The Good Men Project https://goodmenproject.com The Conversation No One Else Is Having Sun, 07 Mar 2021 00:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 You Are Your Most Important Teacher (and What To Do About It) https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/you-are-your-most-important-teacher-and-what-to-do-about-it-2/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/you-are-your-most-important-teacher-and-what-to-do-about-it-2/#respond Sun, 07 Mar 2021 04:30:34 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=654249 What works to promote self as optimal learner?

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By Dr Robert A. Hahn

Dr Robert Hahn, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University, Atlanta, describes how learning is an internal dialogue, as we continuously build on the knowledge we already possess in our minds. His synthesis of research shows that your most important teacher is actually yourself. He argues that the classroom that recognises that we can learn how to improve our own learning tools affords its students the tools to create their own knowledge.

A visit with Miss Roberts, his first-grade teacher, prompted Dr Robert Hahn, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University, Atlanta, to reflect on the foundational period of his intellectual development when he first learned arithmetic. His realisation “that I took in that for me a new way of thinking and seeing the world, turned it over and over, examined it, adapted it to what I already knew,” prompted his research into how your most important teacher is actually yourself.

Evolving internal tools of knowledge

Dr Hahn describes how learning is an internal dialogue, as we continuously build on the knowledge we already possess in our minds. An essential component of the internal dialogue is the development our internal tools of knowledge. A review of the literature offers an array of evidence in support of the self-teaching approach to knowledge and education.

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Two perspectives on learning

The empiricist viewpoint is that learning is basically the process of accumulating and compiling information. Susan Carey, Harvard Professor of Psychology, refers to this as “common-sense epistemology” in which knowledge arises from sensory experience and results in the collection of numerous true facts. Rote learning, common in many educational settings, may be based on this perspective.

An alternative viewpoint regards learning as an activity with two crucial components. One component is that the learner takes in new information and determines whether this information is true or false, new or already known, and if true and new, how to alter what they already know, etc. This activity—the internal dialogue of sorting, processing, revising—is what makes a people their own and most important teachers. The second component is that the self-teacher also modifies their tools of knowledge; tools of knowledge can be taught, they can improve and evolve. It this building and refinement of the tools of knowledge that should be the focus of our educational system.

A visit with Miss Roberts, his first-grade teacher, prompted Dr Hahn’s research.

Foundations of knowledge and learning

Studies have shown how the process of knowledge and learning begins in infants long before language develops or formal teaching is implemented. Research has revealed that even newborns can understand numbers and, at five months old, infants have a rudimentary understanding of addition and subtraction. This sophisticated, innate knowledge and reasoning provides the foundation on which new learning builds. The cognitive process neurologists describe as ‘executive function’ organises and controls this foundation, underpinning our knowledge and learning process.

A learner’s viewpoint of their own capacity to learn and build knowledge can affect how well they actually learn.

Executive function

Dr Hahn describes three elements of executive function. Firstly, attention, as in directing one’s focus onto a particular topic, i.e. the question. This requires discipline as well as the ability to choose what one should pay attention to and what one should ignore. Secondly, working memory, in which internal mental resources are recalled, both from memories and recently acquired information, for the solution of the question. Thirdly, creative solution, the analytic engine of thought and learning that manipulates the learner’s internal resources to achieve a solution.

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Dr Hahn describes how learning is an internal dialogue, as we continuously build on the knowledge we already possess in our minds.

Executive function is the heart of the knowledge and learning process and can be nourished to strengthen self-teaching. Researchers have shown that a child’s healthy mind and brain development require the stimulation of a physically, socially, and emotionally rich environment in which to grow and interact. Deprivation of these resources, and physical or emotional neglect and abuse in particular, can severely limit or distort the physical development of brain functions that lead to intellectual and socio-emotional development including the capacity to learn. Recognition of the biological and social fundamentals indicates opportunities for intervention in order to promote growth.

What works to promote self as optimal learner?

A learners’ viewpoints of their own capacity to learn and build knowledge powerfully affect how well they actually learn. Those with a ‘fixed mindset’ view their intelligence as established and unchangeable, so it cannot be enhanced. Some people say, “I cannot learn math.” In contrast, those with a ‘growth mindset’ believe their intelligence can develop and grow. Mindset can be taught, and those with growth mindsets have been shown to be more effective and more engaged learners.

Learning involves the internal creation of knowledge from existing knowledge and can be developed and improved through the promotion of new tools of learning. Shutterstock.com

An assortment of programs has been developed that strengthen executive function in children between the ages of 4 and 12, including children with mental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. One example is the Montessori method of education. Students are encouraged to learn independently. Learning resources are provided as they need them. Instead of grades or external praise, students are asked to find internal rewards for their activities. Another example, various experiments using exercise, such as aerobics and martial arts, have also been found to strengthen executive function in children at various ages.

Lessons learned

Dr Hahn has argued that learning is more than absorbing information. Learning involves the internal creation of knowledge from existing knowledge and can be developed and improved through the promotion of new tools of learning. He argues that our current educational system may be fundamentally misoriented, and “instead of attempting to cram us full of information and skills—much of which we soon forget, our education system should focus on fostering optimal self-teachers,” developing our internal tools of learning. The classroom that recognises that we can learn how to improve our own learning affords its students the means to create their own knowledge.

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Personal Response

What advice would you give to education policy makers who might be considering the application of this autodidactic approach?

General education programs should focus on providing students with tools for learning and skills for developing their own learning capacities. Policy makers should encourage this approach as a foundation for the educational system. Teachers should be taught approaches to promoting optimal learners. There is an old and true saying: “If you give a man a fish, you may satisfy his hunger for the day. If you teach him how to fish, you may satisfy his hunger for a lifetime.” I recommend adding: If you teach him how to learn, he can then satisfy many hungers.

This post was previously published on researchoutreach.org under a Creative Commons License.

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Why Forcing Married Couples Into Traditional Roles Can Make Them Hate Each Other https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/why-forcing-married-couples-into-traditional-roles-can-make-them-hate-each-other/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/why-forcing-married-couples-into-traditional-roles-can-make-them-hate-each-other/#respond Sun, 07 Mar 2021 04:00:29 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=651694 Baking won’t make you the perfect wife.

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“I’m ready for marriage, my boyfriend is so lucky,“ she wrote on her Instagram while disclosing a photo of a cake she’s baked.

They aren’t engaged. They’re nowhere close marriage. The only reason she wrote that is that 1) she wanted the world to see how good a baker she is, which is fair enough and 2) she comes from a country that still puts a huge value on a woman’s ability to be a great housewife if she wants to find a husband.

The Czech Republic is one of the most sexist countries in Europe, so none of this surprises me. I grew up there. I grew up being told that if I want someone to marry me, I need to know how to cook, bake, do laundry, iron clothes, mop the floors, clean the windows, the list goes on. All of this while also graduating from a university, preferably with a doctorate, and working a job that makes me really rich.

I need to be an accomplished independent woman and a loyal cleaning lady/full-time mother/housewife at the same time.

No pressure, though.

Jokes always hide a pinch of truth

Saying you’re ready for marriage once you know how to cook and bake is a common ‘joke’ where I come from, which is why I’ve seen both women and men use it multiple times without any further thought. When I shared my observation with a friend, he said it’s just a joke and people don’t think about it too much when they use it.

But that’s the core of the problem. Because this joke is an actual reality. It’s where the lines between a joke and the harsh truth blur into subtle misogyny that’s randomly sprinkled between the lines of your day-to-day life until one day, you realize that all those light-hearted jokes actually strive to teach you your place.

If everyone around you says that a woman who bakes is a good wife-material, however light-hearted it might sound, you’ll eventually believe there must be something true about it. Especially if you live in a society where this actually portrays women’s lives accurately.

I have yet to see a day when a Czech cis-hetero married man bakes a cake. Or cleans his own household on a regular basis.

The only thing this joke does is to support the already deeply sexist Czech culture that teaches girls that they will need to feed and take care of their husband as if he was an extra baby, not an actual adult.

The patriarchy makes life hard for every gender

Although women suffer much more in this marriage system because the majority of daily responsibilities fall on their shoulders, sexism can affect men in a negative way as well.

Most Czech men from the baby boomer generation still feel like they need to be the main breadwinners, and it’s easy for them to get jealous of their wife’s success. Their egos are ridiculously fragile because they’re raised to be ‘real men’ who swear, drink beer, watch football and bang as many women as possible to show how much of a player they are.

Their culture is deeply toxic in the sense that almost everyone’s bitter about their wife in some way or another, and they want to drag you into this mess with them. They don’t believe you can be forever happy in a marriage. They want you to go to the pub, drink and complain together.

At least that gives them some sort of an excuse when they decide to cheat — their wife is so annoying, she always complains and is never grateful, who wouldn’t be frustrated and want to spend time with a different woman? All the men agree!

Well, she always complains because she’s forced to be more of a mother than a wife to him. But somehow, he doesn’t process this notion properly because every single man around him is in the same situation and doesn’t see anything wrong with it.

It’s hard for Czech men to be truly good husbands and find solidarity with their own gender at the same time. If an individual wants to get out of this mess, he needs to leave behind the majority of others, which can prove to be a very lonely journey.

Boys also don’t have many good male idols to begin with because everyone around them is a jerk, so they’re often not even sure what’s right or not.

Why we need to stop having traditional expectations of married couples

The whole marriage situation is quite tragic. Out of all my Czech friends, only two have happily married parents. The rest are either divorced or bitter about being together. I personally couldn’t wait for my parents to finally divorce. They were miserable.

The general divorce rate in the Czech Republic was 58.73 per 100 marriages in 2014, so more than a half of couples can’t stand each other to the point where they divorce, while the rest somehow gets on with it but is often unhappy too.

And things like this baking joke have a part to play. They show the division between genders and the impossible expectations we have of our future wives and husbands. A wife fits into one box, a husband in the other. If you don’t comply, you’ll be judged for standing out.

If you’re a wife who doesn’t have the time to bake traditional Christmas cookies, you’re bad at your assigned role. If you’re a husband who irons his own clothes, you’re failing at masculinity because you’re stooping to doing such female tasks.

What this does is that it creates impossible expectations of individuals who feel pressured to fulfil their role in society rather than enjoy spending the rest of their lives with someone. My partner is a better cook than I am. That doesn’t make me a worse girlfriend, and yet in many countries, I would be scorned.

