One of the most essential skills for a man to develop is the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently without appearing weak. Unfortunately, many mixed messages say that for a man to be strong, he shouldn’t let others see his emotions. Being masculine does not mean that you don’t show emotions or that you’re not vulnerable. It’s quite the opposite. Some of the most confident alpha dudes I know can be honest and vulnerable. They can show their sensitive side without appearing weak. You can develop this skill, and I want to help you develop it.
Develop your ability to properly communicate
- Embrace anger. Become friends with anger. What I mean by this is often, anger is a symptom of another emotion. Next time you feel angry, stop yourself instead of reacting and exploding. Think about what is making you angry and why. There is a deeper reason for your anger, and you need to identify why you’re feeling that way before you explode.
- Calm yourself. If you explode before thinking, people will discredit you. You may be considered crazy or overly emotional. Have the ability to suppress the urge to simply react. Take time to think about the situation logically by taking a few seconds to take a deep breath before explaining why you feel like you do. You will be received a lot better as opposed to being defensive.
- Don’t apologize if it’s not your fault. Many men apologize if someone gets mad at them because they don’t want to fight. The truth is they’re taking the easy way out by just apologizing. They own something that is not their fault and needs to be explored deeper. They’re not solving a problem but only creating a Band-Aid of resentment.
- Don’t get defensive. Often people accuse us or make us feel like they’re accusing us, which will automatically snap us into defense mode. Defending yourself is a recipe for ineffective communication. Instead, listen and acknowledge what they have to say. This is incredibly powerful. You can respond by saying that you didn’t realize they felt that way or didn’t know you were making them feel that way. You can state that you understand and that you hear them. You can then proceed with a more beneficial conversation. Unfortunately, many of us immediately respond that it’s not our fault and that we didn’t do anything wrong.
- Develop your emotional literacy. Learn to identify your feelings, which can be very powerful. It allows you to communicate in a safe environment and to be more vulnerable. This is a skill I learned in therapy. You need to be able to deal with the issues holding you back from having healthy relationships. Therapists create a safe place for you to explore and express yourself that might not necessarily be something you want to talk to with your significant other, parent, boss, or whomever. You deserve to be happy! Go to Better Help to get matched with a therapist who will listen and help + 10% off your first month of therapy.
- Stop trying to ‘win’ an argument. There’s only one way to win: if both people feel like they were heard and that something good was accomplished. Think of it like communication negotiation. Suppose you were to negotiate a business deal. In that case, the win-win scenario is when both people feel they gave and got something. The same rules apply when you’re communicating effectively. You have to be willing to give but also receive.
- Be open to criticism. Criticism is never fun; it can feel like a person will attack depending on what it’s about or who it’s from. The next time you feel like somebody’s criticizing you, stop and think about what they’re saying. Is it justifiable criticism? Is it nonsense? If it’s constructive, and you feel like they’re attacking you, they may be trying to get you to see something about yourself. If it’s destructive, it’s not bringing value to the table, and they are just trying to be a dick and are probably toxic. Listen and try to figure out how to modify your behavior.
- Be a better listener. Listening is more than just hearing. Actively listen with your entire body. Unfortunately, when we argue, we wait for our turn to talk. The whole time we’re thinking about our opportunity to slide in. We feel more connected to people actively listening, whether it’s nodding, responding, or touching. Get into the habit of listening better. You’ll have better conversations that are deeper.
- Have empathy. Emotional intelligence is empathizing with how somebody is feeling. You can read what someone says with their body language and how they come across. You can connect and share their feelings, creating a compelling, deep, long-lasting connection.
- Identify thoughts versus feelings. Thoughts are cognitive puzzles that we put together, stringing experiences or situations to form how we think about the world or people. Thoughts form a framework of how we think things should be, including our beliefs and expectations. When our expectations aren’t met, negative emotions can get in the way of fixing the problem. Instead, identify how you’re feeling and manage it, although you may not be able to change it. Identifying feelings allows you to effectively communicate why you feel a certain way without blaming others.