Men and Emotional Honesty

Ken Solin believes there are few, if any, relationships where emotional honesty doesn’t play a role. And “no one wins when the truth gets beat up.” 

I was pleasantly surprised when my recent article in The Huffington Post about emotional honesty in relationships received over 2,100 comments in a few days. Clearly, it pushed a lot of men’s buttons, and some women seemed unclear about how it works in relationships.

The common denominator for most of the men’s comments was fear. My goal is to allay that fear and encourage men to stretch beyond their relationship boundaries.

Some men vigorously protested that emotional honesty with a woman is suicidal, and that one of two things would surely occur. First, that the relationship would instantly become a friendship and love would be out the window. Second, that women don’t respect men who are emotionally honest.

The truth is: there are few, if any, successful relationships in which emotional honesty doesn’t play a significant role. The goal is for men to break through their existing relationship barriers and create a deeper dialogue. This pushes a lot of folks past their comfort zone, but that’s how emotional growth is achieved.

“I like you. I feel good about us. I’ll call you,” after a first date isn’t emotionally honest if you don’t mean it, and no one’s feelings are spared when the truth is spared.

A woman who surprises her partner by informing him she met another guy and fell in love isn’t being emotionally honest, because she was looking and failed to be truthful about how she was feeling about their relationship. She trashed his feelings rather than tell him she wasn’t satisfied with their relationship and wanted to date.

The purpose of men being emotionally honest isn’t just to satisfy women, but also to live in integrity as men. A man who shares his emotional truth is simply being honest.

But what does that look like to women, and what’s their perception of that man? There’s an enormous difference between a man being emotional, and a man being emotionally honest.

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The image suggested in some men’s comments — of a guy sobbing out his pain to a woman and being rebuked for his effort — is anathema to me. That’s just being emotional, and isn’t necessarily even honest.

When women said they wanted men to be more emotional, sometimes what they got instead was emotional men, not emotionally honest men. There’s some confusion regarding the difference.

Women respect a man who demonstrates the courage, confidence, skill, and willingness to articulate how he’s feeling about them. Women don’t necessarily respect men who are just being emotional.

The dilemma for men is due, in part, to the ambivalent manner in which women sometimes treat men who express their authentic feelings. Women can’t have it both ways if they want to know how a man is feeling about them.

A woman may not like hearing how her guy feels about her or their relationship, but she’ll know his truth, and she can work with that. A man who speaks from his heart is sharing his absolute truth, and as such, deserves respect. Of course it works both ways.

I urge women to listen without judgment if they want to continue hearing their partner’s truth. Verbalizing emotional honesty isn’t second nature for most men, and men deserve to be respected, not judged.

This can be tricky because no one likes bad news, particularly if he or she doesn’t share the bearer of that bad news’ sentiments. Still, I believe most people prefer to operate knowing the truth. In any case, emotional honesty is off limits to judgment.

♦◊♦

For emotional honesty to become the benchmark in relationships, the first roadblock to crash through is fear. How a woman treats a man’s emotional honesty matters. It takes courage for men to move beyond their fear and be emotionally honest.

The games men sometimes play in relationships are meant to keep women off-balance. Men want to feel safe, and keeping their feelings to themselves can feel safer than sharing them and getting trashed for their effort. Women who insist they want honesty and then bash a guy who shares his true feelings are just playing a woman’s version of a relationship game.

No one wins when the truth gets beaten up.

Men and women know that being emotionally honest can feel tenuous, so responding to it with appreciation and mutual respect creates a sense of safety. Sitting quietly together and having an open and honest dialogue might cause some anxiety.  Yet if both partners remain cool and open, and resist acting defensively, they’ll be on a path to deepening intimacy.

It’s okay for a woman to express her feeling about a man’s shared emotional honesty. That’s her right, and since she’s expressing her feelings, she’s not being judgmental.

If the conversation devolves into a volley between “Here’s how I feel” versus “Here’s what I think about how you feel”, it’s game over. Emotional honesty is best met with emotional honesty.

The walls in relationships can be broken down when both partners trust each other enough to speak their emotional truths.

“Where there’s no trust, there’s no love,” was my mentor’s sage wisdom.

What are your thoughts on this? Have an experience you would like to share? Join the conversation below.

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About Ken Solin

Ken Solin writes about boomer sex, dating, and relationships, and is a Dating Expert and columnist for The Huffington Post, AARP, About.com, and Maria Shriver.

Ken’s new book, The Boomer Guide To Finding True Love Online, will be available January 1st. The Boomer Guide offers real-life boomer dating solutions based on Ken’s online dating experience and the experiences of tens of thousands of readers who have commented on his articles. His relationship philosophy is simple. “You can’t think your way through a relationship. You have to feel your way.”

Ken’s website: http://www.kensolin.com
Ken’s Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/?lang=en
Ken’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kensolin

Comments

  1. speakeasy says:

    I crave the truth , my ears long to hear men say how they feel . I recently had a realization about my ex-husband , he never told me how he felt about anything . He never stood up for himself , he never demanded , never said he was hurt, I pushed him , he never flinched. I wanted , he gave.Looking back I was desperate for him to tell me no and in the end all I wanted was for him to ask me not to leave. He always said he loved me unconditionally , I never wanted that. I wanted him to fight for what he wanted, stand up for what he believed in , I wanted to be able to fail and then we would fix it. After a ten year relationship, a four year marriage, a miscarriage( he supported me but never expressed his own sadness) , several failed IUI’s , separation I went to Florida to sign the divorce papers , I was 38 and he was 49 , we met for dinner and he told me he didn’t want to have a child at his age , I sat before him in disbelief , finally the truth. He told me once he never lied to me and I believed him until he told me that. He has since remarried but is still in love with me , I am single and most likely will never have children . If he had told me the truth about who he was and what he wanted things might have turned out different for all of us. In the end, I feel like the biggest loser of all.

    • F.Q. Ross says:

      Kudos to this man for refusing to acquiesce to your jejeune demand for reciprocal drama. It strikes me that you are ill-equipped to hear what men really think. It’s a good thing you are unlikely to have children.

    • Here’s the problem with that situation. You were not looking for emotional honesty. You were looking fron emotion. As Ken put it… that is not the same thing. Assuming he didn’t sabotage the fertility treatments- I’m not sure he lied.

      People change.

      And considering everything you two went through his feelings about children definitely could have changed.
      Nobody owes anyone the reaction they expect. Im at the point where the appropriate reaction to someone deliberately making trouble is to simply leave. Life is hard enough without someone constantly prodding me trying to get a reaction. If you wanted a reaction 2 questions: 1. Why? What pupose would it have served in your relationship? and 2. Did you tell him that? Or would have telling him that sounded irrational so you didn’t…

      • It’s dishonest to stay in a relationship where you don’t want what the other person wants. If he’d been upfront about to wanting children earlier in the relationship, she could have found someone else. So yes, she ended up the loser.

    • QuantumInc says:

      Unlike others I can understand speakeasy. It would seem strange to be in a relationship where the other person never shares their opinion, never disagrees, never really asks for anything, and according to the description, rarely even emotes. It’s unfortunate that so many people think that suppressing yourself somehow helps. Letting the truth out would create drama in the short term, but less in the long term. I don’t see where speaking your mind and demanding your partner do the same is pro-drama.

