I was talking to a friend the other day and made a suggestion for a “Man Hack.” She laughed and said, “Men love hacks.”
We are women. We might be way off base, here. But, in case we’re not, I wanted to offer a few “hacks” on subjects that are innately too deep for hacks. But it’s a start.
We live in a #metoo era. There is a push for men to get conscious and go to men’s groups, talk about feelings, and play more with their sons. I say “YES!” to all of that, AND, I say, “keep going!” Learning to RELATE to one another differently requires involving women and men together.
We live in a time where actually deepening your consciousness about relating to women is going to take less performance and more authenticity. Less crossing off lists, and more presence.
I am going to offer a series of articles over the next three weeks that introduces some Hacks for Men in a #metoo Era. Here are four, in no particular order:
HACK: PRACTICE FEELING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REACTION & RESPONSE:
The reaction is what happens without pause. In reactivity mode, you might be likely to deduce what you think should happen next, or act out, or attempt to control. Because whatever is causing you to react is scary!
Instead, notice when you want to control, shut down, get loud, or run away. Breathe. Seriously, pause and breathe. Your breath will allow your brain to regulate, and you will be able to choose a more reasonable response.
HACK: LISTEN TO WOMEN:
Okay, truly, if there was a #1, this would actually be it. Caveat: WOMEN ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. We are not always right, and so I’m not asking you to listen to women in order to lay down at our feet, I’m asking you to actually listen.
Women do have wisdom. Emotions are wisdom, as is all the knowledge we accumulated with all the education we gained while we were trying to win at a man’s game. You would be absolutely astounded if you actually understood that the default of most men is to ignore the input of a woman. So don’t do that.
HACK: GAIN SKILLS FOR LISTENING TO WOMEN:
I can make it easy for you. You need to seek to understand. Listen without judgment. Listen with curiosity. Think, “What does this mean? What is she trying to convey?” Draw no conclusions. Do NOT try to make meaning of what she is saying. When in doubt, say, “What I hear you saying is…” and then repeat back to her what you think you’ve heard. This will diffuse so many misunderstandings and arguments.
HACK: WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER, DO NOTHING:
It’s okay to be confused and not know what to do next. It is okay to actually practice not knowing. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” When you do not know, do not try to know. Do not force knowing. Do not investigate it to death.
Instead, ask questions. Get curious. Be open to new information. Sit with the information instead of acting quickly (see tie-ins to all the above).
Developing skills and tools of conscious masculinity does not have to be hard, though I understand that we are up against societal programming that says men should know the right answer, and not admit defeat. Well, for men who want to relate to women at this time in a conscious way, it would behoove you to heed my hacks, gentlemen. Ask me questions. You may write to me at any time. I’m here for the reconciliation between genders at a very heated time. I come in peace.
What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.
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