Women don’t know a thing about the way men process emotions. Why should they? Their way of dealing with feelings is certified as THE way to do things. Why would she even consider there are alternate ways? But it is worse than that. Not only do they not know about men’s ways, they also participate in a huge cultural game of pointing the finger at men and telling them they don’t do it right! Men need to talk about their feelings and cry, cry, cry. They use this idea as the reason for why men do any possible negative behavior. You know, men who are violent, men who rage, men who are quiet, hell, men who get parking tickets. It’s all rolled into one big party and the finger is pointed and the claim is made that if only he was able to be human and deal with his feelings he would do this or that. Until he can learn to deal with his feelings he will be less than human. Pretty easy gambit to marginalize someone eh?
Entire industries are built on this lie. The therapy industry is just one of those. Then there is the media who write millions of words about this terrible handicap. But what are they missing?
Let’s talk about the first two of five things that they are missing:
1. A man’s emotional pain is taboo. Men are not dumb enough to run out in public and emote openly. They know that no one wants to hear it and those who do hear it will shame him. Think about it, if you are a man when was the last time your spouse really listened to your emotions? Most men will likely say never or extremely rarely. Oh but they expect you to listen to them, right? It’s like Warren Farrell says, when women say they want a man who is touch with his feelings they mean in touch with HER feelings. I’ve worked with hundreds of grieving men and my sample shows the percentage of women who really listen to the man’s pain is nearing zero. Men’s pain is taboo and a woman’s pain is a call to action.
2. Men live in a hierarchy. Research is slowly starting to realize this in their work on what they are calling Precarious Manhood. Men are judged on a daily basis on whether they are “men.” Women face no such judgement. The key for men to be as high in the hierarchy as possible at all costs. Men practice this. They are usually very good at it, and for good reason. If they emote in public they are judged harshly. So we have men, who have practiced this for years and all of the sudden we expect them to take a 180 and open up about their feelings? Fuck no. Opening up about feelings is a quick path to dropping on the hierarchy, way, way down. Women don’t understand a man’s avoidance of this because they have never experienced anything like what he goes through on a daily basis.
We will go over three, four, and five next week.