Concept: “Vulnerability hangover”
This is just a term I heard that perfectly, perfectly captures an experience I haven’t had a shorthand for before. It’s the jolt of fear/shame/angst that you get when you do something that exposes yourself a little — which can be anything from telling a loved one a long-hidden secret, to tweeting something very slightly more honest than usual.
I used to get it every single Thursday after I publish The Whippet, like clockwork. You might not think it’s that personal or revealing, but it’s me saying “hey, I think this is worth your time” and welp, that was enough to make me feel exposed.
I heard the term on Tim Clare’s Death of 1000 Cuts, which is a podcast about writing craft for anxious people (great but not tightly edited, so you have to be unbothered by digressions) but apparently it’s a Brene Brown thing.
Anyway, I found it really valuable to have this term for it, which reminds you just saying it that it’s just one of those things that happens after you do anything revealing or put yourself forward just an inch. You feel vulnerable and exposed for a while — but it doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just an unpleasant side-effect.
This piece was originally published in The Whippet #135 – subscribe to get the next issue in your inbox!
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