Posted originally on August 4, 2011
12th March 2011
Men’s health, happiness and well-being
This is the Ask Men website – I just discovered this today by accident, and found it might be useful to some people (yes, women too, if it helps them understand each other).
It is a ‘magazine’ site for men – women’s include IVillage for example, that I found a while ago and unsure if its still around but a similar idea.
The articles are news and reviews such as cars, food and guidance on personal health and wellbeing too, like the following:
- Anger Management
- Self esteem v arrogance
- Men’s mental health
All these and others help people to understand themselves, and that is the basis – for me as a counsellor and life coach – of being able to manage your life and situation more effectively. It means being able to:
Work to your strengths – what are you good at, how do you learn and communicate (VAK – visual, auditory or kinaesthetic)
… and manage areas for development – what you are not (yet) good at or don’t understand and how that awareness can help you to improve your situation for yourself
(problem solving, solution focus which men in particular have natural tendencies toward)
Hone your skills or develop those you need but don’t yet have
Talk to people without feeling vulnerable/weak or threatened – because you know who you are and who you aim to be, so there is no threat (or if there is you can recognise
it!) and you can share who you are and what you want or need
Improve communication and therefore outcomes (asking for help – yes, ask
for directions its more efficient – faster, easier and less stressful!)
Empathy with others – if you know some of your feelings, you can recognise and accept them in other people and therefore work with them for a better relationship, putting yourself in their shoes (from different angles too, not just your immediate expectations and judgements).
It helps people – men – to understand, learn and talk about issues. It is American and has
some Americanisms for it e.g. hunting scenarios, but it’s metaphors such as the arrogance in Mafioso terms is not only informative but amusing too, but can help people to relate to their own situation whilst maintaining the (necessary) masculinity considerations.
Actually guys, and I hope I speak for most if not all women, we don’t want to emasculate you.
We too are learning and trying out our own wings maybe at equality so we too might get it wrong, but we too will learn. Women/girls can also wheedle our own way so just beware nd stand your ground if necessary, assertively, not aggressively, which you can only do if you know what that ground is.
We all want to share and like everyone else we want it our way – something familiar, safe
and understood; men may want to accommodate this for women in their lives and ‘make them happy’ and so will conform to some ideas in the home (see the article on the ‘masculinity’ link under anger management) to accommodate us and be closer to each other perhaps. If this conforming means loss of choice or giving in, though, it will lead to
problems. Know yourself, assert those needs/wants positively and you will both be onto a winner. As a woman, I would respect this and actually like the ‘strong, assertive man who knows what he wants and can get it’ (without force).
Either way, generally I think people do want to ‘work together’ but need to develop trust and security first, and that means better understanding of ourselves and each other.
Even in business this is the case, and knowing what our colleague’s or competitor’s ‘personal agenda’ is means we can work with the information; we can each work together or around the facts, but knowing the whole picture takes effort and communication, so that we can know our place and our options in that situation.
Anger management is a key one for me at the moment with many people losing ‘personal control’ of their situation, feeling threated and fear of losing security and familiarity.
Not only for men but women too, and anger does stem from fear – of the unknown, losing personal control, losing status or security – or a person who stands for all that – and managing anger is important to getting the outcomes you want and need.
Fear is a protective instinct and one we respond to, but nowadays it isn’t usually a life or death situation, but more a value and status situation.
The article here, and other sites too, share tips and ideas for managing anger:
- Walking away to cool down and think straight (stress and threat distract us , make us react rather than respond to a situation and this is the problem.
- Awareness of your triggers and issues – and the physical fight/flight response
- Breathing deeply to calm those reactions – reduce heart rate, blood flow slows, stomach relaxes, hands unclench (stand and fight) and legs are not tensed (flight, ready to run)
Techniques you can use to reduce the threat or reaction and what to do positively to achieve a win/win situation means we have to understand ourselves before we understand other people. We all have issues, baggage – from experiences, judgements, past events and learning from others, so we will all have different triggers that threaten our values and status. Knowing we have ours means we realise other’s will have theirs too, and we might not understand them but we can accept them work around them/with them to mutual benefi
Look out for more on men’s health in the near future as I get tips and tools, ideas and comments from an up and coming personal trainer Matt (and yes, I might try out his advice and support to get me fit and healthy too – and give feedback on his own training and development ….!)