Men, how many good friends do you have? Not guys you drink with or watch sports with, guys that know you deeply, guys that know your moral failures, pains, hurts and fears. For most men, not many. Most guys settle for superficial friendships and going through the ups and downs of life alone.
It’s always mind blowing when guys get real with each other, and share their failures, pains and fears. For most guys they realize, that for the first time, they're not alone. Shame dissipates and brotherhood sets in. They realize that to be vulnerable is to be real and to be real is to be free. Look at what Jesus said in John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” Hiding keeps you stuck in shame just look at the first man, Adam who hid from God after the fall. We’ve taken his lead and hid from God and others ever since.
Men keep from having deep relationships for 3 reasons shame, fear and lacking a model for deep relationships. Shame keeps men away because they fear if others really knew who I am, they'd reject me, abandon me or hurt me. When men hold the view consciously or unconsciously that they are worthless, a failure or broken, they become desperate to cover up and only show what's safe. Men become captive to only talk about subjects you know, things your good at or putting someone or something else down. When topics get too close to your core it's time to change the subject or run.
Fear keeps men from deep relationships when they've had painful experiences with other men in their life. I find that dads are major offenders in this area. Dads can build or crush their sons with their words and actions. For a lot of men, they've experienced their dad as abusive, distant, aggressive or absent. It makes sense that men would avoid close relationships if early on they were shown pain.
Our society is becoming increasingly isolated. We have increasing opportunities to be alone and entertained. You can watch Netflix, play games and engage in quasi relationships on social media. Men lack a model for how to develop deep, meaningful relationships. Regardless of not having a model our society actively resist the idea of men who are vulnerable and submit to each other to become better men.
I help men overcome the barriers to close relationships, learn how to overcome shame, fear and have a model to be real with other men, their wives and themselves.
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About Me: I'm a Christian counselor in Vancouver, WA. I specialize in treating male teens and men's counseling. Please contact me with any questions about my blog, counseling or to set up an appointment.
All information and opinions shared on this blog are for educational purposes only. Please contact me or another mental health care provider for diagnosis and treatment.