Stop Seeking Validation From Your Family

Hey there, it’s Graham from The Confident Man Project again and today I want to talk at you about your family. Family issues have been pretty huge for me so I know a little bit about this and I want to share with you what I have learned, particularly about stopping seeking validation from your family. What tends to happen when we’re young is that our parents experience us as an infant, as a baby, as a child, an adolescent and then by the time we become an adult our parents’ view of us is often so fixed by their earlier experiences of us that they have a lot of trouble accepting who we now are as an adult being different to who we were as a child. And this is the reason why a lot of the time when we hang around our families we tend to regress back into a child-like state where we behave and relate to our parents and our siblings in much the same way that we did when we were a kid. That’s not necessarily what you want to do if your childhood experience wasn’t one where you felt reinforced and validated and loved and just nurtured and you had a really fun time all the time. So if you want to break away from some of the family stuff, it’s really important that you stop seeking validation from your family. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago

The Disastrous Duo: Controlling Mother, Passive Father

I've noticed a strong pattern in the lives of a lot of guys who I've been talking to lately who have had issues with self-confidence, especially around women: the combination of a dominant, controlling mother and a passive father. It's the disastrous duo for a boy's confidence growing into a man. [caption id="attachment_3131" align="alignright" width="300"] Controlling mothers tend to attract passive fathers[/caption] One of the unfortunate realities of life is that controlling women tend to attract passive men. So if you have a controlling mother, you're likely to also have ended up with a passive father as your primary male role model. Controlling women attempt to dominate the men in their lives in order to assuage their own inner anxiety about the unpredictable nature of life and their lack of trust in healthy masculine power. Confident, powerful men don't put up with this sort of behaviour: they assert themselves and if necessary walk away knowing that there are plenty of other fish in the sea. So controlling women tend to end up left with passive men who are willing to be pushed around because they don't know how to stand up for themselves. Unfortunately that means that if you had a controlling mother, you probably also had a passive father, which is a double-blow to your developing masculinity. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Self Esteem

Forget About What Your Family Thinks Of You

For many men I know who lack confidence, the seeds of low self-esteem were planted early on during childhood in our family of origin. In an ideal world, our parents create an environment in which we can flourish as a young boy, thrive as an adolescent, and fulfill our potential as a man: confident and self-assured. We feel loved unconditionally, get on brilliantly with our siblings, and learn to deal constructively with conflict that inevitably occurs within any family.

In the real world though, things work a little differently. Unless parents make a conscious effort to deal with their personal issues through some other form of personal growth or therapy, they tend to unconsciously pass on their own insecurities to their children. They can't help it; as children we are particularly sensitive to what goes on in our environment, and our parents are our natural role models whose behavior we tend to copy. Our parents have a god-like status to us as a young boy, and we can't help but naively assume that the way they operate in the world is a good way for us to be too. As children we lack the real world experience and insight to notice that the way our parents operate doesn't necessarily work real well for them either, and we don't know any better.… Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago

How to Have Better Relationships With Women

Here's a story with some relationship advice for you. I took my Dad out to dinner last week as his 79th Birthday gift. He is actively downsizing in preparation for moving into a retirement village with my mother, so I appreciate that the last thing he wants is a physical gift from me. He'd much rather have some quality time together.

Unfortunately we have slightly different definitions of "quality time". As my father droned on and on over dinner telling me story after boring story, I felt myself shutting down and becoming increasingly frustrated and angry with him. He lives in his own little world, oblivious of the effect his words have on other people. I used to wonder why it was that as an adult, I found myself pushed away by his stories all the time and began feeling resentful every time he launched into one. Now I know, and the simple answer has the power to totally transform relationships:

My Dad's stories have no emotional content.

Over the past few years, I've been studying the broad spectrum of human communication. Here are some of the things I've learned from the various different fields I've studied:

  • To be a powerful public speaker, you must tell stories that engage your audience's emotions.

Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago