A lot of guys are finding it hard to talk about their emotions. And it’s understandable, given the never-ending list of stigmas which often dictate how men are supposed to think and act. During a recent Friday Sessions conversation on Instagram, co-host and psychiatrist Drew Ramsay, M.D., spoke with Dallas Hartwig, Whole30 founder and author of The 4 Season Solution, to discuss ways men can better communicate with the people in their lives.
For one, Hartwig says we must rethink kindness (and openness) as an act of weakness for successful communication to happen. “Kindness is a prerequisite of relationships of all kinds,” Hartwig said. “Kindness is not weakness, submission, or giving up. Kindness is just a way of being and relating to people where you can both be strong, present, attentive and thoughtful.”
Guys are usually conditioned not to pay attention to their feelings. However, Hartwig says that doing so will help men better communicate with the women in their lives—and it starts with recognizing how you feel.
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One tip that helps him is simply taking his time while opening up.
He says to slow down and actually figure out why you’re feeling the way you are in a specific moment. Verbally communicate that you feel an emotion, it’s causing a certain reaction, and it’s difficult for you to admit or share that. That recognition of your emotions can go a long way in a relationship. But if it seems easier said than done, Hartwig suggests going to peers for support.
“Having a safe space of guys to discuss what’s going on in your lives and having someone to relate to is important,” he said. “There’s strength, courage, and structure there to challenge you that might not be there otherwise.”
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