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Men. You Need To Express, Not Suppress

Men are shamed about their emotions and then shamed when they can’t express them. What do you expect from that situation? Kindness and light?! That equation equals violence, either internal or external.


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Peter Middleton

4 months ago | 4 min read
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To stop the destructive behaviour.

There’s a lot of man-bashing going on out there — men this, men that. I admit some of it is valid. Others might not be.

Whether legitimate or not, it can be very discouraging to field criticism of who you are. Those spaces are often not safe enough to provide learning moments.

They take examples of learned conditioning that most of us have and use the cancel culture to shame the individual. That will not create change.

One thing that’s not being talked about is how the patriarchy and the industrial revolution took men out of their homestead, put them in factories, and force-fed them conditioning which told them not to feel, which made them parts in a mechanical world of process.

That is a wound that all men carry, just as women carry other wounds.

Men are shamed about their emotions and then shamed when they can’t express them. What do you expect from that situation? Kindness and light?! That equation equals violence, either internal or external.

Cue our problem with male suicide and abusive behaviour.

Each man is responsible for his own behaviour and it’s possible to change, we are not our behaviour, we are so much more than that. Many men don’t stand a chance to get out from under this pile of rubble enough to learn new, healthier, behaviours.

So how do we solve this problem?

Men LOVE process.

We’ve been taught to.

Sometimes it’s invaluable. However, in a relationship, a lot of the time, it’s to our detriment. We haven’t learned the right processes that we need to relate and connect with our loved ones.

The conditioning that we’re taught is how to deal with work, a very linear experience, whilst relating is not linear at all. It’s lateral and fractal.

How many times have you faced an argument with your significant other and tried to look at it logically? Step-by-step plans and itineraries about who said what and when they said it.

Did that attitude work?

I thought not. Women want us to be present to their emotions. Being in presence when they have emotion requires us to be present to our emotions.

Anything other than presence means they are in danger to the strength of a man who is unstable. Men, please remember that next time you’re in an argument.

Life isn’t a court case. It’s not a DIY store either (although I would love it to be!).

It gets a little tricky here; unlocking those first few rounds of emotion can be scary. It can require therapeutic containers held in safety — and I mean SAFETY, not some guy who claims to have figured it out for himself.

A therapist is someone who knows how to hold the boundaries of a therapeutic relationship. Who can build trust and security and work on the healing and the pain.

You have to descend into the cave of your fears and your shadows, and that’s a long journey, be patient and curious about how it unfolds naturally.

Start small, try starting a morning journal or talking to your guys about a feeling you have. You can do it in a manly way!

“I fucking feel so fucking frustrated at the moment. It sucks! It’s so fucking hard!”

Swear words are optional. Where I grew up, a sailor’s mouth was the normative culture.

There are tonnes of amazing options out there. I would suggest plugging these people’s work to start:

Exploring the conditioning that men are given as boys is crucial. We are told to be “nice guys”, “good workers”, and to “never cry”.

The antithesis to a healthy relationship.

Crying helps us release pressure naturally. Once we’ve released that pressure, we can then proceed with clarity.

Being a nice guy is covert and manipulative simply because it cannot be true 100% of the time, so we must maintain it with deceit.

Either telling ourselves lies about ourselves or telling others lies about ourselves. Neither leads to the creation of trust from within, a sense of grounded and centred being who you are. Read ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ for more evidence.

To be happy as a good worker depends on what you’re working on, who you’re working for, and what values align with it. Many men don’t consider three things, and I understand the pressure we’re all under to provide.

To express authentically, we need to know ourselves authentically. We need to have an awareness of our emotional, spiritual, mental and physical being.

From the French word for heart, we need to have the courage to walk our path and not worry about whether someone is going to dismiss or belittle us.

Fear will never go away. Courage needs to be found to face it. In the modern world, that’s a warrior’s endeavour, which is Great! Because warrior is one of the four archetypes of a man’s psyche.

The truth is that we outsource our power by giving others the ability to dismiss or belittle us, which comes from our childhood wounds.

If we are grounded and centred in our being, feeling love emanating from within us, there’s no chance for us to be ridiculed or mocked; then and only then do we stand for something. We are standing on our own two feet.

We lack integrity and moral character in our society. Let’s face the music. That’s because we all look upwards to the politicians to provide that.

It is not going to happen.

It must start from within each and every individual in the society. No more head-only games. No more unhealthy competitive games on social media.

No more giving away our authenticity, integrity and beauty to things we feel we should do or have to do to survive.

You and I have an unlimited amount of resources.

The journey to being vulnerable with those we love and the wider communities is a hard one to navigate sometimes, it’s worth it, and it’s one of the ways that we bring more sustainability to humanity.

Remember these last two things:

  • When we bottle things up, they have to explode out eventually.
  • There’s no way to be loved or to have our needs met if we can’t be open and vulnerable with our partners.

Good luck.
In grateful service.

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Created by

Peter Middleton

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Peter is a creative coach working to unblock people's authentic creative essence and expression. Using transformational life coaching, meditation and embodiment techniques. He is passionate about mental health, trauma informed practice, spirituality and how to create sustainable cultures that empower in equity.


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