Let’s face it, there’s an essential difference between strong and weak men—strong men face their problems, weak men run away.
When I run away from my problems, I’m scared. In that moment, I’m weak.
I don’t have a huge amount of judgment for the word weak either. It’s a great description for when I suck ass at something. But if you are already arguing with me, let’s use an example to keep it very practical.
In the gym, a guy who can lift 200 lbs is physically stronger than a guy who can lift 100 lbs. Fact. You can’t argue this, right? Now, let’s say behind the scenes both of these men are porn addicts and are struggling to quit their porn use because it’s ruining their lives.
Let’s say the guy who can lift 200 lbs goes home and caves in and jerks off five times to porn that day after he committed to stop his porn use. And, let’s say the guy who lifted 100 lbs made the same commitment and hasn’t surfed porn for weeks and is keeping his commitment to his friends and his wife.
In this context, the guy who can lift 100lbs is stronger than the guy who can lift 200 lbs. The 200 pounder is now weak.
In our culture, men still get rewarded and seen as “strong” by their physical accomplishments. However, many of those same men are weak when it comes to their personal lives.
When I feel weak in my life, it’s often because I have yet to address a personal problem or a challenge. I feel inadequate, incompetent or inept because I have yet to master a skill or overcome a personal block. Thus, if I’m still stuck in a personal problem and not doing anything about it, I’m just plain weak.
Many men are like me.
And, due to their conditioning, many men are weak when it comes to interpersonal relationships, sex and intimacy.
Understandable, since we didn’t get taught this stuff by our dads, moms, or school, we are left to peer education or we try to figure it out on our own, which gets us the results we are getting.
So, in the bedroom and in marriages, many men fail to overcome their insecurities and personal blocks partly due to their stubbornness of not working on it, but mostly because they don’t want to be seen as weak by their partner, or other men.
However, if a dude is honest, he will simply admit that he sucks at listening, struggles to open his heart, or feels inadequate to meet the demands of his wife or girlfriend. This type of guy is paradoxically very strong since he’s admitting where he’s weak, and can now set to work on turning his weakness into a strength.
So, here are three simple steps you can do right now to begin the shift from weak to strong:
Step 1: Own it.
The first step to overcome a personal weakness, is to admit that we are weak in whatever area we are struggling with. We can try saying out loud to a friend, “I suck at listening.” Or, when it comes to being emotionally available, we could say “I’m really jammed up emotionally, and I could use some help.”
Note: In business when a man has a weakness he can simply farm it out. In a marriage, he can’t.
People trust men (and other people) who are congruent, whose words and actions line up. People typically don’t trust men who posture over their insecurities and pretend like they know how to do something when really they don’t. In hetero relationships, women go bonkers when their man says he understands her experience when in reality he doesn’t.
Step 2: Get feedback.
Feedback can be edgy and is essential. Ask your closest four male friends to give you ruthless feedback and to not hold back in the delivery. Listen and simply say “thank you.” Next, circle up with four women who are powerful and trustworthy to do the same. Tell them to bring the heat. Listen only and end with a thank you. Go digest both.
Note: With feedback you are not asking your friends to judge you and make you feel like sh*t. However, you are asking for their honest, heartfelt experience of you. Have them deliver it respectfully.
Don’t have friends like this? That’s really good information, right? Go find some. Make it a top priority.
Step 3: Take action.
For the men out there who have the humility to admit that they could use some help in the relationship or sex department, go do something about this weakness. If you really do struggle with intimacy, go spend your time, money, and energy diving into that material so you can learn it. Hire professionals, go to good therapy, hire a coach, join a men’s group, (or yes, join my free men’s training here). Bottom line? Invest in you.
Remember, just by admitting your weaknesses, you’ll get that much closer to what you want—respect, trust, and connection.
Author: Jayson Gaddis
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Ryan McGuire/Gratisography