Joy People

Creating a Global Joy Community

Meet Amanda

Amanda Gore
For as long as I can remember I have been talking! A lifelong friend of mine used to call me motor mouth when I was in my teens! Little did he know it was prophetic! LOL I studied physiotherapy and psychology after school and practiced for a few years, then taught at University before... Read more

men and feelings

The Joy Project 

Boys (big ones) are really comfortable when they talk about ‘things’.  They read the newspapers so they find new 'things' to talk to other boys about.  As well, they watch the news to have a graphic version of the ‘things’ they read about in the paper earlier!

Now, before I’m labelled sexist,   think about the truth behind this statement. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule - always.  But reading something like this can either make you realise how you already have incorporated this wellness routine into your life so you can pat yourself on the back,  or it may start  you thinking about how you COULD incorporate it into your life.

Generally,  clumps of women inevitably talk about feelings and emotions.  Or if we are troubled, we will actively seek out friends to validate our feelings - to prove that it’s OK to be feeling the way we do and that others would feel the same way in the same situation.  After we have talked about our feelings at length (repeatedly to lots of people for big issues!), we feel much better.

This is a tremendous form of health insurance for women who do share their feelings - the roles are often reversed;  the man trys to talk and the woman holds back.  One of the factors now believed to contribute significantly to heart disease (especially in men) is the suppression of feelings.  And that men (no research done on women yet!) who keep a diary - whether in written form or on audio cassette - have less incidence of heart disease!

S.N.A.G. s - sensitive , new age guys is a derogatory phrase directed at men who (shock, horror) actually speak (out loud)  about their feelings .... to other people.  (no, of course not to other men!)

Why do we  - Australians - do that?   Why do we put down / ridicule/ degrade the concept of men talking about their feelings.  Is the old ‘macho’ Aussie Bloke actually increasing his likelihood of heart disease by being tough?  YES!  So stop doing it guys!  

It would seem that men are most likely to share their innermost (well, some anyway)  feelings with their long term partners;  which is OK while the partner is alive.  But studies of men's health after the death of their partner indicate a much higher incidence of disease (usually death!).  One of the main reasons suggested for this is the man has lost his only outlet for his feelings.  it's important to have more than one outlet for feelings.

It’s almost as if the feelings we suppress go down inside and fester - infecting our internal organs  and creating havoc with our wellness.

Many times after I have spoken at  conferences,  I have had feedback about how the ‘blokes’ went to the pub afterwards and talked about issues that were worrying them, how valuable it was and how surprisingly easy it was for them.  What is it that stops this being a part of the Aussie culture - it seems that European men are more volatile and emotional ,  more comfortable with expressing their feelings;  and American men are much more comfortable expressing their emotions.

Are you guys afraid of making yourselves vulnerable?  That other men,if they have inside information on you will use it against you?   That talking about feelings suggests you are not manly enough to handle problems?  That you don't want to burden others with your problems? That you should be able to solve them yourselves?  It would be great if anyone wanted to write in and give some reasons for this mostly male behaviour of keeping emotions and feelings to themselves..

We need to be aware of the  reasons for suppressing and not discussing  or sharing feelings because it seems to be making us crook.    Women who suppress feelings must be as susceptible to disease as men but there don’t appear to be any studies looking at the female response.

It’s generally accepted that men and women have masculine and feminine sides to them - maybe the environments in which we live foster the masculine side of men (ignoring or actively discouraging the feminine side) and the feminine side of women.   Strong, independent women seem to terrify most men and sensitive, kind men are rare!!!   Just kidding guys, before you have a major wobbly!  But then if you do have a wobbly, talk to someone about how you feel!

Anyway, before I get too blokes out there need to think about how much you do talk about your feelings and to whom. 

If the actual thought of voicing your feelings sends you into a cold sweat,  then at least buy a diary and write your feelings down (in code if you have to, just in case anyone else sees it);  or use any old piece of paper instead of a diary;  write the feelings down and crumple up the paper if you like;  or talk into a tape machine (even if you erase the tape each time); or yell out your feelings on the way home in the car (best at red lights so you can focus on screaming!) ;  or buy a punching bag and punch out the feelings.  

Do anything that doesn’t involve violence with people, children , animals or property to express your feelings -   at least then,  the feelings are OUTSIDE and not deep down eating away at your insides.  Besides,  women usually love S.N.A.G.s!  

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