On Becoming a Real Man (And How to Find One)

fathersonbeachfathersonbeach

Below are the choices that I believe define a man, and contribute to healthier relationships in all forms, especially with self. This list is based on my experiences as a friend, son, brother, boyfriend, husband, and therapist.

I don’t claim to posses all of these traits. I actually struggle with most of them. You may or may not agree with my stance. Some are light. Some are heavy. They are in no particular order.

My intent is to create a dialogue. Nothing else. My hope is that if you are a man, it encourages you to think about who you want to be. If you are a woman, to think about whom you want to be with.

We live in a fatherless nation. Many of our fathers were or are physically or emotionally absent. I’ve seen the effects of this in the men and women who come to me for life-coaching, as well as the kids I’ve treated in residential rehab for substance abuse. The absent father contributes to eating disorders, addictions, dysfunctional or abusive relationships, codependency, low self-esteem, depression, and suicide.

Most men are not aware of their impact.

Most men are oblivious to the emotional destruction they leave behind. And women must raise the bar and set a standard for the kind of men they want in their lives.

I want to thank all the men out there who have decided to look at themselves with courage to change, all the men making an honest effort to be good fathers, better husbands, and kinder friends — men who have sacrificed for their family, neighbors, and country.

I want to thank men working in mental health, hospitals, and classrooms, men who wear uniforms, police officers, firefighters, and soldiers. These are the true leaders of our world and I hope to follow in their footsteps. We are not born men. Becoming a man requires reflection, pain, courage, and sometimes a rebirth. It is a process that never ends.

How To Be A Real Man & How To Find One

DON’T argue.

Arguments are usually about two hurt people not being heard. Instead of hearing each other and addressing the hurt, we compete to see who can pull out the most shit from the past.

MEN: Break the cycle. She’s arguing with you because she’s not feeling heard. So put your point aside and focus on making her feel heard. Do this by practicing empathy, putting yourself in her shoes.

Once she feels heard, the argument can turn into a discussion. Express your point. If it gets heated again, don’t argue. Go back to addressing her feelings, making her feel heard. Make it a nonnegotiable that you will not argue. It takes two people to have a tug of war. If you refuse to hold the rope, there is no war.

You might be thinking, “Well, why should I back down first?”

What do you get from being right other than resentment and a stiff back from sleeping on the couch?

WOMEN: Exactly the same thing I said to the men.

DON’T be a bully.

Bullies aren’t just angry kids on the playground. They’re grownups. They run companies, wear uniforms, and raise families. They exist at work, home, and church. You may be sleeping with one.

The act of bullying comes in many forms, not just physical. There is emotional bullying, financial bullying, spiritual bullying, and mental bullying to name a few.

Ultimately, a bully is someone who tries to take away someone else’s power so that they can feel like they have more. For them, this feeling of being powerless creates fear and it’s this fear that drives them to be manipulative, controlling, aggressive, and abusive. Simply put, bullies are cowards. They are afraid to face their own defects and deficiencies, so they make others aware of their own.

MEN: Bullies were bullied. Break the cycle. You’re not bad. You’re hurt. This behavior does not make you powerful. It makes you powerless. Take the power back by taking responsibility for your actions and how they impact others.

WOMEN: Do you want a bully as a husband, father, or friend?

DON’T be creepy.

Being creepy comes from a false belief that one is not good enough. That builds up a fear of rejection, which engages the fight or flight mechanism. The fear can manifest as rubbing against women in dark clubs, stalking on Facebook, driving by the coffee shop to make sure she is with who she said she would be with, and, of course, overthinking everything.

MEN: First, know that being creepy repels women more than Ed Hardy shirts. Second, know that you can’t just stop being creepy. In order to stop, you must explore your wiring, your fear, and begin a process of acceptance. Simply put, you must grow.

WOMEN: When you run into someone who’s being creepy, imagine that person as Peter Pan. An adult child. Know that this person is immature, not evil. It’s a behavior men revert to because they lack certain tools.

