Feelings are such an awkward thing to talk about… especially for dudes. I know I struggle with that as a guy. I mean for a start how do you start a conversation like that? And then there’s all the pressure around masculinity and being strong, it would be so embarrassing to actually get vulnerable. On top of it all what if the other person is weirded out when you tell them what’s up, guys aren’t supposed to have feelings… right?
I think that things like the media, our culture or society have created this harmful idea that men shouldn’t share their feeling or that they don’t even have them.
“Men are taught from an early age that they need to be strong, confident and stoic. They begin to equate emotions with weakness.” says Ashley Fern from Elite Daily. These taught values or expectations described by Ashley Fern end up making Talking About Our Feelings, or TAOFing, an intimidating and humiliating thing to do for most guys.
But really talking it out as a dude doesn’t have to be all that scary.
Actually it can end up as something that takes the weight off your back, helps you deal with what’s going on and feel supported. From my personal experience and experience as a ConnecTeen volunteer I can truly say that one of the most amazing, freeing and relieving experiences you can have is sharing how you feel.
So let’s talk about how you can you can get a piece of this and get over some fears that might be holding you back!
Start by finding or creating a situation you can see yourself opening up to someone. If you have a person, place and situation set up where you feel completely comfortable, then you have a fail-proof safe environment to share what’s going on.
This could be as easy as inviting a trusted friend/family member to go out to your guys’ favorite spot or even giving this trusted person a call or text when you know they’re free. But because of your plan, you take off loads of the pressure by eliminating nearly all the unknown factors.
Once you’re set up and ready to go, get things going with an open statement that lets the person you’re approaching know what’s coming. Say something like “Hey, could I talk about something kinda personal. Can I trust you?” This starts the awkward conversation and helps you judge the situation by their reaction. From here you can get an idea of how comfortable they are, if you can trust them and if you’re comfortable to go on. Generally, it’s like dipping your feet in the water; it’s a great way to take a small risk before jumping in!
Then you swim… there’s not much of a way to guide what goes on from here. Share what’s troubling you and try not to be too scared. Maybe start with smaller things and build up as you gain confidence.
Just navigate how you feel and trust the person you’re sharing with.
I know it sounds impossible now but once you take the risk, you’ll love it!
And if you still feel uncomfortable then let them know and move on. Nothing’s going to be easy without practice. You should be proud that you took that risk and know that in doing that you grew as a person.
So with all of that I think you’re ready to TAOF like a pro!
Still a little scared? No problem, chat with us! It’s 100% confidential and judgment free 🙂 Chat button and call and text information is at the top of the page.