Men today face a unique and daunting challenge to find a satisfying and comfortable way through the evolving roles, changing demands and shifting standards of modern life. Traditional notions of masculinity, such as maintaining a “stiff upper lip” or keeping emotions “close to the vest” no longer serve most men. In fact, those notions have become a perfect recipe for shame, anxiety, and feelings of alienation. These challenges can lead to relationship problems, workplace difficulties, substance abuse, anger and depression.
Groundbreaking research has established that the practice of self-compassion, while not at first seeming to be valuable or important, actually helps men go through and beyond old roles and find a new powerful voice and quiet confidence. This research has demonstrated that people higher in self-compassion tend to be able to persist and achieve more in the face of adversity; cope better with challenges like divorce, trauma or chronic pain; are able to change troubling and unhealthy habits and behaviors more easily; and are perceived more positively by their partners. Fortunately, research and practice shows that self-compassion is a skill that can be taught and learned.