I understand that that doesn’t make you any more attracted to them, but understanding allows empathy. My wish is that you empathize instead of criticize. Use their stunted growth to promote yours.

DO walk with mirrors.

Walking with mirrors means shattering the version of you that is false. In order to know which version is false, we must examine our thoughts, behaviors, and the effect we have on others. It also means taking responsibility for them by making a choice to choose differently if necessary. To walk with mirrors means to constantly examine self and to seek growth and truth.

MEN: Think about all the men you admire, from professional athletes to CEOs to musicians to your favorite grandfather. Who do you admire and why? You may be in awe of a man’s ability. The way Donald Trump makes money, Tiger woods sinks balls, and Tony Robbins motivates millions.

But the person you admire the most is probably the one who admits his defects and does something about it. The man who is vulnerable, transparent, and nondefensive. The man who is humble and honest.

WOMEN: Any man can build abs. Any man can make money. Find a man who walks with mirrors and you will not only find a man, but you will find a leader, a hero.

DO make your bed.

MEN: Why fix something that’s just going to get messed up in 10 hours? On the surface, making your bed shows that you’re clean, responsible, and willing to contribute to the household chores. But on a deeper level, you’re announcing to your partner, and to yourself, that you are going somewhere. You are now leaving to conquer the world. You have direction, a dream in your head, a fire in your belly.

I know you’re rolling your eyes, but humor me for a moment. Women want a man with direction. Without it, she will begin to doubt her man, and a woman in doubt means a relationship in trouble. The chemistry will change for the worse and she won’t know why. She’ll blame it on surface things like your dirty socks and why you “need” HBO.

Making your bed is about the subtext you’re sending out. You are saying you have direction, and you’re going out to conquer. So make your bed, or the only thing you’ll be doing on it is sleeping.

WOMEN: You don’t want him to make the bed. You want him to want to make the bed. How do you do this? Support him in his endeavors and make him feel invincible. Let him know that what he gets up to do every single morning is important and that you’re proud of him. Be consistent and mean it.

DO be humble.

The common thread in all great leaders is humility. When we are humble, we are open. There is space for self-understanding, awareness, and reflection. Only when we have accepted our imperfections can we be truly powerful. Unity is formed, which then builds trust. Trust allows people to feel safe, which creates cohesion, which creates change.

If a leader is self-centered, he are closed. There is no discussion. Only pointed fingers. This does not allow space for understanding or awareness or responsibility. No responsibility means no unity which means no trust, which ultimately means no growth.

MEN: When you think about all the men you respect and admire, how many of them display a sense of superiority, or talk at you instead of to you? You may respect and admire someone’s ability but that does not mean you respect and admire that person.

WOMEN: Don’t confuse humility with a lack of confidence. A man who listens more than speaks, observes first, and responds instead of reacts, may appear insecure and not sure of himself. But he’s actually being open. This ability requires courage. A humble man is a confident man.

DO kiss like you mean it.

Do you remember your first kiss? Of course you do. You know exactly where you were and what you were wearing. You remember wondering if you should use your tongue, and how long you should keep your eyes shut. But what you remember the most isn’t how it went. It’s how you felt. The butterflies in your stomach, the fear in your heart. The feeling you received, the energy you gave back. You don’t remember because you were curious. You remember because you wanted it to mean something.

Do you remember your 2,123rd kiss?

Of course you don’t.

When we kiss someone new, it’s exciting. It’s our first conduit into experiencing the other person intimately. It’s exciting.

Once we’re in a relationship, however, kissing becomes routine. Rarely do we kiss to discover. We forget the meaning behind kissing. Kissing means to express, connect, validate, assure, give, share, and explore.

MEN: Hold her face, touch her lips, look into her soul. Kiss her as if nothing else matters, as if time doesn’t exist, as if it’s the only way you could express yourself.

