She’s a Moving Target: Get in the Game

She’s a Moving Target: Get in the Game

She’s a Moving Target: Get in the Game

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

 Men expect our women to be easy to deal with. We expect the target to sit still and let us shoot it. That’s not how it works; if it was that easy, we wouldn’t even have any drive for it at all. ⁣

Some men like to hunt, investing all kinds of time and energy and resources chasing down a moving target. We sit in silence, patiently waiting for the elusive animal, using all kinds of bait and camouflage and tools and weaponry. Some men like to fish and spend insane amounts of time trying to capture a creature we cannot even see beneath the water with expensive lures and all manner of techniques. And it’s so much fun. We see it as an adventure.⁣

Some men like sports where there is an opponent running around who needs to be chased. Quarterbacks try to throw a prolate spheroid to a guy literally running 40 yards in 4.2 seconds. We swing sticks just slightly fatter than a broom at balls moving 90 mph. We become entranced in pursuit of the fastball, the curve-ball, the change-up.

In hockey we are fascinated with strapping metal blades to our feet and running on ice to chase a 3” rubber biscuit with a curved stick all while evading the defender who’s trying to knock our teeth out. And it is fun. It is a game. It is something to invest in. It is something that thrills us. Imagine your favorite player whining that the competitor is playing hard to get. Lame. Never happens. ⁣

So why do we have that attitude towards our women? We want them to lay there with their legs open and be quiet. We want them to be easy to figure out and simple for us to understand. Boring. The feminine moves and flows with sometimes chaotic rhythm and retreat. The true masculine is a disciplined pursuer. He is in competition with himself to figure it out and make the right move at the right time. ⁣

Get in the game, bro. Change your attitude about your relationship. Yes, the target is moving, and you may feel like you are never quite sure how to be. See this as a game against a respected rival. Stay focused, stay disciplined and conquer. You’re not trying to win. You’re not trying to conquer her, you’re trying to conquer your impatience. Conquer your s e l f.

🔺 Alpha Up

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Disconnection: It’s Not a New Problem

Disconnection: It’s Not a New Problem

Disconnection: It’s Not a New Problem

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

He was slammed all day and went without lunch again. The 2-day-old leftovers in his company fridge weren’t very appetizing anyway, but he sure was hungry now. As he walked by his wife, he gave her a kiss and could see she was scrolling through her Facebook feed, so he sat down across from her at the table and took out his own phone.⁣

She looked up after she finished reading an article her sister posted, but her husband was already looking down at his phone. She’d been on her phone too, so she didn’t resent him for it. Much of the time they spent together, they were on their devices – everyone was. She dismissed her thoughts, and looked back down at her feed.⁣

Edward Hopper’s 1932, Room in New York, depicts a similar scene. He’s engrossed in his newspaper, she’s playing a melancholy, one-note song. The disconnection is palpable to the viewer outside their city brownstone.⁣

Fast-forward nearly a century, and the scene has changed, but the disconnection is still there. Instead of a newspaper, it’s a smart phone. Instead of the viewer on the street, it’s the followers and friends on social media. It seems everyone has a highlight reel for the world to view, but if it were honest, it would show the couples looking away, distracted, and disconnected.⁣

Dudes are escaping. It’s not the newspaper anymore – it’s gaming, porn, work obligations, and the list goes on. It’s easier to connect to an online gaming partner 5,000 miles away than it is to connect with our real-life partner sitting 3 feet away. Why?⁣

Science tells us, when we are depleted cognitively, we give up more quickly. By the time we have time, we’re too tired to give much effort. It’s not a coincidence that couples spend their last waking hours in front of the TV before bed. They’re too tired and cognitively depleted to do anything else.⁣

What can you do to take back control and connect? Prioritize your time.Don’t over obligate yourself and try to create white space so you have the energy to connect with your partner. An Alpha takes responsibility. An Alpha stays engaged. Make the time to Alpha up👊💪

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Alphas Know How to Love

Alphas Know How to Love

Alphas Know How to Love

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

There are many contributors out here in the manosphere. They preach messages about six-pack abs and the ability to use a bow and arrow and they portray images of themselves in front of their Lamborghini’s and jets. That’s not necessarily our brand of #masculinity.

