In studies of more than 2,000 school-aged children, Dr. Amanda Rose of the University of Missouri has discovered boys and girls are fundamentally different when it comes to talking about their feelings. While girls love nothing more than to yap at length about what’s bothering them, boys tend to keep quiet — and not because they’re embarrassed; they just see it as a waste of time. “For years, popular psychologists have insisted boys and men would like to talk about their problems, but are held back by fears of embarrassment or appearing weak,” Rose says in a statement. “However, when we asked young people how talking about their problems would make them feel, boys didn’t express angst or distress about discussing problems any more than girls. Instead, boys’ responses suggest they just don’t see talking about problems to be a particularly useful activity.” That’s fine for school-aged boys, but what about men who know better? Rose suggests their early aversion to talking about their feelings is something they carry with them into manhood: “Men may be more likely to think talking about problems will make the problems feel bigger and engaging in different activities will take their minds off of the problem. Men may just not be coming from the same place as their partners.” So if they’re not gushing about their problems to their friends and family like we do, how do men cope with their feelings? By keeping busy with activities that keep their mind off things, says Rose. Maybe this explains why your man spends so much time in his shop/garage/man cave. It’s something positive men might be onto — it seems many of us women might actually be over-talking our feelings and making ourselves kind of crazy in the process. Females who talk their problems out too often are in danger of engaging in “excessive problem talk,” which causes stress and anxiety. It’s a classic case of completely obsessing over something that’s not that big of deal and then inevitably blowing it out of proportion. No matter what, though, communication is key to any relationship and sharing feelings with your spouse, family and friends is usually a positive thing. Just remember to be respectful of other communication styles. By Martha Edwards http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/09/06/men-talking-relationships_n_950218.html
Don’t allow your mind
to tell your heart
what to do.The mind
gives up easily.
Self-kindness: Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism. Common humanity: Frustration at not having things exactly as we want is often accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation – as if “I” were the only person suffering or making mistakes. All humans suffer, however. The very definition of being “human” means that one is mortal, vulnerable and imperfect. Therefore, self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience – something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to “me” alone. It also means recognizing that personal thoughts, feelings and actions are impacted by “external” factors such as parenting history, culture, genetic and environmental conditions, as well as the behavior and expectations of others. Many aspects of ourselves and the circumstances of our lives are not of our choosing, but instead stem from innumerable factors (genetic and/or environmental) that we have little control over. By recognizing our essential interdependence, therefore, failings and life difficulties do not have to be taken so personally, but can be acknowledged with non-judgmental compassion and understanding. Mindfulness: Self-compassion also requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. This equilibrated stance stems from the process of relating personal experiences to those of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective. It also stems from the willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity, so that they are held in mindful awareness. Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. At the same time, mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity. From “Overcoming Shame: The Powerful Benefits of a Little Self-Love” by Emma Seppala, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201211/overcoming-shame-the-powerfulbenefits-little-self-love
You have been taught
that there is something
wrong with you
and that you are imperfect,
but there isn’t
and you’re not.
Don’t allow perfectionism to stifle curiosity. Imperfection is a human privilege. Remember anything worth doing is worth doing badly, which encourages risk taking. Robertson Davies reminds us that since medieval times there has been a saying in Latin, “Fortune favors the bold.” Anxiety is always about prematurely anticipating the future with a great deal of dread. So many people combat the dread by being determined to be in control as much as possible. There are many examples of anxiety & control: a boss who micro manages or a parent who always knows what’s best for their kid (which cheats kids out of priceless opportunities for mistakes); the partner who has to know every detail of where their significant other is and makes so many phone calls the other partner starts turning off the cell phone because they no longer find the calls sweet but badgering. Constant hall monitoring is not loving, in truth it is about the dread inherent in anxiety and keeping a lid on with control. Control is a central part of codependency in relationships. It’s better to control your own anxiety than to control other people. When fear tugs at you to leap in the future, try using your five senses to bring you in the more soothing present. Anxiety is about feeling bad in the past or being scared of the future. Anxiety means the present is usually missing. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
Control is never achieved
when sought after directly.
It is the surprising
outcome of letting go.