      If he were more emotionally she would have known about the fact that he didn’t want kids years (decades?) earlier. It wouldn’t have been easy, but they could have come up with a solution that would have caused FAR less drama and heartbreak. Admittedly that might have involved breaking up, but since they got divorced anyway that’s a null point.

      Maybe I’m missing something but it really seems like speakeasy’s ex-husband was intentionally suppressing his own wants and desires. He was doing it to help her, which is noble, but in reality it wasn’t helping at all.

      The only thing I think speakeasy is guilty of is failing to make this realization sooner and failing to confront her husband about his passive-aggressive behavior.

      • I don’t know if it sounds like passive-aggressive behavior. It just sounds like passive behavior.

        It’s strange how this dovetails with a lot of PUA writing in which it is instructed that women will and do sh*t-test.

        I think a large part of what happened here is speakeasy’s husband failed the sh*t-tests and she became less and less happy and respected him less.

  2. “Men want to feel safe”. Hmmm. Really? I’m a man, and as such I don’t want to feel safe, I want to be safe. Feelings unattached to thoughts or actions have no bearing with regard reality. They are not vital or grounded.

    Feelings are the residue left over from the act of thinking or doing. They are part of a reflective process. I feel content, safe or frightened and insecure due to the fact being that I have or haven’t done this or that.

    As a man, with the rise of feminism I feel… oh, to hell with that!

    As a man, I have things I have to do. Whether you/he/she understands it or not.

    See the deeds of those you wish to understand… what do you think, how do you feel, and what is your next move?. Life goes on… deal with it/to it.

    • Being safe and feeling safe are two sides of the same coin Craig, and I disagree that feelings are the residue of thinking.

      I understand how you feel about the difficulty for men with today’s women, but in truth, while they’re doing far better in their careers and educations, they’re still women, and they still want what every human being wants, a deep human connection involving the heart.
      Thanks for weighing in.

      • So then Ken, in your book is there such a thing as a false sense of security?

        Hmmm. No Ken. Knowing I’m safe and being safe are two sides of the same coin.

        Ken, “in truth” women are not doing better in their careers and educations. No, really. When men, women, girls and boys operate within an even playing field, the truth will clearly be reveled… again.

        “they’re still women” No disagreement on this point.

        “they still want what every human being wants, a deep human connection involving the heart” Ken, it’s my observation that a womens love for a man, and a mans love for a women are not the same thing. We are, without doubt, not conveniently the same in many respects.

        One size does not fit all, the differences are worthy of mention. They paint quite a different picture.

  3. speakeasy says:

    Wow FQ Ross thats pretty hurtful and unnecessary.I hardly think you can judge someones ability to parent from a few paragraphs. I didn’t want drama, as a matter of fact we had zero drama for most of our relationship because we had no communication . Like I said “when I looked back” We were together from when I was twenty -seven years old , I did things to test him when I was younger , it wasn’t intentional , I was young and pretty inexperienced in relationships . You can’t always see things clearly when you are close to them , it has taken me four years to have the moment when it all became clear, he never said anything about what he wanted ever, I guess I didn’t ask the right questions . I was a great wife to him, but in the end he couldn’t tell me the truth about what he wanted and let me decide for myself if I wanted the same things . He might of changed his mind , I don’t know when exactly , but I do know he didn’t do much to help the cause and that was pretty devastating to me .

    My ex is an alcoholic/workaholic. In 99′ I told him I couldn’t tell him not to drink but if he wished to continue drinking I would have to leave, he defended his right to drink so I left . Nine months later he was sober and shortly after we got back together. In 2004 we got married , after the miscarriage , we moved, when he transferred they drug tested him , he came up positive for cocaine, he said he didn’t do it and I believed him as well as supported him, even though it wiped out our entire savings . He was unable to transfer so he took another job , one that had him traveling all the time , I was trying to get pregnant ,only once did I ask him to not go on a business trip , he said he had to go. I was alone all the time eventually we gave up trying . Then he got arrested for DUI, he refused the breathalyzer , he said he wasn’t drunk .I wanted to believe him, this time I couldn’t. We stood in the kitchen discussing the relationship , he said he didn’t think he could change, then said he are you going to be upset if I don’t fight for you, how does one respond to that, I said no. “Fighting for someone” isn’t always about drama, it’s about wanting to find a way to fix things so the person you claim to love so much won’t go.

    It’s funny you say that I am probably ill equipped to hear what a man really has to say, that is what led me to the realization about my ex in the first place , I’m a really good listener and pretty non-judgmental , he never shared his feelings so he never gave me a chance.

    • Speakeasy I think you had a more complex relationship dynamic than can be summed up in one paragraph on this comment board, so it’s easy for people to draw inaccurate conclusions based on their own interpretation from what little information is provided. The point I gathered from your posts is that you grew frustrated with your husband’s lack of disclosure, and that he was making himself too malleable as a man, in a way basically leaving it up to you to shape him into what you wanted him to be. You did not want to make him or direct him or manage him. You say

      “He never stood up for himself , he never demanded , never said he was hurt, I pushed him , he never flinched. I wanted , he gave.Looking back I was desperate for him to tell me no and in the end all I wanted was for him to ask me not to leave. He always said he loved me unconditionally , I never wanted that. I wanted him to fight for what he wanted, stand up for what he believed in…”

      I think you should have probably taken your own advice at the time and confronted your husband about this instead of passively playing games and trying to set him up with opportunities to respond in the way you were hoping. It’s not good to play with someone just to get a response and its even worse to do it while hoping for a certain response. If that’s what you wanted him to be like, perhaps it should have been your responsiblity to display some emotional honesty and come right out to tell him that you didn’t respect him because of his willingness to let you totally dictate what he wants.

      • speakeasy says:

        Jon D , you are right my ten relationship with my ex is to complicated to sum up in a few comments on the post. My response was fueled by frustration over a new realization about my ex’s inability to communicate for our ten year relationship .I thought about all the missed opportunities to grow as a couple . I actually texted him after I realized he never said how he felt to share my thoughts , his response was that he was a private person. He then said he like to think he was a good listener.

        I did not go around testing him , there were a few key moments when I can say I subconsciously tested him, it was in the beginning and the end of our relationship . It was unintentional, however I can see it now for what it might have been. I didn’t go around trying to get a reaction from him , one could maybe say he was trying to get a reaction out of me . I actually wondered if he was pushing me away because he couldn’t handle the relationship he created.

        If someone doesn’t open up , your left to fill in the blanks so I have spent four years filling in blanks , I loved him , we were friends , we could drive 3,000 miles and never turn on the radio, he taught me a lot , I grew as a person but in the end there was something he wasn’t telling me, instead he created chaos . I decided I needed to go cause I couldn’t fix him , he said he couldn’t change, and if he wasn’t going to talk about it what could I do, but I stood there and hoped he would say something that would make me want to stay, like the truth, I could have worked with that.

        While it has been hard to put my personal life out there ,I have appreciated all comments on this subject as it helps me process something that I have had a difficult time understanding . It has also helped me look at myself.

