As a man, have you considered how many of your feelings you were taught not to feel—especially those that could cause you to do "unmanly" things, like cry?
If you sometimes struggle with your relationship, this lesson repeated all around us could be the reason.
First of all, what does "unmanly" mean? It includes feeling:
Basically it's anything other than the generally accepted norms of manliness, which mean feeling:
What this means is that if you're a man and you're feeling anything on the first list, you will want to avoid it, repress it, or hide it from the world.
This is because most men were taught that you're not "supposed" to be feeling it. So it won't even register. And you'll miss the tender, vulnerable moments because those feelings are not welcome for you.
What Changes Everything
Here's the secret: Allow your full range of feelings. That alone will change your life.
This is because your emotions reveal who you are and how you think.
So allowing them to be present and acknowledging them is how you allow and acknowledge your own self. It's the only way to actually be your authentic self.
The difference between someone whose relationships struggle and someone whose relationships thrive is in how attuned they are to their feelings. Because when you allow the whole range of emotions, then you show up as who you really are.
You become more authentic, unafraid to speak your mind, unafraid to listen and be vulnerable and unsure.
That's when the armor comes down and real relationships with depth and vitality become possible.
How to feel your feelings
So how do you actually feel your full range of feelings?
It's both easier and harder than you may think. Easier because it's a fundamental part of who you are. After all, your emotions are what drive your behaviors in the world. They are central to your life's results and are always present.
At the same time, there's tremendous cultural pressure to avoid certain ones, as we saw earlier—especially the unpleasant ones. And you probably have a long history of avoidance, as most men do. And that's what makes it difficult.
So here's what to do if you want your relationships to thrive and if you want to become a more authentic and liberated version of yourself: ask for help. It's almost impossible to see yourself without an outside view.
Who should you ask for help? Well, your partner probably isn't the right person, since they will likely have an agenda.
If you want to make quick progress, work with a relationship coach.
You'll get a supportive space to process difficult emotions. Working with someone who only wants to help you see what you're thinking and feeling delivers insights for real change. And applying those insights consistently over time rewards you with greater intimacy and authenticity in your relationships.
What to do next
If this sounds attractive to you, here's what to do: schedule a free 30-minute discovery call with me to get a sense of what coaching can do in your life.
You are worth it.
Your relationships are worth it.
Your future self will thank you for taking action today.