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”.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The most important thing in football is RELATIONSHIPS

The college football and NFL seasons have finally begun, and for millions of us fans we can finally travel, prepare, tailgate, and cheer for our favorite teams on their pursuit of the playoffs and of the title(s).  After months of preparations, coaches and players can actually begin to play and live out their dreams.  But, at the season’s end, many of these same coaches and players will say good-bye to their team they have put so much blood, sweat and time into.  My question is what will they miss the most?

If history can give us some insight, the answer is “RELATIONSHIPS”.  Time and time again we have seen coaches and players endure epic battles, brutal injuries, and bitter defeats without shedding a single tear.  When the time comes to leave a team behind, these same tough and courageous individuals cry in front of millions of people.   

Some may seem this as a judgment or criticism towards those emotional individuals; on the contrary, this is a display of admiration and respect of how important “RELATIONSHIPS” are towards happiness.  The same scenario is true for so many of us ordinary people with ordinary careers.  When it comes time for us to move on to something different, it is the relationships that are often the hardest thing to leave behind.

In conclusion, to “Achieve Happiness”, cherish your good relationships and spend plenty of time nurturing and enjoying them.

-- Armann

Friday, September 2, 2016

Contempt Destroys Relationships

Recently I came across an article by Susan Heitler Ph. D. who argued that “contempt” destroys relationships of all kind.  Having been through that a time or two, I can wholeheartedly agree with her assertion. 

According to Wikipedia, contempt has its origins in the year 1393, from the Latin word contemptus meaning scorn.  Even though people throughout time may not have been aware of the definition, they certainly have felt the emotional effects of contempt.  These subtle gestures or words such as eye-rolling, upper lip raising, and sarcasm are all signs of contempt.  The bottom line is that contempt indicates that a partner is not communicating to understand and grow, but rather to gain power and to belittle. 
Dr. Heitler goes on to describe six identifiers that are clear signals of a contemptuous relationship including:  
  1. Insufficient love
  2. Powering over
  3. Toxicity dump
  4. Rejection
  5. Break in the communication flow
  6. Feelings of hopelessness
The good news is that contempt has a polar opposite force, and a force that helps a relationship to bond, grow, and nurture.  As much as contempt indicates dismissal and disregard for a partner, empathy signals appreciation, affection, and LOVE. 
So on your journey to “Achieving Happiness”, work on getting rid of contempt, and rather choose to understand, appreciate, and empathize.  Good Luck.

To read Susan Heitler Ph. D.’s whole article, go to this website: