Deep Comfort Game V: The Beauty and Power of Vulnerability (Mark Manson)

More on Deep Comfort Game with Mark Manson, Part 5

Mark Manson turned out not to be an honest person. You can read more about the real Mark Manson here.

This was the article that I originally published before I learned that Mark Manson was being dishonest with me and his then-girlfriend for months while he developed a relationship with me.


A few posts back when we started the series about Mark Manson seducing me, one of my blog readers, Hikaru, left this comment:

Erika I’m interested in your opinions on vulnerability. I recently got into an argument with one of the the instructors for a company I used to approach coach with over the topic of vulnerability. I’m curious what your take on it is. What exactly is your definition for vulnerability? How does it make you feel?

The story I was discussing with my instructor involved my journey out of a self created anti-social nightmare. I continued with my dreams to master both NLP and some form of spiritual healing so I can confidently step into that darkness and guide people out.

Now, and I’d like a girls opinion on this ;) My instructor was saying that this kind of story causes a temporary emotional connection but the “DLV” nature of it causes a long term drop of attraction. My view point was that this kind of story really shows why I act the way I do and shows a vulnerable human side.

Mark Manson aka Entropy PUA has already pointed out that said instructor is “clueless.” Lol :-) Now I want to go deeper into this question that Hikaru has posed.

Here’s one definition of intimacy for you: Intimacy is the willingness to love weakness into strength.

Yes, I came up with that myself. ;-)

Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, not long after my near-death experience, I took a few classes in non-violent communication (NVC), and then I joined some NVC practice groups (where students of NVC practice giving empathy to one another). One night at practice group, I had a particularly moving and transformative experience. One of my beloved instructors, Jesse Wiens, was facilitating the group that night. (In NVC, we tend to use words like “facilitate” rather than “lead,” in recognition of the fact that we are all equals.)

Anyway, this is an ironic story because, that particular night, I was absolutely devastated. Why? Because I had wanted to have an intimate relationship for quite some time, and it just seemed like it was never going to happen. I can’t remember exactly what I was triggered about, but I do remember that I sat on a couch and cried non-stop for over an hour while Jesse offered me non-stop empathy and the rest of the practice group members held the space for me. I felt like a mess. I felt pathetic. I felt hopeless. I remember telling Jesse that it felt like the sadness was bottomless, that no matter how much empathy I received it was never going to be enough, because the deeper I went into the sadness, the farther down it seemed to go. It seemed like I would never be able to experience intimacy, and I was even more frustrated because it seemed like it was so easy for everyone else (ha, little did I know!). I felt alone and excluded and heartbroken.

Well, toward the end of this over-an-hour empathy session, when I started to feel a little better, this exchange ensued between Jesse and me:

Jesse: Would you like to hear how this session was for me?

Me: Yes, absolutely.

Jesse: I am so grateful for you sharing your vulnerability with me and opening yourself like this. It was beautiful to see all that aliveness. That sharing is such a gift to me.

I can’t remember his exact words, but it was something along those lines. And I remember it felt like a door opened for me that evening. This realization that my sadness and desperation was not something pathetic that I needed to hide, but something beautiful to be shared and appreciated. This realization that by sharing myself in that deep and uncensored way I was giving others in the room permission to share themselves without shame.

And the great irony that I didn’t even see at the time was that — right in that moment as I wailed about not having intimacy — I was experiencing intimacy. Granted, it was with a group and an NVC instructor and not with a romantic partner. But what I didn’t realize then was that in that moment I was already practicing the skills that would eventually give me the ability to have the depth of connection that, for example, I am now experiencing with Entropy.

In order to experience intimacy, we must become comfortable with all the dark emotions — the grief, the anger, the jealousy, the vengefulness, the dark ugly shadow self. We must learn to embrace those emotions and see the beauty and aliveness that is reflected in them. That doesn’t mean we wallow in negativity. It does mean that we don’t run away from it, because running away doesn’t work. We must learn to love those dark emotions into the light. By learning to do it for ourselves, we learn the skills to help others do it too.

So back to Hikaru’s question…. Like Mark Manson aka Entropy, I think the instructor you were talking with had some learning to do about intimacy. Hikaru, you said:

The story I was discussing with my instructor involved my journey out of a self created anti-social nightmare. I continued with my dreams to master both NLP and some form of spiritual healing so I can confidently step into that darkness and guide people out.

There is nothing DLV (for newbies, that means “demonstration of low social value”) about that story. As you point out, you were showing vulnerability. This is important because it is by acknowledging our own moments of weakness unapologetically that we give other people permission to acknowledge theirs. However, you were not wallowing in weakness. You were showing by telling the story how you had managed to turn your own negativity into a gift, not only for yourself but for others. To me, that is the ultimate form of DHV (“demonstration of high value”). Your story also reflects your passions, which gives a girl access to a much deeper space for connecting with you. I don’t know what Entropy told you privately by email, but I would imagine that his assessment is similar to mine.

