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Why Men’s Friendships Can Feel So EMPTY

Men, relying on emotionally risk-free ”friendships of proximity,” are facing a life time of social isolation

Imagine, Frank walks into a bar. He approaches a group of men from work including someone new. One guy says, “Frank, meet Bob.” They all chat for a while and then Frank says brightly, “Bob! I’m glad I met you. I like you. How would you like to be my friend? Cue the abuse and derision because Frank just broke the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule of male friendship. Don’t admit you want or need friends. Don’t admit you need anything. Be confident. Be self reliant.

Seeking friendship by offering what others can leverage is the central transactional skill boys are taught from childhood. Buying our way in, instead of offering who we are as human beings, sets up a circular pattern by which men are always expected to bring, contribute, produce, provide.

Collectively, we are raising men to feel insecure unless they can bring their transactional leverage. Its a lesson we were not taught by the women we date as adults, but by the boys we were first grouped with as children. That said, men and women alike participate in this generational cycle of transactional intimacy. It’s pay to play.

Want to raise sons and daughters who can create and sustain lasting joyful relationships? Get The Relational Book for Parenting, by Mark Greene and Dr. Saliha Bava.

The Relational Book for Parenting uses comics, fables, articles, and games to help families’ grow their relationship superpowers in the daily back and forth of parenting. It’s a joyful, accessible, parent-friendly cure for what ails our isolating culture, helping us to raise a generation of young people better able to connect, collaborate and innovate across differences. The book is available here: http://a.co/ej1kAgi

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Pages from The Relational Book for Parenting

Read more by Mark Greene:
Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys?

Explore more of Mark Greene’s work at RemakingManhood.com or join the conversations at our Remaking Manhood page on Facebook.

Get a powerful collection of Mark Greene’s articles, including this one, in his book REMAKING MANHOOD–Available now at Amazon.

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Written by

Author THE LITTLE #METOO BOOK FOR MEN https://www.amazon.com/dp/0983466963 Writer/speaker on inclusion, masculinity. BBC, New York Times- http://remakingmanhood

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