Male Friends!! An article written and inspired by my friends (Nigel/Lesley)

Male Friends!! An article written and inspired by my friends (Nigel/Lesley)
Male Friends!! An article written and inspired by my friends (Nigel/Lesley)

I have  just a few friends but their strength love wisdom and compassion are what carried me through my toughest times.

I am not exaggerating or being dramatic on any level. When I reflect upon those toughest seasons of my life, I am astounded by how much my closest friend’s energy carried me through those times.

These experiences highlighted for me how invaluable my friends were, and that in the dark moments of my life when I thought  I was all alone, I found out quickly that I was not.

"I have learned three big lessons through this about relationships. The first is that social connections are really good for us and that in the long run loneliness kills!."

"It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they're physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected."
""This to me is friendships 3 USP's""
"""As in my various relationships for most the experience of loneliness turns out to be somewhat toxic!"""
Examples; people who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are  generally less happy, also generally their health declines earlier in midlife, and we have found their brain functioning declines sooner, and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely.
And the sad fact is that af any  given time more than one in five people; FEEL LONELY?

And we also know, that you can be lonely in a crowd and you can be lonely in a marriage, so the second big lesson that we learned is that it's not just the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship, but it's the quality of your close relationships that matter. It turns out that living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health!!

High-conflict marriages, for example, without much affection((I'm very affectionate, but my partner is not?), turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced. While living in the midst of good, warm relationships is and feels more protective (which is why some get no affection  almost as a punishment , when spontaneously expecting it  although they lacked the investment of affection?!)

Did you catch that? The power of a healthy relationship is a commodity that should be sought out! I mean, I have yet to meet a person who would not honestly mind a little more happiness and good health in their life, and as I stated above, "good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

And good, close relationships just seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old. As in most  men and women who report, that when they had  physical pain, their close relationships helped their mood! And they stayed a little more happy. But the people who were in unhappy relationships, on the days when they reported more physical pain, it was magnified by more emotional pain.

And the third big lesson that we learned about relationships and our health is that good relationships don't just protect our bodies; they protect our brains. It turns out that being in a securely attached relationship to another person is protective, that the people who are in relationships where they really feel they can count on the other person in times of need, those people's memories stay sharper longer. And the people in relationships where they feel they really can't count on the other one, those are the people who experience earlier memory decline. 

“And remember those good relationships, they don't have to be smooth all the time."

There are many men out there who live an isolated life. The sad part is though if they were to admit it openly the chances of being looked down upon or belittled are a high probability. How western cultures have set men up to act in society is not emotionally healthy or intelligent?

 

Do you see what I am trying to expose here?

 I am trying to bring to your attention that there can be this unspoken law that a "real man" is not allowed to be vulnerable, have emotion, make mistakes or allow anyone into his life!. 

That as an alpha male it is quintessential that you do not expose your humanity to anyone!?

I will say I am exaggerating that belief a bit to expose its toxicity!!

But in a more subtle way, what this view looks like on a normal day to day interaction with men is thoughts and statements like the following.

Examples:
- "Why would I tell Nigel that I need a hand, he will think less of me, and honestly I should be able to figure this out on my own anyway." I lost a good friend thinking that! (Lesley/Nigel) 

- "Nigel cannot see me make a mistake ; I do not want him to see that I am not capable or emotionally strong."
- "If I ask for help I am turning in my man card."
- “If I am not financially successful I am not a real man.”

There is often this unspoken pressure that men are not allowed to expose their humanity and needs. If you don’t agree with those examples I just listed above? 

"However Lesley keeps expounding on the issue that I am trying to drive home here,"

"In friendships, therefore, it can be postulated that a man can be expressive as long as the relationships are strongly characterised by the more masculine aspect of friendships, instrumentality. Just as there are multiple expressions of masculinity in every situation, there are multiple ways of performing masculinity through friendships: men can either decrease the expressiveness in their friendships, or overemphasize the instrumentality, or potentially engage in both. And ultimately, the importance of performing masculinity within friendships may change based on social circumstances, such as a person’s job (Nigel)

Maybe the reason many men do not have close intimate friendships with other men is because it is a direct display of their belief of how men should act. What if men are fully capable of interacting and connecting on a deeper level with the same sex, but due to social stigma (the Mrs or outside influences) they subconsciously refuse to display a subtle type of weakness? 

I believe many men struggle to connect purely because they do not know how, nor has for many there ever been an example of this in their lives from older men. 

At the end of the day, this is an incredibly complicated situation with many many variables. I will say this though, from what I know and I have read, it is of the utmost importance that men develop beneficial relationships that go beyond a smile and a beer. (Nigel and Lesley?)

Knowing who to let in your inner circle of friends is a powerful and essential tool. If you become close friends with a narcissist or grade A asshole who is solely focused on his own life, your needs, and ambitions will never come up in conversation. Your friendship will not be a two-way street. 

"Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness." 

Finding other men, who you not only get along with but pull the best out in you is imperative for me!

When filtering through people to decide whom you should let see the real side of you, look for qualities like the following.

- They show a genuine interest in what's going on in your life, what you have to say, and how you think and feel about things. (Nigel you can’t say that ain’t me?)
- They accept you for who you are and do not try to change you, yet have advice and help if you want to grow. (Lesley you can’t say that ain’t me?)
- They listen to you attentively without judging you, telling you how to think or feel, or trying to change the subject. They are good listeners.(guys come on now? You know I listen to learn and learned to listen to you??
- They feel comfortable sharing things about themselves with you.(Guys you know I’m sensitive)
- They have qualities that you desire to grow and develop in.(Nigel you know I admire your patience and commitment,) (Les you know your just an enigma to me)
- They are able to disagree with you respectfully and push you to see another angle of life.(Yeah  I know you would all say I need to work harder on this (Nig/Les/Tash)

 

To have a friend and be a friend is what makes life worthwhile.”  "TM Black News UK April 2024 no Ai"" Alton Anderson 2024