“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his ability to affect those around him positively” – Bob Marley
Let’s face it, women naturally have more friends than men do, but it’s also fair to say that men usually keep the same group of friends over a more extended period. Yet, men are prone to keeping the conversation light and void of feelings when interacting with their male counterparts.
We would rather talk sports than feelings!
To be clear, this isn’t a man vs woman debate. It’s more of an acknowledgement that, as men, we have a long way to go when it comes to some of us having open conversations with our friends.
I have a small group of men with whom I am comfortable sharing and vice versa, but to say it was easy to delve into that area of conversation would be a lie.
I remember feeling a sense of anxiety when I first shared my struggles with my friends. My stomach was churning, my hands were clammy, I was a complete wreck, and this is a feeling I shouldn’t have had because these men were my friends. Yet, it wasn’t easy. Why? Because it’s unusual, dare I say borderline unacceptable and often discouraged for men to talk about their feelings and express Vulnerability. That is one of the reasons why many men commit suicide. Unacceptance blocks the open space to express themselves.
I believe this is one reason we need to have a group of men supporting us. It can be a group of strangers who become friends or a group of men with whom you have already fostered long term friendships. However, it looks, we all need a safe place to speak about things that bother us or the struggles we have or are facing.
I am always surprised when a topic arises in the monthly HOAM Men’s groups, and so many of us find relief in knowing there is someone else who feels how we feel. There is a sense of comfort when another man says, “Hey, that happened to me too!”
If you are still not sold on the idea, here are a few of the many benefits of having a solid group of men around you:
- They help you to become a better partner, father, friend
- You learn how to be a better communicator
- Discussions help with getting things off your chest
- It’s a judgement-free zone!
- Aids in the development of Emotional Intelligence
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
I am challenging men who have a solid group of friends to open the conversation beyond sports and light chit chat and dive deep into matters of the heart. Allow yourself to hear and be heard. Challenge yourself to feel and experience the freedom of Vulnerability. It can save a life.
If you or someone you know would benefit from a Men’s group, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our next virtual experience.