“Say what you mean…but don’t say it mean” ~ Tony Gaskins
I like that quote because it gets to the heart of this article.
If you want to be an effective man, father and husband there are some very basic values you’ll need.
Deciding that you’re a man who can have serious conversations without resorting to meanness is an example of a VALUE. It’s a guiding MOP (Masculine Operating Principle)
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Most guys who complain about lack of connection, intimacy and respect are battling a serious condition I’ll call LOW VALUES SYNDROME.
This simply means they don’t have a CLEAR view of who they are, what they believe and what MOP’s guide their everyday interactions.
In this video I want to tell you about the THREE crucial values I think every man needs if he wants to create more connection, intimacy and self-respect.
I’ll also give specific tips in this video to know when you’re straying out of your lane and how to course correct.
Let’s talk about intimacy and connection.
Let’s talk about self respect.
Let’s talk about the most important values that a man has to have if he’s going to create the kind of connection and intimacy he wants in his relationships.
Without these values, he can’t feel any sense of self respect.
So what are they?
We often have a value that says, I’m going to argue and I’m going to be right.
I’m going to argue argue about stupid shit.
I’m going to argue about the weather, I’m going to argue about traffic, I’m going to argue about politics, I’m going to argue about everything.
Where does that come from?
When we’re not feeling our self respect and we’re not feeling very attractive in our intimate relationship, it’s because we’re coming from a very, very small place.
That feeling is coming from the 13 year old little boy inside of us who needs to be right. He needs to somehow defend our honor.
So when we get into stupid arguments about stuff, we find ourselves debating, going tit for tat trying to convince the other person.
And in the case of a romantic relationship, you’re trying to convince her that she’s wrong, and that you’re right.
Arguing by its very nature has a lot of benefits when you’re in an adult debate.
When you’re in a debate and you’re having an adult mature conversation, and you’re doing point, counter point. It’s useful.
But a lot of guys are in the habit of bringing out that younger side and arguing over stupid stuff, because there’s an inner need to be right.
That inner need comes from feeling like you’ve been wronged or you’ve been accused falsely, and you need to defend yourself.
So that first masculine trait of masculine value is to stop arguing.
I am a man who doesn’t argue about stupid shit.
Try that one on for the weekend.
2. Being defensive.
I often talk about that defensive behavior when you’re arguing but defensiveness comes from that need to, to prove that you’re more worthy, that you’re more valuable, that you’re more worthwhile. And it comes from again, that younger energy of trying to defend your honor, defend your value.
Say you get accused of something, something stupid, like you put the forks in the dishwasher upside down, or you’re driving too fast, or you work too much, or you’re being an asshole, right?
Whatever the accusation is, there’s an inner boy who wants to defend that to make the other person wrong, so he could feel better.
Because there’s an inner suspicion that she might be right.
If you don’t have enough self respect, about your own worthiness and your own value, then then you’re going to defend yourself all the time.
Is there a time when it’s important to defend yourself?
Yes, of course…for example, in court it’s normally good to defend yourself.
But most the time when we get defensive, there’s that churning in your stomach, the heat on the back of the neck, your face gets flushed and you start being defensive because that inner younger child is feeling hurt, blamed and he doesn’t want to be unfairly accused of something. So he starts with a sentence with, “Well, I was just…”
Every sentence that you utter that starts with “Well I was just…” – you need to eliminate from your vocabulary. That’s a really good sign that you’re coming from the wrong place.
You almost never need to defend yourself. Almost never.
3. Total Ownership, of your emotions, and total accountability for your reactions.
This is important because when you don’t have ownership of your emotions, then you let those emotions drive you into doing some very juvenile things.
Whether it’s screaming at people in traffic, cutting people off, punching holes in walls, kicking dogs, or getting into stupid arguments.
Taking total ownership and understanding that these broiling feelings of anger, disappointment, frustration and resentment that we men get sometimes, they don’t define you. They’re just feelings that come from your thoughts.
If you don’t take total ownership of this then you’re going to you’re going to step in it every time.
What happens when we don’t take ownership over our emotions?
We don’t take responsibility for our reactions either.
Then we start to justify and defend and argue about why we did what we did.
Because we didn’t take ownership over the emotions, we didn’t take any responsibility for our reaction, and now we’re on our heels trying to defend and argue why we did what we did.
And guess what goes out the window then?
You have zero self respect.
You can hear yourself and you can almost see what you’re doing. But even though you can see, you don’t have the fortitude to stop, and say, “I can do better than this.”
An example of this is when we get pulled over by the cops, right?
I’ve been pulled over a lot because I tend to drive fast – which I’m taking ownership of (I drive faster than most).
However, on a lonely road recently, highway 287, dark, windy, cold and late one night, I was all by myself and I pass one of our troopers – these guys hang out in huge one ton pickups with four wheelers in the back – and then this guy chased me down.
I was mad and I took a big deep breath – you get that feeling of “Oh, man…here we go…” – it was cold, it was windy, it was dark, this is one of the deadliest highways in Colorado, I pull over to the left and go over into a pull off on the other side of the highway. So we don’t both get stuck on the side of the road with semis passing by.
I rolled down my window, I had my insurance identification ready, and he walks up beside the truck, you know, like they do – as if you’re going to shoot him or something – and all I could say is, “Good evening officer. I’m sorry, I made you have to chase me.”
He chuckled and wanted to see my ID.
I was just quiet.
I had all kinds of things I could have said.
It was dark.
Nobody was around.
Of course there was a guy that passed me five minutes ago going faster than me.
I had these big new tires that make my speedometer slower by five miles an hour.
Nothing…I just said nothing…I just waited.
He came back and said, “I see you’re a local boy. I’m gonna I’m gonna just give you a warning this time” and I said, “Thanks, I appreciate it.”
But I also said, “I appreciate you and your brothers out here doing this every night, taking care of us and I’m really sorry I made you chase me down.”
Yep, I knew I could do better.
I rolled the window up. I still felt like an ass but I felt better about me.
….a younger version of me would have come up with all the reasons why he probably shouldn’t have pulled me over.
So the 3 Crucial Masculine Values are:
1. I don’t argue about stupid stuff.
2. I don’t defend myself when I don’t need to.
3. I own my emotions and I’m 100% accountable for my actions.
I think these are the most common areas where most of us get stuck.
When we don’t have a CLEARLY WORDED PRINCIPLE around each of these we end up stuck in situations that suck the life out of us.
We wonder why we don’t have more connection with our woman…why she doesn’t want to be intimate…and why we feel so shitty about ourselves.
It’s because we don’t know how to steer our own boat. We’re constantly getting blown off course and finding ourselves in arguments and situations that could have been totally avoided.
You need better radar to see that stuff coming and the only way to have that awareness is to make a stand for what you stand for!
This stuff can feel a little overwhelming. It wasn’t until I turned 50 that I even started thinking about the importance of having non-negotiable values for myself and for the life I want to lead.
It was probably the most important and most liberating thing I’ve done. And now I get to talk about this stuff on a daily basis with great men all over the world.
The only thing missing now…is you.
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