurant that has great burritos on my way home from work. And I often think about stopping and getting one. I don't, but still, those are good burritos. And who knows what women are thinking. I remember one time I was at work and wanted a burrito for lunch. I found myself in the elevator with just a female coworker who was about my age. I asked her if she knew where I could get a good burrito. Based on the comments here, who knows what she heard me say. Maybe I said "Where can I find a good burrito around here?" but she heard that as "Where can I rape you, murder you, and turn your liver into a burrito?". Ah, who knows?

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