James Arthur Ray
The other night while at dinner with some friends (all married or with someone) something occurred that is so common I barely took notice of it. One of the women popped up and went to the restroom and four other women jumped up and went with her. We’ve seen this a million times. They go off to the restroom, fix their hair, adjust something and talk about everything. If men meet up in the restroom, if they speak at all, it would be a very neutral topic like golf or baseball. I think to myself that if a man got up and went to the restroom, no one would go with him. This is of course a generalization, but in this small vignette it tells the story of the difference between men and women. So why do men have such a difficult time with intimacy? The answer is that most men are taught from an early age to be competitive, that feelings are a sign of weakness and to avoid vulnerability and dependency at all costs. The ideal for men is fierce independence and strength. Herb Goldberg writes in The Hazards of Being Male that 85 percent of the men in this country have no friends. We see beer ads that proffer an image of the American male as having tons of friends but nothing could be further from the truth. According to Goldberg men have “buddies” like golf or bowling buddies but not real friends because they don’t open up. Intimacy is based on being able to show ourselves to another person, warts and all. Men are very reluctant to do this because they fear that they might be judged or put down. Dr. Kal Heller, a licensed psychologist specializing in child and family services, writes that “Intimacy is very risky because it requires making such a serious commitment to the relationship that each person will experience a sense of dependency on the other. To admit to needing someone else is to risk loss and deep hurt.” This is difficult for all of us. Dependency is a negative concept in our society. Men, especially, are taught to strive for independence. Like that ad says, “Never let them see you sweat.” This could be our national anthem. Some of the messages men get early on are: “Big boys don’t cry”, “No pain no gain; Tough it out”, “Only sissies get hurt feelings”, “It’s a sign of weakness to let people know you’re hurting.” So many men lead lives of quiet desperation, never letting anyone in or themselves out. For men to take a look at who they really are and allow their essence to be known are actually far stronger than the burly silent types who live their lives in utter isolation. By Dr. Bill Cloke http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-men-have-trouble-with-intimacy.html
in life than
So, what causes men to move on so quickly from a breakup with you to the arms of another woman? You could easily believe the rapidity of his action indicates he isn’t at all broken up about your breakup, that he had no deep feelings for you and he cavalierly is humming to himself, “Another One Bites The Dust.” They would, however, be completely wrong. You see, when men invest emotionally in a relationship, their feelings run as deeply as yours, whether they show it or now. So, when their relationship crumbles, it causes a huge emotional void. …men don’t have the social support network to buoy them up in their time of pain and sadness. If they thought that kind of behavior would be acceptable, they might engage in it. But men are all too aware that stoicism, soldiering on, and “walking it off” are fundamental guidelines in the male handbook… He’s hurting, but he can’t tell anyone. And grieving and wallowing in private are likely to only lead to consuming mass quantities of Jim Beam to dull his pain. Thus, he realizes, with such limited options available, he must speedily move to contain his about-to-erupt emotions by filling the vacuum created by the demise of his previous relationship. How does he do this? By seeking out someone else to focus his attention on, both emotionally and sexually. And, the sooner, the better, for it is this new woman who heals his wounds by allowing him to step back into the comfortable, acceptable space of being the tough, unruffled man that he is supposed to be. She facilitates his return to a state of being where he can once again feel masculine and in control of himself and his emotions. Order is restored and all is right with the world again. The speed in which a man moves from a bitter breakup to a new amorous attachment is directly proportional to the pain he’s feeling — the deeper the hurt, the quicker the hookup. So if you see your ex in the arms of another within days of your breakup, don’t write him off as a horny, uncaring, slime-bucket. Instead, recognize that he was deeply hurt by the end of your relationship and is doing the best he can to mend his broken heart. Taken from an article by David M. Matthews, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/rebound-relationship-why-_n_1569001.html
doesn’t always mean
you are weak;
sometimes it means
that you are
to let go.
When upset, women are more likely to express their feelings directly, and to seek the support of friends and family, whereas men might hide their emotions or withdraw. Men often feel that they need to be self-reliant. They are sometimes focused on providing for their loved ones and hide their own emotions. This behavior is reinforced everyday in the stereotype of the heroic male, so often represented in popular culture. Fearless, resourceful, stoic and usually facing adversity alone, these characters tell us a lot about what is considered to be ideal male behavior within our society. More powerful than film characters are the roles we see our parents playing. Many men have experienced fathers who were emotionally distant, who rarely, if ever, cried or expressed affection outwardly. The way we see our parents behave becomes the unconscious template for our own behavior. It is helpful to think in terms of four basic human emotions: Sadness; Anger; Happiness; Fear. Of these four emotions, happiness is considered the most acceptable in society. Yet anger, fear and sadness are universally felt by everyone. These emotions serve valuable purposes and are normal responses to threat and loss. As emotions such as fear and sadness are generally not as accepted, men might try to hide these from themselves and those around them. They feel that they should be able cope on their own. We might not always be able to identify what we’re feeling or have the words to describe our emotions. Men may feel uncomfortable talking to someone about them, leading to frustration in relationships when they cannot express their needs, fears and grief. https://www.google.com/search?q=men+emotions&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&ie=&oe=
Let’s not forget
that the little emotions
are the great captains
of our lives and we obey them
without realizing it.
