Brothers, society has taught us that as men we are to be strong, in control and unshakeable. But the reality is that many of us are going through complex life situations that are causing us to be burdened, confused and weary. Unfortunately, most of us have been conditioned to bare our burdens without the help, advice and guidance of others. Women, on the other hand, spend hours supporting, listening to and guiding each other through their life crises. I believe that this helps women deal with and resolve their problems in a more healthy way than we as men do. When we don’t effectively deal with the situations that arise in our lives, we often deal with things in a way that is ultimately destructive to ourselves and the people around us.
Not long ago, one of my closest friends called me to tell me that he needed to talk to me. I met him at a restaurant and he told me that he needed to share what he was going through with somebody and that I was the person he felt he could talk to. He went on to tell me that his marriage was in trouble and that he felt betrayed by his wife. I listened. He cried. I had never seen tears from him before. He’s one of the strongest people I know, but he was in an intense amount of emotional pain. I was stunned by what he told me. I didn’t have many words of advice—all I could do was give him the assurance that he would get through this very tough time in his life. He left our two-hour conversation saying that he felt better just releasing what he was facing to someone he trusted.
I have always respected this friend of mine, but today, I see him in an expanded light. I see the real him. I see the success, but I also see the challenges and the dilemmas of his life. I’m glad that he felt comfortable enough to talk to me rather than keep his problems bottled up inside of him as many of us men do. Again, men, when we don’t talk about what we are going through, we light a match inside ourselves that is likely to one day cause an explosion.
Men who don’t deal with their problems effectively can become depressed, they might take out their frustrations on the ones they love or resort to using drugs, alcohol or women to drown the pain they are experiencing. We must learn that part of being a real man is being real and allowing someone who is close to us to know what we are facing in our lives. Choose a friend, a parent, a spouse, a co-worker, a minister or a psychotherapist to vent your issues to. Just getting it out will help you more than you realize. If you are in need of good counsel, don’t delay—seek it today.