We all have heard both men and women saying that men do not ask for directions. Or they will keep going, until all else fails and then look at the directions.
Sadly, for the male section of our society, there seems to have developed a blanket rule over emotions. How many have had to face some of the statements below, while you were breaking inside?
Boys do not cry.
Suck it up, are you a little girl?
You have to be strong, you are a boy.
Although we might believe that Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus (James Gray), we are still all emotional beings. I do not deny the differences, and I celebrate the differences. There are really some things men like that I am so happy I do not have to like.
The one thing that do connect us, is our emotions. We all know love, anger, sadness, compassion, joy, etc.
Imagine being expected of by society, parents, school and peers to suppress your emotions?
Imagine not being able to show your vulnerability, how much love you have for someone, how much you care about an animal? But it is good for you to be angry, to be forceful and to stand “strong”. Imagine living a world where your emotions are defined by what will make you appear “strong”? Imagine denying your true self?
I see how many of my clients come to me with problems in their professional lives, while the underlying trigger is how they had to suppress who they are. I have heard from men who were totally lost when they saw their father cry for the first time – imagine being at an age of 35 + and now the image you have of your father, and therefore in a big way who you are, changing in that second? I work with men who had been hurt as a 5 year old, and all they did all their life is to never experience that again and to be strong.
I am not talking about men walking with your heart on your sleeve and buying boxes of tissues to get through the month. I am talking about acknowledging what you feel and to be comfortable with the emotion. (And although many women walk the same path, society is “more acceptable” of them asking for help.)
Why is it good for men to ask for directions on the emotional road map?
1. Release anger. Most of the anger we carry, is often (I would go as far to say as most often) based in a place of feeling powerless. Yes, you can feel powerless when you are not allowed to show your emotions. When we cannot be our true selves, who are we then? If you feel love, compassion and sadness inside of you and you are not allowed to show it, where do you go with those emotions? It spills into the acceptable emotion for men of anger – at least you are releasing some pent-up emotions. Unfortunately, it comes at a huge cost.
2. Emotionally Intelligent. What does it mean to be emotionally intelligent? It means that you are no longer ruled by your emotions – you are in balance emotionally. If our “fall back behavior” in any situation is anger, what are the chances of your instinctive reaction being anything different than that. It has become your personality. And the moment you start telling yourself that you are tuff and angry, oh boy, you are in trouble. Carry that belief and you become that belief. This is true for both male and females, when you are in balance emotionally, you can experience the emotion, acknowledge it, but will not be defined by it. It is good to be sad when needed. It is good to be angry when needed. It is good to be frustrated when needed. But it is not good to become that emotion.
3. Health. There are many studies done today by stem cell researchers, neuroscientists, etc. that proof a direct link between our emotions (the environment we live in) and our state of health. When you live in a constant state of anger, all your energy is pulled from your immune system to support your “approaching moment of fight-or-flight’. Unfortunately, we do not make it a moment, we make it a lifestyle. And there lies the link between your emotional state and your health. Imagine you pull all your resources in your business to ensure the survival of one of your divisions? What do you think is going to happen to those other divisions? You need to be in a state of balance for your survival – so you can enjoy the “good and the bad”.
4. More likeable. Women, children and other men are not comfortable in the company of a person who struggles to control their emotions. Imagine being in the company of a person and you never know when they might go of the rails. I do not even want to think the impact on a child. The flip side of never showing any emotion has the same effect. People like it when you can show love. Show when you are exited. Or sad for that matter. It is a very one sided conversation or relationship when the other party cannot be emotionally involved.
5. Stronger parent-child relationships. It is accepted, by society and many professionals alike, that the mother is the primary caregiver, the nurturer, the home creator, etc. And so, society gave men a single title – the provider. Men play so much more than the role of the provider. (Apart from the fact that they no longer are the only provider of the family – which can be a challenge to their image of a man.) Fathers instill in their children their self-worth. Their “I am good enough”. Fathers push children to achieve more and better, because they believe in their children. (Mom also believe in them, but when they fall, she is more likely to run with the plaster and a kiss.) But if you do not know how to do that with compassion, encouragement, when to be tuff and when be gentle, you are going to push and criticize, and all that will happen is that your children will never believe in themselves. A father’s role is vital in the future drive and success of their children. I see and work with the fathers and their regrets around their children, and this is a major concern for all of them.
Asking for emotional directions on the road of life, makes your strong.
It gives you power and it means that you are ready to take responsibility for your role. Yes, I know the past plays a role, but it is your choice, each and every day, every second of that day, to make a choice that this is where it changes.
Being emotionally balances, being vulnerable, showing love makes you so much stronger than hiding behind anger.
The question is: Do you want all else to fail, a whole calamity in your life, before you ask for help? Always remains your choice.
Transformation Life Coach
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