WOMEN: Kiss him how you want to be kissed. Show, don’t tell. Grab his head, pull his hair, reach deep into his heart with your mouth. Show him how it’s done.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

ORIGINAL ARTICLE by John Kim of Mind, Body, Green

“Growth is not a light switch. It’s a lifestyle. “

Kendal’s Note’s on this Article:

Most men are not aware of their impact.

kendalcali2015-1“Most men are oblivious to the emotional destruction they leave behind. And women must raise the bar and set a standard for the kind of men they want in their lives.” WOW, this is so true. Over and over again I am shocked at how little men understand about their impact on other’s emotionally. I would like to blame it on our rape culture or the fact that we have all been raised to put the responsibility on the women for the relationship in many ways, I would also like to stand strong here and say that “No one can hurt you unless you allow them to and that you make your mind up on how you are emotionally impacted by an event, that would be very Byron Katie or Abraham Hicks of me. However, being on the receiving end of this topic and also on the giving end a few times in my life I know that sometimes this is not the case. Sure we have choice as to how we cope and get through and how quickly we decide to put on a smile and move forward, but the emotional destruction that one person (male or female) can leave on another’s path can be detrimental and at very least can put that person into a state of chaos and need for extended healing. It is vital in our relationships with lovers and our children for sure that we do not shun the reality that we play a significant role in emotional harmony and health. Our action CAN and DO effect those in our lives and we have a responsibility to be conscious about what that looks like. Feelings may just be “feelings” but they also are the connection blocks to how our lives play out. It is through our emotional state that we attract our future. Our emotions set our energtic vibration and it here that we create our lives. 

So gentlemen, be cautious as to what you set up as expectations. Realize that sex is not the same energy and emotional frequency as scratching your back, for a woman it is emotional and if you want to be a superior man, one who is full of passion and on purpose then sex needs to be emotional for you as well. Learn to connect here and you will find connection EVERYWHERE!!!

Ladies, DO NOT accept a man who say’s “Oop’s, I can’t help it. That is sort of like when your having sex and a guy pauses for second in doggy position and then pulls out and penetrates your ass then says  Oop’s my bad wrong hole. Bullshit! A real man needs to take responsibility, needs to become conscious and accept that he may have made a mistake but should want to heal it and do the work to do just this. ” If you ladies are calling into your lives men who are not mature enough to be a real man, then you need to take a moment and really embrace what you as a woman are accepting and feeling (valuing) for yourself. You deserve more!

Arguing, Bullying and Being Creepy Oh My!!!!

Most arguments could be avoided if one party caught their ego at the front end and realized that it takes two to tango. Often women just need to vent and we DO NOT want Mr. Fix it to speak but instead we just need to literally be held. We need not to be made feel small or incapable in these moments and certainly not told that we are acting crazy or hormonal. We get this and we feel horrible already for acting out and opening up at this vulnerable place to our men. But we have to here and there or we will become calloused, cold, aloof and non-feeling. This will only cause us to dis-trust, not feel safe or supported and in the end you will find yourself at the very least in a sexless relationship because we can no longer feel you and our libido and attraction to you will be gone. So it may be easier and better all around if you as a man just learn to “Hold Space.”

If your a Bully, well I got nothing to say other then learn to check your EGO at the door or loose in life in general. If you feel like you need to work on this and many of us do, then studying Kabbalah would be a great start for awakening and healing. And Yoga.

Being Creepy, this is one of those hard things to understand for men. I know that many men just do not understand that they are doing it. But I can tell you that if you are face booking a woman repeatedly or messaging her on a dating site or other and she is not responding then you may have sent out the creepy feel. Its pretty simple, women need and want connection, this means authentic inquiry. Not whats your relationship status and I love you in your first comments. If you are desperate then chances are you are coming across creepy. If you have confidence issues, then you most likely are coming across creepy. If you are easily insulted or are quick to accuse then you most likely are coming across creepy. If you lean in too far when talking to a woman, creepy. If you make comments about our bodies before you are dating us, creepy. If you send a dick pic and we did not ask for it, creepy. If you stand there and stare at us for more then 30 seconds but never walk over and communicate, creepy. If you follow us out of a public place, VERY creepy!!!! And STOP that Shit! Us women want men in our lives and bed’s but we don’t want CREEPY!!!! BULLY or ASSHOLE!