When couples feel like they’re being forced into a certain assigned role, they have to leave a chunk of their individuality behind. They have to make compromises where they otherwise wouldn’t have and they can quickly start feeling bitter about how things turned out.

Having few expectations of what a “good wife” and a “good husband” ought to be would lead to more teamwork and less stress. Couples could divide house chores 50/50 if they both work the same amount of hours or do it in any way they like — instead of doing “wife” and “husband” things, they’d be a team making sure their household thrives.

Being a housewife should be your choice

There is inherently nothing wrong with having a traditional marriage, as long as both parties love how things are going between them. The wrong bit is the expected roles we’re supposed to take on. Every single one of us.

When I was a teenager, seeing only hatred and disappointment in all married couples around me made me think I’d never want to marry. It sounded like the worst deal you could ever make with someone. We promise that we will slowly begin to hate each other while forcing ourselves to have sex.

I only began to change my mind when I moved to the UK where gender equality is moving forward in a much faster pace. I wish that for all countries from Eastern Europe and beyond. Thanks to my new outlook on marriage, I can easily imagine myself doing more house chores if my husband works more hours — it’s only fair.

Would I do more things around the household? Yes. Would I mind it? No, because it’d be a deal that we made together instead of his automatic expectation of me.

Being a housewife should be something you choose, not something you’re born into because of your gender.

. . .

Marriage is a space for companionship. It’s two people who try to make it work because they respect and love each other. Being a wife should be a pleasure, not a duty that runs you down.

Let’s strip those labels of their old-fashioned meanings and let’s just love each other. My English boyfriend is a great baker. We both bake because we enjoy it, not because we’re ‘ready for marriage’.

Being a good wife or husband lies in very different qualities than your ability to bake a cake.

This post was previously published on Medium.

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Set Healthy Boundaries and Feel Free With Her https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/set-healthy-boundaries-and-feel-free-with-her-kpkn/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/set-healthy-boundaries-and-feel-free-with-her-kpkn/#respond Sun, 07 Mar 2021 03:00:18 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=660956 Healthy boundaries cultivate trust, respect, and the safety to just be you.

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Remember when you first fell in love?

The fireworks. Spark. Excitement. Sex. Chemistry. Compatibility.

That desire to be together all the time. The urge to merge. The yearning to lose yourself in one another. A beautiful sense of oneness.

The ultimate love. No secrets, no boundaries, no struggles.

You let her in fully. She let you in fully. You were one.

Have you ever felt like one with your partner?

Sure, it’s beautiful. But as you know, it doesn’t last long.

As you move into a long-term committed relationship, eventually you begin wondering, how come what I loved about her at first now annoys me?

In time, the desire to be together changed into the desire for space. You hit speed bumps, obstacles. You wonder, can we make it through this? Is it worth it?

And yet it’s in this moment where you get to see how much work you’re willing to put into your relationship.

But often, you’re only focused on the problems and how to eliminate them.

What if those problems brought you closer to your partner?

It’s possible but not without winning strategies. One of those strategies is counterintuitive for most men. It’s the opposite of what we do in the honeymoon phase of relationship.

And because we often don’t know that, we mistake it for something wrong. But nothing’s wrong. You’re human. And you have a new need post-honeymoon. And that is the need for space.

Not just physical but emotional space. And ironically, space helps you feel closer to your partner. Distance to create closeness. Absence to make the heart fonder.

And so, to honor your need for emotional space, set healthy boundaries with your partner.  It’s much better than being irritable and annoyed with her all the time when all you really need is some space.

Healthy boundaries in a relationship allow for individuation and union. Healthy boundaries cultivate trust, respect, and the safety to just be you.

Do you set healthy boundaries with your partner?

Knowing how to set a healthy boundary helps you be more free with your partner. Free to be you. Free to ask for what you want. And free of enmeshment.

Think of it like this. The warrior sets the boundary so that the lover can be safe to love more freely.

In this two and a half minute video, I teach two kinds of boundaries to set in your relationship to experience more freedom with your partner.

Being your own man, your own person is part of who you are as a man. Don’t let your partner deprive you of that. Educate her.

Tell her, I’m here for you AND I need to take space at times so that I can love you better.

 

Previously Published on stuartmotola.com

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Macaroon dad

At the back of our fridge, behind the milk and the yogurt, but still in plain view, inside a fragile-looking glass jar, were about 10 delicious looking, multi-colored macaroons.

And my 5-year old daughter was obsessing over them.

She had been talking about them all throughout dinner, and I agreed to let her have a few if, and only if, she finished the 3 large pieces of grilled cauliflower that were getting cold on her plate. She did, eventually, but not without a lot of complaining.

After she gobbled down the last bit of cauliflower, she opened her mouth to show me that she had eaten every last bite, and was ready for dessert.

“Daddy, can I have the macaroons now?”, she said with uncontainable excitement.

I agreed to let her have two, and she hopped off her chair and ran to the fridge, and swung open the door.

“Can you get them for me? They’re all the way at the back of the fridge.”

“Nope, get them yourself, sweetie”, I replied.

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Kamikaze parents

I admit to being a helicopter parent, but I’m trying to kick the habit.

Both my wife and I are notorious for doing things to make life easier for our kids. It’s gotten a little out of hand, in my opinion. They expect us to do everything.

“We’re not helicopter parents. We’re kamikaze parents.”, I told Karen recently.

Make their cereal. Pour them a cup of milk. Pick their clothes. Change the show on the TV. The list goes on.

It’s not that they can’t do these things. We just always do it for them. They’re not learning as fast they should.

These are things that they should be doing themselves by this time, in my opinion. I don’t remember being so dependant on my parents at this age.

It’s not going to do them any favors once they get into the real world.

“I don’t want to drop the glass jar. It’s all the way at the back of the fridge. Daddy, can you get it for me?”

It was at that moment that I would normally cave. I would normally walk a few steps over from the kitchen table to the fridge, and save the day for my little girl.

But this time was different.

It was different because I remembered the story of Bean Dad.

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A ridiculous new superhero

On Twitter, I had read about a father who refused to help his 9-year-old daughter open up a can of beans. She wanted to eat them for lunch, and his basic message to her was ‘figure out how to make them yourself’. He wouldn’t even show her how to use a can opener.

So I said, “How do you think this works?” She studied it and applied it to the top of the can, sideways. She struggled for a while and with a big, dramatic sigh said, “Will you please just open the can?” Apocalypse Dad was overjoyed: a Teaching Moment just dropped in my lap! — Bean Dad- January 2, 2021

After 6 hours of trying, the girl was finally able to figure out how to open the can using a can opener. The father, now referred to as ‘Bean Dad’ by the internet, called it a ‘teachable moment’.

If she’s ever lost in the woods with a can of beans and a can opener, she’ll know what to do.

That Bean Dad is a gosh darn superhero.

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My inner Bean Dad

“Daddy! Please get them for me. I don’t want the jar to break!”

Calling on my inner Bean Dad, I stayed seated and informed her that she had to get them herself. I said that, if she really wanted them, then she could get them. If she didn’t, then she wouldn’t. But I wasn’t going to be the one to get them for her.

My daughter can be a bit of a drama queen. When she is upset or when she sulks, she uses every bone in her body to physically embody the emotion. This instance was no different. She huffed. She puffed.

In the end, she reached her hands into the fridge, and carefully navigated the glass jar out and onto the kitchen table without any damage at all.

“I did it, Daddy!”

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The takeaway

You should let your kids should try new things. Push them to do new things.

Yes, sometimes they’ll fail miserably. That glass jar, for example, could have fallen out of my daughter’s hands and smashed into a thousand pieces on the floor.

Even if it did, my daughter would have learned something from the experience. The next time, she would know, she would have to do it differently.

The lesson here is that we have to let kids experiment, and we have to let them experience the possibility of failure. As parents, we can coach, and we can guide.

But we shouldn’t hold them back from the possibility of failure.

Life is full of teachable moments. It’s full of failures.

In my life, I’ve failed countless times. And I’ve almost always learned from the failure. As good parents, we have to afford our kids the same opportunities.

They’ll be better for it.

This post was previously published on Medium.

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The decision to get a divorce is a tough one. You may have overwhelming feelings of isolation when you are in the middle of a divorce that nobody knows what you are going through. Sadness is a prime emotion felt during these times, but it should be known that these feelings are completely normal.

The reasons behind a divorce vary from person to person. The following are some of the common reasons couples go forth with their decision to get a divorce.

Financial Issues

One of the leading causes of divorce is money. Money is a major binding factor of a marriage often leading to arguments and tension between couples. When money begins to fall short couples usually find it difficult to pay their dues and providing for the family becomes almost impossible. The moneymakers of the family tend to become irritable as most of their time is spent trying to find ways to provide for the family, leaving the family at home feeling neglected.

Infidelity

Infidelity has a huge effect on your life. Infidelity usually catches up with you sooner or later, which is why it is one of the main causes of divorce. People cheat for a number of motives. Over time, the excitement dies. While the excitement of being with your partner has passed, the need for thrills has not. Others do it to aggravate their spouses or to get revenge on them. Infidelity erodes trust and contributes to a deterioration of cooperation.

Abuse

Abuse can be physical, emotional, or even financial. It is not necessary that it is only directed by the spouse, it can be through the mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister/brother-in-law, friends, siblings, or anyone who has an active say in your relationship with your spouse. Abuse not only impacts the victim but also the children of the household leading to lifetime trauma. Staying in an abusive relationship is not safe at all, one must immediately get help. Many respondents clarified that, with more severe periods of violence accompanied by deep guilt, the abuse evolved over time.

If you are not sure where to get help from you can contact law enforcement and get your divorce filed through Denver divorce attorneys.

Lack of Compatibility and Communication

Another common factor of divorce is an incompatibility between the partners. Often the underlying cause is getting married at an early age. Differing views between couples leads to multiple arguments and increases the level of stress. It leads to wanting to spend time alone and may in the long run lead to infidelity. Communication is a very important part of marriage. All that’s left is an inefficient dispute and growing frustration if you can’t get your point across in a manner that both spouses appreciate. Your acts may not be in accordance with what your wife wants.

Drug Addiction

If either one of the committed individuals has an addiction, may it be alcohol or substance abuse such as cocaine, marijuana, weed, LSD, etc. or they refuse to get help, it leads to many issues between the couple. Addiction leads to lying, cheating, stealing, and betrayal. It may also lead to financial stress.

