The Secret I Love About Men.

Via Tracy Crossley
on Aug 18, 2012
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They are human.

Their heart beats wildly, trying to live up to some ideal.

We tend to believe we are a different species but the truth is, we’re much the same.

And I don’t speak for all men or the perspective of all women—just my own. In my coaching practice, I’ve found men stick through what can be grueling self-exploration and deep change, at times, while vulnerability becomes the norm for our sessions.

Men can change.

When they desire true happiness and well-being, they commit (and stick with it) until results show in their lives.

Once a man changes, some women don’t know what to do with the man they’ve been haranguing for years. The man is ready to communicate and work together, yet the woman wants to change him back to their comfort zone. In these cases, the woman feels she is owed something, which can never be repaid; I’ve witnessed it end relationships.

Fulfillment, respect and inner peace become more important and women who share that goal are who will show up in the lives of those single men.

My clients have taught me a lot, as have men in and around my life; they want to be understood, respected and loved.

Men like to fix—they are solution-oriented and they are strong. They are equipped with an innate desire to help and yet, many times are shamed for doing what comes naturally.

So, some men stop fixing; instead they hideback off or pretend nothing is wrong.

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

Some men have a need to be a paragon of “perfection” to the world; “the guy.” The weight of that world strangles them, because there’s no real reward for the burden; fulfillment doesn’t come through living up to expectations.

I’ve found they are more hurt than they show when they disappoint someone, so some stop trying—or never do—in an effort to avoid possible shame from not being enough.

Perfection is a painful place to live, filled with fear and the anxiety of possible criticism or failure in being a man. This may be an extreme but fears can keep a man in a pattern that destroys his ability to trust himself to create future happiness.

Some say fear and pain are drivers, instead they fuel activity having nothing to do with true desires in their heart and soul. Pain doesn’t live in the heart and soul…love, creativity, passion, excitement and boldness live there. Men may admit to pain but may cover it quickly with saying how it creates an adventure; the reality is those are words meant to block vulnerability. Many are taught they must assume responsibilities and always show strength.

Photo by Agilitynut

Except the definition of strength is a little confusing. Strength is not ego; nor is it pumped-up, hollow words that sound good, competing or harming anyone.

Strength is getting to know oneself, standing respectfully for his own true meaning, the vulnerability of admitting to chinks in the armor and being there for his partner.

Strong men know vulnerability is the key to their soul.

They listen, engage, connect with intimacy, are playful, cry, talk and have fears—but show up anyway—because to them to deny or hide is to be a host to regret.

Men get beat up as much as women, if not more, when it comes to being told they are bad, wrong or not worth it.

So why would one want to be vulnerable?

Well, from my perspective, it stops heart attacks, loneliness and stress.

Relationships teach us more than being alone; being a loner is an easy way out of vulnerability. When you are invulnerable, you attract exactly the same thing to you, which creates a relationship of struggle.

If the man is invulnerable, a vulnerable woman will sooner or later realize the return on investment is at a cost to her, so she’ll seek a man who is strong enough to be vulnerable. If you want a good woman, vulnerability is your true strength…show up wearing nothing but that and she will love you forever.

A gift to men is for you to listen. Don’t judge. Let him talk and talk until he starts to open up; until he touches vulnerability and there is nothing to fear in what is said—and no one is abandoned or ridiculed.

Confidence is born from the expression of what is true for him, no matter if it inadvertently hurts or is hard to hear. Confidence keeps a man from believing he must settle in life or make the best out of a life he doesn’t want. I watch as men, just as often as women, will tell themselves stories, because they are afraid, too.

And fear is part of the human experience.

When a man admits that he is scared to anyone, it shows he has more balls than a dude who can bench press an elephant. Half the battle is saying it and the other half is to take action, which takes him out of his comfort zone.

In Latin, true courage is strength of heart.

For men more than women, they have to detach from the outcome or fear of failure; vulnerability is a way of life, it’s the goal.

Men want to please. They are enough.

Always. Even when you don’t get what you want—and even when they fail.

Tell the man in your life that he’s enough, as is…no different, no worse, no better. No one is wrong so don’t make him wrong.

Share. Be honest. Don’t strategize, manipulate or try to get what you want.

Ask your man to listen. Speak from your heart. Ask open-ended questions, which require a real answer, that you must promise not to take personally. No one needs to purposely annihilate the other; there is no right or wrong, just two different people.

Watch intimacy start to bloom, strength and confidence invigorate—and bring happiness, unconditional love and a deep bond.

