Wouldn’t you like to be a better man?
What I am going to write about is your interest in resolving to be more of the kind of man you want to be. Maybe I lost you at the word resolve. Maybe you’re saying to your computer screen, “I’m not falling for another one of those New Year’s Resolution articles. Been there. Done that. Doesn’t work. I resolve to never again make a New Year’s Resolution.”
I hear you. Give this article a read anyway.
Much of my social work career was spent counseling men who had difficulties related to substance abuse. Many men with these difficulties, blame their difficulties on things other than their substance abuse. Many came around to the point of admitting to themselves and others that some of their most difficult difficulties were related to their substance abuse. Many made resolutions to never abuse substances again. Many didn’t do too well with the resolution thing.
The classic time to vow never to abuse a substance again is just before the substance is abused, ” for the last time.” By timing the resolution that way, the resolver gets the feel-good feeling of making a promise to stop abusing substances and the feel-good feelings of celebrating the promising by abusing substances. This is a much better feeling than stating that enough is enough, following some major negative consequence of too much. Being ready to stop after one more go, is often sincere and heartfelt. It just is that men, who think they need “one last time,” often aren’t quite ready to put substance abuse in their past.
New Year’s Eve, in the USA, is the most common date to announce the end of an era of getting into trouble with addictions. Many such announcements last until January 2;many, not that long.
There are many ways to define “addiction.” One way is: something that you do that makes you feel good quickly, but causes you to feel so bad later that you wish you hadn’t, but knowing this you do so again anyway. Sound familiar?
There are many ways of expressing masculinity that work out like this. To be more aware of them, the better chance you have of doing something to stop them, or at least cut back on them.
Let’s look at these common ways men express their masculinity then wish they hadn’t:
- How they respond to the needs of children. That is, feeling a responsibility to protect and care for children, but then not doing so.
- How they respond to the sexually provocative behavior of women, who they don’t have a romantic relationship with. That is, they want to limit sexual expression to romantic partners, but then don’t.
- How they respond to powerful women. That is, they want to respond as they would to a powerful man, but don’t.
- How they respond to somebody who believes something they don’t. That is, they feel a compulsive need to be right, when agreeing to disagree would be fine.
- Taking something from nature other than inspiration. That is what it sounds like.
- Responding to other men, who do what they shouldn’t do. That is, doing something about it.
For many men, maybe “addiction” is too strong a word to use to describe common male thought and behavior related to these six areas. Bad habits, might be a better way to describe it.
You can use this list of bad men habits for self reflection like this:
- Who are the children in your life that you feel the most responsible for? How do you feel when you act responsibly towards them? What gratification are you chasing when you don’t fulfill your idea as to what being responsible to these children looks like?
- What do you think about responding to sexually provocative behavior by women by being sexually provoked? What are your beliefs related to sexual expression outside of romantic relationships? This includes the consumption of pornography.
- Do you respond differently to women you perceive as being powerful that is different then how you respond to powerful men? If you quickly dismiss these questions as having nothing to do with you, do you think this might be a sign you should think again?
- How do you feel when you let somebody who is sure that you are wrong have the “last word,” when you are sure that you are right, when being right doesn’t much matter?
- How do you exploit nature by consuming or profiting from the consumption of natural resources in a way that you know unnecessarily harms the natural environment?
- How do you feel, when you do nothing to make it harder for another man to do a bad thing or think in a bad way?
How do I rate when it comes to acting like and thinking like the man I want to be? None of your business. I am just rising questions here, not answering them.
I think a primary cause of men not doing what they think they should, is fear. That includes fear of failing to do what they think is right, fear of negative “pay back” for doing the right thing, and fear that if the right thing is done this time, they will be expected to do it again next time and the time after that.
If you have read this far, that is a sign that you are interested in what I have to say about men being the man they want to be. You may be scanning this article for weak points or poorly worded statements, so you can stop reading.
That’s okay, Just resolve to keep visiting goodmenproject.com to read articles that speak more to you. Your quest to seek to be a better man fueled by what you can find on goodmenproject.com, will not disappoint you, but will rather, exceed your expectations, if you resolve to keep looking. If you resolve to find.
In general, I believe that most men realize there is no way they can be all who they want to be, all of the time and that making New Year’s resolutions as solemn oaths to always be a certain way, is a set up for failure.
Resolving can still be very helpful to men. Once resolved, resolve can play a key role in helping a man to do the right thing and to keep doing it, particularly when they don’t want to.
Men often find that the right kind of groups of like-minded men, are very helpful in doing the right thing, just as they find groups of wrong-minded men convenient for excusing, and continuing to do the wrong thing.
Many men are better able to do the right thing when they remember how good doing the right thing can feel. This feeling is usually on the mellow side and long lasting rather than a “big high” followed by a crash or resentment that the “high” wasn’t long or wide or deep enough.
These feelings that follow doing the right thing are often defined as being in love. That doesn’t mean doing the right thing always brings love in the form you think you want, but if you don’t get caught up in the forms, love comes.
I don’t believe there is any one day on a calendar that is ideal for starting a new habit. Calendar dates are usually misused to put off working on ending an old habit. When it comes to giving the world the present of your better manhood, there is no time like the present to start. No time like the present to feel the love.
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