Let’s talk about feelings!
Don’t go away! Hear me out!
I often ask men to tell me about their emotional life.
It’s initially a difficult but essential conversation to have in making sense of their mental health. However, many blokes get comfortable very quickly that they surprise themselves!
How would you respond to this question?
How do feel about your feelings?
Often a man’s mind struggles to make sense of this question making it difficult to answer let alone wondering how it’s even relevant!
One of the most significant aspect of my conversations with blokes, are the complicated stories that their minds create in reaction to their feelings. Particularly the negative ones.
The consequence of these reactions about feelings for many men is that they push down or push away their emotional life.
The stories men are telling themselves about feelings are so compelling, fixed and stuck that they limit a man’s ability to have good mental health and wellbeing.
Escaping, avoiding or denying feelings creates certain kinds of destructive behaviour as well as major mental health problems such as high levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
Relationships can struggle under the strain, focus at work suffers, and families experience breakdown.
Probably the most revealing and exciting parts of inviting men to engage in questions about feelings is their relief at being able to talk without fear of judgement.