Who's In Charge Here?

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Once upon a time, parents used to decide what their families would do on weekends. Parents would plan trips like camping, boating, or barbecuing with friends. Adults used to have friends they actually enjoyed spending time with, and all the kids learned to get along and play together.

Then travel sports and gymnastics crept into our lives, and every parent decided that their kid could (and should!) be a professional athlete.

We awoke one morning to discover we “don’t have time” to exercise when we want, or join a men’s group, or lay in the hammock anymore. In fact, we aren’t even sure who our friends are. We just drive our kids to their events, and all the adults learn to get along and play together.

This might be why men today are isolated, depressed, angry, and addicted. We put 8-year olds at the helm and then wonder why our lives are unfulfilling.

Maybe it’s time to limit your kid’s social life and start working on your own. Here’s some tough love: They’re not going pro. And what they need more than year-round training is to see their parents healthy and happy and leading by example.

Anger

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Do you know someone with serious anger issues? The anger itself isn’t the real problem; it's merely the indicator that a deeper problem exists. People who get angry over petty things have a deeper issue that is unresolved.

That unsettled issue will come bubbling out; it will manifest itself. For some people it takes the form of alcoholism or workaholism. For others it’s anger. People can use anger to self-medicate. It makes them feel better when they explode with rage. They actually get addicted to it.

The solution is not to manage the anger, but rather to find the underlying cause. When a man screams at strangers whose driving he doesn’t like, or at a child that spills a drink, chances are he’s got unspoken resentment towards his wife or anger towards his parents. He’s projecting all of those unaddressed feelings and bottled up emotions as anger towards innocent bystanders.

If you catch yourself completely losing your mind with rage over petty issues you need to take a serious look at the resentment, jealousy, or pain that you’re harboring. Confront the root cause and the anger will start to melt.

Wingman

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Men need friendship. We need close, real friends in our life. It’s not just chicks that need friends to talk to – it’s all humans.

When men try to make it through life without close male buddies, they fall apart inside. They keep up the appearances on the outside, and they keep going through the motions, but they’re sad clowns who are dying inside from loneliness while their wife and kids think everything is fine.

Loneliness is an epidemic in our world, and men over 50 are killing themselves in record numbers. What we need is a buddy we can talk to about our problems, struggles, and failures. Not just golfing buddies that don’t know what’s actually going on in our life. If you’re pretending that you’ve got it all together around a buddy, then he’s just an acquaintance.

And female friends don’t count either. Sure they make great listeners that tell you everything will be ok, but they can’t relate to what you’re feeling, and they can’t call you out on your crap.

What you need – what everyman needs – is a wingman. A buddy who knows everything awful there is to know about you and likes you anyway.

  My wingman for the last 25 years, Drew Richards  

My wingman for the last 25 years, Drew Richards