Male Support Networks
All too often male support networks subscribe to a model that is known as textural friendships. This is where the friendship is based on a shared activity, which can be positive such as football, fishing or snooker on a Saturday night or less positive like smoking cannabis or heavy drinking sessions. Women on the other hand seem to have a greater availability of emotional support and do not need to base their relationships on activity. Are men and women really that different?
An article in the popular online journal, The Age, says that a recent study by psychologists shows that men can often lose friends as they become more successful:
One of the reasons for this is that many men whose jobs start to take up more time, can simply no longer fit in the same amount of activities as before. This means that their male support networks can dry up. However, if you are one of these men, then help could well be at hand.
CBT, mindfulness and ACT can help you have a balance in life and know your value. One of the first steps to changing your relationships as a man is understand what it is you require from life. There is nothing wrong with wanting support or needing feel good moments of support from your friends, but all too often it can be difficult as a many to approach these subjects.
One of the biggest barriers to this kind of honest, frank and open communication between friends is the gender stereotypes created by an outdated kind of masculinity that can still be seen in lad culture. The idea that to be a man, one has to drink more than anyone else, treat women with distain and still find time to excel on the sporting field without every moaning about tiredness or injury is one that can be extremely damaging.
Men can be ashamed to get caught out showing their vulnerability or worse still they may believe that their social position and friendships could well be compromised by a display that they may perceive as weak. By knowing your value and respecting your own personal needs for an emotional relationship you can start to find a way to accommodate this within even a busy lifestyle.
By developing psychological flexibility and the real emotional resilience that will allow you to drop your guard you can find time for the right people that matter within a relationship. To learn more about how I can help you develop a new way of looking at your life please get in contact with me for a free consultation session.