Recently I’ve spoken out about the crucial importance of cultivating emotional intelligence in young men.
The official definition of emotional intelligence is: the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
Historically, men have not been raised to be emotionally intelligent, emotionally capable or emotionally available.
Historically, we have largely failed to raise men who can handle interpersonal relationships or relationships with their larger communities judiciously and empathetically.
Historically, we have taught men to stuff feelings, dismiss feelings, ignore feelings, and deny feelings. And the consequences are proving to be dire.
There are so many horrific outcomes when we have multiple generations of men who are unable to identify their feelings, express their feelings, and relate to other peoples’ feelings.
The result of generations of poor emotional intelligence among men is rape culture, diet culture, racism, sexism, men policing women’s bodies, rampant struggles with mental health, the addiction epidemic and so much more that we won’t see the full impact of for years to come.
This is disturbing and distressing to say the least.
Add to that the numbers and data we’re seeing around mass shootings - largely executed by young, white men - young white men who with known mental health struggles and/or dangerously radical views stemming from a lack of empathy and compassion for others. This is an emotional intelligence crisis.
The responsibility of raising an emotionally intelligent young man (a young white man, in my case) in our current landscape is a critical task that cannot be taken lightly. A number of you have asked me how we can do our very best in raising emotionally intelligent young men - and just how I’m facing this responsibility head-on.
In this episode, I’ll share the 8 things I’m doing to raise an emotionally intelligent, emotionally capable son. By no means do I think I’m doing it perfectly. But I think I’m getting a few things right and it’s all worth sharing if it helps any of our young men.
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