While there is definitely a trend where men are starting to open up and talk about their feelings, there are still those who believe the stiff upper lip approach is the best way. Guys may talk about the gym and sports but they seldom talk about their feelings. And yes, this is very stereotypical of certain types of men, but the millennial generation is certainly caught between a rock and a hard place. They are young enough to have exposure to so many different types of male relationships, while at the same time their parents and specifically, their fathers are of a generation where people don't speak about their feelings. So how can men begin to learn the art of opening up?
The Art of Support
There are fewer circles of support more eye-opening than in addiction centers. Those that take part in AA meetings can feel a kinship with their fellow man because they are going through similar visceral experiences. But this is not the only area where support can be implemented. If you are looking to speak to someone who has gone through a traumatic incident, whether it was recently or many years ago, a simple gesture can be supportive in the right way. Whether this is contacting mining accident injury lawyers to instigate legal proceedings against a traumatic incident that occurred years ago, or pointing them towards somewhere where they can start to open up the art of support can help transcend those cliched “manly” silences.
The Art of Not Competing
Life's not a competition, but I'm winning! This goes back to the herd mentality. Some men tend to be less comfortable in a one-on-one situation and are more likely to thrive in a group. But when it comes to opening up as a man, this is the perfect opportunity to disguise their feelings. When men start to learn how to not compete, this can open up a multitude of feelings. Some men feel that they have to complete their entire lives because they are disguising their sensitivity. When we learn to not compete, this helps us to be more comfortable in our skin. It can take a while to learn how to not compete, but it is one of the gateways to clarity.
The Art of Opening Up… With a Distraction Method
Some guys don't like to come right out and say that they need help or they are struggling. And this is where ongoing dialogue can occur in less obvious ways. Think about something as simple as the humble text message. A few simple words can say so much to a close friend. It is like a trojan horse. And rather than having the heart to heart in a sober traditional way, some people need to have a few drinks in order to say how they feel. Whatever it takes, a distraction method can help. And while things may return to the way they were post-drinking session, it's important to remember that the shell has cracked a little bit.
Learning to open up is not easy, but a close male relationship can have a big effect on a man and offer a happier and fuller life.