Mirrors, Making Your Bed and Humility. Key’s to Success!

A man who is willing to do the internal work on himself, admit he does not have all the answers and see’s that he needs healing is a man that is aligned with transformation, love and success. The trick is not to just talk about it or think about it but to actually take the steps to achieving this and searching out the people who can help. Your actions ALWAYS speak louder than your words! Remember this!!! Be willing to break your mold repeatedly and GROW!

Kissing!!! Truly the TRUTH About A Man’s Purpose, Passion and Self-Love/Acceptance.

It’s in his kiss is how the song goes and it is so very true. Guys, this is the one thing that can reveal the deeper layers of a man’s being. Its more then how the kiss makes you feel as a woman. It’s about what the kiss is saying about the man. My first husband had bad teeth, he was insecure about lot’s of things. He had lofty goals but did not want to do the work to achieve them. He procrastinated, made excuses and carried anger and resentment. He said so much but not really anything. He said far more then he should about things that were sacred or held in trust but he held back in life and only allowed the surface and ego shit to rule during our marriage. He believed he was dedicated to self growth but in reality he was lazy to it and it scared him much like his power and purpose did. He NEVER would kiss me fully. He never would passionately let me feel him. He would not embrace me and penetrate my whole being with his soul, mind and mouth. I spend 18 years feeling alone and disconnected. Then left.

I currently have a lover of 5 years who from the first kiss bared his soul to me in divine passion. His kiss makes me dripping wet and kick starts my sex no matter how dreary a mood I am in. He always tells me that he loves that I am always smiling. That I am always turned on and laugh so much around him. He tell’s me that I make him feel like a man. Like he can do anything. He grabs me and passionately opens himself to me. He is present and on purpose. He is driven in his life in many ways and does not procrastinate. He puts health and play as focus points and takes care of business. He has his set of insecurities but he does not focus on them and he lives life from purpose and and desires instead of allowing the bad stuff that happens to us all to get him down for very long. He is not afraid to share his heart and emotions, but also does not allow them to carry him off.

It’s in his kiss ladies and gent’s. And if you want to know where a man is at with his purpose, passion and self-love/acceptance and even his presence level then here is where you can figure it out!

If you are not penetrating her and making her weak at the knee’s with your kiss then look back at how you feel about yourself, life, where you are at and what you are doing and go do the internal work as well as the physical work to change this. Don’t  just think your a bad kisser and need lesson’s. What you need is PURPOSE! Find yours and open.

Explore my Male Coaching today to become a Real Man

–KW

Why I Think All Men Need Therapy

Group-of-happy-men1vulnerableman-825x496

Let me preface this by saying I’m part of this group, too. Just because I’m a licensed therapist doesn’t mean I don’t need therapy. I have many, many things to work on, one of which is getting back into therapy.

Full disclosure: I haven‘t seen a therapist in years. I understand if you think that makes me a hypocrite, but it is my truth. I would rather be honest than pretend to be someone I am not.

Growth is not a light switch. It’s a lifestyle.

But here’s what I’ve learned from both my personal and professional experiences. Growth is not a light switch. It’s a lifestyle, something we must thread into our daily lives. And therapy can be the needle to guide that thread.

Yes, women need therapy too. But multiple studies and researchers have pointed to the fact that women make up nearly two-thirds of therapy patients, while men arguably benefit more from the process.

We have to let go of what we can’t control and just focus on our own shit.

I believe all men need therapy, including myself. Here are four of the most compelling reasons:

1. This generation doesn’t clearly define the male identity.

You might argue that this lack of definition is about the culture of 2015. Society had a strong definition of “the ideal man” in the ′20s, ′40s, ′50s, etc. But I believe it has to do with the fact that we live in a fatherless nation.

