dating,  friendship,  marriage,  Men

8 Tips For Healthy Interactions With Men

Please share with others!

We are told early on that men should be masculine –  strong and emotionally cool at all times. Who set these impossible standards? Such expectations give men and women a false sense of manhood. Unfortunately, a lot of men think they have to follow these unreachable expectations. Emotional healing can be hindered by these false expectations which may stunt emotional maturity and growth.

How can men be emotionally healthy if they are told experiencing emotions are unhealthy? 

I have found that men are not vastly different from women. Men often express their emotions in different ways… But, they are still humans that experience the same range of emotions as women. Similar to us women, I have met men who are very “sensitive” and “reactive” when they experience pain or because they have unhealed wounds. In men, pain and unhealed emotions might be expressed differently but they still feel – don’t be fooled!

Men that are experiencing pain or that are emotionally unhealed will manifest their emotions in anger, pride, arrogance, addictive behaviors, perfectionism, fornication & pornography, obsession with work and/or money, detachment, fear of commitment, etc.

Understanding that men are emotional creatures is pivotal in entering into any type of male – female relationship. Why? Because, we must see men beyond the fake display of “manhood” and “masculinity” that they are force to abide by. It takes work to love your male in a way that is healthy… especially if he won’t verbalize his emotions or he has a lot of emotional baggage!

I have learned a thing or two about having healthy relationships with the men in my life (through family, teaching, friendship, and dating)!

I learned that you must “love others as you love yourself.”  Therefore, in this post I want to show you how to love men in a way that allows you to LOVE YOURSELF!

8 Keys For Healthy Interaction With Men:

1.  Know Your Value –  Know how you want to be treated. If you don’t know what good treatment is… You are more likely to settle for disrespect or less than you deserve! You deserve to be spoken to with kindness, compassion, and consideration. No one should EVER make you feel ugly, shameful, insignificant, or un-cared for on purpose. You are amazing, smart, and have wonderful qualities that the right people will cherish and appreciate you for!

Related Article: Beauty That Comes From Within

2. Be Understanding – Some men do not understand how to relate to women. I’m not asking you to be their mom and teach them, but its healthy to be aware of this. They may not understand what is or isn’t offensive to women. Some men tend to say whatever they want to their other male friends – No filters. I’ll let you decide what you believe to be appropriate… However, you need to understand that you can’t judge them because they don’t see the conversation as inappropriate.  I have seen women get disgusted by males as they speak about their desire for women. Instead of judging and avoiding, communicate your thoughts to them safely and kindly.

“Remember, men are sensitive to criticism too!”

3. Be Firm & Direct – If you do not like something, talk to your guy friend privately. Do not continue in conversation with him week after week if he is annoying you with the topic of his conversation — That’s unfair. Communicate how it makes you feel and what you would appreciate he do while interacting with you. No one likes a person that is passive aggressive and resentful. Honesty is the best policy here.

Related Article: 2 Keys To Stop Thinking Negatively About Our Loved Ones

4. Let Him Be Himself –  If everything that your guy friend says or does bothers you… You might NOT be compatible. Take some time to know why certain things are bothering you! Are you hypersensitive? Are you storing up offense? Are you expecting him to be who you want him to be? If you keep trying to change him or yourself to make the relationship work.. Consider, you may be controlling or you have incompatible personalities.

5. Boundaries – Be true to the type of relationship that you both have. If you aren’t sure if he likes you (READ MORE)… Communicate about where you want the relationship to be and if that isn’t what he wants then put up boundaries to protect your heart. Do not act like the relationship is romantic if you or he said friendship was the tone. Allowing him to cross boundaries when he said he wanted to be friends means you are agreeing to be friends with benefits.  In my article, Games & The Dark Side of Flirting (READ MORE) I explain how men will use you for emotional fulfillment.

6. Forgiveness – In any relationship, someone is going to mess up at some point. Be quick to forgive. Speak with him about the offense and how you can make it better… But don’t hold onto a grudge. Forgive him and keep growing together.

7. Express Love- Give him friendly compliments and encouragements.  Men love compliments and encouragement… Just like your female friends. Be kind and communicate that you like his shirt… It’s just kind.

8. Revisit & Repeat – Re-evaluate the relationship from time to time. Ensure you feel comfortable and that you are being treated with respect  – emotionally and physically. If you are not being treated well… Communicate and then forgive and put boundaries as necessary!

I do suggest speaking with a mentor about the best ways for you to draw boundaries  or stop patterns of behavior that keep repeating in your male relationships! OR, head over to the Advice Café for specific insight from an Adorned-Heart contributor!

Try to love others but in the end… You have to GUARD your heart! If another person is causing your heart to enter dangerous territory… Decide to steer it in a different direction. God withholds no GOOD thing. So, if the door with this friend is closed… God will open another door that is good for you!

Sister, you deserve the best.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. – Psalms 84:11

Christina Daniels is the founder of Adorned Heart. She is devoted to learning about human behavior and its affects on society. She received a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Public Policy. She hopes to use her life and academic experience to empower & heal the hearts of women!

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