An Alpha knows how to love.

First, he understands what love is. Mature love is a relentless pursuit of meeting the needs of those in his circle, including himself. It is not merely the passive feeling that one has in relation to the lover, the child, the friend. It is active effort toward meeting the needs of other people. Love is a verb and requires your self-affirming, yet selfless, actions.

Love is an understanding of himself. An Alpha knows who he is at the deepest level and is confident and secure in himself. He is unwavering in his acceptance of his distinguishable qualities and he appreciates who he already is and knows who he can become.

An Alpha understands the specific needs of those to whom he attempts to extend love. He knows how to speak their language. He knows how to forgive those who may not even be deserving of forgiveness. He understands that, above all, love is sacrifice.

Love is sacrificing the self. After understanding his own value, he appreciates and respects value in others. He knows how to make sacrifices and is willing to lay down his weapons against others and fulfill the needs of those in his tribe. When he has wronged another, he promptly admits it. He makes amends and seeks to show, after his genuinely appropriate rebukes, an increase of love.

Love is giving. He responsibly meets his own needs without taking away from the resources of time and energy that he might reasonably give away. He seeks out the downtrodden and brokenhearted and makes every possible effort to comfort the weak, the weary and even the wayward.

Alphas epitomize love in their attitudes, actions , and attributes. Who do you need to extend more love to: yourself, the most significant people around you, the stranger? Engage with a tribe of capable men so that you can learn how to love.

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Masculinity in Real Life: At the Local Skatin’ Rink

Masculinity in Real Life: At the Local Skatin’ Rink

Masculinity in Real Life: At the Local Skatin’ Rink

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

Ever since the special inaugural season of the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team ended just a few months ago, my four older boys have been quite obsessed with the sport. They’ve played football and soccer but lately have taken up to ice skating with hopes to play some hockey here soon.

 

Like many Saturday nights these days, I took them to the free skate at the Las Vegas Ice Center. It’s quite a deal! They have their own skates so it’s only $8 for two hours of skating. My older boys are 15, 13, 11, and 10. Even though none of them are very vocal about their interest in girls, I know they have interests. And on Friday and Saturday nights, they turn the lights down and put on the strobe lights and lasers and mirror ball.  Pretty sure that’s all part of their motivation to go.

Tonight it was particularly busy, so I didn’t get a lot of time to zero in on my boys because I kept losing them in the crowd. Maybe with winter and Christmas around the corner, people are feeling the vibe of ice skating. It didn’t used to be this busy.

So I had to just observe people in general, which is something I often enjoy doing anyway. I just find it relaxing to watch people and try to figure out their story and what may be going on in their life. Because my filter lately is kind of tinted with the newfound energy for helping men restore their masculinity, I watched the men and boys, just to check in and see what masculinity looks like at the local ice skating rink on a Saturday night.

Here are a few of the ALPHA things that I saw:

There were 6 year old boys that you can tell have been skating a long time. Maybe they have a Polish or Scandinavian last name. Their dads are probably extreme hockey fans, even former players. They zip around so fast that they create perceived-but-never-real danger for other people, snaking in front of the slower kids using the plastic walker-looking thing to skate behind. These little short little zipsters zooming around on their skates being little badasses going a hundred miles an hour were so impressive. It seems these boys felt so sure of themselves, proud of their abilities and they were living purely in the moment.

The teenagers were often bunched up in groups of three to an awkward five. Most of these guys were just following along. Listening to the others. Trying hard to look like they had important stuff going on with their phones. Texting instead of talking. Looking down instead of laughing. The ALPHA kids in this age were also speeding around; testing their hard stops. Learning new moves, sometimes alone. Laughing at each other, even when they fell. Helping people up. Going slow for their less-experienced friends. They all seemed to be pretty intentional about what they were wearing and how they looked. One kid had on some huge gloves. At first I thought he looked like a pansy who’s mom sent him with these gloves to keep his hands warm. They I saw his speed up and do all kinds of fancy moves. Those gloves were armor. He stood out. He got attention. But acted as if he didn’t even notice or care. Some kids were there in these tight jogger pants that I thought looked like the boy version of yoga pants. Other kids in jeans. Practical, warm, thicker. Some of these boys were obviously interested in the girls there, trying not to look foolish but laughing at themselves when they did. The ones who were smiling were talking to girls. Wonder which came first?