  4. Perfect timing with this article for me, because just recently I’ve had a very emotionally honest conversation with my wife. My sentiment was that I felt that she was indifferent towards me and did not make me feel special to her. It was hard for her to hear but I had to say it. I am typically more romantic and more motivated to do little things to break up our daily routine so I do lots of things to make her feel special. I began to resent her, seething silently for a few weeks, until I decided I had to come clean with why I was unhappy. The main reason why I did not say anything for so long was exactly what Ken touches on in this article, that I was fearful of being judged for having these feelings. I was fearful of being emasculated because I have needs that are not being met, emotional needs, and I was scared that my expression of that would be considered unmanly or weak.
    It worked out wonderfully and we had such success in that focus that we also touched on issues I have been dealing with about our sexual intimacy. I’m all for opening up when things aren’t right because often times the person who is not meeting your needs is unaware and will gladly hear you out, free from judgment, in the hopes of opening that dialogue to make things better.

    • Terence Manuel says:

      @Jon D….Grreat to hear things worked out wonderfully for you and your wife.

      I am divorced and frankly quite bitter about the lost years. I am bitter at one woman not ALL women. However, I have found in both life and research that women are often very dismissive about men’s complaints concerning sex, sexual intimacy…or anything sexual. They have little to no empathy. It is as if they are sociopaths (unable to empathize) when it comes to sex and marriage.

      But they want emotional honestly (per Ken Solin) from men.

      • What women say: “I want you to be honest with me about what you want.”

        What women mean: “I want you to say you want the same things I do, and I want you to mean it.

        Words and behavior; when they don’t match up, it’s pretty easy to figure out how to respond.

        • Some women, yes. Some women, no. Let’s not generalize too much here.

          • The overwhelming majority.

            The only mistake I see is the apparent assumption that this only applies to women. I have seen plenty of men badger their women into acquiescence and then pretend that they ‘agreed’ on something. These behaviors are essentially the same; the only difference is the aggression provided by a big dose of testosterone.

            If we stopped pretending there were so many differences between men and women, not only would we see the other more clearly, but ourselves as well.

  5. Terence Manuel says:

    “I urge women to listen without judgment if they want to continue hearing their partner’s truth. Verbalizing emotional honesty isn’t second nature for most men, and men deserve to be respected, not judged.”

    Well Ken, finally something we can agree on my friend. I do not believe we men are driven by fear on this subject. I can only speak for myself here.

    I simply have serious trust issues with women. From my experience, they say one thing and do another. So, it has created some serious credibility and respect issues for me. To paraphrase cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, “what a women says, what a woman does and what a woman says she does are three different things”

    So in essence, women can say they “crave the truth” ad nauseum. I am simply a non believer. It has zippy to do with fear. It has everything to do with fact. The fact is most women have serious honesty issues. Women say they want Mr. Nice (but not too nice) but they prefer sexing the bad boys and other undesirables. The gall they have to then come to me and demand this emotional honesty. Please!!!!

    I simply do not desire marriage or any other form of committed relationships from women. I have friends with benefits and it works just fine for us.

    I am not about to subject myself to unnecessary misery from women who are usually less than forthcoming about multitudes of issues.

    Thanks but “No Thanks!”

    • Terence,
      Thanks for weighing in so articulately as always. Here’s my point. Not trusting women is based on your fear of what might occur if you do. That’s based entirely on playing old tapes from your past experiences. Your divorce left you feeling betrayed, and I get why trusting again would be difficult. Overcoming that old fear would go a long way towards creating a new and heathy relationship.

  6. Transhuman says:

    “Women respect a man who demonstrates the courage, confidence, skill, and willingness to articulate how he’s feeling about them. Women don’t necessarily respect men who are just being emotional.”

    For SOME women this is true. other women, in my experience, cannot handle feeling that a man would consider them less than perfect. I’ve even had behaviour of a woman made out to be my doing. Despite gentleness and understanding on my part, emotional honesty has ended more of my relationships than it has helped. From speaking with men friends who are boyfriends and husbands, women expect men to simply accept what women do; the idea women are accountable is an anathema to their partners. It is why men in relationships seem to lose their spirit and just give in.

  7. Again I have to take exception to Ken Solin’s Views.

    He talks about the differences between being emotional and emotional honesty as if they are in someway different and separate. He misses the bed rock upon which both exists and that is Emotional Integrity.

    I find it shocking how many people have had their Emotional Integrity undermined. You see it with survivors of domestic abuse, child abuse and many other areas where power and control is exerted over another. It even comes from the horrendous stereotypes that Men have had rammed down their throats for decades – Big Boys Don’t Cry, Man Up, Be The Strong and Silent Type.

    Emotional Integrity is the bed rock upon which all of our emotional life exists – and where there has been erosion, undermining and constant damage emotion and emotional truth can’t exist in any form of balance – there is no foundation for them to stand upon.

    “Men who insist that women’s rights have hurt them in relationships reflect their unwillingness to look deeper into their own behavior.” – that line in the original Huff Post Piece is shocking.

    It is just a reiteration of all the bad old stereotypes in a new form. It is a gross misrepresentation of how some have used Women’s rights negatively to undermine some men’s emotional integrity.

    There is no doubt that some people game the system – and there are even a number of people who can be employed to game the system for you. As a result I routinely see men, women, children, grand-parents who have been made victims of that gaming through divorce – and are denied access to loved one’s as a result.

    I see people who have been Gamed – some have suffered gross sexual harassment, and not been believed – some have been falsely accused of the most heinous of crimes, found innocent and still been stigmatised. ostracised and abused – some have simply never been allowed to have emotions, being told by others how they feel, should feel and why they are wrong for not doing and being as others expect and even demand.

    When I started dealing with such people I was surprised by how they reacted to a simple question and my acceptance of their answer. I asked “How do you feel?”, and they said “I don’t know!”.

    I accepted what they said – and for them it was shocking. I didn’t tell them they were right or wrong – I didn’t tell them how they should feel. I just accepted that when they said “I don’t know!”, that was real and the truth.

    For some the sense of shock was the first and true emotional experience they had had in years – even in their entire lives. Many have dealt with counsellors, support groups and psychiatrists as a result of the events they have been through – and yet a no point had that simple truth of “I don’t know!” been accepted.

    After that there was discussion and exploring which uncovered what many felt as numbness. Over time they discovered that it wasn’t emotional numbness it was emotions they had learned and been taught to numb.

    So many people I have dealt with have needed to rebuild emotional integrity from the ground up. Only then can they have emotions as others recognise them – and have emotional honesty. Some need to even learn what they are feeling. It’s quite something when someone has to rationalise what has happened and figure out what that feelings they have are – it can be anger, frustration, grief and all too often it’s those negative emotions which have to come out first and allowed to find a place on the Bed Rock of that person’s Emotional Integrity.

    I was surprised, by what to me is Glib And Superficial.

    ” If the conversation devolves into a volley between “Here’s how I feel” versus “Here’s what I think about how you feel”, it’s game over. Emotional honesty is best met with emotional honesty.”

