Let’s get honest, we all are shy— some of us just know how to hide it, or how to move beyond it. Our shyness is part of our unique sensitivity to life.
But as we travel through childhood, then manhood, we are trained to suppress our sensitivity. I know for myself, I did everything I could to “man up” and become more macho, denying my more vulnerable aspects. Like most men, I knew I was doing it. I felt I had no choice. I didn’t know how to express my vulnerabilities in a way that was powerful. It was either beinga wimp or being macho—I didn’t know how to find an authentic way to be.
As we developed our men’s groups, I began to learn there was a third option: I could learn Assertive Vulnerability (AV). I started to learn that I could be vulnerable—I could be open and stand up for another or myself at the same time. It didn’t need to be an either/or.
In learning this, I realized that this skill, and what later became the other four Masculine Quotient (MQ) skills, are skills that are best taught to men by men.
Over time in a powerful men’s group, men naturally learn these skills. I did.
My shy, hesitant, “nice guy” persona transformed into a presence that is capable of clearly stating what I feel and want. Sure, there is the occasion when my directness repels a person. The majority of the time, though, people open up because I’m being myself.
In this podcast with Justin Stenstrom, I share my evolution from being shy to a guy with bit higher MQ. Listen to how I overcame some incurable conditions to develop a new model for men’s groups and men. If I can do it, so can you.
Photo by Caleb George