I often get asked about how to get guys to be “emotional” or to connect men to feelings. Well, first off, we’re all emotional whether we want to admit it or not and whether we try to hide it or not.
That said, I’m never sure what my response is supposed to be to someone who tells me they’re “very emotional”–of course you are. You’re human! “No, but I’m very emotional.” Ok…
But we’re all emotional. Some express it in more obvious ways than others.
Guys are taught early on not to do that. You read that right: most adults dis-connect men from feelings once those boys reach a certain age. (Not anger, though, we’re all fine with anger.)
It’s a challenge to be an adult man and want to connect to your feelings because you’re faced with the problem of pushing against what you tried so hard and so long to not do. One of my suggestions involves connecting to the emotions through the physical feelings you have.
At The Good Men Project I write a weekly column called Unmasking Masculinity and I address this issue in How to Connect a Man to His Feelings. It’s not an accurate title–it should be about REconnecting men to their feelings, because there was probably no question that we had them when we were a baby and toddler.
Would love to know your thoughts–you can email me or put them in the comments.
Justin Lioi, LCSW is a men’s mental health and relationship expert based in Brooklyn, NY (and online throughout New York State and internationally.) He received his degree from New York University and has been working in family and men’s counseling for over 10 years. Justin is on the Board of the National Association of Social Workers and writes a weekly column for the Good Men Project called Unmasking Masculinity. He can be found on local and national podcasts talking about assertiveness, anger, self-compassion, all with the goal of becoming the man you want to be.