The importance of vulnerability for intimacy cannot be overstated. It’s reflected throughout my relationship with Mark Manson aka Connection Guy (now revealed to be Entropy himself). All along, I have felt comfortable expressing my moments of weakness and dark emotions to him. I have noticed that more than most top PUAs, Mark Manson aka Entropy is willing to do the same, not only in our one-on-one conversations but also on his blog. For example, if a night out doesn’t go perfectly, he shares that as well as his successes. This makes him more real and more approachable. (See an example of his willingness to embrace the dark and light sides together [defunct blog link]).

By contrast, my relationships with guys who are not comfortable with those deeper parts of themselves do not feel as solid. The most solid relationship (including, most fundamentally, our relationship with ourselves) comes from unconditional love and acceptance. Why? Because when you accept all aspects of self and others, your ship doesn’t get tossed by every passing wind. Judgment of self and others is extremely unstable. Whereas unconditional acceptance eliminates reactivity and allows negative emotions to be aired and dissolved. Again, this is not about allowing ourselves and our friends to wallow in misery. It’s about loving them out of misery and back into happiness. It is an art form that, as yet, few have mastered.

So that’s what I look for in men nowadays, first and foremost. How does he respond to negative emotions and other forms of vulnerability? Does he shy away or judge me? Or does he quietly hold the space for me and others … and love weakness into strength?

If you are a man who loves weakness into strength, I predict that — regardless of any superficial factors such as height, physical attractiveness, wealth, etc. — you will have more women in your life than you know what to do with. This is why I write so much about Deep Comfort Game.


If you enjoyed this article, please support me by subscribing to this blog, following this blog (buttons in the right-hand sidebar), and telling your friends about this blog. If you have ideas about how to publicize this blog, please email me at Thank you for your support!! That’s what keeps me motivated to write :-)

Update August 2014: Sadly, this relationship did not turn out very well and a big factor in that was Mark Manson’s dishonesty about his relationship with his girlfriend, his dishonesty with her, his dishonesty about his intentions with me, and so forth. I am still hoping he will see the merit in making amends with me one of these days soon:

Mark Manson: How Not to Attract Women with Dishonesty


erika awakening

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. @ Entropy … :-p

    Ummm… Entropy and I “opened” each other sight unseen, guys. And we were deep into the flirting and connecting before we ever exchanged photos. So there.

  2. Entropy4 says:

    Yeah… Erika totally gave me AI before I opened her… lol…

  3. Entropy an Abercrombie model? Lol :-)

    He’s a cutie but you shoulda seen him on “fashion” day. He knows what I’m talkin’ about :-p

  4. Anonymous says:

    i’m not sure if i agree with anonymous or not, you can make the story work but what mark doesn’t tell you is that he looks like a abercrombie model and more than half his lays are from when the girl already gives him a AI..
    and i bet woo woo wont post this

  5. Anonymous says:

    Entropy you said that YOU have experienced different results in the field than what I said, but if you read what I wrote completely then you would see that I said for a newbie or intermediate it would be a DLV as generally speaking they wouldn’t 100% comfortable and it would be subcommunicated and would end up as a long-term loss in *attraction*.
    I have used something very similar to this on multiple occasions and not been 100% comfortable sharing and it ended in losing the girl. I can run it now but before when my *inner game* wasn’t up to par it led to a loss. So both of our ideas on the topic are field tested, but this guy shouldn’t take either of our words for it and he should just field test it himself on girls and get his own *first hand* knowledge on the matter ;) as TD would say.

  6. Rori Raye says:

    Fascinating. And – it’s all in how you do it – and how you do it that determines your “Degree of Difficulty” (my term) is all about your “vibe.” Women LOVE “sensitive” men. But for a man, the vibe has to be masculine, not feminine; active, not passive; positive, not negative. And it has to be SEXY. If you watched the bachelorette last year – she picked the happy one. The one with no baggage at all. The free as you please one. So – my two cents is to not tell about your past stories, period – unless it’s happy, adventurous, thrilling. Talking about going to Costa Rica and feeling terrified before jumping off a cliff into the water is good vulnerable. Talking about your unhappy childhood is hard – because it’s going to trigger something in the girl that may bring HER down. She may feel a fellowship with you, but it may not feel sexy. Or – if your vibe is really amazing – if you have SO made peace with your story – (like hearing Tony Robbins talk about his early life, or Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra…)you’re going to score bigtime with anyone. For me, the only way to work through this is to try it out. See how your story lands. You’ll know where you are with your vibe when you see your results. Every man is different. Every woman is different. Can’t wait to hear the guys weigh in more on this…Rori Raye

  7. Enjoy the discussion.

    I also wanted to thank you Erica, for the Course in Miracles plug. I picked it out of the library and I’m really enjoying it.

