“Traditional masculinisation teaches boys to replace inherent self worth with performance based esteem. It insists that boys disown vulnerable feelings (which could help them connect), while reinforcing their entitlement to express anger. It teaches boys to renounce their true needs in the service of achievement, and at the same time blunts their sensitivity to reading the needs of others.”
– Male Depression Expert
Mentoring 7000 men has taught me that many men are primarily in relationship with their son’s performance/ achievement (scholastic/ sporting), and secondly in relationship with their son’s feelings. If performance based esteem is the main rudder in a person’s life, it is often the main driver behind suicide. Parents need to ensure that their children are not being hardwired by their parents/ culture/ school to replace inherent self worth with performance based esteem, to renounce their true needs in the service of achievement. For a parent to go against the gravity of this cultural black hole takes enormous courage, but its worth it if it stops just one 23 year old taking their life when they finish their uni course, just because they were hardwired by parents/ culture/ school more than anything else to be a good performer! This most important of all foundations in a parent/child relationship touches all of my work with my clients who are parents. So if you’re a parent whatever you do don’t F_CK this up!
What could you learn from the distilled wisdom of the 7000 men I’ve mentored?