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©2019 by Michael Bernstein LLC.

When we think about historical or traditional images of masculinity, we tend to view them through the lens influenced by our family, peers, culture, and society. This is what shapes the way we see the world in general.  So what are these traditional descriptors of man?

  • The image of physical strength?  

  • Someone who is cool under pressure?  

  • A logical and/or rational mind? 

  • Stoic and unaffected

 

Or, on the other end

  • Gregarious

  • Extroverted

  • A “Born Leader”

  • Assertive, if not Aggressive

These traits are in and of themselves, not negative or unhealthy.  It is when we exclusively assign these traits as “what it takes to be a man” that we run into trouble.  This trouble comes in the form of internal conflict when a man neglects his own emotion at the cost of maintaining this role.

 

Regardless of societal norms and roles, men are emotional beings (as they are human). Neglecting the exploration of emotion can present itself through: 

  • Struggle to communicating with partners

  • Unhealthy family relationships  

  • Social struggles

  • Anger outbursts or shutting down

  • Inability to manage anxiety and everyday stressors

  • Depression 

  • Substance use or behavioral addiction 

  • Sexual dysfunction.

 

There is hope

 

Through work with Philadelphia Wellness Therapy, men can overcome these symptoms that may be a byproduct of an outdated view of masculinity.  This process involves:

  • Building emotional intelligence:  Developing an awareness and an internal language of emotion, and acknowledging the emotion with self-compassion

  • Exploration of family system, social support, or societal influence which may contribute to irrational beliefs about men.

  • Communication of emotion:  Allowing oneself to be vulnerable to those who are supportive and thus fostering validation of emotion, and deeper relationships.

  • Overcoming Shame:  For men, the idea of shame connects greatly to “being unsuccessful”, “doing poorly” and “not feeling good enough”.  Work in therapy involves exploring where that internal dialogue comes from, and working to change the dialogue.  

  • Managing Anger:   Anger is often the most accessible emotion to communicate in men.  Working to manage anger means coping with the anger in the moment (being more responsive than reactive), and exploring emotions underneath the anger.  

 

Call Mike at Philadelphia Wellness Therapy to schedule a free consultation and discuss how to tackle some of these struggles.

Men's Issues