Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Art of Manliness - The Importance of Trusting Men in Your Circle

Good article. A lot of men feel more comfortable with women than they do with men - maybe it's a competition thing, a holdover from our evolutionary past when all males were competing for dominance and mating opportunities. Or maybe it's that trust comes with emotional awareness and openness, and so many men are never taught how to be open with their feelings, to know what they feel and be able to share it. Or maybe it's that men are socialized to never be too open with other men, fearing it might look girly or gay to do so. Likely, it's a combination of many factors.

Learning to trust other men, though, is an important part of maturity.

The Importance of Trusting Men in Your Circle


Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Wayne M. Levine of BetterMen.org.
I lead men’s groups. I’ve seen the obstacles men face in developing trusting relationships with other men. These obstacles come in all shapes and sizes. But what they have in common is their power to keep men stuck…right where they are. The key to getting unstuck, to becoming a better man, father, husband, and leader, is to find a way through these obstacles, and to allow yourself to fully trust the men in your circle.
Why is developing these trusting relationship so important? Well, to become the best men we can be, we need to be in the company of other men. Many men feel far more comfortable in the company of women. That’s to be expected in our feminized culture. Most men of the last couple of generations were raised by their mothers, or other women, while their fathers were barely present. These boys didn’t receive their fair share of masculine modeling, guidance, and nurturing. It stands to reason that these men would feel more comfortable sharing their feelings, time, and trust with women.
So what’s the problem with that? If you’re still young, you may not have bumped up against the issues that will undoubtedly arise as you find yourself facing the challenges of long-term relationships, career choices, child rearing, mid-life, addictions, fidelity, and mortality, to name just a few!
Those of us who are longer in the tooth have had to confront our doubts, fears, and limitations as men who have been taught to rely primarily on women for advice. Women can teach us many things, but they cannot initiate us into manhood. For that, we require other men, fathers, and mentors.
Men who have continued to rely on their female significant others as their sole source of guidance, their only sounding board, or for their psychotherapeutic interventions, have seen their long-term relationships deteriorate. These men are asking too much of the women they love.
Those who have chosen to deal with these challenges alone have, more often than not, found themselves on the losing end of their own counsel. But those of us who have been fortunate enough to be introduced to the benefits of these strong male relationships have received the guidance, butt-kicking, love, and mentoring we’ve needed to navigate the treacherous waters of our lives.
Some of you may have already dismissed this notion of men needing other men. It’s difficult to see the need you may have for something you have never seen, experienced, or valued. How can you be expected to appreciate the benefits of something that our society has relegated to the shadow for generations? But I can assure you, each of us men have so much to gain through our relationships with other good, committed men. More about the benefits in a moment. Let’s get back to the obstacles.
Read the whole article.

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