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By Pressenza New York

By Rebecca Diers – SUNY Cortland

With almost no warning, life for college students last year went from sitting in classrooms with their professors and peers to viewing them on a screen. Now, almost a year later, this is still the case for many students. Last semester at SUNY Cortland, the entire campus was moved to remote learning after the number of positive covid cases on campus rose past one-hundred for multiple weeks in a row. With a new semester having just started this week, 70% of all Cortland classes are still being taught online, with only a handful meeting in-person. For most students, the change to remote learning has been a challenge.

The inability for many students to have classes in-person has put a strain on their ability to learn. For some, this stems from the distractions that come along with online learning. It seems to be a consensus from the students that I interviewed that they are much more focused and that they retain more information when they are learning in a classroom compared to learning remotely.

When asked what her experiences have been with remote learning, Emily, who is in an Athletic Training Program, said, “I have to be in the classroom—anything online I just don’t absorb it as much…. When I’m in online classes, I don’t really feel like I’m there… I don’t participate, I can’t listen, I can’t focus.”

Lindsay, a Physical Education major, felt similarly to Emily: “When I’m in a classroom I am focused on my teacher, but when I’m online looking at my computer I get much more distracted because I am laying in my bed and have my phone next to me.”

Lindsay also said, “When I’m doing work online I think I’m just trying to get things done rather than actually learning.”

After hearing Lindsay’s response, I asked other students whether they felt as though they were actually learning when online, or if they too felt as though they are just completing and submitting work for grades. Kevin, an Outdoor Recreation major, had some interesting points about this.

He said, “I think it’s relatively the same for any online work. Obviously, anything done inside a classroom is a lot more live and useful—I think—but that’s just all in how you learn. Some people are hands-on, some people are technical—they need someone to explain it in the moment to them, they also need visual stuff. Online is a tool. When used with physical learning it’s great. When used by itself—for me personally—it is not effective. I don’t think I am learning any less, but the way that I retain knowledge doesn’t line up with remote learning. Through all this remote learning though I have gotten better at learning through online methods.”

In terms of effectiveness, there is not one single way to learn remotely, making it difficult for students to settle into routines and to conform to the many methods their professors use.

In regards to this, Kevin said, “Almost every instructor, teacher, or facilitator has had a different approach to remote learning whether that’s different programs or different teaching styles—there has not been one singular method that has been used between all of my classes so it has been very hard to adapt to each one, and it has been a big hindrance on effective learning throughout my entire last three semesters now.”

Another challenge that comes with remote learning is how it takes away the hands-on experience many college students need for their majors and their future careers.

When asked how she thought remote learning will affect her future, Lindsay, who is hoping to teach Physical Education to Elementary School students, said, “Since I don’t have any in-person classes, I’m not getting any experience or practice teaching. Last year when I was teaching in my classes I got better every time, but now I don’t have the chance to do that.”

Similarly, Rachel, who is a Therapeutic Recreation major hoping to do work in Occupational Therapy, said, “I’m not getting the hands-on experience with people to help me through my career. I also feel that without that experience, it will be harder for me to get a job since I don’t have the knowledge that other people have gotten through their experiences and through just interacting with people.”

Because of the lack of hands-on experience she has received, Emily—who would have already had 450 hours of clinical experience if remote learning never had to be implemented—has been thinking of changing her career path. She said, “I’m already thinking about changing my career because my career—as you know—it’s so hands-on and we’ve had like no clinical practice at all, so basically I want to change to something that I can do online, because it feels like this is never going to end.”

Despite these downsides to remote learning, Kevin pointed out something hopeful about it: “I think learning will become more accessible to people who thought that it wasn’t for them in the first place. So someone who thought that, ‘Oh school isn’t for me,’ maybe it’s more accessible to them now that it’s online. I think that it is going to make [learning] more widespread.”

For now, remote learning is something most students have to learn to adapt to until the world returns back to ‘normal.’ Until then, maybe the challenges that it brings will make us all better connected to one another.

Previously published on pressenza with Creative Commons License

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Designrr Review – Create Quality eBooks and Lead Magnets in Minutes https://l2b2.com/?man=business-ethics-2/designrr-review-create-quality-ebooks-and-lead-magnets-in-minutes/ https://l2b2.com/?man=business-ethics-2/designrr-review-create-quality-ebooks-and-lead-magnets-in-minutes/#respond Sun, 07 Mar 2021 01:00:22 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=660661 — Traditionally, one would require a lot of time to create an eBook and lead magnet to market their content. However, Designrr has changed the entire story. With it, you can only spend a fraction of the time it used to take in creating quality content for SEO. This tool has proven to be an…

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Traditionally, one would require a lot of time to create an eBook and lead magnet to market their content. However, Designrr has changed the entire story. With it, you can only spend a fraction of the time it used to take in creating quality content for SEO. This tool has proven to be an important part of every business.

What Is Designrr?

Designrr is quick and accurate crowd-based software designed for content repurposing. The software can convert one type of content into another and back. Some of the content that this tool can change into others includes the following:

  • Lead magnets
  • PDFs
  • EBooks
  • Audio Contents
  • Video Contents
  • Blog Posts

 

Who Created Designrr?

Paul Clifford Bannister is the man behind this amazing software platform. This guy has at least 20 years of experience in creating software. He has worked with popular companies like Adidas, Carrefour, Nike, and more.

Paul Clifford is also well-known for creating the now popular content marketing platform called Kudani. Thus, there’s every reason to trust the idea behind Designrr.

Who Can Use Designrr?

Designrr can be used by all online entrepreneurs. Course creators can also find this tool useful as it will help them create dynamic flipbooks and PDFs. This tool features a transcription function that YouTube marketers will find very helpful.

All content marketers can utilize Designrr to create impactful lead magnets that attract more readers. Video creators, Small businesses, Webinar Marketers, Podcasters, and Brand Marketers, among others, can also use this tool.

Why Use Designrr?

There are many reasons why you should buy and use this tool. Some of the reasons include but not limited to the following:

  • Instant Access
  • Designrr is compatible with both Mac and Windows
  • It’s cloud-based – you don’t need to download or install anything
  • You’ll be able to access the software right from your website browser
  • Designrr comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee

 

How Secure Is This Tool?

Designrr is 100% secure. Every data shared with this platform is properly encrypted using the latest technology. The domain name – designrr.io – has a pertinent encryption certificate. That means that any data you share with this tool, including your bank account details, will be safe from hackers and other cyber-criminals

How Does It Work?

Designrr works in 4 simple steps as described below:

1. Import Content or Begin from Scratch

Designrr is more of a content repurposing tool. However, you can still create EBooks and other media from scratch. When you begin a new project, just enter the URL.

The tool will start to load in the background while ignoring every site navigation, sharing icons, adverts, and any other thing that wouldn’t help you in your EBook. Alternatively, you can import content from Google Docs, Word, or just start from scratch – from an existing template.

2. Select a Template

Designrr offers hundreds of templates that cover every business and niche. You can choose a suitable template and customize anything, including images, colors, fonts, and styles.

3. Customize

The tool has a user-friendly design editor that you can utilize to easily and quickly change anything in your EBook. You’ll be able to edit text, import as many documents as you need, and preview the changes you have made.

4. Publish

With a single click export, you’ll be able to produce an attractive EBook that’s ready for publishing. PDF and Flipbook options are available.

What Are Its Features?

Instant Access to Unlimited Images: Designrr offers millions of beautiful, curated set of royalty-free images from Pixabay and Unsplash for you to choose from and make your EBooks outstanding. There’s also an option that allows you to upload your own images into the Designrr media manager.

Table of Content: With one simple click, this tool helps you create a table of content for your EBook, including a customizable header and footer and page numbering.

Image Editor: You don’t need to use Photoshop because you can edit any image by cropping, resizing, or coloring it as you want. Designrr includes a comprehensive editor for images.

Draft Editor: When your content isn’t ready for designing or you just wish to begin from scratch, Designrr offers you a comprehensive draft editor.

This editor is a clean interface without complications or distractions for you to enjoy a smooth writing experience. In this interface, you can come up with several drafts and then merge them into your final EBook.

Publish to Animated Flipbook: Come up with dynamic Flipbooks, which you can easily. These kinds of Flipbooks work well on mobile. They are also a perfect way of protecting your EBook from unauthorized downloading.

Edit, Publish, Edit Again: Designrr has an integrated design editor that allows you to customize your EBook in any way you want.

With an easy-to-use drag and drop feature, you can edit and re-organize every aspect. Once you publish, it’s easy to go back and make any changes you wish and then publish again.

How Much Does Designrr Cost?

You only pay $27 for lifetime access to Designrr. However, Designrr is also available in packages for users to choose from depending on the needs. Each package comes with its unique features and varying prices as explained below:

Standard Plan: The Standard Plan is the most basic plan of Designrr. It costs $29 per month. There are many features in this package and security is guaranteed.

Pro Plan: The Pro Plan costs $39 per month. In this package, you get all the features of the Standard Plan plus a lot more. The price is worth it.

Premium Plan: Costs you $49 per month. There are many features to enjoy in this package, including 4 transcription hours. It’s a great plan for YouTube marketers.

Business Plan: This plan costs $99 per month. It’s the best plan of all. It has many features including 8 transcription hours together with a rare 3-dimensional cover tool.

Final Thought – Is Designrr Worth It?

Designrr is a game-changer tool that can help you create attractive EBooks in minutes. It’s a great platform that’s helping people repurpose existing content and convert one kind of media into another and back. The software was created by a well-known software developer.

It’s secure and loaded with features that can help you take your content marketing to another level. It’s worth it and every serious online entrepreneur should take full advantage of this tool!

This content is brought to you by Shahbaz Ahmed.

Photo provided by the author.

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Love Does Not Hurt — the Thought of Being Vulnerable Does https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/love-does-not-hurt-the-thought-of-being-vulnerable-does-kpkn/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/love-does-not-hurt-the-thought-of-being-vulnerable-does-kpkn/#respond Sun, 07 Mar 2021 00:30:05 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=661322 What goes wrong in a relationship is a complicated task to address.

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Post-breakup — in any relationship, we find ourselves sitting in the corner of our world, devastated, hurt, and crying our minds out.

The reason for that repeated emotional outburst or, in other words, melt-downs is not per se questioning the love we have/had for the person. But we are evaluating our vulnerability in the presence of that person.

The most important thing that we often fail to acknowledge is that love never dies, neither does it vanishes out of the blue.

Love is an emotion that “if it is true,” embraces every nitty-gritty of and around the relationship we have with the person.

If we truly loved the person, even after 20 years, our feelings for the person will not cease, ideally. Whether we run into each other on the street or come across old pictures, we still will love that person.

However, often we feel the rush of anxiety that somehow overshadows the actual “love.”

What goes wrong in a relationship is a complicated task to address.

Two individuals are having independent experiences resulting in different interpretations of an outcome.

Therefore, what generates agitation, hatred, hurt, grief, and the need to feel loved and wanted — is all about us.

It is questioning ourselves for being so vulnerable and blind to the person; we feel being taken advantage of and naked.

We fail to forgive ourselves for not being able to foresee specific incidences that might have been obvious otherwise, or maybe ignoring the signs of incompatibility early on and not acting accordingly.

Photo by Hannah Xu on Unsplash

An average human tendency is to blame the other person for whatever happens — from the beginning of falling apart to post-breakup.

However, we do not realize that people treat us the way we portray to them how to do so.

People on the receiving end of ours may not know what’s bothering us until we speak up or create boundaries at the right time.

Hence, it is not the other person’s fault alone for a relationship to not go the right way. It is equally our responsibility for the failure.

The feeling of vulnerability often accompanies by blame, shame, and guilt.

We end up acting out-of-control in circumstances that will remind us of our past, and we face melt-downs.

So, how to get rid of the cloudiness and walk out of the door like a champion?

Ask yourself the question — what exactly is hurting you and making you sad?

Is it the aspect of not being enough for the relationship?

Is it the feeling of shame that we did not listen to ourselves?

Is the feeling of loneliness and restlessness coming from the fact that we failed to be there for ourselves in the situation of discomfort?

Our emotions towards others often define our feelings for ourselves. We leave ourselves alone to please the person in front of us.

What results next is a shattered self, when things become black-n-white in front of us, eventually.

Love is a beautiful form of emotion. It makes us feel wonderful, admired, and desired. We feel high, and we feel valued for being alive.

Hence, it is worth embracing every aspect of “Love” for us and within us. Eventually, we control how and when we share our vulnerabilities safely and protectively. Which limits our dependency on others to make us happy or even feel worthy.

So, forgive yourself for the moments where you did not meet your expectations.

Forgive yourself for being too gullible and naive to trust someone whole-heartedly. We are not alone in this journey.

Forgive yourself for putting yourself repeatedly in situations that are not favorable to your definition of happiness and love.

Previously Published on Medium

Shutterstock

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Adam Falkner – “Straight Poem” [Video] https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/adam-falkner-straight-poem-video/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/adam-falkner-straight-poem-video/#respond Sun, 07 Mar 2021 00:00:44 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=658052 “When I say that he is a good looking man, I mean that entirely objectively.”

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By Button Poetry

.

.

Adam Falkner, performing at Icehouse in Minneapolis, MN.

 

Transcript provided by YouTube:

00:01
when I say that he is a good-looking man
00:04
I mean that entirely objectively as in
00:11
anyone who thinks otherwise might be so
00:14
homophobic that they themselves are gay
00:17
and I am not gay therefore I appreciate
00:21
how others might be drawn to certain
00:23
features that he holds when I say that I
00:28
find him handsome again I would like to
00:30
clarify that statement I think of him as
00:34
beautiful in that girls love him sort of
00:36
way how if I were a girl I might wait
00:39
outside his dressing room too I might
00:42
write him letters too however I am not
00:45
so I won’t but I get it
00:47
and even this said aloud in this very
00:50
room a flag javelin to deeper into the
00:53
Scheuer certainty of my own
00:55
budweiser so straight that is that I
00:58
could say I think about his stubble
00:59
against my neck without your thinking
01:01
this poem is about to get gay as hell
01:05
the glorious scrape and push of dueling
01:08
jaw lines how I spend my to train
01:10
commute most mornings wondering how our
01:13
college soccer hips might feel cutting
01:15
into one another in a corner on the hood
01:17
of a car in some hipster neighborhood I
01:19
do not live in where no one knows me
01:22
outside this splintered park bench these
01:24
rolled up jeans and a tired black tee
01:26
this orange Magic Hour on the East River
01:29
Harry tattooed arm laid lazy around my
01:32
neck like a hitching post a giddy ribbon
01:35
unraveling inside me
01:37
each time he cups my face in his palms
01:45
you
01:46
[Applause]

This post was previously published on YouTube.

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Photo credit: Screenshot from video

 

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The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing and Remote Working https://l2b2.com/?man=business-ethics-2/the-pros-and-cons-of-outsourcing-and-remote-working/ https://l2b2.com/?man=business-ethics-2/the-pros-and-cons-of-outsourcing-and-remote-working/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 23:30:03 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=660674 — How have you been approaching the changing work arena the world faces? There’s no ignoring it: 2020 with its pandemic has adjusted how people have to set up work environments. And luckily, it’s not all bad news. New Work Arrangements Emerging When a lockdown forces employers to send their teams home, it becomes vital…

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How have you been approaching the changing work arena the world faces? There’s no ignoring it: 2020 with its pandemic has adjusted how people have to set up work environments. And luckily, it’s not all bad news.

New Work Arrangements Emerging

When a lockdown forces employers to send their teams home, it becomes vital to find a new method of operating. It must work even though you’re not in the same building anymore. This forced people to think out of the box. The result is that what people thought was the most dynamic way, was replaced by innovative and often more efficient methods. Facilitating remote working for employees—even for work related to sensitive information such as remote accounting jobs—was only one of them.

Now, what will your long-term plans be? In some areas people may start returning to normal but does that mean you have to resume your previous office setup? Being forced to consider unorthodox options, now is actually the best time to set yourself up for success for the future. And how you and your team get work done is a primary factor in achieving your goals.

So, to what extent should you consider remote working as your business’ default setup? There’s also the consideration of outsourcing, which many experts promote. Use our summaries below to help you plan the most effective way forward.

Outsourcing vs Remote Working—Is There Really a Difference?

There are definite differences between outsourcing and remote working. These differences also determine how each method will affect your company, so understanding them is vital:

  • Outsourcing: You allocate certain job functions to a third party. This can be an individual such as a freelancer or a company taking on responsibilities on your behalf or providing services to your company.
  • Remote working: Your own employees work off-site at home or at a venue of their choosing, even at a restaurant. Not all remote working is necessarily a ‘work from home’ scenario. You may allow employees to work anywhere at any time, even while they travel for personal or business reasons, as long as they reach their work-related goals. A vital factor is having the right electronic, digital connection to engage with others on the team and access information. The latter is essential for important data-driven roles like remote accounting jobs.

 

In contrast to outsourcing, with remote work, you’ll still aim to include remote workers in aspects such as company culture and your processes. You can’t have this same expectation from a company you outsource to.

Outsourcing

At one stage outsourcing was only popular with large corporations. These days smaller businesses can also benefit, especially in areas where you and your team don’t have the right skillset, time, or resources.

For example, bookkeeping is a major challenge for small business owners who don’t have the knowledge or experience to handle it effectively. They may also not have the budget to hire a full-time accountant. Outsourcing this as remote accounting jobs to established vendors means experts work on their accounts, minimizing errors and ensuring accurate reports and tax filing.

With outsourcing you can still tailor your setup to your needs, thanks to different outsourcing types:

  • Onshoring: The third party will be in the same geographical area—country—like your business.
  • Offshoring: Your service provider is located in a distant country.
  • Multisourcing: The company’s needs may require you to outsource to multiple vendors in order to cover all necessary activities.
  • Nearshoring: The service provider is in a different country, but it’s a neighbor of the country where you’re stationed.

 

Your exact needs will determine which type will be most beneficial. For example, you may only find the necessary skills or cost-effectiveness with a company in another country. If the skillset is a priority, having those experts work on your project will be more important than being close to the vendor.

Popular areas of outsourcing to consider include:

  • Accounting and tax services, motivated by time-saving, accuracy, and ensuring compliance
  • Marketing, in order to ensure a dynamic strategy in an ever-increasing competitive market
  • IT services, eliminating the need to employ staff while ensuring you always have an expert to assist
  • Lead generation, to provide an internal sales team with more prospects
  • Payroll, which is often cheaper to outsource and it saves your staff time

 

The Benefits

  • Experts perform tasks, leading to quality work
  • There’s a larger talent pool that will impact your business outcomes
  • Fewer salaries to manage and pay
  • You don’t need to hire office space for that task to get done
  • Possibility of cost savings when using services from regions where you’re charged less than locally
  • Vendors are able to handle complex projects more efficiently compared to your team with less experience
  • Your time and resources are freed up for other tasks
  • No need to pay for infrastructure to perform a task
  • You don’t have to source the necessary talent to employ
  • Your operations may continue 24/7 when you partner with vendors in different time zones

 

The Challenges

  • You have less control over the execution of tasks
  • The vendor won’t always give your project their full attention
  • Less communication about your business compared to having the responsible party in your office
  • You can’t micro-manage every step in the process, which can result in the quality of work you’re not satisfied with
  • If you’re dependent on the third party’s feedback to perform some of your tasks, their delays can disrupt your workflow
  • Some employees may feel their jobs are at risk when you start outsourcing, which can affect office morale

 

These pros and cons can guide you in identifying tasks that you feel comfortable outsourcing to a third party. For example:

  • With activities that require your company culture or values to not be compromised at all, you may prefer keeping it in-house.
  • When you’re facing challenges of getting tasks done, such as not having the knowledge to ensure tax returns are done correctly, outsourcing becomes the better option.

 

Remote Working

The truth is, thanks to technology, many jobs these days can be done from anywhere employees find themselves. Cloud storage and secure networks mean that even sensitive information can now be handled while people at home. Remote accounting jobs or even HR work is done off-site won’t carry many risks of data getting leaked. So, employers can offer a remote position to almost any office worker.

In recent years, this has also become a preferred method of work for workers who don’t want to waste time commuting or want more flexibility in their lives. For some, it’s a prerequisite and they won’t shift to a new position unless remote working is guaranteed.

For employers this means that to be the employer of choice—to attract the best talent in the industry—you now have to consider remote working as a perk.

The Benefits

  • You keep the staff you have but you need less office space
  • Studies show remote workers are often more productive
  • Employees have fewer distractions to deal with from colleagues, often leading to higher productivity
  • Workers create their own environment at home and the comfort and familiarity can boost work quality
  • Many in the workforce prefer remote working—especially at home—so you can attract more talent
  • More flexibility leads to higher job satisfaction, which boosts employee loyalty
  • On a larger scale, less travel to work will lower workers’ carbon footprint; modern work arrangements can have a ripple effect on society and the environment

 

The Challenges

  • It’s sometimes difficult to keep the team motivated if you don’t interact in person
  • You need the right infrastructure; this could require capital investment to provide workers with a secure network, equipment like printers at home, or software to optimize collaboration
  • Remote workers in different time zones can be a challenge in terms of communication and hosting meetings
  • It’s more difficult to maintain company culture from a distance
  • There is a slight loss of control compared to having your team close to you
  • You’ll be more dependent on technology—such as laptops and quality Wi-Fi—to get work done
  • There could be tax implications for workers or employers if work is done in a different state

 

Conclusion

As with many decisions in business, there is no ‘best’ alternative that works for everyone. You need to research the facts of all options so you can determine which will provide you with the best outcome. But you can’t keep operating the way businesses did over the past few decades. For productivity, for personnel’s sake as well as your bottom line, new methods like outsourcing and remote working should definitely be on your team’s discussion list.

Do you have any suggestions for others contemplating these matters? Share in the comments section so we can help each other flourish in this new environment.

This content sponsored by Jessica Valgari.

Photo: Shutterstock

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The Lies Wine Is Telling You https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/the-lies-wine-is-telling-you/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/the-lies-wine-is-telling-you/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 23:00:43 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=656054 And the truths it is hiding.

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I am desperately sick of being fat. This is not an issue of vanity, and it’s most certainly not an exercise in fat-shaming. It’s a matter of practicality. My excess weight is robbing me of my energy, my joy and quite possibly my very life.

I’m over it.

I’ve been seriously working on this now for about five months. I have, with the help of a nutritionist, continued to tweak my eating habits and gradually my habits are improving.

And whilst I know I have lost weight, as my clothes are looser, it is a slow process.

And that is because I have vehemently resisted facing the elephant in the room.

My nightly wine habit

I started a ‘most nights’ wine habit about six years ago, shortly after I broke free from my first marriage, a relationship in which I had been controlled, coerced, monitored and abused for many many years.

Suddenly I was free to be an adult, and if I wanted a glass of wine when I got in from the office, then damn, I was going to have it. Before long I was pouring a glass within moments of getting in the door, often having a second, or third, before the evening was over.

When I met my now husband, we quickly settled into the habit of splitting a bottle most evenings.

I would never have considered myself to be a problem drinker. Most people I know, certainly those who work in stressful careers like I do, think nothing of using coffee to get going, and wine to slow down.

But it has become an issue for me. Not only had I been avoiding facing my growing dependence on a highly addictive substance, but nightly wine is an obvious roadblock to my weight-loss.

It was also robbing me of my evenings and destroying my sleep.

I would crash easily, sometime between nine and ten, but wake in the early hours dehydrated and wide awake. Then I would lie there and ruminate on the worries of life for a couple of hours, falling back to sleep around four in the morning, only to be jolted from my slumber at five thirty to get on with the day.

The cycle continued. I knew it was wine, if I skipped the wine for a night, I slept like a baby.

So why couldn’t I just put it down?

I struggled because I believed the lies it was telling me.

The lies

After a ten plus hour day at the office, wine is the only way to switch off

This for me is the stand out reason why I kept drinking. I am a commercial lawyer with a busy practice. I work, on average, ten hours per day and often a few more on the weekend.

Over the last couple of years I have become acutely aware of my tendency to start thinking about my glass of wine mid-afternoon. My self-talk would go something like you will be able to put all this out of your head tonight, the wine will take it away.

Looking back I realize that I had fallen for the lie that a glass of wine is a ticket to a place where the worries of life temporarily melt away.

That’s a very slippery slope. The truth is, wine takes nothing away it just temporarily alters the normal functioning of your brain, and fools you into thinking you are having a break from your stress.

Social situations are alcohol situations

I would be five weeks alcohol free today, instead of four if it hadn’t been for one social gathering back in mid January. We had been alcohol free for a week and we had a friend who was celebrating her birthday. As we walked from our car to the bar, we decided to have a glass of bubbly, for no good reason other than that is what you do in bars.

It wasn’t until an hour later when I realized that one of the other ladies at the table was drinking Coke, that it occurred to me that she was as involved in the conversation as I was.

You do not need alcohol to socialize, but it loves to convince you otherwise.

You deserve this, you work so hard

I’m not going to delve to what we do and don’t deserve in life but if we are purely looking at wine as a reward for hard work, then we need to honestly look at what the actual reward is.

What is wine giving you in return for what it is taking?

The truths

Alcohol is addictive, even in small quantities.

I have tried to stop drinking before, applying will-power. I have gone several weeks with grit and determination. It’s no fun, it’s really hard work.

It’s hard work because inside all those rows of pretty bottles in the liquor store is a highly addictive substance.

And many of us are hooked.

Wine can destroy your sleep, it does mine

Since I stopped drinking, I need to ensure that I actually wind down for sleep. I can’t just go to bed and fall asleep like I could after a half a bottle. I need peace and quiet and ideally time away from screens before I can nod off.

I’m fortunate to live in a apartment building with an indoor heated pool and I now use it most evenings. A sleep before bed does wonders. It’s a wonderful thing to drift into sleep knowing you have seven or so hours of slumber ahead and that you won’t wake parched and wide awake at 2am.

This is a very common problem, particularly it seems from my research, for middle aged women.

I put down the wine, and have never slept so well.

Alcohol is empty calories, and thwarts your efforts to lose weight

We went away to Tasmania for a two week holiday at Christmas, and drank every day, often at lunchtime as well as dinner. I could barely take my rings off, my hands were so swollen. My clothes got tighter while I was away.

Within weeks of stopping the wine my rings, and clothes are looser.

And I have the energy, time and motivation to cook nutritious meals and exercise.

For me alcohol not only adds empty calories to my diet, but thwarts my desire to make the changes necessary to improve my health, and stick with them.

Wine steals your time, money and joy

Bottom line, daily alcohol is a thief. It steals your time by altering your brain functioning and taking away your motivation. It takes your money, for us at least ninety dollars a week, and it robs you of joy, because you can’t be bothered doing the things that bring joy.

Four weeks without wine

In early January I started to read  This Naked Mind. I’m only part way through the book, and I haven’t picked it up for a few weeks. But for reasons I can’t yet explain, something in the book flicked a switch in my mind.

I suddenly saw wine for what it is, and for what it was taking from me. I put it down, and that has not been particularly difficult. When I work out why, I will write about it.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying having my evenings back. Before it was wine, shower, eat and collapse. Now I enjoying cooking, an evening swim, reading, conversations with my husband.

I have taken back my evenings, and I’m sleeping like a baby.

Wine isn’t worth it.

Because wine is lying to you.

Previously published on medium

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When You’re in a Relationship With a Martyr https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/when-youre-in-a-relationship-with-a-martyr/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/when-youre-in-a-relationship-with-a-martyr/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 22:00:39 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=660143 Somewhere in your life, there’s probably a martyr martyring themself right now.

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We’ve all known a martyr. She’s the one who suffers more than anyone else, who complains about her burdens but refuses to accept the help that would lessen them.

Somewhere in your life, there’s probably a martyr martyring herself right now. She’s that friend, parent, spouse, co-worker, roommate, etc. who makes sure you know she’s sacrificing-for you, and for the good of everyone but her. Those with martyr syndrome suffer out loud, in full display. The martyr is committed to being the one who doesn’t get to be happy, who doesn’t get what everyone else gets.

The martyr always has a reason why he can’t let you help him… you’ll do it wrong, and then he’ll have to redo it; it’s just easier if he does it; he’s already started; he doesn’t really mind, blah blah blah. But the point is, it’s not possible, now or really ever, to let you take the burden off of him.

When in a relationship with a martyr, you may, at various times, just surrender to the martyrdom and allow the martyr to do all the work. She’s already convinced it’s what you want, it’s certainly what she wants, and it doesn’t seem like there’s any other option. Fine, if you want to do everything, I’ll just sit here and read the paper. I’ll be the lazy slug you already think I am. But this path doesn’t usually work, as it doesn’t lessen the martyr’s resentment, and it forces you into a role (the lazy slug) that you don’t want to be.

One way to know you’re interacting with someone with a martyr complex is that the “help” they offer doesn’t feel good; it doesn’t feel like it’s coming from a place of love. Their “doing for you” doesn’t leave you feeling cared about or taken care of. A martyr’s “help” comes with an aroma of anger and resentment, like they don’t want to help but must because they’ve been sentenced to a life of suffering. Their “help” often triggers guilt in you rather than gratitude or warmth, and then even more guilt because you don’t feel grateful. The martyr’s “help” can even feel like a punishment for a crime you’re accused of but don’t quite understand.

Being with a martyr is confusing, frustrating, and sometimes even saddening. You spend a lot of time and energy wondering why their generosity feels so yucky and trying to figure out what’s wrong with you that you don’t feel more thankful. At the same time, you’re left wondering what’s wrong with you that you aren’t more helpful like the martyr.

But here’s the thing: You’re not going crazy, and you’re not ungrateful or lazy. Your confusing and contradictory feelings are showing up for a reason; your intuition is onto something. You don’t feel like you’re receiving something kind because, often, you’re not. The reason you feel trapped is that you are trapped, in a narrative of the martyr’s making. You feel punished and blamed rather than warm and loving because you are being punished and blamed.

So, why is the martyr doing everyone’s work and refusing to let you share the burden? What does the martyr get out of all of her out-loud suffering? Like everything to do with humans, it’s complicated.

Why someone becomes a martyr is often related to how they were raised, perhaps watching a parent model this kind of behavior. It may be the only way they know how to get the attention they want. So, too, those who suffer from martyr syndrome often struggle with self-esteem. Their work-horse status, their martyrdom, is a way to feel valuable, to give themselves a place at the table. And, for those whose suffering was never recognized by their early caretakers, martyrdom can be an ongoing attempt to have their pain finally seen and heard. The truth is, there are as many reasons for martyrdom as there are martyrs.

If we look at the narrative that the person with martyr syndrome is operating with, it goes something like this: I do everything, no one helps me, I don’t get what others get, no one appreciates me, and, of course, no one can’t help me. What makes interacting with a martyr so frustrating and crazy-making is that this story just doesn’t budge. No matter what you offer, she is committed to her suffering, which according to her, she is doing for you… despite the fact that you don’t want her to suffer.