The older dudes. Most of these were dads. Some were there helping their children learn to skate. Others were there with their woman, skating around hand in hand…but slow; talking to each other, probably about important life decisions and where they stand at home. Some were there in the bleachers, waiting for their kids, hoping for a clear shot for another epic photo. They smiled at them and coached them when they came around to the entrance to take a break off the ice. Other dads were there helping the smallest of kids, maybe even 3 years old. They were feeding them. Buying the pizza slices and M&M’s for half time.

But part of me sees that every dude there was an ALPHA. Why? Because he showed up. He went there, having made a decision to do something instead of nothing. Strapping metal blades to his feet to move himself across ice. For fun. That’s pretty badass, if you ask me.

Take Home Points:

  • Practice until you’re fearless.
  • Mess up until you’re not afraid of it.
  • Be proud of your abilities.
  • Live purely in the moment.
  • Go fast.
  • Learn new moves.
  • Don’t be afraid to go it alone.
  • Help people when they fall.
  • Smile.
  • Look good.
  • Teach others.
  • Protect them.
  • Feed them.
  • Be their biggest fan.

Gentlemen, there are opportunities everywhere. Get up and put your damn pants on. Get out there. Even if your injured knees make you afraid like me, just go. Just go spend time with people in your life who DO want to go around and around in a circle listening to Coldplay and Drake. There’s an opportunity tomorrow and the next day and the one after that. Seize those moments, bro. Alpha up.

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The 3 Options You Have When You’re Angry

The 3 Options You Have When You’re Angry

The 3 Options You Have When You’re Angry

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men's Coach

THE 3 OPTIONS YOU HAVE WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY

As I have worked with people over the last 20 years in a coaching capacity, I have found that one very common issue underlies people’s pain, stagnation, worry and failures: anger.

I’m not talking about the kind of anger where you are throwing things around you too make people feel scared or relieve some intensifying arousal based on momentary hatred or rage. I’m talking about anger that you don’t even realize is anger.

The Freudians would say that depression is anger turned inward. I find that to be so true; low energy, sadness, feelings of worthlessness, and lack of motivation are often really just anger in disguise. Conversely, much of anger is merely a masking of sadness.

What gets us angry in the first place is often the unrealistic expectation that people must meet our demands. We don’t consciously march around with this kind of demand, it’s just an internal system of beliefs where we maintain that we must get our way. So we expect others meet our selfish demands and we demand that we are to be successful, respected, and given breaks.

So we become entitled and feel that things in life should fall into place just as we planned, and then when reality clashes with the fantasy of smooth simplicity, we get angry. The experience of anger is, again, not always the raging type that we think of when we talk about anger management classes and violence, but it can be passive in nature as well. How we feel anger is often in other forms, not just the classic fist banging, hollering and swearing we do when we lose control.

So what can we do when we’re angry about how something has happened, how we’ve been treated, something we have done ourselves, or the encounter of some other triggering event or adversity?

I love to use the acronym A. C. E. which which symbolizes the only three realistic options we have when we are angry.

  • A. is for adjust
  • C. is for complain
  • E. is for escape

ADJUST. Is something you are doing accidentally making the situation worse? Are your expectations unrealistic? Are you misinterpreting aspects of the situation? In general, adjusting or adapting is the only viable option with anger.

COMPLAIN. This is to confront the person or the issue with an explanation of why what is happening is not okay with you. So if someone is being rude, we can complain and tell them that they’re being rude and that we expect more appropriate interaction. What I have found, though, is that complaining or confronting people never really works. Those who would respect your complaint are usually so agreeable that they’re not causing you a problem in the first place.

That’s not always true, however. Sometimes people are unaware that their words or actions are offending you, and they just needed to be brought to the awareness of it in order to change it. But typically, complaining just doesn’t work. People either don’t care, or don’t want to make the changes necessary just to keep you happy.

