The Hard Hat
Brotherhood
 

June
Guys Having Fun With Guys Without It Getting – Weird


Being part of a growing men’s organization I am constantly doing research on different men’s issues. Interestingly enough I found many new facts by reading the articles on the MenStuff.org website. One particular area it discusses is the topic of how and why it is good for guys to belong to a club. It is a fact that it can be down right unhealthy not to go out and interact with others on a regular basis. The problem is that many guys are not comfortable making new friends, especially if they are of their own kind. This paradox can be frustrating because we find ourselves trapped between having to get out of our comfy recliners and being stressed out over the possibly of not being accepted in a new circle of acquaintances.

I have observed that there is an almost phobic feeling for a guy when presented with the challenge of making new male friends. Before the Hard Hat Brotherhood I had an incredibly difficult time getting myself to meet and communicate with others. Part of my apprehension was because I was a bit of a recluse and preferred a solitary lifestyle to one where I actually had to talk to another human. It was much easier to sit in my comfy chair and just watch the game. Another reason was the fact that I hated the idea of rejection especially from another guy. Heaven forbid I didn’t measure up to the standards of someone else. Too short, too fat, too geeky, not geeky enough, wrong class, wrong job, wrong clothes, hair parted the wrong way, wears glasses, loves seafood, hates spinach. My gosh, who knows what all could be wrong with me and I will never be accepted anyway so where the heck is my remote? Yeah, much safer here where I understand all the ins and outs of what is going on.

It is pretty plain to see that guys can have a hard time busting out of their shell and improving their lives. Now compound that with the fact that guys do not want their interactions with other males to get, you know, weird. Ever see the situation where a new guy in the group is at a sports event and the home team has just won by one point in the absolute last two seconds of the game? The men erupt hooting and cheering as they jump up and down patting each other on the back and even giving each other congratulatory hugs. Then somehow the same hug that a second ago was a completely natural expression of happiness suddenly becomes – weird. A knee jerk reaction ensues and they actually turn in opposite directions as if to say, “Never saw that guy before in my life”. The fear of being labeled is the leading reason why they don’t want to put themselves in that situation in the first place. It is a vicious cycle that takes courage and a leap of faith to overcome.

The thing to remember is that it can be done. Men, when given enough encouragement or become desperate enough will take the chance and join a group, club or organization like The Hard Hat Brotherhood. Recently I attended one of our many Crew events. This is where a bunch of our guys get together to do some “guy stuff”. We all met at a local expo center to visit this year’s Outdoorama; a virtual smorgasbord of hunting, fishing and camping demonstrations. As we started gathering at the main entrance I personally was excited to meet one of our newest members. He had just joined a week or so before and was part of our Nomad Crew. Nomads are individual members that cannot join established Crews due to travel or some other thing that keeps them on the move. This being the case that meant that he was coming to meet all of us for the first time, alone. I realized how courageous an act that was and when he walked up to all of us and introduced himself I made sure that mine was the first hand he shook. This helps me to overcome my own latent fears. Practice makes perfect.

One of the ways to overcome the fear of meeting new people is to remember that you are only new once. After that, you are one step closer to being another part of the establishment. The approach to meeting new people is also important. This is where the old “fake it until you make it” credo comes in handy. If you look confident and like you are glad to be there, then it comes across that way. Even if you don’t necessarily feel that way, you can still put that image forward. The irony is that when you act that way you do start to feel that way. So then the question becomes how exactly do you act that way?

The two things that anyone will notice first when they meet you are your voice and whether or not you make eye contact. Since both are part of the introduction process of meeting anyone, those are your best places to start. It is really pretty simple. When you meet someone for the first time, make eye contact, say hello and introduce yourself with a solid, confident voice. That is all there is to it. Now you are off to a good start and the rest should be easier. And if you don’t do stellar at these things right off just remember this; to the best of my knowledge no one has ever actually died of embarrassment. As my wife always says, try not to take life too seriously, your never gonna get out of it alive!

So what does this all mean? Are men doomed to a possibly shortened life because we don’t take the time to go out once or twice a month and commune with fellow men? Could be, there is another fact on the MenStuff website which mentions that the average woman has six close woman friends of which to talk to about personal issues. The average man has only one and it is usually not even a man but rather his wife. We know that there can definitely be a health benefit if we go out and interact with other guys. So it comes down to us acknowledging our fears, taking a chance and actually joining a club that you can feel comfortable with. It is worth it. Do yourself a favor and get out of that nice comfy chair; you will be glad you did.

©2007, Andy Smith

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Source: Andy Smith, HHBrotherhood Central, 8449 Parkridge Drive, Dexter, MI 48130, or 734.846.2283 or www.hardhatbrotherhood.com or headhardhat@hardhatbrotherhood.com



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