This article is written in partnership with Claimed—they’re dedicated to helping successful women flip the script on their dating woes and we’re honored to work with them. ~ ed.
“What (the f*ck) is wrong with men?” “Where are the conscious guys, the good men?”
These days, women seem to be asking these questions a lot.
If this includes you, prepare to be surprised…triggered even.
Conscious guys, good men are everywhere. You’re just not seeing them.
If you find that hard to believe, I can tell you (from years of personal experience, deep research, and working with hundreds of women like you) that your beliefs are a big part of the reason why.
Why you’re not seeing them. Why you’re not surrounded by them.
Start letting go of your deep-rooted, limiting beliefs about men and relationships: register for my free online training, here >>
It’s true that we can encounter unhealthy and toxic masculine men anywhere: at the grocery store, in the boardroom, or (worst of all) in the bedroom.
In recent years, in the wake of #metoo and #timesup, toxic masculinity has been exposed and brought to surface (good thing).
It has also been scrutinized to the extreme where masculinity has become synonymous with toxicity (bad thing). Where many women (and even men) believe that being a man equals being toxic.
But the coin of gender issues is not one-sided. And toxicity doesn’t just swing one way. (Hello, toxic femininity!)
Blame, bullying, and perpetuating the same vicious cycle does not lead to a productive society and a reestablished balance between genders.
Revenge is not the instrument of our healing.
All change starts within.
We don’t need to wait until men “wake up” so we can finally start living. We don’t need anyone’s permission to fully embrace who we are, lick our wounds, and move forward powerfully.
Movements and PR campaigns are not going to help us build self-worth and establish boundaries with these kinds of toxic men.
So, how do I deal with that dickhead who pushes me around? The emotionally unavailable man who doesn’t show up for me? The asshole who doesn’t respect my boundaries?
I get these kinds of questions from powerful, successful women every day. Of course, everyone’s story is different, but my answer is basically always the same: by focusing on yourself.
But aren’t men supposed to do their own internal work? Yes, they’re supposed to, but that’s not our business.
It’s not our job to fix men. In fact, the more you tell a man he’s not doing his internal work, the more he will resist doing it. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
The best thing we, as women, can contribute to men doing their work is to do our own.
(And trust me, sister, we all have work to do!)
Because when we focus on ourselves, our self-worth, and setting boundaries, we’re also raising the bar and raising the standard as to what is acceptable for us and what is not.
We will not be settling for men who’re not good enough because we’re afraid we’re going to be alone forever or that “there are no good men around.”
When we change our beliefs, everything changes.
The men we start attracting become better because our expectations of them are higher and because we’re looking for evidence of why men are good.
Recently, a client in my Claimed Group Coaching Program brought up a situation where she encountered an unhealthy toxic masculine man at a meeting.
This man was trying to shut everyone down and be in control. He got defensive when other (female) members of the meeting wanted to slow down and talk about issues that interested them. My client was the one leading this “debate” and, after the meeting, got a call from the man which ended up in anything but a productive conversation.
She wondered why she was repulsed by this man, and how could she handle the situation better?
When I asked her what’s at the bottom of her interaction with him, she said:
“I just didn’t feel safe with this guy…”
How we feel around people who provoke us—who are toxic and narcissistic and who make us feel small — is our responsibility and our choice.
Toxic people feed off our inability to stand up for ourselves powerfully; they threaten our sense of safety, and they love dragging us into their power games.
We choose to either enter that game or not.
We choose to either feed the ego and the vicious cycle of continuous bullying, hate, unhealthy habits or stand in our truth.
Feeling safe in our bodies is our responsibility and our priority.
If we feel safe and secure in our sense of self, we will not be threatened, pushed aside or shut down.
The prevalent way to currently deal with a situation where there is a power struggle for control and domination from men is to report, bully, shut down, fight, accuse, take to court, publicly humiliate, and shame. Which is what we should indeed be doing when dealing with inappropriate or predatory behavior.
However, a conscious woman who stands in her power (and feels safe in her body) will also see through a person’s inability to feel threatened.
You see, we always attract our equals in terms of our energy, secure, or fragile sense of self. Every situation teaches us something. Every man we meet is a teacher.
A conscious woman will look at this situation with curiosity and empathy and think to herself:
“Wow, this man must have eaten a lot of sh*t in his life. I can only imagine what trauma, limiting beliefs, or situations he had to deal with while growing up and going through life. There is a lot of baggage here to deal with. I don’t think I am able or want to play this game with him. Let me see how we can resolve the situation with calm, good communication, and empathy.”
This is a woman who is a strong leader.
This is a woman who doesn’t buy into other people’s weaknesses and agendas and doesn’t let others influence or dictate how she feels about herself.
Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources available at the time.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation with a person who’s clearly doing a poor job at handling his emotions and the emotions of others, remember that statement.
They can’t do better in this particular moment. Bullying and demanding control is the best they can do at this moment because deep down inside perhaps there is a little boy crying for attention.
Crying to be seen. Crying to be heard…
To be able to effectively deal with such situations, we have to see the whole picture. But the most important thing we need to do is stand strong in our own sense of security:
Here are the 4 things I recommend working on:
1. Develop safety in your body.
In my work with women, I use a modality called Feminine Embodiment to help them drop into their body and reestablish safety. So many of us walk around disembodied as a result of trauma, society’s obsession with external masculine success, and our lack of understanding of how the body stores a lot of frozen tension.
We do not have tools to safely release and restore balance in our bodies and our systems, so we are frantic, overwhelmed, and stressed. Social media and technology plus the never-ending cycle of to-do lists and errands creates a vicious cycle of being in our heads all the time.
The way out of this is through developing a relationship with our felt senses and what we feel through breath, movement, and awareness. Seek working and engaging with feminine embodiment coaches, somatic therapists, or any embodiment practices.
2. Build your self-worth and establish boundaries.
This is deep work and, ideally, you would work on these two things using embodiment tools as well. Establishing and communicating boundaries in a non-violent way is crucial if you want to successfully resolve conflict situations and preserve your sovereignty and a healthy sense of self.
Self-worth is really what’s at the bottom of all unhealthy interactions. The victim and the perpetrator really match each other in terms of their self-worth — one is simply being dominant in that dynamic.
If you’re serious about breaking this pattern you find yourself in (surrounded by either toxic masculine, emotionally unavailable, or feminine men), my exclusive free training for successful women uncovers the hidden reasons many women find themselves stuck in this place. Register here >>
3. Develop empathy toward men.
Work on learning more about the masculine journey. Read books on men’s work and male psyche. Become curious about what men go through, what rites of passages are present in their lives, and why we are currently dealing with a crisis of masculinity.
I’ve interviewed more than 40 men on my Claimed Podcast about these subjects, so you could start there (with Episode 129).
4. Reframe your beliefs about men.
Your beliefs about men are what is driving your pattern of attracting the men you’re seeing in your life. Men are our mirrors. So, if you want to change what you “see in the mirror” you have to start digging into your belief system about men.
You have to look at the root cause of your dynamics with men and reframe that into much more powerful beliefs that will serve you. I describe my four-step process of working on reframing these beliefs about men, here.
Ready to Upgrade?
I’ve created a free video training on what you can do today to break through the patterns of attracting less than quality men. In this training, I share the three key proven shifts that my clients and I have implemented in our lives so we can thrive as feminine essence women in our lives and our relationships. Sign up for my free training, here >>