ESCAPE. Sometimes the only option is to escape the situation or the relationship. For example, if you are in a public setting and become overly irritated or frustrated you have the ability to leave. Sometimes that’s all you can do. If you’re in a failing relationship and the other options haven’t worked after a long and diligent effort, escaping or leaving the relationship maybe your best response to what has been going on. If you are in the presence of fools who just don’t understand your vibe and you are becoming angry with theirs, you can always get away from them.

But many times, you cant escape. You need to stay at the job you hate because there are no other options. You have children and don’t want to be divorced. You are on a vacation and cant exactly leave the company you’re in for 10 days. Here’s where you go back to the other options.

Can you Complain? Will that work? No? Already tried that?

Now you’re back to adjusting YOURSELF. What this means is to take a look and see if anything you are doing is accidentally making it worse. Are your expectations unrealistic or selfish? Are you interpreting things to mean something they don’t? Chances are, maybe both of those are true.  Alpha up👊💪

When You Should Never Say “I Don’t Know”

When You Should Never Say “I Don’t Know”

When You Should Never Say “I Don’t Know”

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men’s Coach

BRAD SINGLETARY, LCSW

Founder, Producer, Host, Men’s Coach

It happened again today–twice–by two different people.

There is no more counterfeit humility known to man than the use of the easy-out reply “I don’t know” when asked for an opinion.  Two men did this today in my office and it put the nail in the coffin for me for my theory that this is one of the most likely of indicators that a man has become weak and lazy.

In the first incident, it was a man of maturity.  A former engineering professional who is struggling in his marriage after impulsively quitting a career of 35 years due to a new female manager’s bossy ways. This reactive move put he and his lady in a bad spot, first financially and now emotionally

This man is a former soldier who had spent time abroad serving in the United States military. He had been an avid runner, even completing marathons, I believe.  Today, the flashing red warning-light buzzing about my office was his frequent use of the escape-artists most elementary tool:  “I don’t know.”

When we are asked about matters of fact or of information that we simply do not have, the best and most honest answer may indeed be an admission of innocent ignorance.  I’m not talking about never being able to admit your lack of knowledge on a subject.  I’m talking about your opinions.

In this case, his wife asked, “what can I do to be more supportive?”

Maybe that’s a tough question.  Maybe that requires some contemplation and brainstorming. I triangulated the dialogue by suggesting he instead say, “let me think about that one, Babe.  I need a minute to just work on that question.”  That’s a pause button on the football game while you go take a piss, instead of abandoning the whole televised 4K event.

Give yourself a minute, dude.  It’s normal to need to think for a moment. Or a day. Or a week.  But to follow a request for an opinion with I don’t know is just pure and simple indolence.

The other fellow that did this today was a teenager.  He was nervous about being in a therapists office and wasn’t sure what it was all about since his mother brought him in without much explanation about this encounter with me.  But he had been playing a particular musical instrument for 5 years and when I asked what his favorite musician was, he did it, too.  SMH.

Really, bro?  You’re in an advanced performing group with this specialized instrument you play and eat, sleep, and breathe this thing and you can’t tell a fat, bald stranger your favorite artist?  He really froze up!  Surely for him, there is some anxiety or some other deeper issue going on that we will address as part of our work together.  But this is an everyday deal for me as I coach and counsel men and young men in all kinds of situations, seeking help for a wide variety of difficulties.

The principle I am trying to teach here is that of discernment.  We must decide.  Perhaps ALL of our thinking is judgement in which we must figure out between options.

  • Am I too close to this car in front of me?
  • What time do I need to start getting ready to be on time?
  • What is the most appropriate thing to wear to this important interview?
  • What do I want for lunch?
  • What can my wife do to help me?
  • What is my favorite _______________________?

 

Discernment is one of the Red-9:  the nine attributes of an Alpha.  That characteristic means many things and part of that is to “have my own opinions and assertively express them, even if they are unpopular.”

Sometimes you won’t know.  Sometimes you need more information.  Sometimes it isn’t convenient to discuss.  Sometimes you don’t want to cast your pearls before swine.  Sometimes, you’re being a chicken shit and you need to decisively figure out your opinion and express it.  To me, that is one mark of a strong man: he can easily express his opinion on a variety of topics, especially of ordinary, every day matters that he won’t first need to do a book report on.

Carry on, brothers. Try to never say you don’t know.  Go get your Alpha game on.