Sunday, January 1, 2017

Will 2017 be "THE BEST YEAR EVER"?

Every year about this time, my mom makes her annual and confidant declaration: “Next year is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER!”

It does not matter how good or bad the year before has been, nor does it matter what the next year looks to be.  It is always the same, and it is always “THE BEST YEAR EVER!”

Let us analyze.  How was 2016 for you, and how does 2017 look to be?  For me, 2016 certainly had countless of exceptional days, but it also had many difficult days.  So, I would not rank 2016 as the BEST YEAR EVER, and the same will probably be true for 2017.  Next year, I have some fun adventures planned, several business opportunities on the horizon, and countless days filled with family time to look forward to.

In the end, what makes a year the BEST?  Is it important to have a BEST YEAR EVER?  Why do we want to have such a year?  The answers to these questions cannot only be complicated and confusing, but also unique to each of us.  The power these questions lie in the information we gain from looking and learning about what is important in our lives.  The answers will also give us great personal power to make decisions that will further improve our mental health and personal happiness.

Good luck on your journey of figuring out how to make 2017…


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Over exaggeration doesn't win the fight

“Lovers fight when they believe their partners don't care about how they feel. They fight about the pain of disconnection.”  Dr. Steven Stosny. 

When we feel disconnected, it is vitally important to relive that pain and become connected again.  A huge, and common, mistake couples make while fighting is over exaggerating statements in order to make a point.  For example, how many times have you heard, “You never do this” or “You always do that”.

The reason this is a mistake is because of the defensiveness it causes the other person to feel.  Even if one person has a tendency of doing something, he or she does not “always” do it, and that causes them to feel unfairly accused.  The result is, instead of relieving the pain and becoming more connected, these statements escalate the fight therefore enhancing the pain and disconnection.

There is no such thing as a couple that does not fight.  So, the next time you are in a fight with your significant other, remember that you are fighting to get reconnected again.  Your words can either help or hurt that process.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Say "I" when "You" fight

Fighting is inevitable within any relationship, but it does not have to be a negative or a destructive experience.  If both parties are fighting to improve the relationship and the situation rather then wanting to “be right” or to “win”, a lot of good can come from a confrontation. 

How language is used is important to not only being productive, but also to be caring and loving.  Wayne Misner (Men Don’t Listen) argues that ’I’ statements are not as offensive when you’re trying to be understood”.  After all, what is the goal of your fights?  What are you hoping will change? What are you fighting about?

Phrases that can be useful includes:  I notice, I assume, I wonder, I suspect, I believe, I resent, I am puzzled, I am hurt, I regret, I am afraid, I am frustrated, I am happier, I want, I expect, I appreciate, I realize, I hope 

If you are not used to using “I” phrases in your fights, this list might seem a little overwhelming.  Wayne Misner suggests using “I hope” first, but most importantly leave the “you” out of it.

Good luck in your next fight, and may the both of you be understood and both of you win.

Friday, November 11, 2016

What are the Facts?

According to, on average 87 men commit suicide each day in the USA, men aged 40-59 are at the highest risk, and 1 in 4 adults in the US experience a mental health problem in a given year. reports that at least 6 million US men suffer from depression each year.  Depression in women is even larger then men, but men are four times more likely to commit suicide.  Conclusion, women are better at taking take of them selves.

Wikipedia reports that the three main reason men do not seek help are due fear, denial, and embarrassment.  Result, men are either silently suffering or dying too young. 

These staggering numbers demands a change in how we interact in our community.  Too many families are suffering due to the unhappiness of men, and too many men are dying too young.  Let’s change our view of mental health and share with everyone that in fact it is the strong, brave, and masculine men who seek to grow.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to Be a Man

There is a cruel irony to society’s view of what “Being a Man” is.  In general, we want a MAN to be strong, have the answers, and to take care of the family.  Society also tells men that they are not allowed to explore their thoughts and feelings, and definitely not allowed to talk about their thoughts and feelings.  Message received… “I’ll tough it out”. 

The cruelty of the situation is that “toughing it out” only decreases the chance of a man being strong, finding answers, and caring for the family.  Rather, it increases the chances of a man displaying irritability and anger, leading to isolation and loneliness.  Results can be catastrophic.

If society accurately supports “Talking it out” as normal and healthy way of dealing with stress, anxiety, and relationships; not only men would thrive, but also more relationships, more marriages, and more families would thrive. 

When men are taught to identify their emotions, and the resulting confusion and pain; the next step of “Talking it out”, helps a man grow more confident and self-assured.  As a result, he is more available to be masculine. 

So, stop the false narrative that men are not allowed to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Stop encouraging men to “Tough it Out”.  Start, spreading the word that Men will be better Men when they “Talk it Out”.