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I've been learning to play the Harry Chapin song, Cats in the Cradle, which really reminds me a lot of my relationship with my father. Now, I had a pretty good dad. He was always there for me physically when I was a kid. He was a good provider and family man. He wasn't perfect, but he was okay.
But I found him a very difficult man to connect to emotionally, and the line in the song that really hits me is right at the end where the man says, "He's grown up just like me. My boy was just like me."
Today you're going to learn about improving the relationship that you have with your father. Your relationship with your father has a massive impact on your sense of self as a man and your general level of self-confidence. And this exercise is going to be particularly easy for you if your father is still alive.
If he’s not still alive or you don’t have any contact with him, that’s going to be a little bit trickier. But this is primarily for guys whose fathers are still alive, and the idea here is that you go and connect with your father in a way that perhaps you haven’t done before.
If you’ve already got a great relationship with your father, that’s cool. If you see him regularly and you spend some one-on-one time with him, then that’s exactly what you want to be aiming for. But if you haven’t, here’s how to make that happen.
Having a passive, ineffective or absent father has an enormous effect on a man's development and eventual self-confidence. The quality of your relationship with your father, and his ability to pass on to you his positive masculine wisdom and energy are the most important factors in you developing your full potential as a man.
However, if your father was relatively passive, non-assertive, ineffective, absent physically or even just shy and withheld, you may have some work to do in order to recover what you missed out on. Here are some suggestions on how to fill the gap your father left:
Join a Men's Group
The most important indicator of confidence in a man is your secure ability to relate meaningfully to other men. Your relationship with other men is modeled on your relationship with your father, and on your friendships with other boys while growing up. You can't improve on this by yourself, nor can you do it with women: you need to find other men who you can relate to on a deeper level.
Find men you can trust who are prepared to drop the usual competitive male bravado and talk straight with you about their successes, failures, frustrations and joys in life.… Continue reading…