Furthermore, by holding onto his narrative of suffering, the martyr refuses to allow your help or love and, in so doing, refuses to relate to you as someone who is helpful and loving. When dealing with a martyr, it is difficult to experience yourself as good, because he won’t let you be good. The martyr keeps himself locked in a victim identity, but also keeps you locked in victimizer identity, as the one who won’t and can’t help, which feels painful and unfair.

What I often suggest when in a relationship with a martyr is, first and foremost, to recognize that you’re not crazy. Someone with a martyr complex is committed to her narrative of being a victim, working harder than anyone else, and not getting what everyone else gets. Sadly, she’s often more committed to this storyline than she is interested in doing less of the work. A tried-and-true martyr would rather suffer than give up her identity as the one who suffers.

Know this: If you don’t feel good when someone is “doing for you,” rather than endlessly searching for what’s wrong with you and why you’re so ungrateful, you might just trust your gut. There’s a good chance that you’re picking up on some conflicted feelings on the part of the “giver.” Start with the premise that your uncomfortable feelings could be reflecting something true and important.

In terms of communication with a martyr, it can be helpful to just name what you see happening. As in, I hear you: You feel like the only one who does any of the work, and I know that’s frustrating for you. I want you to know that I don’t want you to be the only one doing the work. I also want you to know that when I offer to help, you reject my help. So this leaves me confused, frustrated, and even a bit sad. Perhaps we can find a way to move out of this repetitive cycle, which, in fact, neither of us wants.

Remember though, what you are suggesting in this conversation is dangerous for the martyr. You’re asking him, in essence, to loosen his grip on who he believes he is, and what he believes about his life. You’re suggesting that he lay down his suffering sword, which is the very thing he believes makes him valuable and, paradoxically, the only way he can be seen for his own suffering.

You may laugh, but for a martyr to let you load the dishwasher is a monumental ask; it is to risk everything on which she’s built her identity. Letting you help, and letting herself be helped, would mean she’s not alone in the world, that she doesn’t have to suffer for everyone else, that you care about her, and, scariest of all, that she can be happy. Letting go of the martyr narrative involves a paradigm shift of unthinkable proportions. Know this as you set out to create something new.

This post was previously published on Hello, Love.

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Social Activism Live Call Recording: Insults and Discrimination https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/social-activism-insults-and-discrimination-wcz/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/social-activism-insults-and-discrimination-wcz/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 21:30:39 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=661353 Have a listen to our weekly Live Social Activism discussion and join us next time!

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Every Wednesday we talk about Social Activism and issues of social justice on a LIVE call with our community at The Good Men Project. This is the recording of the call from Wednesday, March 3, 2021, all about insults and discrimination (warning for explicit language, as we say some of the insults out loud). We tackle tough topics because we want to figure out a way to create a more inclusive culture and a better world for everyone.

We’d love to have you join us for the next one.

Social Activism
Host: Amanda Vining
Every Wednesday 8 pm EST / 5 pm PST
Dial-in: 701-801-1211
Access code 934-317-242
OR – join by computer! https://join.startmeeting.com/934317242

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https://goodmenproject.lpages.co/stop-sexism/

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stock illustration ID: 1092626741

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Make an Effort? if Rewards and Performance Align https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/make-an-effort-if-rewards-and-performance-align/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/make-an-effort-if-rewards-and-performance-align/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 21:00:08 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=658626 We invest mental effort in a task in response to what we stand to gain, and in response to how much the outcome hinges on our performance, research finds.

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By Corrie Pikul-Brown

For example, what makes a person decide to turn off the TV and switch on their brain to complete work for their job?

We tend to assume that the amount of mental effort a person invests in a task is influenced by the reward they stand to gain—so in this case, the effort results in a paycheck, and successful efforts could result in ego-pumping praise from a supervisor, a bonus, a promotion, or perhaps even a new, higher-paying job.

But what if the person doesn’t believe that their efforts matter, and the reward will be the same no matter how hard they try? How does that person decide how much effort to expend—if any at all?

In three related experiments, the researchers demonstrated that participants performed better on tasks when there was a bigger potential prize and when they felt like their efforts made a difference in earning that prize.

Importantly, the study also identifies the neural activity associated with this kind of decision process. The findings can help explain motivation as well as to figure out what’s going on when someone is lacking in it, the researchers say.

“This study sheds light on the neural circuits that drive motivation, which in turn help us learn more about why people may have trouble getting motivated, whether it be situational or chronic and due to depression or other disorders,” says Amitai Shenhav, study author and an assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University.

“This work helps us answer bigger-picture questions such as how people perceive the incentives in their environment and how they determine that their efforts are worthwhile.”

Effort and performance

Previous research has shown that people often expend more effort on a task when it promises greater rewards. However, if the person thinks they’ll succeed or fail regardless of their efforts, they may decide not to invest the effort.

The research team put this theory to the test by having participants—all college students—perform a series of trials of a well-known psychological experiment called the Stroop task, which involves looking at words shown in different color ink and correctly naming the color of the ink even when it doesn’t match with the word (for example, RED printed in green ink).

As reported in Nature Communications, the researchers varied the difficulty of the task and the expectations of efficacy and reward. In high efficacy trials, participants were informed that fast, accurate responses would always be rewarded, while in low efficacy trials they were told that their performance would have no bearing on whether or not they would receive the rewards on offer (as long as they provided some response). Before each trial, participants were told whether they had the possibility of receiving a low ($.10) or high ($1.00) reward. In one of the experiments, the participants’ neural activity while they were performing the trials was measured using EEG data.

Will it matter if I try harder?

The trials were meant to emulate real-world decisions: While it’s sometimes easy to draw a straight line between how much work you put in and how much reward you’ll accrue (as with a quiz—studying increases the likelihood of success), there are many situations in which this association is less direct.

“For example, when applying to college or a new job, there are many factors that might affect success, and only some of them are within an applicant’s control,” says Romy Frömer, a postdoctoral research associate in Shenhav’s lab at Brown’s Carney Institute for Brain Science, and a lead author of the study. “When faced with all of these variables, we wondered: How do people decide the amount of effort to invest?”

Confirming the researchers’ predictions, the study finds that participants invested the most mental effort, and thus performed better at the task, when expecting reward and efficacy to be high.

The results also illuminate what was going on in the participants’ brains as they considered how much effort to invest. Researchers were able to identify the neural activity associated with first, how the participant evaluated both elements of their incentives (reward and efficacy), and then, how much effort they decided to invest.

“We saw that participants used these two variables to inform their decision about how hard they wanted to try on our task,” Frömer says. “Our work showed how all of that happened before the required action took place—before the person invested any cognitive effort.”

Frömer and Ivan Grahek, also a postdoctoral research associate in cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences, have followed up on this work by using EEG data to help explain how people learn about when their effort matters. This body of research contributes toward a better understanding of how people integrate their assumptions about efficacy into their decisions of how much effort to invest.

Hause Lin, a PhD student at the University of Toronto, is co-leader of the study. Support for the work came from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship in Neuroscience, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Source: Brown University

This post was previously published on Futurity.org and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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God Wrecked America https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/god-wrecked-america-kpkn/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/god-wrecked-america-kpkn/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 20:30:22 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=660964 I’m quite familiar with the story: supposedly faithful people fashioning an idol made of gold and cravenly bowing before it, in complete contempt for the God they claimed to believe in because they had lost their collective minds.

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I’ve seen this movie before.

It doesn’t end well.

As a Christian for most of my life and a pastor for nearly three decades, I’m quite familiar with the story: supposedly faithful people fashioning an idol made of gold and cravenly bowing before it, in complete contempt for the God they claimed to believe in because they had lost their collective minds.

This 2021 reboot is a little on the nose.

It’s also far more tragic.

We’ve had a few thousand years to get it right.

We shouldn’t be here.

Watching the collective soul-selling of my fellow Christians here in America over the past five years has been something that has grieved me more than I can measure or accurately describe. It’s been particularly disheartening to watch ancient religious history repeating, and worse—to realize that nearly every disfiguring ugliness here in America: from the violent parade of white nationalism to the defiant anti-mask pandemic-deniers to the propagators of an abject election fraud lie to the suppressors of the voices and votes of people of color—is coming from professed Christians.

As someone still aspiring to a life of faith and still trying to speak into this religious tradition, it’s sobering to admit that we’re not here as a nation in this brutal battle for disparate humanity and we’re not steeped in this unapologetic supremacy, if not for people claiming to be devoted to the same Jesus I’ve grown up trying to emulate.

As they both literally and figuratively pledge their undying adoration to some golden-veneered, bastardized counterfeit idol of their whiteness, I’m left to wonder what I’m to do now:

do I attempt to redeem this thing I have found such meaning and beauty in, or do I resign myself to the fact that these myopic Caucasian cultists have commandeered it for good and it is beyond repair in the eyes of those outside of it?

do I defect from this polluted homeland and begin down a new spiritual journey, while knowing it will be nearly impossible to differentiate myself from the shimmering-but-hollow-calf-worshippers, because they have permanently co-opted the trappings of my tradition?

And how can I show the world an alternative spirituality that is supposed to leave more compassion, more diversity, and more justice in its wake—while these delusional power-lusting hypocrites eat up market share, because otherwise decent, loving human beings are walking away from organized religion for good because they are fully exhausted?

The questions far outnumber any helpful answers and the prayers seem to slip into the ether without reply.
Having read and studied and preached the story, doesn’t make watching it repeat itself any easier.

I know that religious people ended up abandoning God and mindlessly worshiping a golden calf, so it shouldn’t be surprising that so many today are now bowing down to this orange jackass. It’s just more terrifying seeing it with this proximity.

It was a lot easier to view the story in the distant rear-view mirror of ancient history in a land thousands of miles away—and not in the windshield of the present of the country I call home with the sycophantic cultists so close and prevalent.

While they whirl around the gleaming, empty shell devoted to themselves and their imagined righteousness, shouting ‘God bless America,’ I’ll be here sitting with a mournful truth that makes me sick to my stomach:

God broke America, or at least the God-followers have, and I’m not sure how we fix it.

One thing I know for certain: I will not join them in their mindless, fevered dancing.

I will not bow to this empty, shimmering monstrosity.
I will write a different story.

 

Previously Published on johnpavlovitz.com

 Adoration of the Golden Calf by Andrea di Lione, after Nicolas Poussin, 1626 or 1629, oil on canvas, California Palace of the Legion of Honor

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Private Pyle’s Pain https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/private-pyles-pain-kpkn/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/private-pyles-pain-kpkn/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 20:00:05 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=661039 You think soap bars in a towel hurt?

