This is a comment byJames on the post “Do Guys Fight For Their Friendships? (Hint: NYT says “No”; I say “Hell, Yes”!)“.
“Thanks for the article Tom. I understand what you are saying about this concept of masculinity and the way that men can often work things out physically and sometimes quickly move on without ever really talking about the emotions/feelings that were touched. However, this way of communicating and building relationships is clearly not working for all boys and men in our society. Boys are taught that toughness, violence, winning and being at the top is the most important aspect of proving their masculinity creating much isolation, hurt, shame and violence.
“In my view boys and men need to develop emotional intelligence that goes beyond toughness—where they can grow in intimacy, learn to listen to their bodies and communicate a full range of feelings including vulnerable emotions. Why? Because men are getting hurt physically by other men, they are hurting themselves through self-harm and suicide, they are hurting their relationships through avoidance and inability to communicate, they are hurting.
“I like your story about your friend and while and I have friends like that—however there are many men who have had life long friends who they have never been able to share what they really feel and even say, when not drunk … ‘I really like being with you’ — and so many men really don’t know, they are left guessing that can lead to isolation.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Rennett Stowe