In the holiday season, and in general, it would be great to figure out how to see the world from another person’s perspective. This can help us become aware of the situations of others, which in turn can help us practice generosity. In situations with our families, romantic partners, or even work colleagues, how can we practice empathy?
We all experience a crushing dilemma: do I dare engage with an ideologically-blinded family member, or do I abstain? Save the world or save the meal? If disinterested, how do we forgo a political skirmish? If involved, how do we maintain our poise? And if cornered and depleted, how do we escape? These 11 tips can help...
How can you test out a new career path that will lead you to more meaning and fulfillment at work? Here we explore six ways to test out new career paths.
Here at XY Culture, we focus on insights and skills to help us relate more effectively to ourselves and our loved ones, with a uniquely masculine angle. It’s all about knowing thyself, healing thyself, realizing your individual potential, and then healing or strengthening your family from there. We will increasingly discuss public policy topics that affect the health of American families or the rights of individuals, and these will sometimes be opinion pieces. This one is short, and goes out to our California readers: PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 47 this Tuesday!!
Contempt is the biggest predictor of divorce, according to relationship experts John and Julie Gottman. Also according to the Gottmans’ long-term research on “master couples” who handle relationship stress and conflict in stride and remain happy, one behavior is the “antidote” to contempt: gratitude. But how do we get into the groove of sharing gratitude with our loved one when we may have never consistently done it before?
In this installment on finding and creating your unique career path, we introduce five practices that can help cultivate an intuition of how to find our way.
Previously on gratitude, we discussed how to establish a gratitude buddy practice, backed by scientific research on the benefits of gratitude. Here we examine more strategies as well as results one may find by keeping such a practice. Again, these are observations from my own gratitude practice (with my friend Kyle) for both your edification and amusement.
"Chin up!" "Move on!" “Let it go!" Often when guys express a sense of loss or sadness, the response from friends and loved ones is frighteningly simplistic. We’re frequently advised to do something we’ve been told our entire lives on the football field or rugby pitch: "Suck it up!" As men, we're often expected to keep our emotions suppressed and carry the burdens of our daily lives in silence. Even more troubling, the idea of suppressing our grieving process and discounting our need to examine is often suggested by people whose opinions and advice we respect. It's not for lack of trying; our confidants and guides often want to see us restored to our former glory -- so not dignifying the complexities of our feelings seems a natural solution... For me, the path to happiness (or at least temporary sanity) comes from the concept of gratitude...
It can be tempting to think we need a plan, outline, or strategy for everything. But do we? These poems and reflections aim to jar a few screws loose from the best-fashioned plans.
A pervasive problem today seems to be that American men have little or no connection with their fathers. The reasons may be physical or structural – absentee fathers, divorced fathers who don’t share custody – or emotional, in that the fathers were around during their kids’ childhoods, but were emotional ghosts. But what to do about it?
In this article I wanted to share some ways that stress has manifested itself physiologically for me and some tools that you can use to become more aware of stress and its effects on your body. It’s important to accept the mind-body connection – the idea that your state of mind can affect how you feel physically, and vice versa. If your body is not relaxed, the same is likely for your mind. For several decades, clinical studies have shown that interventions like relaxation, visualization, and meditation can improve various physical conditions like healing after a heart attack or battling insomnia.
Men often get criticized for not being in touch with their emotions. “Men live from the neck up,” the American poet Robert Bly said in Bill Moyer’s 1990 PBS series, “A Gathering of Men” (highly recommended; more on Bly and Moyers in a future post). Or perhaps: men live from the neck up and the waist down. For some reason all this reminds me of the bad guy, T-1000, in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991). Near the end of the film, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character shoots T-1000 in the belly with a shotgun and leaves a gaping, metal-rimmed hole. Being a man, it’s like that – life’s downers can rip gaping holes in our emotional cores, yet we hardly know the wounds exist. Let alone how to heal them. ...If you want to do some emotional weightlifting, there are two pieces: cultivating your awareness of feelings, and expanding your vocabulary. First you need to know how you feel. Then can you practice talking about it.