    As to the whether the story is a DLV or not, I would say it depends on a) the person telling it and b) the person he’s telling it to. Since my retirement from the Game, I’ve noticed things aren’t as black and white as sometimes gets suggested on the marketing page.

    In the case of this story, I would ask how important it is to the teller. If it’s something important to you than I would tell it. Maybe she’ll be impressed, maybe she won’t.

    But if she sees something meaningful to you as a DLV, that might be a sign that the two of you aren’t all that compatible in the first place.

  8. Anonymous says:

    For some odd reason I am hearing the song big pimpin in my head


    ah aka bd

  9. @ Anonymous #1,

    I’m sure no one will be surprised that I agree with Entropy here ;-)

    What we learn in practicing NVC is that people *universally* respond to true vulnerability. Not 3 percent. I’m talking 100 percent.

    Sure, with some people, they have a lot of defenses still, and it takes more effort to reach them. But *everyone* is reachable, and everyone fundamentally responds to vulnerability.

    I’m curious whether you yourself judge people for their “baggage.” I don’t believe in that concept. Everyone simply has their areas that still need healing. That’s all … it’s nothing to shy away from. We are here to help each other.

    For me, a fundamental shift occurred in my dating life a year or so ago. Suddenly when I went out at night, it wasn’t about “meeting a guy” and trying to get into a relationship. It was the realization that every encounter is holy, and that I have something to GIVE to every single person I meet, whether that be saying what they need to hear in that moment, offering a book recommendation or energy healing, or just offering true presence, etc. That fundamental shift is what led me to start having a huge abundance of men in my life. I was no longer trying to GET something from men, my focus shifted to what I am here to GIVE and to SHARE. One thing I give is true vulnerability, which offers people around me the permission to relax and share themselves.

  10. Entropy4 says:

    Anonymous: Again, disagree 100% and have experienced the complete opposite in the field time and time again.

    Imagine this: you are capable of sharing any part of yourself, to any person, on any level, at any time, and be 100% comfortable with it.

    How could that EVER be perceived as weakness?

    On the contrary, that’s emotional invulnerability, and that shit makes women melt.

  11. Great post Erika. Thanks for taking the time to go over it. For one I want to point out that the instructor I am talking about is far from clueless. He gets very impressive results. You and I just have very different ideas about relationships and intimacy than the guys I used to work with. Let me say this though, they do get results. LOTS of results. Personally I feel a much stronger connection with a girl once we share these kinds of stories.

    There’s actually a lot more I’d like to talk with you about vulnerability and “Intimacy is the willingness to love weakness into strength” but not on public posts. I’ll email you when I have some free time at school.

  12. Anonymous says:

    ya lets all look at movies for advice on dating………….

  13. GoneSavage says:

    Sharing your vulnerabilities is a priviledge that is paid for by FIRST connecting authentically.

    Loving her weakness into strength is a priviledge that is paid for by FIRST having her in your life.

    Exchanging ideas with the top 3% of attractive, articulate, introspective women is a priviledge that is paid for by FIRST creating the internet, blogs, and all associated technology.

    Your instructor was just trying to make a tactical distinction.

  14. Strange days in the blog. Remember this one thing and it will define whether anything is DHV or not. How you do, what you do, is who you are.

    Period. How you reveal your story is what works. Look at Wedding Crashers for Gawdz Sakez.

  15. Hi Erika!

    I had to comment back on your original post about your near death experience… thanks for shining the light! You are more beautiful than you know!

    xxoo :)

  16. A.H. can also relate to Anonymous. Depends on the situation.

  17. For SHizzle!

    er ah

    I mean. I agree with and appreciate your perspective. I have nothing further to add except I can relate and this will be very helpful.

    :P Is that better?


  18. This is the same anonymous as the above post.. I agree with Erika her assessment of this topic, but you are maybe 3% of all women, for the rest of the 97% I personally wouldn’t even share it unless I really liked the girl but if you really want to, then do it after sex…

  19. First, I do not like postly anonymously to this but I do not wish the my opinion to reflect my companies on this issue. I believe that that story is a DLV (I hate this nerd word) and would cause a drop in attraction but only if it was before you had sex with the girl… (this would also vary as to which archetype the chick would fall into, club girl, etc) it could potentially trigger a LJBF due to your *baggage*… This is reality and is coming from first hand experience not arm-chair seduction theory…
    There is nothing inherently wrong with sharing this story dude, just do it after you sleep with the girl is the best advice I think anyone can give on the matter. People will also say well you should screen the girl out if she doesn’t accept you this way… blah blah, which I agree with, but it also depends how consistently you are getting laid and your level as a *pua*.(i hate this word also, but for the sake of this discussion). If you are a newbie or intermediate you want to be getting laid as much as possible, hence save the discussion till after sex. I hoped this helped bro…

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