Sociocultural rules that lead to depression, hiding in plain sight, not feeling like difficult emotions are allowed:
Don't cry | Don't be seen as weak | Your worthiness is based on your achievements and your bank account | Don't talk about feelings | Be strong | Masculinity is based on strength, stoicism, and and perseverance.
It's no wonder that men who don't subscribe to these rules or feel that they don't measure up to the requirements struggle. But there is nowhere to talk about the struggle because that isn't masculine. Men don’t have a frame to reach out to friends and “vent” as women do. Most often, small talk revolves around work, sports, kids, etc. But not purpose, meaning, what matters, and where they matter. We all want and need to matter. When men are socialized and raised not to have needs, it becomes hard to ask for this in relationships.
Men’s group is a place to take off the mask, armor, costume that feels like a prerequisite for relationships. With the absence of those barriers, honesty, humility, support, emotional intimacy, and vulnerability emerge. Compassion. Validation.
To figure out what connection means for them and to experience emotional connection with other men in a way that is genuine and not metrics based. Relief. Freedom. The ability to exhale.
The investment in this group offers dividends with confidence at work, presence in relationships, and a feeling of self-worth and intrinsic value.