Updated: Sep 16, 2020
By: Logan Cohen, Professional Therapist & Online Life Coach - Balanced Man Plan - Online Life Coaching for Men
Many People hear the phrase “Emotional Intelligence” and it sounds like it must be a mistake - especially for Men.
We are taught from a young age that “emotions” and “intelligence” are two completely separate concepts and in fact, our culture teaches us directly that “getting emotional” is even the OPPOSITE of being factual - or “rational.”
These social & cultural lessons are rooted in the belief that People cannot “be emotional” and “be rational” at the same time and only gets MORE intense for Men.
As Boys, we are taught that a “Strong Man” shows their strength by NEVER openly showing pain or fear openly - that these are signs of weakness to be taken advantage of by the competition.
When we combine this social training to “be tough” in traditional manhood with the general cultural belief that emotional = irrational, this creates a BIG barrier when it comes to Emotional Intelligence for Men. In fact for many Men, we are taught that pushing down emotions (“repression”) is a sign of strength & leadership ability.
As a result, most Men learn to repress our emotions SO well that we even learn to hide them from Self. Many Men even learn to be scared or embarrassed by vulnerable emotions themselves and before we know it, have lost our True Self - sometimes even developing “Anxiety symptoms” (cognitive dissonance) & “Depression Symptoms” (learned helplessness) as a result of trying to hold onto these social rules/values of traditional manhood from the Old World.
The fact of the matter is that emotions are a part of daily Human Life because they are VERY important for both Men & Women alike. Human Beings are social creatures that have ALWAYS lived in a group (Tribe/Community/Family) - held together by shared personal meaning.
This shared personal meaning takes place largely with emotional experiences that are transferred between Community Members - with which ALL Human Beings are literally PROGRAMMED to use for social connection - also called “Love & Belonging Needs.” Click here to learn more about the importance of social connection for Men in a Modern Society that promotes isolation.
This emotional connection to the experience of Self & Others - called “Emotional Intelligence” - is what keeps us grounded in True Self, while taking care to keep a mindful balance with our most important personal relationships.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Men
Emotional Intelligence is SO important for all Human Beings because it serves as the moment-to-moment guide that keeps our Personal Integrity in balance with our important relationships.
Emotions are like little “gauges” or “indicator lights” that go off on the dashboard of our car, letting us know when we are going closer, or farther away from meeting our Personal Integrity - the “guiding light” of our Life’s Purpose.
When we learn to access a full range of Emotional Intelligence, these experiences let us know when we need to go faster, slower, turn around, and even give us the energy needed to get there.
Emotions are designed to be shared with other People in our Life, where we not only use them to guide our Personal Integrity, but also direct how we behave with Acquaintances, Friends, & Loved Ones in our everyday Life.
From creating a deeper connection with Loved Ones with increasing intimacy, or setting limits to teach others how to treat us, Emotional Intelligence helps us figure out what is OK with us and what is NOT OK with us, then present this to other People in a process we call “Balanced Boundaries.”
To learn more about the use of Emotional Intelligence for Balanced Boundaries, read this article.
Other than creating Balanced Boundaries, why is Emotional Intelligence for Men SO important?
Research has shown that when it comes to satisfying relationships, Emotional Intelligence for Men is KEY! In fact, Emotional Intelligence for Men is shown to be directly connected to satisfying long-term relationships.
Studies also show that for all the focus Modern Society seems to place on “getting rich”, the accumulation of wealth is NOT directly related to happiness! In fact, the best predictors of happiness are based on 2 factors:
First, People must have be their authentic self through most of daily life. We call this “True Self” in our Balanced Man Plan - click here for the Identity Self-Guided Coaching Plan.
The second requirement for Happiness & Life Satisfaction is the ability to have meaningful long-term relationships with Friends & Loved Ones. We teach these skills as a process of creating “Balanced Boundaries” in the Balanced Man Plan - click here for the Friendship Self-Guided Coaching Plan for more on Balanced Boundaries.
By learning a full range of Emotional Intelligence for Men, we can learn to read & share these emotional experiences to “stay on track” with meeting the Personal Integrity of True Self, while ALSO staying connected in our most important relationships with a combination of social bonding & setting of Balanced Boundaries.
Are you ready to see some examples so you can put it all together? Let’s review four of the emotions described in the Emotional Intelligence Self-Guided Coaching Plan as you consider the importance of Emotional Intelligence for Men as taught by the Balanced Man Plan Online Life Coaching:
Emotional Intelligence for Men: Online Life Coaching
1st Tool of Emotional Intelligence for Men from Balanced Man Plan Online Life Coaching - Happiness
Let’s start off with “Happy” since it feels good. The experience of happiness tells us that whatever has our attention in the current moment is GOOD, so we should seek it out MORE. We experience happiness when we have a good meal, see an attractive and/or loving Mating Partner, or complete meaningful personal goals.
We are programmed as Human Beings to expect good/fun experiences with People who we regularly experience happiness with and as a result, see them as more reliable & trustworthy over time.
This is a very helpful feeling that draws us towards experiences that “feel good”, but we must also be mindful of our Personal Integrity to make sure that these “feel goods” are actually drawing us closer to our Life’s Purpose & supporting our Physical Health, rather than helping us avoid pain that would otherwise be telling our Mind/Body it is time to make needed adjustments.
Emotional Intelligence for Men: Online Life Coaching
2nd Tool of Emotional Intelligence for Men from Balanced Man Plan Online Life Coaching - Anger
“Anger” is the second most commonly reported emotional experience for Men. Whether we are lower on the range of Anger (irritated/frustrated) or higher (RAGE), Anger is an important emotion.
When we experience Anger, this is our Self reminding us that we feel disrespected - even unsafe. Anger provides our Body with the energy needed to advocate for Self & Loved Ones and also provides a direction where we can apply the energy provided.
With this said, all of us have made the mistake with relying on the energy from Anger TOO much. As we see with Darth Vader from Star Wars, an over-reliance on this “dark force” creates “quick & dirty power” that becomes reactive, difficult to safely wield by the user, and eventually destroys relationships - even our own Health & Happiness from the inside out.
It is our responsibility to learn what is underneath of our Anger in order to access more personal wants, needs, & desires. From here, we must learn to communicate our wants/needs to those around us, as well as more vulnerable emotional experiences with our Friends & Loved Ones.
This is how we create “Balanced Boundaries” with other People, as well as see who is safe & reliable when we REALLY need them. To learn more about deepening the connection with Self (“Self Love”) and Loved Ones (“Intimacy”), read this article.
As you can see, Anger is neither “Bad”, nor “Good”, but rather, just a natural Human Experience that gives us INFORMATION. Anger is often really difficult for Men because as Boys, we are often OVERprepared to “take it out on the field,” so that when we reach down to “pump the brakes” - it is too little and/or too late.
When it comes to Emotional Intelligence for Men, this MUST be in balance with our Personal Integrity - the “guiding light” of our Life’s Purpose - and the social relationships that make up our “Love & Belonging Needs” with Friends & Loved Ones.
While Anger is important to speak up for Self, it must also be used in small, mindful doses or we will drive our Loved Ones away from us.
Emotional Intelligence for Men: Online Life Coaching
3rd & 4th Tool of Emotional Intelligence for Men from Balanced Man Plan Online Life Coaching - Fear & Shame
Fear & Shame are so similar in the Brain that for this shorter discussion, we will pair them together. For all intents and purposes, Human Beings are VERY sensitive to the experience of “Shame”, which tells us that we are “bad”, unworthy of Live - even at risk of rejection by our Tribe/Family/Community.
"Shame" is SO close to the experience of “Fear” - the perception of a potential threat - because to our Human ancestors, getting left out of the Tribe meant CERTAIN death.
We survived as an early species and quickly rose to the top of the food chain because of the “Power of The Pack” and our ability to hunt large game as a cooperative group.
The more we hunted successfully, the more our Brains grew and the more we evolved to work in highly cooperative groups. On our own, we are weak, slow & are altogether a pitiful excuse for a 100-200 pound omnivore.
The experience of Shame/Fear tells us to focus ALL energy to RIGHT NOW so we can make sure we can protect Self & Loved Ones from any potential threats to physical safety or rejection/abandonment.
Like many other primates, Human Beings have a strong instinctual response to seek out and provide unconditional love & safety to Loved Ones who are experiencing Fear/Shame - but only when this is what we experienced in our Childhood.
This becomes tricky for Men because as Boys, many of us are taught that a “Tough Guy” - one that can win in competition to go on to live a healthy & happy life - must keep pain & fear private from others. If discovered, Boys are taught this means they are weak, insecure, and not fit for higher ranking in social situations.
While at the same time, Boys are taught that “Anger” is always acceptable for holding on to social rank because we are “ready for battle.” As a result, most Boys never learn to grow comfortable sharing pain & fear - even with our caretakers as children - and only learn to push it all down until the pressure POPS as an anger outburst.
Our Balanced Man Plan focuses on Emotional Intelligence for Men as a Core Area of Balance because when we have a full range, we can use the natural tension that arises in our personal relationships to create deeper connections, while setting limits & navigating daily life with those around us.
My name is Logan Cohen and I am a Professional Therapist & Life Coach with over 10 years in the field of Counseling Psychology. I am a Clinical Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, as well as the founder of New Leaf Counseling Group, LLC in Charlotte, NC. After spending tens of thousands of clinical hours with my own clients, starting a successful group practice, as well as a beautiful Family, I “picked my head up from the grindstone” to check in on childhood Friends & Loved Ones.
I painfully discovered that more than a few of my childhood Friends passed away at a young age from preventable health conditions and decided that as a Man, Husband, Father, and Friend, I could no longer stand by as People suffered in silence and self-destruct rather than ask for help. It DOESN'T have to be like that and the natural healing methods offered by the Balanced Man Plan are designed to help People “get unstuck” and break free from old patterns that are the barriers between Self & quality of Life.
The Balanced Man Plan is a therapeutic digital experience delivered through Self-Guided Coaching Plans created by a Male Therapist with the common barriers & strengths of Men in mind. The Balanced Man Plan has the goal of introducing a natural Balance back into Life so it is sustainable for the optimal Health & Well-Being of Self and Loved Ones - and ALL from the privacy and comfort of Home.
If you have enjoyed what you see so far, check out our Self Guided Coaching Plans!