More than ever, our fathers are either physically absent or emotionally unavailable. So, how does a son learn who he is as he crosses into manhood? He doesn’t. The shadow of a suggestion of an identity he struggles after is one learned through advertising, media, and coping.

I worked as a therapist in residential treatment for about six years. I treated teens struggling with addiction, and the vast majority of them had an absent father. The boys clung to me, desperate for a positive male role model. They wanted a guide, a mentor, a man to teach them about life — what all boys crave at that age. I know I did. When deprived of that, they try to fill the void in unhealthy ways.

Therapy is a safe space for men who grew up with absent dads (most of us) to process the loss we’ve suffered, whether we realize it or not, and to create a new, healthy definition of what it means to be a man.

2. Therapy helps you find tools that will exponentially improve your relationships.

Generally speaking, men tend to maneuver more on a logical plane and women on an emotional one. Many men struggle to express their feelings, eventually leaving their partner in the dark, resulting in the two being separated by the unspoken issue(s) between them. Eventually, they grow apart.

I see this all the time in the couples I coach: Men tend to go to “fix-it” mode instead of expressing themselves and holding a safe space for their partner. They struggle with using “I feel” statements and don’t practice building their communication muscles.

Since therapists are trained to help you explore and process feelings, seeing a therapist is like visiting an emotional gym and exercising these expression muscles. Once we have the ability to express ourselves, we can stop trying to fix it. Instead, we can be present, and create a safe space for our partner to talk to us. Then confrontations can turn into healthy conversations, creating closeness, trust, and stronger relationships.

Seeing a therapist doesn’t mean you have problems. It means you want to be a healthier version of yourself. It just means adding more tools to your toolbox. These tools will translate directly into your relationship.

Your partner will see the difference in you and may be inspired to go on his or her own journey. Now we have two pistons pumping. Translation: You’ve stopped the tug-of-war and started to move in the same direction. This is the only way to improve a relationship.

It’s never about the other person. It’s about you.

3. It’s the only way a lot of men ever learn to stop trying to fix everything.

Men tend to think they can do everything by themselves. Not necessarily because of ego. It’s a pressure we put on ourselves to take care of the people we care about. When it comes to relationships, sometimes we don’t realize that we are only 50 percent of the equation.

By thinking we can fix it, we can easily cross the line into controlling behavior without even knowing it. That means we have to let go of what we can’t control, and just focus on our own shit. This is what therapy is all about. Therapists are trained to keep the focus on the client so they can take ownership of their own issues and let go of other people’s.

I believe that with this mindset, the dynamic of the relationship will shift. There will be a lot less pressure and a lot more trust. Of course, women can do the same.

But from coaching hundreds of women, I’ve learned that the majority want their man to take the lead. It gives them hope and builds trust. Then they become inspired to work on anything they need to work on.

We get into a chess game with each other, subconsciously. We won’t change or work on ourselves unless the other person does too. But the only thing that grows in that dynamic is anger and resentment. It’s never about the other person. It’s about you, the kind of person you want to be, and what you want to bring to the relationship.

4. We have a responsibility to be better men than our fathers were.

I know it’s 2015, and much progress has been made. But men still tend to shy away or get embarrassed about seeing therapists. There’s a pervasive misconception that therapy is for people with “real problems.” So, men just talk to their friends, who are biased, and can’t advise them with the same experience, perspective, or authority. Men tend to associate “treatment” with weakness. I think we believe that if we see a therapist, we are admitting defeat. We are admitting we can’t fix it on our own. That last part is true. We can’t. But that’s okay.

Imagine if men went to therapy as much as they go to the gym. How many relationships would be saved? How many sons would have a healthier definition of manhood? And how many daughters would have higher self-esteem and a sharper radar when it came to boys? Imagine how much pain and destruction we could avoid. Then tell me it’s not a good idea.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE on Mind, Body Green

Photo Credit: Stocksy