In the book, The Friendless American Male, David Smith says, "Women seem to have a monopoly on meaningful, intimate relationships . . . Men have friendships which relate to work or play, but seldom go beyond the surface." Smith is saying that men are buddies, but are not deep friends. They are with each other, but they do not share their inner selves with each other. They play together, but then do not expose their personal problems to one another. They share problems outside of themselves, but not themselves.
One of the reasons that American males may not share themselves with anyone is that they are competitive. For example, on a football team each player is ranked in his respective position. The same is true in an orchestra where there is a first seat violin and second seat violin. Business constantly rates people by success, dollars, or growth.
But friendship demands vulnerability, sharing, and openness--the very opposite of competition. Men are trained to be competitive, not friends.
Another problem for men is that they are political in their relationships. They think, "What can this person do for me?" or "How can I help that person get ahead so that later he will help me?" Men are great team players. They help others and count on others to help them. But they have not learned to give themselves in love or to receive love. Their relationships consist of bartering, or trading, rather than vulnerability and openness.
Conway / Farrel Articles ~ Reprint by permission only, ©2011
Midlife Dimensions ~ www.Midlife.com
The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors.
Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.