Sex and Relationships

Breaking the Male Facade

Communication is Fostered Through Vulnerability, How Mindfulness can Make a Change

By: Brenton Mitchell 

“Communication is key.”

This phrase holds true in multiple levels of our lives, functioning as the stable base to the various relationships we hold.

Therefore when it comes to romance there is little surprise that communication is paramount to creating a strong bond between people. From butterflies for a crush to deep love for a lifelong partner.

But the risk of communication is that it doesn’t come without vulnerability, without opening oneself up to scrutiny and the potential for hurt. Especially for men, this level of vulnerability is not only difficult to accept, but something that is actively advised against.

With all the societal progression that has occurred in recent years, one aspect that is still struggling to be broken are the gender roles that men are expected to express.

The idea still exists that men are supposed to be stoic, stalwart individuals who are unbreakable. Raised to not cry, to not show excessive emotion, to constantly “man up.”

Of course these experiences don’t apply to every man, nor do they describe the way every man expresses himself in their daily life. However, the trend still exists, and the result is a history of men who have trouble expressing deeper emotions that are core to forming lasting relationships.

Thus, when moments of true expression matter, it can become difficult for the right response to rise to the surface. Hurt and fear become anger or silence, completely subverting an actual response that could solve the relevant problem.

The point being, that if there is dissatisfaction in any level of a relationship, it is possible that the source of the issue is this position of discomfort. Where a man is at odds with himself, not of his own choice but out of how he was raised.

Not that this excuses behavior that could be hurtful, rather that it may provide some context to why some actions are happening while others are not. Why conversations end up as arguments, or why tough situations are met with silence or aversion.

The importance of this can be felt on multiple levels.

For the man who has trouble forming lasting relationships, it could very likely be the result of not being emotionally available to prospective partners. That the women they pursue never get to see them on more than a surface level, which can definitely impede chances at elevating to something greater.

For the man who is in a relationship that is struggling, opening up a deeper avenue of communication is an excellent first step in finding a solution, if not outright solving it completely.

But this is impossible without being able to recognize which emotion is which, and responding accordingly.

The concept of mindfulness is the process of bringing attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. There are various forms of meditation that help practice this skill, with multiple roots connected to spirituality of Buddhism.

One psychological use of mindfulness is to focus on discerning the true root of an emotion, and developing a proper response to it.

For instance if having an argument with a partner, the initial emotional response may be anger. But through patience and attempting to be mindful of the current moment, one could sort out that they aren’t angry at all, but instead are disappointed or scared.

From there the conversation can change along with the perspective on the problem, and both sides can come to a conclusion and sort it out together.

It replaces silence with something that can be truly acted upon, and worked towards.

These changes can have a drastic impact on the quality of romantic relationships, and could shine some light onto why some relationships may have failed in the past.

But the greatest thing to remember is that every situation is different, and one size does not fit all.

Though through successful communication, acceptance of vulnerability and use of mindfulness there will be a positive impact in the romantic lives of those who put theory into practice.

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