    Actually – depending upon the person who is attempting to control the communication and the other person by “Here’s what I think about how you feel” – the best course of action can be immediate withdrawal – and it’s a pattern that has been used in Domestic Abuse/IPV as best practice for decades. Anyone with experience in the field, and worth their salt, would be hearing alarm bells and advising accordingly. I know it has been shocking and unacceptable for some but the CDC report 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey has indicated that men can and are victims of domestic abuse by women. Thatb ranges from verbal abuse to full on psychological warfare.

    There are those who abuse emotional honesty, and teaching people how to deal with such people is Self Defence of your own Emotional Integrity – Their own Bed Rock.

    “Emotional honesty is best met with emotional honesty.” – Sorry NO!

    It does depend greatly upon the other party, and unfortunately there are those who will use Emotional Honesty as a way to find new ways to express power and have control – and that can be a man or a woman.

    I find the ways that Mr Solin expresses ideas about men, emotions and how they relate to others to be both flawed and alarming. There is an imbalance which always comes back to men have to fix themselves in someway to fit into other people’s views and behaviours.

    If you are dealing with individuals who have Emotional Health and Interpersonal Integrity, the advice and views many have some validity. But, the repeated failure to address the reality of those who’s Emotional Integrity has been damage and undermined by those who are abusive and determined to have power and control is a flaw that makes so much else misleading and even dangerous.

    “No one wins when the truth gets beaten up.” – so very true, and there are those out there who care nothing for another person’s truth – except where it can be used to abuser and control – and rob them of that bed rock of emotional integrity.

    “Act Like A Man – Really, There Is Hope Men Can Change” – sorry but that is so misleading, when the change that is needed is for a change in point of view and the taking of a valid and appropriate stance to defend Personal Emotional Integrity.

  8. In my experience, women – particularly young women – don’t respond well to emotional honesty at all. If you admit to being afraid, they look down on you. If you admit to being depressed, they think you’re weak. If you have insecurities, they think you’re pathetic. You don’t have to ‘act’ these things; you just have to admit to them. And like it or not, people’s impressions are formed when they’re young. It doesn’t matter what women want at 30 or 35; we’ll always remember how they acted when we were 20.

    I wish someone would concern themselves with some kind of a Good Woman Project, too. Because until that happens, trying to make better men is just a waste of time. You can’t have one without the other. People are only as good as they’re allowed to be.

    • Soullite, I think you missed my point. Telling a woman you’re afraid is just being emotional. Sharing what your fear is about is being emotionally honest. One is weak, the other is strong and will be respected. I never suggested men whine to women by emoting without a deeper explanation of their feelings.

      Telling a woman you’re depressed is simply the wrong way to navigate a relationship because it doesn’t leave a woman any place to go, except for the door. What human being wants to enter into a relationship with another human being who expresses they’re depressed?
      That’s not the sharing of feelings a man or woman can relate to.

      Telling a woman that the last time you were in a relationship and were open and honest, your feelings weren’t respected, and that you’re a little gun-shy about repeating that behavior, is a fair statement, and one that a woman can relate to and respect.

      • No, it isn’t ‘being’ emotional. It’s being honest and open about how you feel. SHOWING emotion is being emotional. Talking about emotion is emotional honesty. Throwing up sexist canards about ‘whining’ is just a smokescreen. The problem here isn’t men. The problem is women expecting men to be something more than human; to not have emotions they think men shouldn’t have. That is, quite frankly, Bullshit.

        I am starting to get the distinct feeling that you have no idea what you’re talking about. You clearly don’t understand anything about clinical depression. It will never be the woman’s to ‘solve’ – that requires medication. The problem is, if you admit to having that kind of problem and seek the medication you need, no shortage of women will look down on you for it. That isn’t our fault; that’s their fault.

        I don’t know, what kind of human being goes into a relationship expecting a real person with real problems? An mature adult, that’s who.

      • You can concern yourself with ‘fairness’ or with ‘honesty’. You cannot have both; there is an inherent conflict there. If I hide emotions because I don’t think she can ‘relate’ to them, then I can’t be honest. If I tell her about emotions she can’t understand (or more likely, just doesn’t want to), then I’m not being ‘fair’ under your paradigm (which I clearly don’t accept).

        So which is it? Fairness or honesty. Because you don’t title this post ‘Men and emotional fairness’.

        When I used to work in a restaurant, and I cooked until closing time and closed down the kitchen, I accepted that my female coworkers needed me there to feel safe (and so I had to linger longer than I would have wanted to while they closed up front). I can’t actually relate to their fear, but I accepted that it was real. Because that’s what good, decent human beings do – they accept that other people have a right to what they feel whether they understand it or not. They don’t look down on them for it just because they can’t ‘relate’.

        I am sorry that you don’t grasp that simply concept.

        • Soulite, I understand your position and offer this response for what you touch on in this statement :
          “In my experience, women – particularly young women – don’t respond well to emotional honesty at all. If you admit to being afraid, they look down on you. If you admit to being depressed, they think you’re weak. If you have insecurities, they think you’re pathetic.

          I think that the women who have responded to your emotional honesty in these negative ways are themselves flawed in a way that proves to you they are not a quality partner. Nothing more. This experience of yours does not equate to all women and should not condemn you to a life of relationships built upon superficial intimacy. Just like a woman who has been “played” by men who lie and cheat and use them for sex, you have drawn conclusions about relating to women that should not be made in general terms. Are there guys who are jerks, players, liars? Yes. There are also women like that who don’t bother with men seeking deeper emotional intimacy and real trust.
          I have had similar experiences with women, yes, young women as you point out, because it takes time to understand how to respond in these situations. Are the women you refer to morally repugnant for judging you? Maybe, but probably not. They just have not learned what it takes to build a quality relationship. Or perhaps they have failed to identify the men who can offer that because they have constructed similar defense barriers due to being burned by jerks themselves, so they have become skeptical when a man displays emotional honesty. Maybe they think it’s bullshit because someone else has proven that way for them before.

      • wellokaythen says:

        “Telling a woman you’re depressed is simply the wrong way to navigate a relationship because it doesn’t leave a woman any place to go, except for the door. ”

        Wow. I must be misreading this. If I admit that I feel sad, and a woman leaves me just because I said I feel sad, then the relationship problem is not that I have problems with emotional honesty. The relationship problem is that my partner can’t be bothered to listen to a simple statement of my feelings. THAT is the fucked up part, not my fear of expressing myself.

        Sure, if I keep saying I’m sad and not doing anything to examine why or do anything to deal with those feelings, then that grinds down a relationship. But straight for the door because I say I feel sad? That is cold.

        • Saying you’re depressed is a red flag to a woman you don’t know well, and frankly by men who don’t know you well either. Depression is a serious issue, and only a woman who’s seriously involved with a man would want to hear more, but if she’s that involved, she probably already knows.
          Feeling sad and feeling depressed are entirely different issues. Sadness can usually be overcome fairly simply, but just saying you’re sad leaves a lot of questions up in the air. Saying what ‘s making you feel sad is appropriate, particularly if you can articulate the reasons well. Depression is much more serious and has long term implications.
          There’s a huge difference between the two.

