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June 22, 2018

Men Need Therapists

We all have problems. Where we differ is in our ability to deal with them.

As a man, I don't talk about my personal problems much. This is not because I am not looking for empathy or have some macho persona to uphold. I simply recognize that nobody is really interested in my problems.

Through my observation, it seems this is more common with men. I believe women are more willing to listen and empathize with another woman's issues. Men, on the other hand, will listen for about two minutes before checking out.

The exception seems to be when the two men share the same problem. In these circumstances the discussion is usually lively and thought provoking.

However, when the situation calls for one man to be a 'listener' the discussion tends to be short and shallow.

I don't believe most men can discuss their problems with women either. For one, many men wish to appear 'strong' to their wives or girlfriends and will not admit their vulnerabilities. Not necessarily because they don't want to share, but because they think it could change their SO's perception of them, negatively affecting the long term relationship.

Many men also cannot confide in female friends - sometimes to maintain 'frame' but many other times because platonic female friends react similarly to male friends.

Also, whether the woman is a lover or friend I think society has reinforced a belief in many women that their husband or friend should simply 'man up'.

Furthermore, married men have a tendency to lose touch with good friends over the years, significantly restricting the pool of potential listeners.

For this reason, I think it is especially useful for men to occasionally speak with a professional listener - a therapist. I have yet to try this but I can understand the value of someone listening and offering feedback unconditionally.

Perhaps I am alone in my thinking or perhaps my observations are highly situational. And, of course, many women probably face similar problems. But I do think men have more difficulty with finding engaged listeners, thus the need for a therapist.

Let me know your thoughts...


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