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Private Pyle’s Pain

You think soap bars in a towel
hurt? Physical pain is fleeting—
and scars on skin heal quicker
than a soul broken by a band
of brothers, with darkened hearts,
trained to adapt and endure, born again
harder than anything you ever
imagined, back in a home town
where guns killed only for food,
when you could eat when hungry
and sleep soundly, safely; unable to
imagine monsters under your bunk
bearing arms against you, disrupting
dreams where baby-faced boys despair
about all the things we have to destroy
inside ourselves, in order to survive.

Me Three

I know how bad it is
because I know how bad I was.

And I wasn’t even trying to injure or offend.
But, like so many before me, I was a human
hard-on—all aggressive hands and unsubtle tongue,
insecurities abounding and desires that were needs
which, for men, approximate emergencies.

We know nothing else except what we crave,
so we invade tiny towns and leave burnt buildings,
broken glass, and blood in our barbaric wake.
Subsequently, we send flowers—or tell secrets
that, translated, sound something like concession.

 

 

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Sex Addiction Is Not a Couple’s Problem https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/sex-addiction-is-not-a-couples-problem/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/sex-addiction-is-not-a-couples-problem/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 19:00:42 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=649432 The problem existed long before the two people met.

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Since first writing about my marriage to a sex addict, I’ve heard from many people.

Is sex addiction a gender problem?

Many of the commenters shared personal stories, but some had issues with the premise of sex addiction. A few people — all men, interestingly — suggested that sex addiction is simply a gender problem. Since nonmonogamous behavior is common in the animal kingdom, why are we surprised when men exhibit the drive to impregnate as many women as possible?

If true, that’s a sad commentary on men since it doesn’t speak well to their overall ability to maintain ethics and integrity. By the way, I don’t subscribe to this theory. Men have just as much of a capacity to be loyal and trustworthy as women.

Maybe the Wife is to Blame

Others thought I let myself off too easily by blaming my ex for our divorce. Wives of sex addicts often come under attack. We must be frigid, cold, or bitchy to have chased our poor man into the arms of another woman.

I’ve noticed it’s popular to ascribe sex addiction as a couple’s problem. True, the disorder affects both people in the relationship. In that way, it is a relationship issue, but the couple’s interpersonal dynamics are not to blame for the addiction. This misconception attacks the very person most affected by the fallout of the disease: the partner.

Is sex addiction even real?

Is sex addiction real? Yes, it is. I have met many individuals who have had their marriage destroyed by their partner’s sexual acting out. Indeed, the American Psychiatric Association has not included this diagnosis in the DSM-V, though it is in the ICD-11. Does that make this disorder less real? Of course not. It just means there are political and cultural reasons we aren’t ready in the United States to see sexual addiction as a mental health disorder.

Sexual addiction presents with the same cyclical pattern of use as other problematic substances abuses. Sex addicts feel an intense urge to use when feeling stressed or out of control. They engage in a pattern of ritualized behaviors around sex. The addicts become obsessively preoccupied with planning or fantasizing about the next opportunity to act out. Then the binge begins, only to end with regret and despair.

Sex isn’t used for pleasure or intimacy, but rather as a coping mechanism. Sex addicts numb themselves or escape an unpleasant moment through sexual fantasy. Risky behaviors are the norm: masturbating on the job, watching porn while driving, or having unprotected sex with anonymous or unsafe partners.

Having a high sex drive is not to be confused with sex addiction

Many people have a high sex drive and enjoy a bit of daily fun. They might go on a sex-binge for a special occasion with someone exciting. The difference between that type of sexual behavior and sexual addiction is the purpose it serves. Sex for fun, closeness, or intimacy is different than compulsory use to address a problem.

Marital problems are not the root cause

Many relationship issues stem from a couple’s dynamic rather than an individual’s dysfunction. A solitary affair, as opposed to serial affairs, can be a symptom of a marital problem. Healing often requires both spouses to take an honest look at why their relationship became vulnerable to this severe breach of trust. But sexual addiction is different.

A 2018 sex addiction survey of 2000 people found that ten percent of men and seven percent of women admit to struggling with sexual compulsions. The disease is often rooted in childhood trauma. Many of these individuals report being exposed to porn around age 11. For some, it quickly becomes a habit and then a compulsion. Something they turn for predictability and reassurance. And it performs just as they expect. They can create fantasies where they are in control, admired, and even worshipped.

Over time, sex addiction begins to cause problems: it can cause fatigue that leads to missing assignments, showing up late to school or work, and poor performance on the job or in the classroom. After each binge, which often lasts for hours or even days, the addicts emerge wrung out and ashamed. Next time they’ll do better, they vow. But life happens; they fall prey to the same urges, and the next binge begins.

The ways in which of sexual addicts act out changes as well. Their initial experiences no longer elicit the same kind of rush, so they venture out into new areas of porn or sexual experiences. Soon they are doing or watching previously taboo things.

Sex addicts bring the problem to their long-term relationships

It’ll get better once they are in a long-term sexual relationship, they tell themselves. They are so convinced that they neglect to inform their partner about the habit. “What other person doesn’t know won’t hurt them,” they say. And for a short time, the romantic relationship works. The urge to sexual acting subdues. As this relationship matures, the honeymoon glow wears off, and real life kicks in. The addicts return to their old ways, with an additional problem — their partner doesn’t know.

To keep their sexual habits hidden, the addicts begin to use deceit. Omar Minwalla defines the maintenance of a secret sexual double life as an integrity-abuse disorder. Addicts employ denial, lying, gaslighting, and all sorts of emotional manipulation to keep their partner from learning the truth. They begin to create an alternative reality to maintain the status quo. Sometimes they are so masterful at covering it up that their partner has no clue. This deception can last years before a slipup or discovery occurs.

Wives and girlfriends do not play a role in the development or perpetuation of their partners’ sexual addiction. They are often the last to know there is even a problem. It has nothing to do with the couples’ frequency of sex, the wife’s interest in sex, or her argumentative nature. This problem existed before she ever arrived on the scene. She is just an unwitting victim.

It happened to me

My first marriage lasted 31 years before my husband succumbed to cancer. We had a very active sex life, and he used to tell me he was the luckiest man on Earth to have a wife who enjoyed sex.

I remarried after his death. I met someone I thought was a great guy. After a whirlwind romance, we married. I had no reason to suspect he had a secret double life. I believed him when he said he had to travel for work or had to work long hours. He’d even text and warn me he’d be late. He often sent photos of what had gone wrong on the job, along with a selfie. Our sex life quickly dried up, much to my frustration, but I blamed it on his age and work.

I had no idea he was paying escorts, seeing women he met through online dating services, using chat rooms, and watching hours of porn. He hid all of that from me. One of the women he met online contacted me two months into the marriage to inform me that they’d been seeing each other.

Should I have stuck around for another two years, hoping he’d get better? That’s debatable. I’ve spent hours in therapy examining my motives. Today I would have made a different choice.

But was it my fault he was a sex addict? Absolutely not.

Partners of sex addicts are trauma survivors. They have gone through one of the worst betrayals possible. Someone has violated their trust, their sense of reality, and their love. Intimacy, at its most basic level, was broken. To blame them for their spouse’s habits only serves to victimize them all over again. Let’s put the onus of the problem where it belongs: on the addict.

Ever wonder if you or your significant other might be struggling with a sexual addiction problem? Here’s a free survey.

Dr. Kerry McAvoy is psychologist, writer, author, and survivor. Her memoir, which explores the devastating impacts of deceit and betrayal, is due out next year.

Previously published on medium

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Parenting a Baby 101 https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/parenting-a-baby-101-lbkr/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/parenting-a-baby-101-lbkr/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 18:30:50 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=661567 Here's what I’ve been learning about the first few years of parenthood.

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My weekend was spent in a two-day course called Bringing Baby Home. This is a class that teaches expecting parents about what to do once the baby is born and into the early years. We’re glad to have gone and we learned some great tips in some areas that were foggy to us. The teacher was very informative when it came to the most recent studies as well as our local and provincial (and even European) laws and recommendations as they have changed quite frequently.

I have spoken about the onslaught of child-rearing advice we have been getting which for the most part we appreciate as we process and glean what we can from it, but I have noticed how much parents believe their way is the right way and all other ways are wrong. It’s easy to slip into this mindset as I know friends of mine have done their own research and received their own mountain of advice they had to sift through. There’s also the challenge of trying to create a discourse about certain topics which seems to more often than not lead to arguments. For instance, if a new study has deemed swaddling may cause more harm than good and recommends not to, parents who have swaddled their baby get defensive and say the study is bunk. That leaves new parents like us to figure out how to best reconcile what they have learned through courses and research with what their family and friends have learned in their own experience.

For fun, I put together a list of topics that seem to be the most controversial. I’m not picking sides here, this is more observational. Ok, I picked sides a few times.

Swaddling

This one surprised us. We’ve been told by family and friends who swear by it that it is the way to go. That it makes baby feel like it’s safe back in the womb and will help it sleep, not to mention unable to move. Apparently, according to some latest studies, this may increase the likelihood of SIDS. And if the baby isn’t premature, then why would we want to pretend it’s back in the womb? Also, Registered Nurses in our province are no longer allowed to swaddle babies. Ok, I did say I wouldn’t take sides, but my bias might be shining through here.

Sleep Training

This brings us to one of the topics we’ve received the most advice about. There’s an enormous market in sleep training and on every cover of all parenting magazines are tips on how to get a baby to sleep in order that we get more sleep. The course changed my mind on this topic. We tend to label a baby good if she sleeps for longer and bad if she doesn’t sleep. Once I recognized this I snapped out of that thinking. On a related topic, it was recommended by the course teachers and our city that baby sleep in the same room for the first 6 months, but not in the same bed.

Pacifiers

This one I do have a bias on. In the reading I did I found that among the benefits is that it may reduce the likelihood of SIDS so it may reduce the likelihood of death. Other than it helping your baby not die, it can calm the baby down when fussy, prevent thumb sucking, and reduce stress. The potential downfalls are if used too early it may make breastfeeding more difficult (so don’t do it early?), it may cause a dependency that you’ll have to wean off later and I won’t continue with the downfalls as there are none that would rival the preventing baby from dying thing.

