1. Don’t groom a man in public like a schoolboy. Grooming behaviors need to be kept private. This means pluck the wild eyebrow hair at home.
2. Don’t criticize a man’s failings in front of others. Saying something like, “When he finally got around to fixing the drawer, he did it wrong, and now it still doesn’t work.” It announces all his weaknesses. This makes our protector vulnerable and depletes his energy. Complaints need to be gentle and in private.
3. Don’t shame a man for being selfish. Men are designed to have a strong relationship to getting what they need. This quality has allowed men to survive and procreate. For example, this may look like watching football on the couch Sunday afternoon. Decompressing stress may look like he “isn’t doing anything.” What we can do instead is to share what we need and make a deal so we both can win.
4. Don’t kick him while he is down. Saying, “I told you so” is not helpful (even though it may feel good at the time to remind him that you were right). Men respond to encouragement and our belief that he can be successful. Complaining and nagging deplete motivation to get up and try harder. Be his cheerleader instead…that means get out the pom-poms and chant some positive affirmations.
5. Don’t ask his opinion unless we really care about his answer. Men have strong relationships to their opinions. When we ask for their opinion and dismiss it, we are devaluing all the energy he invested into assessing the pros and cons that lead to his answer. I have witnessed a wife do the flamingo by asking her husband which shoe looks best with her outfit. She held up one leg so he could see option #1, then switched, to show him option #2. He assessed the outfit and options. He decided option #1 was best. The wife dismissed his answer and went with option #2. The wife unknowingly disrespected the amount of mental energy her husband invested into helping her.
6. Don’t insist on helping unless it is requested. Our good intentions can highlight his incompetence. This does not make him feel strong and motivated. My husband has learned to say, “I don’t need your help fixing this problem.” Oh. It is his gentle way to express I have over-stepped and need to put my pink toolbox away. He’s got this.
We may not even realize how we inadvertently emasculate men’s power by the small actions that drain his energy or flippant comments that make him shut down. Another move forward on the pursuit of “Returning His Balls.”
Start reading Returning His Balls series from the beginning (here).
“Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women” free content by Alison Armstrong (website)
“Top 10: Things Women Do To Emasculate Men. The Things Women Do To Emasculate Men” article by Brett Cassidy at au.askmen.com
“How Society Emasculates Men And How To Stop It Happening To You” article by Badass Young Men.
“Top Easiest Ways to Emasculate a Dude (And Rule the World)” blog by Tracy Moore from jezebel.com.
“The Incompetent Idiot Who Is The Modern Emasculated Man” blog by Aggie Catholics (video commercial examples)
“Why Men Feel Emasculated – The 3 Big Reasons” blog by lovepanky.com
“Does Your Husband Feel Emasculated?” blog by YOURTANGO EXPERTS
“32 Facts That Show How Men Are Being Systematically Emasculated In America Today” article by Michael Snyder