Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Great Man Within

Aug 24, 2020


“From a very early age, men learn that performance is the only thing that matters.”

– Dr. Michael Addis


So what happens to a man’s inner world when he isn’t performing?


As it turns out, it’s quite a bit of a mystery…not only to the outside world, but to the man himself.


Living a life where performance is the only metric, it doesn’t leave a lot of space for inner exploration, developing emotional fluency or going deep with other men about their inner lives.


Living a life this way leads to a variety of maladies, like:

  • Chronic anxiety (both low and high grade)
  • Depression
  • Numbed out existence
  • Compulsive or addictive behaviors
  • Feeling isolated, alone or not understood
  • Or at the very least, feeling confused about why your life doesn’t feel better


Fellas, we’ve all experienced some form of what I just mentioned…but even when we recognize it, we typically keep on plowing ahead…on our own…living that life of quiet desperation…until something breaks so badly that we’re forced to do something about it.


But if you’re waiting for a calamity to hit you before taking meaningful action in your life, then how in command of your life are you really?


Today’s conversation is about making the space to speak about the unspoken realities of men’s inner worlds…


…so we can live powerful lives of our own design, on purpose and with other men doing the same.  


Our guide for the discussion today is Dr. Michael Addis.


Who is Dr. Addis?

  • Addis is a Professor of Psychology at Clark University where’s he’s been teaching a course in mental health for over 20 years
  • His research focuses on men’s mental health, specifically the way men experience, express and respond to problems in their lives…as well as how men define and relate to the concept of masculinity
  • He’s a multiple time author, with books such as Invisible Men: Men’s Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silence and The Psychology of Men in Context
  • He’s also a coach to men who want to optimize their inner worlds, and I’ve linked his email in the show notes


In this Episode

  • Why most men really do want to talk about their inner worlds…but the conditions for doing so need to be right (and how to create those conditions)
  • Why masculinity is not something inherent or born with, rather it’s become this performance – a series of actions men take to protect and maintain their man card
  • Why the larger the group of men, the more likely “masculinity as a performance” will emerge between men
  • How to look out for “Masculinity Traps” – which are those places where men going into performance, jockeying and competition
  • The two most dangerous words that can leave a man’s mouth when you ask him how he’s doing
  • Two options Dr Addis proposes to reclaim and define what masculinity means to you



Resources Referenced by Dr. Addis

The Mask You Live In Documentary

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies:

Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders:



Contact Dr. Addis for Personal Coaching