        • Having suffered from clinical depression myself in the past, and having been in relationships with men who are clinically depressed and/or bipolar, I would agree (and I know this sounds harsh) that untreated mental illness should be a huge red flag. I know I put past boyfriends through hell with my depressive episodes, and depressed boyfriends have done the same to me. Now that I’m older and wiser, and having gone through a lot of treatment for my depression, I cannot overstate the importance of looking for someone who is emotionally healthy to spend your time with. It doesn’t mean you have to reject someone with a history of depression but they should show insight into their condition, and be willing to seek help if they have symptoms.

      • Emotions are transient, emphemeral storms of neurotransmitter chaos in the nervous system. Often, the things we attribute causality to a certain emotion are only half of the story. The other half is whether or not we exercised that day, what we had for dinner, whether or not we had an orgasm the night before, or the state of our 401k.

        Meditation and its corresponding cultivation of spiritual detachment, the development of an unshakeable state of equanimity and equipose, these give us the stability to stand in centered stillness in the storm of emotion. This skill, once fully developed, is more than enough to quell the everyday storm of emotions. What remains are calm, peace, love, and balance.

        There’s no reason to share mundane emotions since they’re so fleeting. Emotions are the equivalent of a weather report–true enough in the moment, but in retrospective, nothing more than a banal compilation of data points.

        Through meditation, we can cultivate unflappable confidence and poise. When we do so, the superfluous feelings begins to melt away. What remains–a pleasant nothingness, a state of blissful emptiness, which can then be filled with the state of being of your choosing, a state that most pleases you most, or none at all. We may choose to cultivate a state of calm happiness, an attitude of mischevious playfulness, a quiet, deep happiness, or intense studious gratitude. We get to choose. WE CAN CHOOSE.

        We can choose our emotions. We have free will. Arriving at this state, the true core of our beingness is revealed. In the extraordinary moments of life, in times when the truest, strongest emotions are called forth, those stirred by the spirit and the soul themselves, these True Feelings express naturally without hindrance, as if they have volition of their own. Deep, powerful love for a paramour, the camaraderie and brotherhood of fraternal relations, grief from true loss, gratitude for a beautiful sunset, wonderment at a finch landing at my feet, these are true and real emotions not subject to the tempest-in-a-teapot that is the daily machinations of the ego. From a state of emptiness, we can express our truest feelings, releasing them to the universe. “We are the experience the Universe is having,” said a modern sage.

        For men, this is a desirable state, a natural state, and a state of grace. Women are deeply attracted to this natural state of deep calmness and implacability. The Ancient sages believed the most Yang elements in the universe, hence the most masculine, are the planets moving perpetually and unwarried in their orbits, and the stars burning silently in the Yin vacuum of the cosmos. We do well by their example. This is a natural and authentic state, for those who have relentlessly cultivated it.

        So by choosing not to share the chaos of a momentary neurochemical storm in my brain, by choosing not to propagate that signal noise but instead to breathe through it, dispelling any chaotic thought or emotional movement in a puff of exhaled carbon dioxide, I have nothing to express to a partner. Then when a true moment of real feeling, a feeling of authentic love, a feeling of powerful attraction, a sentiment of affection, a moment of appropriate anger at the transgression of a well-articulated boundary, these are expressed easily, without attachment to outcome.

        In those moments of expression, words are not necessary. In fact, words can never be enough. I can say all I need to say with a look, with a caress, with a brush of my lips across her forehead. The inefficiencies and vague semiotic blunderings of language are left behind, revealing the poetic movement of emotion itself, naked feeling transmitted from one heart to another.

      • Don Draper says:

        For the most part, I agree with Ken. I have counseled many women who are struggling in their relationships, “Because I have this feeling he’s not leveling with me.” I tell every one of them, the best thing they can do in that relationship is to create an environment where he will be secure in sharing his emotional honesty. It isn’t a guarantee to him that you will love it. In fact, after ruminating on his honesty, you may decide he isn’t the one and that pain will surely ensue with that realization. But your assessment (much as Speakeasy desired) will be based on TRUTH, and the relation will not unnecessarily be prolonged, based on half-truths and deceit. And while you may not find much short-term solace in the truth, I firmly believe in the end, we’ll find ourselves agreeing with Honest Abe…it IS the best policy.

  9. wellokaythen says:

    I agree with this, times a thousand:

    “The dilemma for men is due, in part, to the ambivalent manner in which women sometimes treat men who express their authentic feelings. Women can’t have it both ways if they want to know how a man is feeling about them.”

    In my experience, many people who say they want the truth are not actually asking for the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There tend to be some huge implied limitations on truth sharing, like tell me the truth but of course I don’t want to hear about ___ or ___ or ____. Convenient truths are more welcome than inconvenient ones, of course, and you are still held responsible for the emotional effects of telling the truth.

    Many people (and in my finite experience women do this more than men) see a feeling as an action, and they certainly see an expression of a feeling as an action. If the listener does not like the feeling, then the speaker has done something wrong. If the listener feels pain upon hearing the truth, then it was wrong for the speaker to say such a terrible thing, true or not. Or, the listener takes the expression as an attack that was meant to cause pain. A man is frequently held responsible for the effects of the truths he says, and if the truth feels bad to the listener then he faces negative consequences. My wife and I and the marriage counselor have been going in circles for a long time over this very issue.

    Just because a man is cautious about expressing his feelings doesn’t mean he’s playing a relationship game. He’s not necessarily trying to keep his partner off balance. Try to see it from his point of view instead of assuming that the way it makes you feel must be the main issue.

    One key gender difference (again, from my limited anecdotal evidence) is that men give up on expressing their feelings sooner and easier than women do. If a woman expresses her feelings and does not feel validated or listened to, she keeps on trying to break through, up to a certain point. Men, meaning me, on the other hand, give up pretty early on. If we express our feelings and those feelings are not validated or listened to, then they very quickly think it’s not worth the effort. We recognize the wall early on and so stop banging our heads against it.

    I’m not sure I fully understand the difference between being emotionally authentic and being emotional. “Just being emotional” seems like something that, in the larger society, women get away with but men are still not allowed to. Somehow if it’s “just my feelings” then what I say doesn’t deserve any respect? As a man I would be an asshat to disrespect my wife’s feelings by discounting her feelings as “just being emotional,” so it seems fair to me to demand the same minimum level of respect.

  10. I’m honestly not sure where to start here. Between this and the stuff in your comments, you are basically saying that men can be honest, unless they actually have bad things to be honest about. That’s not exactly fair is it. You’re also basically saying that anyone who has had bad things happen to them is SOL. They can either not share and be emotionally dishonest, or they can share and then it is perfectly reasonable for women to bolt for the door. Why is it that men aren’t allowed to share their problems, their hurt, the dark places in their soul?

    This is especially a problem for people like me who have incredibly dark histories. I’ve never been in a relationship and this just reinforced the fact that I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. You are essentially saying that men should share, and it is our fault of we share and the woman runs away because of what we shared. It has been my experience that most people can’t handle the truth. Most people can’t even handle a little bit of the truth. Life is war, and you will inevitably have some scars from past battles. We reveal some of those, and women take off because we have “issues.” I got news for you; EVERYONE has issues.

