What Is Below The Surface?

I get to spend a lot of time talking to men individually or when I work with them and their partner. These gentlemen tend to be very bright, highly educated individuals who have a lot of things going for them in life, but when I ask them “How are you?” I tend to get some very surface level answers. Either “I’m stressed,” or “ I’m frustrated,” and often times, “I’m fine.” However, when we dig into things deeper and we look at everything that’s going on in their lives, we discover often times that they are genuinely unhappy and that they have been for quite some time. Maybe they’ve been feeling depressed or they are worried about things. Often times, they are lonely.

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

I can’t help but notice how often men specifically are reluctant to admit that they’re not okay. I think this is because they need to feel like they have permission to admit to having some vulnerable feelings or to admit to struggling at times. From a very early age, most boys and men are taught some really interesting life lessons such as, “Suck it up,” or “Soldier on” even when things are hard, or when a situation is really challenging, “Don’t let them see you sweat.” If you were feeling unhappy before, following those life lessons about being stoic and stifling all of your feelings are sure to exacerbate your unhappiness. Admitting “You know what, I’m actually not okay,” is the first necessary step to being able to do something about it. Food for thought.

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