Men want this as much you do…they may just have a longer road to the same destination.


Editor: Bryonie Wise

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About Tracy Crossley

Tracy Crossley is a hyphenate: female, writer, curiosity quencher, artist, poet, gardener of real gardens and existential ones, clairvoyant, and momma to grown ups. She owns Intuitive Reinvention Inc. She is currently speaking, writing and mentoring people on getting out of their heads and dysfunctional relationships and into living an authentic, anxiety-free, happy and loving existence. If you want to learn more about her and how she can help you, check out a complimentary discovery session with her click to learn and schedule., Or find her on social media, facebook page, blog and on twitter, she always follows back. She also has a free weekly podcast show on many topics she writes about here click here to listen.


18 Responses to “The Secret I Love About Men.”

  1. Micky says:

    I love what this is saying but felt like the thoughts could have flowed a little better. I found it a little difficult to follow.

  2. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to : Health & Wellness & Enlightened.

  3. Dassie says:

    thanks for this insightful piece Tracy, I love it. It's great to try on another perspective for size!

  4. Tracy says:

    Hi Dassie,

    You are welcome. I love seeing things differently all the time, sometimes it reminds me how locked into a perception I get and how freeing it is when I allo it shift. Be well!

  5. Tracy says:

    Thank you Mamaste!

  6. Tracy says:

    Sorry Micky, I'll spend a bit more time editing next time. Have a great day!

  7. Eric says:

    You did it again. Just had this convo with my housemate Saturday a.m., he and I both concluded that we are indeed human… And that vulnerability is a strength (get out of my head. no wait, best you stay there–but maybe get a chaperone 🙂

  8. Tracy says:

    Hey Eric!

    Thank you. I am like a fly on the wall these days, ha! Ego comes in many disguises (And it is usually creating some form of dissension), but the more vulnerability is the truth for me the easier it is to detect ego, and then to find the courage to do the opposite of what I'd normally do by being vulnerable.

    But, we are all human and ego escapes out of the asylum creating havoc wherever it goes and maybe a chaperone ain't a bad idea? : )

  9. fragginfraggin says:

    Awesome! An article about men thats well deserved. Down with the stereotypes!

  10. David says:

    I don't know specifically why, but this article hit the spot with me today. Thank you Tracy! It certainly moved something inside of me tonight.

  11. Tracy says:

    Absolutely!! Men rock! I love how men commit to their own happiness and being open-hearted…the strength of a man's vulnerability is an invitation for a woman to do the same. Thank you! : )

  12. Tracy says:

    Hi David,

    You are welcome. I am constantly moved by men in and around my life, I feel fortunate for the experiences. Be well, Tracy

  13. Kevin says:

    This brought tears to my eyes – you couldn't be more accurate. We try so damn hard, we fall down, make mistakes, change, and exert endless effort and ask for nothing in return but loyalty, understanding, and love.

    Our only real fear is that we may not be enough, that we cannot fix everything. This becomes more difficult to handle as we grow closer to a woman. We become vulnerable.

    I chose to open up completely and fully to the woman I love after holding back (as a man does) for some time. I still am not perfect, but I recognize that in my counterpart as well, and it is beautiful.

  14. Tracy says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Reading what you have written here, brought tears to my eyes. I am amazed and yet, completely in a place where what you have said has reflected my relationship with the guy in the picture at the top of this article. I feel his pain, your pain, my pain….all of our pain, as I know vulnerability is the saving grace. It's the connector, the strength and for me, coming to a place of now understanding no matter what I do/say, etc… I've realized in my situation, holding back for him has been the norm…with some moments of vulnerability. And from that understanding, making a decision for myself in not continuing to go through the roller coaster. None of us are perfect, you are spot on and that is what is beautiful; it's what makes it so easy to love one another. Thank you for your lovely comment here.

  15. […] how I got along best. I was wrong. I was really lonely and depressed. I didn’t realize it, though anxiety was a constant companion. I thought I was just […]

  16. Monkey says:

    Beautiful, thank you Tracy.

    It is hard when the world seems to say I should be some way when my heart aches to connect, to be vulnerable, to be open, to be seen and to be the best I can.

    I am in the intense process of breaking free of that conditioning, and all the pain that comes from doing so.

    Thank you for acknowledging us and women like you are an inspiration to me.

  17. Tracy says:

    Hi Monkey~ Thank you for sharing your words. I love that you are doing what you can to live your truest existence and be seen for who you truly are, it's a gift to this planet every time someone can touch that space in themselves and share it with others. : )