    • Whether or not a woman you meet appreciates you for your dark history or not is not the issue. Some will run, some will see the more in you that’s good and worth taking a risk. What I’m saying is that telling the truth is the only way to begin, conduct, and end any relationship.
      It’s not your fault if you share your story and a woman rejects you for it. That’s her issue, not yours, because all any man can do is show up and be himself, warts and all.
      That life is war isn’t the point here. Living in integrity as a man is the point. In the end, whether people appreciate us for that is less important than the inner peace that comes with doing it.

      • That’s a complete load of BS and you know it. There is no inner peace from serial rejection because of who are you. It is better to lie and receive affection than to be honest and receive nothing.

        • Collin, you are in so much pain that it’s difficult for me to fully grasp the depth of it. I’m so sorry for your situation. But to lie to get affection seems desperate and wrong, particularly because the lie will come to light soon enough, and you will find yourself back where you started, alone and sad.
          Please Collin, you appear to be a young man with a lot of life still to live. Perhaps counseling might help you find your way. Please consider it.
          Best,
          Ken

          • There is a great line from a few good men that I feel is quite relevant to this whole thing. “You can’t handle the truth.” It is true for most people, and certainly for most women.

            You say hiding the truth will come to light soon enough, but I disagree with this. It isn’t difficult to hide things, especially when there is no one to counter your narrative. Perhaps you’ve never heard of secrets? Also, a brief respite, I imagine, is better than not. Better to have been loved and lost than never having been loved at all.

            Everybody is allowed to have secrets and keep things from other people. I think the expectation that someone be completely open is absurd, especially when doing it will inevitably result in their own suffering. I appreciate the patronizing, really, I do. As for therapy, been there done that. I have to say that my biggest regret there is that I wasted money on it when I could have spent the vast amounts of money I threw away on something more productive. If I could find a therapist with an IQ higher than my own, I would consider going. Unfortunately, that sets the bar incredibly high and unless you know some therapists with 180 IQs, I’ll be saving my $200/hr.

      • “Whether or not a woman you meet appreciates you for your dark history or not is not the issue. Some will run, some will see the more in you that’s good and worth taking a risk.”

        Ken – why is it that when you communicate there is this imbalance – which always has a negative edge about men?

        Why are you using the word “Risk”? Are men to be seen as Risks for Women to asses? Is it not possible for there to be no Risk and for the assessment to be wrong – incorrect – false – nothing to do with the man?

        You say this:

        “The goal is for men to break through their existing relationship barriers and create a deeper dialogue.”

        Sorry but – in any relationship there are at least TWO parties – and yet it’s the men who you keep implying have the “relationship barriers”, and only the men! Sorry to break this to you – a number of Women also have big issues around Emotional Honesty, Emotions and Emotional Integrity. It’s not a Sex/Gender issue – It’s a Human One!

        If it was to be valid, it really should read:

        “The goal is for the partners to break through their existing relationship barriers and create a deeper dialogue.”

        It’s called NO Fault communication. It Takes Two To Tango!

        Your repeated representation of “men lack” and “women always have” is plain wrong.

        You seem to lack a basic knowledge of areas, such as Interpersonal Psychology. There is the old erroneous chestnut that Opposites Attract. They don’t – They Compliment. In any relationship there is more in common than different – people share the same ethnicity, socio-economic status, IQ, educational attainment, there are so many factors in play.

        One area that features heavily is emotional intelligence. It comes in varying degrees – and with that you also get people who happily get it wrong and always externalise the matter – blaming the other party. It is sex/gender neutral.

        It gets simple “You scare me” is externalising – “I’m scared” is not!

        The first makes the other person supposedly responsible for your feelings, the second takes ownership.

        It’s the same as “I’m angry with what you have done” Vs “You have made Me Angry”.

        Here the person takes ownership of their feelings and the second makes the other person supposedly responsible.

        Yet, you keep on dealing with the complexity of interpersonal psychology in abstractly simplistic ways, with an ongoing negative message about men in general – and from some sort of very high pedestal.

        You say “Collin**, you are in so much pain that it’s difficult for me to fully grasp the depth of it.”

        Uhhhmmmm – Colin is, and has been, writing very cogently and even courageously of his experience’s and yet he has not stated he is in pain – and yet you are able to tell him how he feels and even how it has such “Depth” you can’t fathom it.

        You write about Emotional Honesty, but you’re not doing as you say.

        If you were dealing with matters Honestly you would invert the clauses and communication – your Inability to grasp would come first, that is what you own – and then you would communicate how that makes you view the other person – or better still how you feel about your own inability…. but no! You tell Colin what his reality is – and then hide your lack of comprehension under it!

        There is a big difference between ” You are in pain and I can’t grasp it’s depth” Vs” I’m not sure of the depth of what you are communicating/of your experience, but I sense/believe/perceive you are in pain”.

        To quote:

        ““Here’s what I think about how you feel”, it’s game over. Emotional honesty is best met with emotional honesty.”

        Odd – isn’t it? P^/

        I realise from your published history that you have been running men’s groups for some 20 years – you have an entrepreneurial history and a book on Amazon – but time and time again you show a shallowness in dealing with people and language that is worrying. There is all too often an imbalance between what you do and what you say others should do. There seems to be a confusion of means.

        I am all for groups of like minded people getting together and providing support – It can be so powerful and empowering. I’ve facilitated Depression Support Groups, Abuse – Sexual Abuse – Rape Survivor Support Groups, PTSD/Trauma support groups, Disability Support Groups … and even had to make them sex/gender polarised or neutral to respect specific issues and needs.

        It is amazing to see how people who have similar experiences can have “True Sympathy” for each other which can only come from having walked the same walk – that gives them a common language. There is a palpable air of relief when people are able to communicate and others get it – even to the point of being able to finish people’s sentenced for them. It’s so like being in a relationship.

        Sympathy comes from communal experience. It is about common ground, common experience, a common road.

        Empathy is when you have walked a different road and so can understand what is like to make a journey – but you have no idea of what that persons Journey and Destination are. You have made different journeys under different skies with different views, and all that is common is that a journey has taken place.

        You may have reached Paris and know what it’s like to get there – but that does not mean you can say what it’s like to have travelled to Papeete in the heart of the South Pacific. The only communality that come from reaching those two separate destinations is that the both start with the letter P and French is the Lingua Franca. Even the food is different – and the climate!

        I just keep getting the clear impression, over and over, that you are attempting to take your experience in your men’s groups and apply it to all men’s journeys – and you are mistaking empathy for sympathy.

        In the past I was most worried to read:

        “Men’s groups can encourage emotional growth through the confidential sharing of emotional experiences. Men’s groups are the best path for men to work through the issues that hobble them, women and relationships included.” Link

        I have to say that you claim a very Broad Church, which is in my experience not valid. I have to wonder – is a men’s group, as you define it, the best path for an Abuse surviving, Rape Surviving, Alcohol Abuser with PTSD?

        Not All Roads Lead To Rome! Hail Caesar!

        In the past you have been asked directly to explain your views and how the language you use relates to them and even your own experiences. You have not responded.

        Maybe you still need to work on that!

