Saturday, August 27, 2011

Phil Tyson - Emotion Phobia in Men

I've been working with men in various ways for the past several years, but never as intensely as I have in the last three months as an intern counselor. My experience in coaching was very different than it has been in counseling - perhaps that was as much about me and my perspective as it was about my clients.

What I have found - and what Tyson (Men's Well-Being) is speaking to here - is that men are every bit as emotional as women. Likewise, women as equally as fearful of entering into challenging emotions as are men. Women believe they are more comfortable with their emotional lives, and maybe some are, but I have actually had more men willing to get in touch with their deeper feelings than I have women.

We need to end the old stereotypes, and I need to keep learning to enter into therapy with beginner's mind. I used to have some expectations of the differences between men and women, mostly in their socialization, but so far, most of those expectations have been shown to be wrong (or partial at best).

Emotion Phobia in Men

Phobias manchesterWorking with a wide range of men, I am struck that the stereotype of men being unemotional is simply not true. Men, like women, fall on the spectrum from those who are extremely comfortable and aware of their emotional worlds, to those who, simply, aren't.
Of course we are all emotional creatures. Everything we experience we do so with an emotional tone. We see a beautiful woman, and we feel attraction. We see the England football team, and we feel disappointment.
Some men, however, have become scared of their emotional lives. They choose to see themselves as "rational", and become distrustful of emotions in themselves and others. They have become emotion phobic.
This is a short post, so feel free to go read the rest of it.

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