From “The Healing Show” Series #1: How To Attract A Better Relationship
EPISODE #15: Do Emotionally Responsible Males Exist?
If you’ve listened to my previous relationship recordings on problematic relationships, and felt that I’m aiming more negative things at males than females, I am waving the white flag here 🙂 Good men do exist and they are emotionally responsible.
Before I move on, I just want to explain what I mean by emotional responsibility.
Emotional responsibility means that when an emotion needs to be expressed, it happens, by one person showing the other person how they feel and by talking about their feelings.
Emotional responsibility means that when something is said by one person in the relationship, it is noted as being important by the other person and therefore, the subject is talked about in a fair and open way, with respect and nurturing of everyone’s feelings.
For example: If one person in the relationship says “We don’t spend enough time together”, the emotionally responsible thing for the other person to say is “Oh… you’re not happy… let’s talk about it… how do you feel?”.
An emotionally irresponsible thing for the other person to say is “You’re never happy… we’ll spend more time together soon… we already spend enough time together… you should be doing something else to occupy yourself”. Can you see the difference…?
An emotionally responsible attitude is one where the feeling is discussed, explored and potentially addressed. An irresponsible emotional attitude, is one where the feeling is dismissed or put down. I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself.
There are indeed some emotionally responsible males out there, but they are in the minority, or rather, they ‘seem’ like they’re in the minority. Why is this? Because generally… men are ridiculed, by other men, when they’re observed to be emotionally sensitive and this can result in their hiding under tough exteriors.
It generally starts in the family, where young boys observe their father dismiss his or their own emotions or they directly experience their father telling them to stop crying or stop dwelling on something that’s upset them. Unfortunately, the majority of Father’s dismiss their own emotions, so their male child will dismiss their emotions too. This behaviour is passed on from one generation to the next. You could look in your own family or another’s family, for proof of this.
Unless a Father examines his behaviour and asks himself why he is pushing away his own emotions, he is very likely to pass on emotionally dismissive attitudes to his child.
Not communicating feelings, will then be further expressed by his son in the playground at school, and this behavior is likely to continue into adolescence and adulthood. Then what happens? The boy, now a man, will find himself in a romantic relationship and =still= isn’t communicating his feelings.
Most problems in relationships are due to problems in communication.
Women, in general, have better communication than men, because they are generally not discouraged to block their feelings like men are.
Emotionally sensitive men still come out of fathers who are emotionally blocked, but they often won’t let others see it unless they have stepped onto an honest path of self-discovery and I really mean this: an honest path of self-discovery where they address their family conditioning.
Getting back to the playground, you can tell in the school playground, that boys are very physical. Boys are often measured by other boys, in terms of how strong they are: physically strong and emotionally strong.
Now I just want to note something here: When I say ’emotionally strong’ I’m speaking from the average male’s perspective and referring to the outward projection of emotional strength where the male is likely to act like he isn’t affected by anything.
Returning to the playground, a boy is higher up on the social hierarchy if he is strong, but much lower on the hierarchy if he is viewed as weak, which is often described or teased as being ‘like a girl’. A boy who is not physically strong, is weak. A boy who is not emotionally strong (a boy who is not dismissive of his feelings) is weak.
Just checking you’re keeping track… A boy who is viewed as weak, has fewer friends and less social standing and they will often do anything they can to be viewed in a positive light by their peers, which often means that they’re forced to shut down their sensitive side to survive. How sad is that…
There are more good men out there than seems apparent, but they have been taught to shut down their emotions throughout their childhood conditioning.
Males might want to be more sensitive and more communicative, but they don’t know how to do it, because they weren’t encouraged or supported by their family and friends.
A guy who can hold onto his own emotional sensitivity amidst overwhelming peer pressure, and also provide emotional support and encouragement to all his friends is one that is TRULY emotional strong. And the reason I can vouch for this definition of a truly strong male and the reason why I know men like this exist, is because I’m with one of them, thankfully!
It wasn’t always that way though, I wasn’t born into the great relationship I’m in now. I used to go for men who seemed strong, but it took me years to grow ‘new eyes’ and SEE that projected strength meant a very insecure male who I could never emotionally rely on and whom I wanted to leave and did.
Back to the guy’s emotional experience… When a guy breaks up with his girl, you don’t often hear the other guys in the group say “let’s talk about what happened… tell us your feelings”. You’re more likely to hear “don’t worry about it mate, this will pass, let’s go and get a drink”. Now if this is the general treatment a male receives about his feelings, no wonder it seems that most men are unable to be emotionally responsible in their relationships.
To take this further… A group of emotionally blocked men will avoid one mans emotional turmoil, in fear that it will bring to the surface, their own buried and unresolved emotions. And nobody can get away with that… When you bury emotions they accumulate and become almost unbearable to deal with so it’s easier to block it out completely. This always leads to greater communication problems and physical illness later in life.
Fewer men are encouraged to be emotionally expressive, which causes the appearance and the existence of fewer men being emotionally responsible. It’s all about what is passed on from father to son, and the behaviours that are acceptable between men in our society.
Now how about the sensitive, gentle, aware, in tune, emotionally expressive male? What’s he likely to experience in his relationships?
He might experience his woman to be ‘like a man’: dismissive; emotionally or physically absent and difficult to talk to. An emotionally available man can attract a woman who is emotionally unavailable, because he attracts the behavior he is used to: from his emotionally unavailable mother or his emotionally unavailable father.
An emotionally responsible man deserves an emotionally responsible woman, especially after the effort he puts in, but he won’t attract that kind of woman, while his parental conditioning remains unaddressed. He won’t see what he needs to address with his parents, while he is involved with an emotionally irresponsible woman. And nothing will change for the better in his life until he says no to emotionally irresponsible women.
So… there are indeed emotionally responsible males out there and when they find an emotionally expressive girl, they will always help to create a better relationship, because… emotionally responsible males have better communication and respect for feelings which all relationships need. But when relationships get into trouble, it is generally because of communication problems and emotional irresponsibility, which in general, are acted out more often by men because they have been taught to suppress their emotions in their childhood.