Tom and Janice discuss the path of male friendships and the many changes over the last hundred and fifty years. They focus on what has recently been making male friendships more difficult and some ideas about what men are doing about it. The media stresses the need for men to have relationships while simultaneously telling men that they need to be more like women to find relationship success. This sums up the misandrist attitudes that fail to recognize men’s unique ways of relating and the fact that a man’s close friendships are significantly different from a woman.
The stereotype is that altruistic giving is a selfless act. It may be, but scientists are now realizing that when we give to others we indeed get something back. We know now that when you give freely and selflessly you get a rush of endorphins that is very similar to what someone gets when they take morphine. The studies on this are so frequent and consistent that the researchers have developed a name for this experience, they call it the “Helpers High.”
The list of positives that come from giving help are numerous. Here are just a few:
Improves physical health
Gives one a feeling of satisfaction
Reduces aches and pains
There’s more but you get the idea. It’s also important to note that the research has found that the benefits are not universal. If you are highly stressed out it may not help.
Be on the lookout for ways you might be helpful. It could be something very simple like letting a car into your lane in heavy traffic, or helping someone who needs directions. After you help, be aware of how you feel emotionally and how you feel in your body. For a more robust experience I would suggest you volunteer for an organization that might need your help. There are plenty of Hospices or Animal Shelters that could really use your good energy. Try it and see what it does for you. Not only because you are doing good, but also because it helps you FEEL GOOD!
Tom discusses a women’s magazine called Evie with guests Janice Fiamengo and Moiret Allegiere. While acknowledging that the magazine celebrates traditionalism, we were pleasantly surprised by how anti-feminist and male-positive it is overall.
There is a saying that negative thoughts are like Velcro. They stick in the brain and linger. Positive thoughts are more like Teflon. We think them and then they disappear. They don’t stick around very long they slide and decay rapidly.
One antidote for this has been studied by positive psychologists who have found that the act of being grateful can counteract this dilemma. In fact they have found that gratefulness has a lasting impact, not just hours or days but months. They have also found that it impacts not only negative thoughts but also depression. Gratefulness improves immune function, increases stress resistance, and improves ones sense of self worth. It also has been shown to increase our enjoyment of the present moment! This is huge and tells us that we all need to be working on cultivating our own gratefulness.
Write a letter to someone you know that you feel deserves your thanks and appreciation that you have yet to express. Let them know in the letter how grateful you are for what they have done. Send it and watch what it does to you. For a bonus, scientists have found that if you read the letter to the person aloud the impact is even greater.
It might be a friend, a family member, a coach for your children’s sports or whoever you feel grateful to.