Vincent Van Gogh
Negative emotions can be described as any feeling which causes you to be miserable and sad. These emotions make you dislike yourself and others, and take away your confidence. Emotions which can become negative are hate, anger, jealousy and sadness. Yet, in the right context, these feelings are completely natural. Negative emotions stop us from thinking and behaving rationally and seeing situations in their true perspective. When this occurs, we tend to see only we want to see and remember only what we want to remember. This only prolongs the anger or grief and prevents us from enjoying life. The longer this goes on, the more entrenched the problem becomes. Emotions are psychological (what we think) and biological (what we feel). Our brain responds to our thoughts by releasing hormones and chemicals which send us into a state of arousal. All emotions come about in this way, whether positive or negative. It is a complex process and often we don’t have the skills to deal with negative feelings. That’s why we find it hard to cope when we experience them. There are a number of coping strategies to deal with negative emotions. These include:
• Don’t blow things out of proportion by going over them time and again in your mind.
• Try to be reasonable – accept that bad feelings are occasionally unavoidable and think of ways to make yourself feel better.
• Relax – use pleasant activities like reading, walking or talking to a friend.
• Learn – notice how grief, loss and anger make you feel and which events trigger those feelings so you can prepare in advance.
• Exercise – aerobic activity lowers your level of stress chemicals and allows you to cope better with negative emotions.
• Let go of the past – constantly going over negative events robs you of the present and makes you feel bad.
Your emotions are the slaves
to your thoughts, and you
are the slave to your emotions.
What makes depression in men so dangerous? It too often goes unrecognized and untreated because it is masked by physical complaints, substance abuse, anger and other stealth symptoms.
• Undiagnosed depression is the leading cause of suicide. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women.
• Depression is highly associated with cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Men develop these diseases at a higher rate and earlier age than women.
• Depression is the most common disorder suffered in conjunction with post-traumatic stress disorder (Ursano, Grieger, and Mccarroll, 1996)
• In a recent RAND Corporation study, one in five veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of combat stress or major depression. In turn, service members with such problems more often report heavy drinking or illicit drug use.
• National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics reveal that the number of boomer-aged men dying behind the wheel rose from 2000 to 2009. Analysis showed men are three times as likely to be intoxicated when getting into a fatal accident as women.
A mix of biological and cultural factors often conspires to keep men and those who love them from recognizing and addressing their depression. By Suzanne Phillips, PsyD http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/men-and-hidden-danger-depression
One in six people suffer depression
or a chronic anxiety disorder.
These are not the worried well
but those in severe mental pain
with conditions crippling enough
to prevent them living normal lives.
HE IS WAITING ON YOU: Let’s assume a man gets through the first four reasons for hiding his emotions. He is ready to wear his heart on his sleeve and say those three little words. Now the ball is in your court. The right man will wait for you to show him that it’s okay to fall in love. He will wait until you show him it is okay to share everything he thinks and feels. But once you give him that green light, look out! A man who has moved past the four big reasons for hiding his emotions is a man who is READY to move forward. He wants something real, and he wants it with you. When you’re ready to go, so is he. So be prepared for a truckload of emotion! This is the point where he will start talk. He will tell you everything. The man will NOT shut up. And this is GOOD. No, actually…this is GREAT! http://relationshipabode.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/why-men-hide-their-feelings/
In the end, I’ll regret all the chances
I didn’t take with you. I’ll regret all
the moments I let slip by. I’ll regret
all the times I hid my feelings from you.
And in end, my biggest regret was losing you.
Mahmoud El Hallab
HE MUST FEEL SAFE: What will get a man over the speed bumps and into the home stretch? He has to trust you. He has to know that all that fear and confusion and uncertainty will land him in a SAFE place. Everyone wants to feel safe, right? You can help him feel safe by giving him every reason to trust you. Give him every reason to feel comfortable with you. Listen to him talk. Share parts of your life with him. Offer a listening ear when he needs it. Share your thoughts and feelings – within reason, of course. The closer you get, the more comfortable he will feel. The more comfortable he is, the safer he will feel. Soon he will be sharing everything he feels with you. That fear will gradually fade away. http://relationshipabode.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/why-men-hide-their-feelings/
Don’t ever play
with someone’s feelings,
you could win the game
but you could lose
that person forever.