Home Concepts Adult Development THE VULNERABILITY OF MEN: SWIMMING UPSTREAM TOWARD INTIMACY

THE VULNERABILITY OF MEN: SWIMMING UPSTREAM TOWARD INTIMACY

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Despite social judgment and stereotyping, men must still find the strength and courage to stand against stereotypical masculinity for the benefit of society and their own sons and future generations. It is not only social risks that men will confront, but also personal risk as they delve into exploring thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have always been assigned to women and which men have been able to stay away from.

To break ties with traditional masculinity, men should allow themselves to be vulnerable and ask for help from others without shame. To truly achieve this, men must commit to living a more honest and genuine life, allowing normal emotions to have a place in their interactions with others.

The more dedication, presence, and commitment each member invests in his relationships, the greater is the satisfaction that will ultimately be derived from the relationship. Men need to accept that, by allowing feelings into their lives, there will be sadness, disappointment, and rejection; but ultimately, a life filled with genuine and meaningful relationships is more gratifying and fulfilling.

Be a Salmon Fish

The analogy of the salmon fish is often used to describe life’s journeys that are difficult and involve overcoming obstacles, challenges, failures, and even loss of relationships. These events need to be surpassed with courage in order to reach the life that we envision for ourselves and in order to actualize our true identity. The adult salmon fish embarks on a journey against the current to the river where it was originally born after living in the ocean for several years. The salmon is able to adapt from living in fresh water to surviving in salt water and, subsequently, adapting to fresh water once again. These extreme changes, along with life-threatening risks involved in taking a trip upstream represent a parallel of some of the hardships that we must face in our lifetime when we feel that we are “going against the current.”

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