Car Seats

Learned more than I cared to hear, but did pick up some useful information such as Sweden requires children to be in a car seat until age 5. This seems straightforward to me. Follow the law in the car seat’s installation and don’t drive like an idiot.

Diapers

There is a whirlwind of information on diapers. Cloth, eco-friendly, scented, not-scented, dyed, non-dyed, cloth with lining, GMO, chlorine-free, latex-free, compostable, diaper cover, swimming diapers, and that’s just the beginning. Thankfully, our own David Suzuki has put together a chart for us when consideration of our environment.

Vaccines

The course did not touch on this one, but it’s become a topic of discussion in our family. When did Jenny McCarthy garner so much influence?

Ultimately, we are thankful to be able to benefit from the experiences and information of our family, friends, courses, and doctors, and I believe that these decisions should be considered your own personal ones. If you’re not sure, do your research. I personally tend to side with science (which is just another word for knowledge) while considering all the experiences and advice we’re given. These things are not necessarily mutually exclusive of course.

This post was previously published on Medium.com.

 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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Candidates for Joy https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/candidates-for-joy-kpkn/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/candidates-for-joy-kpkn/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 18:00:12 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=661032 Experience joy by knowing where to find it!

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We increase the chance that we’ll experience joy by identifying candidates for joy. What will provide the heartwarming feeling of joy? Here are some reasonable candidates. They do not come with guarantees but they are worth considering as investments.

One candidate is beauty. Beauty is both a suspect word, as we can be seduced by beautiful things (like a glorious sunset caused by air pollution), and also as pure a word as we possess, as when some pigments on a canvas bring us unadulterated joy.

Another candidate is love. Aren’t love and joy natural partners? If we opt to love, as opposed to standing back at arm’s length and stonily observing the universe, won’t we feel that warmth all through our body, that supernova of joy made real?

Another candidate is service. When, as a volunteer, we care for an infant brought to an emergency care nursery and see that infant smile after all her crying, the joy we feel is immense. For one split second, we experience a warmth that is indescribable.

Another candidate is mastery. It can bring us joy that we have excelled at something. It can bring us joy that we did a hard thing well. If we both do the next right thing and also do it well, what more can we ask of ourselves? And some joy may follow!

Another candidate is creativity. Creativity is the word we use to stand for manifesting loves like writing, painting, singing, crafting, inventing, and so on. Spinning a yarn or spinning yarn are age-old joys that are still abundantly available to us.

Another candidate is intimacy. There is no joy like the joy of chatting quietly with an intimate. In that secure space, the world seems safer and saner. Yes, it is possible to choose the wrong intimates. But what a joy to secure a right one!

Another candidate is family. Maybe it isn’t our birth family: maybe they are too difficult and not to our liking. Then we create family, where we lavish friendship, loyalty, and caring and from which we receive a real measure of joy and pleasure.

Any one of our life purposes is also a possible source of joy. To live our life purposes is to promote joy. And while those moments may be brief and occasional, they are also our wealth. Those joyous moments are our human riches.

You experience more joy by identifying candidates for joy and then investing in them. This simple idea is worth its weight in gold.

 

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Eric Maisel is the author of 50+ books. You can learn more about him at www.ericmaisel.com, subscribe to all of his blog posts at https://authory.com/ericmaisel, learn more about kirism here, and write him at ericmaisel@hotmail.com

 

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The Truth About XY: The Hazards and Benefits of Being Male: Part 2 https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/the-truth-about-xy-the-hazards-and-benefits-of-being-male-part-2/ https://l2b2.com/?man=featured-content/the-truth-about-xy-the-hazards-and-benefits-of-being-male-part-2/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 17:30:22 +0000 https://l2b2.com/?man=?p=661324 We’ll examine the evolutionary roots and causes of male aggression.

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The Evolution of Sex

In Part 1, I looked at what the Corona virus pandemic and the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol can teach us about why men are the way they are and how to understand the male tendency to compete with others, form fighting groups, and look for enemies. Here, we’ll examine the evolutionary roots and causes of male aggression.

Though some would still deny it, humans are part of the animal kingdom, and male humans are all mammals. In There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men, social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister describes the male experience in a herd of wild horses. “The mating season is in the summer, and when the females are old enough, they are soon busy with the reproductive process. The alpha male horse in each herd—the most powerful adult male who has risen to the top of the hierarchy—will be checking them out and, if they are fertile, will be having sex with them. They become pregnant and create offspring. Over the years, she’ll have a fair number of offspring, mostly sired by different stallions, depending on which male has won the coveted top spot that year.”

So, what’s going on with the other male horses? “As he approaches adulthood, he definitely does not find older females seeking him out to initiate sex with him,” says Baumeister. “He starts to desire sex with females, old or young or in between, but he quickly learns that sex is forbidden to him. The females belong to the alpha male, and if he starts to flirt, he risks being beaten up rather severely by the alpha male.”

If you are not the alpha horse, Baumeister offers this painful reality. “Most male horses will never be the alpha male. They may never have sex at all, let alone reproduce. Most females would rather have the alpha male as a mate. After all, her own offspring will be stronger and faster if its father was the strongest and fastest one rather than an also-ran.”

Baumeister concludes with this stark analysis:

“The fate of most males is to live in nearly total celibacy and to be a biological dead end.”

Of course, humans are not horses. Yet, whether you are a stallion or businessman, you’d rather be on top and having opportunities to have as many attractive females as possible than be on the bottom and run the risk of becoming a biological dead end.

Human males and females are as much part of the evolutionary dance of survival and reproduction as any other species. In their book, Gender Gap: The Biology of Male-Female Differences, evolutionary psychologist David P. Barash, PhD. and his wife, Dr. Judith Eve Lipton, who is a medical doctor and psychiatrist, say, “When it comes to human nature, the differences between males and females must be acknowledged as real, important, and downright fascinating. Moreover, when it comes to understanding those differences, there is no better guide than evolution.”

Why Men Go to the Extremes

Evolution isn’t interested in our happiness and wellbeing. It judges success based on a single question. Did I survive long enough to find a mate and have children that survived to do the same? In answering that question, evolution favors females over males. Baumeister points out that throughout human history, most women had children, while most men did not. And before the arrival of modern birth control, that meant that most men didn’t have sex and most women did.

Dr. Baumeister says,

“Looking back across the entire history of the human race, and taking nature’s criterion of success as passing on your life to others, we can see that most men were failures. Most of the women were successes.”

How successful have women been compared to men? “The correct answer has recently begun to emerge from DNA studies, notably those by Jason Wilder and his colleagues,” says Baumeister. “They concluded that among the ancestors of today’s human population, women outnumbered men about two to one. Humanity’s ancestors were about 67% female and 33% male.”

“That’s a stunning difference,” Baumeister says. “Of all humans ever born, most women become mothers, but most men did not become fathers. You wouldn’t realize this by walking through an American suburb today with its tidy couples. But it is an important fact. I consider it the single most underappreciated fact about men.”

This fact helps account for both the benefits and hazards of being male. “For thousands of years,” says Baumeister, “men and women have faced vastly different odds and problems in reproducing. The psychology of men and women starts from very different prospects. Nature made life to seek to create more life. On this basic task, women faced good odds of success, whereas men were born to face looming failure.”

From nature’s point of view women are the more valuable sex since they carry the babies. If you have a hundred women and one man, life goes on. If you have a hundred men and one woman, that’s the end of the line for humanity. Women can afford to take care of themselves and play it safe. Men must take greater risks and compete with other men to be chosen by a woman. “That’s why we are descended from playing-it-safe women and risk-taking men,” Baumeister concludes.

When we look at the men who stormed the Capitol through the lens of evolution, we see men afraid of sexual oblivion. Our leader tells us that the other guy stole our election. We must take back what is ours or die trying. From a logical perspective, it doesn’t make sense. Why kill others and risk your life in front of cameras for everyone to see? The answer, from our subconscious mind, is this: I’m afraid if the other guys win, my life is a dead end. I’d rather die than admit defeat.

In the male evolutionary arms race, men are encouraged to follow the dictates to win and all costs. As UCLA football coach Red Sanders said in the 1950s and repeated by Green Bay Packer’s coach Vince Lombardi in the 1960s, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing!”

“That is what it means to be male,” says Baumeister. “Most men who ever lived have been genetically erased from the human population. The men who didn’t care about outdoing other men, who were content to take it easy and go along easily and let others push ahead (the way many women are content)—those guys did not reproduce. The men who pushed ahead were more likely to reproduce, and today’s men are descended from them. To leave offspring, you had to outdo other men.”

The Future of Manhood

Is this what it really means to be a man? Must we fight to the death in order to be successful? Must we all strive to become the dominant male or support the man at the top no matter what he does? Are men locked into the dictates of evolution? The good thing about evolution is that we evolve. We can’t ignore two-million years of human evolution, but we don’t have to be ruled by our past. In fact, the more we understand our evolutionary past, the better able we are to create a more successful future.

As recent events reveal, we are living between worlds. An old style of manhood based on competition, conflict, and domination is ending and a new style of manhood based on cooperation, caring, and partnership is coming into being. I recently wrote about this transition in an article, Living in the Liminal World of 2020: How to Navigate the Transition Between Domination and Partnership.

I offer guidance for men of the future, and the women who love us, in my most recent book, 12 Rules for Good Men. Here are the 12 Rules:

  1. Join a Men’s Group.
  2. Break Free From The Man Box.
  3. Accept the Gift of Being Male.
  4. Embrace Your Billion Year History of Maleness.
  5. Recognize Your Anger and Fear Toward Women.
  6. Learn the Secrets of Real, Lasting Love.
  7. Undergo Meaningful Rites of Passage from Youth to Adulthood and from Adulthood to Super Adulthood.
  8. Celebrate Your True Warrior Spirit and Learn Why Males Duel and Females Duet.
  9. Understand and Heal Your Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Male Attachment Disorders (MADs).
  10. Heal Your Father Wound and Become the Father You Were Meant to Be.
  11. Treat the Irritable Male Syndrome and Male-Type Depression.
  12. Find Your Calling in Life and Do Your Part to Save Humanity.

Ultimately, males and females are bound together. We need each other as never before. Humanity is in danger. We are out of balance with the natural world and all of us are needed to create, in the words of my colleague Charles Eisenstein, “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.”

Sometimes it takes a woman to understand the essence of being a man. I believe feminist academic and social critic Camille Paglia captured our spirit when she said, “Masculinity is aggressive, unstable, combustible. It is also the most creative force in history.”

This post was previously published on menalive.com.

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