Men are hardwired to be attracted by physical traits. This is not the only path to attraction for men, but it is usually the first and more immediate one. It is like a reflex we cannot control. What guy has not been chided by their partner for looking when they shouldn't be? I am not promoting men to keep getting themselves in trouble here, but just pointing out the intensity of our biology which pushes us to do things we know can get us in hot water. It is so automatic sometimes we are not even aware it is happening.
First off, the fact I am not in my professional garb in this video is relevant. This is me wearing what makes me comfortable and happy. That is part of the message I want to convey to men here (comfortable, happy men tend to be better partners).
To start with the Nature of Man topic for this month, I am opening up more of a question about man's nature rather than a definitive statement. This has to do with the stereotypical role of men as providers. Men struggle with this, often not feeling like they are matching up to the provider they think they should be, the provider their loved ones want, or both.
At the beginning of this months blog theme on on rejection I stated that rejection is something that never stops, even in long term relationships and marriage. It's vital for men to understand the importance of this both in finding and keeping a great relationship. Rejection in a relationship can be a good thing. I will explain this idea below.
Last week we started this months theme breaking down some reasons behind men's fear of rejection. Men are in a unique position when it comes to rejection since traditional gender roles still prevail around courtship and dating. The pressure is on men to be the initiators. This pressure can trigger intense anxiety for men that inhibits their ability to connect with women romantically. With help men can learn how to harness the stress response involved, especially with such a specific anxiety.
Let's start with looking at men's behavior in situations with rejection potential. How do most men handle this anxiety related to the fear of rejection? In one of three ways:
The most common reason for anxiety that I encounter from men is around rejection.
Fall is here. This is exciting because this is typically the best time of year to surf in New England with the hurricanes from the South in the Atlantic pushing storm swells up North for surfers to enjoy.
This past Tuesday the swell hit Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. All of my excitement came to a head and ended in disappointment. As I preach to all of you I decided to make the best of my disappointment. Surfing taught me another important life lesson.
Owning your masculinity likely does not mean what you think I am implying here. It is not the stereotypical "be tough" macho man kind of call to action. For some men this might be their natural masculine expression. When I use the term Masculine Expression I mean feeling comfortable with yourself and not allowing yourself to be swayed by others to change who and how you are and taking a more active role in expressing this to others, whatever it is. It's not about being dominant so much as it is about feeling comfortable with your interests, your personality, your desires as well as holding your own boundaries and being assertive when the situation calls for it.
"Respect" toward women has been a predominant theme in the media lately. This is a worthy message all men should heed. But, like I alluded to last week, some men get wrapped up in the message and become confused after acting in accordance with the message. Some men who are my readers and come to my practice hear this message of "Respect" loud and clear, practice it diligently, but then see something very different play out in real life. This recent message of respect called for from women has been mostly in reaction to Robin Thicke's song 'Blurred Lines,' and his performance at the VMA's with Miley Cyrus. I am not going to get into the song or controversy here, but only want to highlight a piece of the narrative that is out there that is confusing for men.