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Men are at least as emotional as women, and under the right circumstances can really show it. Men often have a hard time knowing how we are expected to act in different roles (especially in terms of being emotional). There is a threat of shame hovering over any admission of weakness, softness, neediness, or other feelings that are "small" or not associated with a warrior ethic of strength, vitality, and fearlessness. The real weakness here is the fear of being seen as we really are. Teenagers can sense how dangerous and foolish it is to show weakness and vulnerability. The reason why so many men seem like adolescents is that they are stuck in this fear and don't realize that being a man entails a reckoning with and acceptance of our weaknesses, rather than wearing the teenage mask of being cool, strong, and clever. (Some women play into this with their own 'stuckness' in a girl's fantasy of what a man is that hasn't developed into a more mature sense of what a man is.) The 'whole man' owns his strengths rather than retreating from them, but also owns his fear, sadness, and anger in a clear and honest way that allows others to connect and support him appropriately. Therapy can help a man attain a deeper level of masculine maturity with the aid of a supportive and challenging guide.

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Jason Seidel, Psy.D.

main phone: 303-547-3700

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The Colorado Center
for Clinical Excellence