In my last blog I discussed ‘Manhood’ (a book by Steve Biddulph) and the idea that boys and men need other men… Sadly, this doesn’t happen as much as it used to, and this sense of isolation for many men, and not knowing how to be a man, can lead to numerous difficulties – Why men are a mess.
According to Steve, a healthy man is a man who knows who they are, where they come from and where they are going – and outlines this in his Seven Steps to Manhood.
Below is a summary of these seven steps to manhood:
1) ‘Fixing it’ with your father – knowing and resolving your relationship with him with respect and greater understanding.
2) Finding sacredness in your sexuality – being comfortable with and transformed in a fulfilling and meaningful way.
3) Meeting your partner on equal terms – knowing how to communicate with and share experiences and difficulties together with mutual understanding and respect.
4) Engaging actively with your kids – (if you have them) by getting the balance right between ‘tough-tender’ and by being both emotionally and physically present.
5) Learning to have real male friends – having emotional support and men available to help with life’s transitions.
6) Finding your heart in your work – finding a profession/work that you believe in and contributes to your sense of self.
7) Freeing your wild spirit – finding the connection between nature and yourself.
While presented as steps – in my experience, this sequence is neither fixed nor as prescriptive as presented.
For some, several of these seven steps to manhood will no doubt strike a chord, yet some of them may be surprising or puzzling – most of all I hope that it evokes questions and reflection – the key to a better understanding of what it means to be a healthy man!
At Attuned Psychology we recognise the challenges that men face and provide practical support. If you feel it would be helpful to reach out to talk to someone about what it means and how to be a healthy man, any of our practitioners would be pleased to assist.
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