        ** Colin, sorry it my using you to highlight my concerns is out of order. I’m not talking about you, but the way you are being spoken about and not to and how language is being used in ways that are inconsistent with professed truths. I have read much of what you have written, and have not commented to you directly as I have not believed such comment was necessary. It seems to me, you are holding your own! I also strongly believe that many readers will benefit from what you have to say. Truth is not found in the Middle Of The Road – It Is The Road, and covers it from Side to Side and along it’s Whole Length. Bon Voyage.P^)

  11. Media Hound,
    Thank you for taking the time to express your point of view so articulately. I want to be clear about why I suggest a strategy for men, and not women. First, my work is with men, not women, so I talk to men, not women. That doesn’t mean I believe women deserve a pass in terms of emotional honesty, but rather that men have no control over how women behave, but they do have control over their own behavior.
    I’ve always believed that when a man takes the moral high ground, he becomes a beacon, not only for other men, but for women as well. “All ships rise with the tide.” People follow men who lead by example and show strength of character.
    In terms of Collin’s pain, I’ve experienced extreme pain. I lost an adult son ten years ago, so I know what pain is. Still, Collin’s felt much deeper and more filled with despair than the pain I experienced. I hesitated before answering him, but in the end, I felt that his lying would only result in more pain for him. in truth, his issue, whatever it may be, is far more complicated than typical male behavior issues I deal with. When I suggested he might seek professional counseling, my hope was that he would. Collin’s current path will lead him in circles, and that’s a painful thought for me.
    I care deeply about the plight of men, but at the same time, I feel it’s time men ignored the noise around them and focus on their own behavior. Every man has fears. Overcoming those fears is what makes men strong, and living in integrity with our manhood is critical in that pursuit.
    I don’t think we’re in opposing camps, and I’m not sure you grasp my concern about men and the male condition. I’m a huge fan of men who strive to become better men, and I’m more than pleased to help men get on that path.

    • Here is the problem with your patronizing attitude toward me. I am far more intelligent than you are. This is just merely a fact of the world. The suggestion that I go and get therapy is nice, but it is something that I’ve known and explored already. To be honest, I have found therapists to be completely useless. They don’t know what they’re talking about, and they don’t warrant the money they demand. I have never had an experience with a therapist that didn’t give me any sort of insight that I hadn’t already made on my own. Is there a therapist out there who could help me? Yes, I’m sure. Do I have the $1,000 an hour to see them? No, I do not. Spending $200/hour for some hack who got their degree in psychology from a community college is not going to help me in any way. How can someone with a 120 IQ help someone with a 175 IQ? It’s like asking the guy who pumps your gas to help you drill an oil well. It’s not going to happen.

      • GMP Moderator says:

        Hello, this is to everyone: let’s keep the conversation civil and refrain from personal attacks. Also, let’s refrain from making assumptions about other commenters. Thanks.

    • Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.

      Epictetus

      Ken – I’m known for being “pernickity” over language, and one thing you have said in your response “pernicked”.

      I could write in detail about it – but it’s easier and even more valid if you “See” it! The old saying “A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words” is so true.

      I would like you to look at the image HERE – and then consider, if circles have values that you may have missed?

      “Collin’s current path will lead him in circles, and that’s a painful thought for me.”

      I find it odd that people use language such as “Spiralling Down” – it’s a very circular motion, in three dimensions – x, y and “-z”!

      Odd thing about Spirals – they can also be used to go up as well as down! x, y and “+z”!

      Not All Roads Lead To Rome – and even the one’s that do aint all straight or flat! I know many ways to get to Rome – and one of my favourites uses Viadotto elicoidale di Brusio. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful journey – with a twist.

      Tehachapi, in California is an interesting route to take as well! It seems that there are many similar routes globally.

      Have a look at this image – It’s called “Sunrise, Sunset” by one of my favourite artists; Steve Walker.

      It is possible for Sunrise and Sunset to be the same thing – I know that from having frozen my Nuts Off in the Artie Circle on the first day the sun rose over the horizon – after a long, dark, cold winter. It was such a short day, it literally lasted seconds. No warming of nuts that day!

      That Steve Walker painting is of the Prairies – so there is no chance that there could be confusion over the time of day! So which is it, “Sunrise” or “Sunset”? It can’t be both.

      What’s you view?

      Points of view are very interesting things – they do affect how we experience the world, and how we view all that we encounter in it! Points of view also say far more about us, than what we are looking at.

      Old Epictetus did make some valid points.

  12. Thank you for taking the time to express your point of view so articulately. I want to be clear about why I suggest a strategy for men, and not women. First, my work is with men, not women, so I talk to men, not women. That doesn’t mean I believe women deserve a pass in terms of emotional honesty, but rather that men have no control over how women behave, but they do have control over their own behavior.
    I’ve always believed that when a man takes the moral high ground, he becomes a beacon, not only for other men, but for women as well. “All ships rise with the tide.” People follow men who lead by example and show strength of character.
    In terms of Collin’s pain, I’ve experienced extreme pain. I lost an adult son ten years ago, so I know what pain is. Still, Collin’s felt much deeper and more filled with despair than the pain I experienced. I hesitated before answering him, but in the end, I felt that his lying would only result in more pain for him. in truth, his issue, whatever it may be, is far more complicated than typical male behavior issues I deal with. When I suggested he might seek professional counseling, my hope was that he would. Collin’s current path will lead him in circles, and that’s a painful thought for me.
    I care deeply about the plight of men, but at the same time, I feel it’s time men ignored the noise around them and focus on their own behavior. Every man has fears. Overcoming those fears is what makes men strong, and living in integrity with our manhood is critical in that pursuit.
    I don’t think we’re in opposing camps, and I’m not sure you grasp my concern about men and the male condition. I’m a huge fan of men who strive to become better men, and I’m more than pleased to help men get on that path.

  13. Collin, please accept that I am in no way trying to patronize you, and my only purpose was to try to help you. I’m sorry you took that as patronizing. What I’ve learned over 20 years working with men is that IQ is of little help when life isn’t going as planned. Suggesting therapy was my way of reaching out in the only manner I know how. Clearly, I can’t help you myself, and perhaps therapy is a waste of time for you.
    I don’t know what else I can say, except to wish you well and to emphasize that I don’t patronize anyone, and that includes you. Be well, Collin, and I hope life treats you well.

    • You’re right that IQ is of little help when things aren’t going as planned. Unfortunately, it is a massive barrier to understanding when dealing with a therapist. Someone with an average IQ can’t comprehend what goes on in the mind of a person with an IQ that is one in a million. It isn’t entirely their fault; it is just the way it is. Are there incredibly good and prominent therapists who can and do deal with the incredibly gifted? Certainly. I’m sure there are a bunch of them here in NYC where I live. Unfortunately, they are the ones who work with a very successful clientele, and I cannot afford the incredibly steep money they demand.

      It does, unfortunately, create a bit of a catch-22 situation. I understand all the nuances and issues with my situation. My comprehension of everything is well beyond that of the vast majority of therapists. My brilliance combined with my history means that there are very few people who could actually be helpful to me.

      • Collin, I like your style. 3+sd can be a lonely place.

