Men dealing with fear is one issue that is so common among guys, yet hardly talked about.
Questions to consider:
- How much of a man’s defensive posturing covers up his feelings of fear?
- Are we really that far removed from that scared little 5 or 6 year old boy inside of us?
- How does running from the fear hurt us and our loved ones?
The culture of men has no room for fear in our culture. American culture encourages guys to stuff it, annihilate it, drink it away, or obscure it with enough anger or rage. Men and fear don’t mix: they never have.
From ancient icons of warrior-kings to modern movie archetypes, men have historically been engaged in a war on fear, which has had negative effects on the planet and the environment, as well as in our families and relationships with ourselves.
Instead of staying with the emotional (and often physiological) experience of fear, men run from it. They hide, and, over time, construct fantasies and illusions that feed the fear and make it exponentially larger than it really is. We suppress and avoid the construct of fear, not really the fear itself. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” proclaimed Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his first inaugural address in 1932. The walls we construct around our fear makes us avoid it more.
We create imaginary sand castle fortresses, when the reality is that when we can truly experience our fear – in a lived, experiential way, and not just thinking about – then it reduces and goes away. Fear, like any emotion, is a natural emotion that needs to be processed. Think bodily functions, or how the body maintains itself in homeostasis.
Dealing with fear is critical to improving our relationships with others, be they business partners, wives and girlfriends, our children or, most importantly, with ourselves. Fear can be dealt with, but it needs acknowledgement. What it doesn’t need is to be swept under the rug anymore, because that just doesn’t work.