A new book, Why Men Don’t Feel, says that men don’t feel. The author argues that while men will have thirst and hunger, the softer set of feelings remains a mystery to them.
“Men have learnt not to feel, to avoid accessing feelings”, claims author Nigel Linacre. He works with men, and women, in one-to-one sessions and in workshops. “Many men are unable to access the heart as a centre of feelings, and they experience it as a pump, but they could feel much more”.
Linacre points to his own early life, where he closed off a range of feelings to survive, but he says the problem is widespread.
That’s why he’s written Why Men Don’t Feel … And How They Can. It describes the male mind-sets that block feelings. Men may relate to many of them. Women may make more sense of men they know.
Why don’t men feel? Men may believe feelings get in the way of action, and action is paramount. What’s more, we have a deep need to win and suspect feelings are for losers. We may all have heard language like “Big boys don’t cry”. To put it at its most basic, and don’t tell anyone, we’re scared.
In the still masculine workplace we think we are expected to be strong, almost invulnerable. Being vulnerable is risky. And anyway, the rational mind remains king. It may be acceptable for entrepreneurs to talk about ‘gut feel’, but that’s because they are not reporting to anyone.
These expectations reinforce past programming. Perhaps surprising, many of our strongest feelings have been negative. For some, adolescence was a difficult time. We survived by closing down negative feelings – we simply don’t go there – and then forgot to reopen them when the coast was clear. Being closed became a habit. Better safe than open.
Why Men Don’t Feel … And How They Can is available on Amazon now and will reach bookstores in November.
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