        You have highlighted an important issue that relates to diversity. People get(?) race, sex, gender, sexuality and so many things they can quantify and relate to. Yet, when new and novel issues of diversity arise all too often people retreat into well trodden tropes and look to box up the issues in old packaging!

        I like your honesty when you say:

        “I understand all the nuances and issues with my situation. My comprehension of everything is well beyond that of the vast majority of therapists. My brilliance combined with my history means that there are very few people who could actually be helpful to me.”

        No doubt you are used to people seeing such comments, not as honesty, but as arrogance. C’est la vie.

        Even Intellectual and Emotional Honesty has relative levels which are affected by so many other factors in a person, both the person being honest and the one fighting to get their head around it.

        I find it fascinating that so many people see me has having no expertise in my own life because I’m Disabled. I can’t know my own limits, my own capacities and my own abilities – I have to lack the capacity to look at issues that affect me and not only understand them, but be able to work out solutions – where the solutions are blocked and not available – solutions to the blocks with a view to removing block and providing solution ….. and apparently I’m not allowed to communicate such detailed knowledge and understanding to others … because they don’t get it.

        Some are a bit shocked that I have to point out I don’t have a Jet Engine for an Ass! They say It’s just 4 or 5 steps! I do not have the capacity to perform vertical take off and landing – just as I don’t have the capacity to levitate! P^)

        It does get wearing having to fight your own corner all the time – and attempting to get other’s to learn and comprehend.

        I think it would be fascinating to be able to sit down and compare notes. If I manage to get back to NY, the drinks are on me! If you end up on this side of The Pond, let me know! I’ll still pay for the drinks! P^)

        Cheers.

        • You are quite right; it is very lonely so far outside the range of normal. It’s great in terms of impressing others, but it isn’t so good when you’re trying to actually connect with a person. I don’t want my intelligence to be intimidating to people, but it always is.

          I have also found a different reaction to unexpected diversity in the from of immense curiosity. People find out you’re incredibly different in some way and they want to study you, poke you, and test you like some lab experiment.

          I’m glad you like my honesty! I cannot tell you how many times I have had people decry my arrogance, but I always tell them that it isn’t arrogance if it is the truth. I have just come to accept that people are unable to understand, but it is definitely depressing. I have found that humor is one of the very best ways to determine the intelligence of other people. If a person can appreciate my humor it means that they’re pretty smart.

          I definitely hear you on that! It can be very offensive and tiring that people look at you and doubt you know what you can and cannot do. Maybe some people have no concept of their capabilities, but many of us do! I don’t know if you’re like me, but I love when I find solutions to hard problems!

          Perhaps the problem is that you haven’t created a jet engine for your ass! VTOL has a whole host of other issues you’d have to resolve aside from the engine if that was your goal!

          It does indeed get wearing. It is fairly common for me to get extremely frustrated because people just don’t get it. It could be very interesting indeed! I’m always here in NY, but I do hope to have time for a vacation in the not-too-distant future when my company is at a point where it can operate for a time without me. Of course, I have always found that trusting others to do as I would do is a fool’s errand; the reality I see is far different from the reality that they see.

          As an aside, please don’t judge my intelligence on my grammar! Sometimes I have to break the rules in order to have the flow exactly as I want it!

          • Collin,
            One last thought. Your attitude about therapists notwithstanding, perhaps you would consider joining a group of similarly gifted people who meet regularly to discuss their issues. There’s a lot of comfort derived from belonging to a small group of like minded, gifted folks who are dedicated to each other’s well being. More than anything Collin, I hope you get the support you deserve. I respect you and your intelligence, and as a father of a 45 year old son, I do feel for you in your struggle. Kindly consider me as much of a friend as anyone on a blog site can be. I would appreciate your keeping in touch through my website if you are amenable.
            Best,
            Ken

          • “Perhaps the problem is that you haven’t created a jet engine for your ass! VTOL has a whole host of other issues you’d have to resolve aside from the engine if that was your goal!”

            Yes Quite! You just can’t pass the medical to get the requisite Pilots Licence. P^)

            I’ve come across so many people who are diverse in so many different ways – the lady who at 14 had breasts that were like two basket balls (double M cup), breast reduction by 80% aged 18, on medical grounds due to the spinal damage. School was not fun – the guy with Penis that was two beer cans end to end on steroids, virgin aged 32, seeking dick reduction surgery – Neuro diverse woman with synaesthesia, had to be very careful choosing boyfriends, as names induced tastes. David was so cute but tasted of rotten fish – wouldn’t change his Name. Luckily Mark was chocolate, not as cute but so much more tasty! He was originally called Peter… but lets not go there.

            I even know one lady who has a most powerful eidetic memory, and a brain that processes information like a computer that can’t be switched off. She was dumped because of her diversity, and ended up becoming a co-dependent alcoholic in the hope that booze would somehow slow her brain down – and of course that did not work. She sobered up and now lived with a great guy. They have just come to an accommodation that her diversity is managed within the relationship – good, bad or otherwise. It works for them.

            We all want to be loved and to love – but sometimes there is a big issue in finding someone who will love you for exactly who you are, as you are.

            Lying in bed like spoons is easy!

            Finding a matching spoon for life is not the same thing.

            We all seek “Moments Of Pleasure”.

  14. speakeasy says:

    I have seen a few comments suggesting that women can’t handle to much truth/the truth , while I am sure there are many women that don’t want the truth ,I think it is unfair to decide what might be to much truth for someone. You might be surprised to find out that there are more accepting women out there then you think. I come from a family of women , we have all been in love with men who have issues worse then our own , we have embraced and loved them as part of our family, we have showed compassion even after they have lied, cheated and hurt us. Our hearts have been broken by these men because they didn’t want to be honest with us or themselves about who they were or what they wanted. If we are willing to put up with the deception then what makes you think that we wouldn’t accept the truth. You can omit information from a potential partner but eventually whatever you suffer will find its way to the surface and like a disease it will eventually spread to the one you love .

  15. Emotions for men are the equivalent of farting for women. We know it happens but we try to hide it from each other to maintain attraction.

  16. And for the record there is nothing as painful as breaking into tears over a truly devastating loss and watching your girlfriend recoil in disgust. Better to cry alone.

  17. Wow. So many men today calling women out, and playing it how they see it. Good on them(Big happy grin).

    As I understand it, men are reacting/responding to their/through their experiences with women. And as such, I believe men and their experiences deserve consideration, earnest investigation, and vitally… Validation(The healing start with this).

    Generally, with the odd exception, I don’t expect emotional honesty from women. This is my view based on my own experiences with women. I have of course done much investigation regard women before locking my views in place. And make no mistake, locked in they are.

    In my view, a woman’s insecurities are only equaled by her deviousness. So, be astute, never underestimate a women’s insecurities.

    Look folks, I could go on and on, but come on now. All bullshit to one side. Anyone who is pitching for men to expose their soft underbelly to a women in this day and age is misguided at best, has rocks in their head, or is in support of the status quo for men(sic).

    Cognitive dissonance sucks arse. So Men, make your discernment, lock it in. Define your own terms. It’s an alpha male thing to do after all, you bad boy you.

    It is my understanding that she will love you for that, the best she can… eventually.

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