Advice For Men- From A Woman With Plenty Of Experience!
Advice For Men- From A Woman With Plenty Of Experience!

Time to "rebrand" this?....

Email sent: Oct 7, 2021 11:40am

I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious wherever you stand.

- Shannon Alde

Hello WholeMan Lifestyle Members,

This month I'm reviving a series I did several years ago, called Being Man. However, I'm only using the term 'Being Man' and none of the writings from that original series. Why? Because I believe being man today, actually quite differs from even several years ago. Additionally, I want us to delve deeper into the conflict between the two camps which control much of the public discourse on manhood.

In one camp, we have people complaining that young men are too soft these days and far too sensitive & emotional (myself, admittedly, being one of them), and that they need to stop whining, ‘grow a pair’ by swallowing back their feelings and start acting like men. In the other camp, are those demanding that all traditional masculine behavior is toxic and should be thrown in the garbage.

Time to "rebrand" this?....

As seasoned members are aware, I frequently write about how I believe that all emotions are legitimate emotions which should be paid attention to, not ignored or buried. I've long written about how anger is a legitimate emotion which can propel us forward to make a needed change, get ourselves out of an unsavory (or unsafe) situation, and give us the fuel we need to overcome and win.

Similarly, the feeling of jealousy can be made into a positive emotion when we use it as a guideline for what we really want in life, and then we make positive, healthy, safe steps to get there. Now, in our ongoing Being Man series, I want to discuss the emotion of competitiveness and masculine competition....

Many boys were raised to be competitive in sports and amongst childhood friends, better allowing them to then be competitive in the workplace and "win" in adulthood. Of course, just like with all emotions, the core of competition, and being competitive in life, isn't negative. It can provide an individual with the self-motivation & devotion to reach their goals, to overcome obstacles, and accomplish success.

For some men though, they never grew beyond that childhood sense of competition, leading them to demean other men for their gain, as well as put forward a false-face of toughness, making them ever the more lonely & depressed on the inside. While I'm a supporter of some good old-school sports competition and teasing of a friend who is supportive of the opposing team, I do feel men should be careful as to where their sense of competition might cross the line into one-upmanship in the workplace, at home, and amongst friends.

Men have a longstanding tradition of busting the chops of other men, should they partake in something which differs from the prescribed manly norm. i.e. A male friend orders a glass of white wine or fruity drink, when all of his friends are guzzling beer. This type of joking is woven throughout most male-to-male friendships. And, again, I don't believe it's all bad. Sometimes it's that good old-school fun. However, for many men, it's not properly balanced with other, more meaningful, deeper, conversations and is only one-upmanship while degrading a male friend.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

- Willie Nelson

In this segment of our ongoing discussion, I invite you to possibly rebrand how the role of competition plays in your life. Do you feel your level of competition has a good balance and has allowed you to advance where needed (possibly having some good old-school fun with male friends as well), without belittling and harming others simply for your personal gain? Or, have you been known to put forth a false-face of toughness, where you've avoided asking for help when needed, making you ever the more lonely and/or depressed on the inside? Has your sense of competition been positive and provided you with self-motivation while still practicing empathy for others, or has it possibly caused harm to others or cost you friendships & respect among your peers?


Micro-Scales....

Woven into these discussions this month, will be what I'm going to refer to as micro-scales. These will be the little things we can do for ourselves and for our happiness, health, success, goals, and more, where we gradually escalate in life and where we want to be, without overwhelming ourselves.

Today's micro-scale is what I wrote about above. I invite you to possibly rebrand how the role of competition plays in your life. Do you feel your level of competition has a good balance and has allowed you to advance where needed (possibly having some good old-school fun with male friends as well), without belittling and harming others simply for your personal gain? Or, have you been known to put forth a false-face of toughness, where you've avoided asking for help when needed, making you ever the more lonely and/or depressed on the inside? Has your sense of competition been positive and provided you with self-motivation while still practicing empathy for others, or has it possibly caused harm to others or cost you friendships & respect among your peers?

Resource....

There are a number of gatherings for men in private places or online, facilitated by mental health professionals, informal groups of men, or private organizations. Three of these options are Men’s Group, Evryman and ManKind Project. These groups provide men with the opportunity to communicate openly and honestly about their deeper emotional lives. Plus, men learn to provide each other with emotional support -- mutual listening, as opposed to the prescriptive solutions and advice men commonly give each other.

Whenever I see an aggressive man, I see a man who is taking with force what he cannot devise a way to be freely offered.

- Mark Greene, Remaking Manhood: The Modern Masculinity Movement: Stories From the Front Lines of Change

For any of you shy towards those, another option is posting on one of the online platforms where men can share their struggles anonymously and receive support, as well as commiseration, which is crucial. Tethr, for example, is billed as the first app where men find peer-to-peer support in an online community that connects them for open communication about life, struggles, fears, loneliness, and more.

__________

As always....

Enjoy today. Make great things happen today. Laugh today. Be "you" today. Share your wisdom, truth and smile with others today. Dance today. Release yourself from any guilt today. Play today. Have some fun today.



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