Radio Advice Giver Says Being Too Nice is One of the Biggest Mistakes Men Make
Where are all the male relationship advice talk show hosts? They just don't exist.
Dr. Laura and Dr. Joy Browne have been around a long time and do a great job. But where are the men? They are a "no show." So it looks like I'm the man.
That's why I am writing my new book about the 10 Biggest Mistakes Men Make. No one else can write it. They just don't have the insight or the love.
I know what some of you are going to say - there are many men relationship counselors on Christian radio. You are right, but I'm talking about mainstream secular radio. Besides, well known Christian family and relationship counselors are, in my opinion, very wimpy.
They don't understand what women and the kids really need from a man.
They think the man has to be nicer. And if he is nicer, then everything will be fine. So you often see men trying to be nicer by bringing flowers, helping her vacuum, doing the dishes, and telling her how much they love her with little love notes on the refrigerator.
Meanwhile the family still suffers, and he scratches his head and never figures it out.
I'm not going to give away the contents of the book. But I will give you one hint.
Men - most of the time "nice" means weak. A woman-worshiping male who wants something from his girl friend will tip toe around and be very nice so he can get what he wants.
A guilty husband, who had lunch with someone at the office or who is smoking behind his wife's back, will act very nice. The husband who leaves his wife in charge of everything, including the kids' education, is nice.
A man whose wife or kids feel he is not there for them and who then goes to some counselor or marriage mentor where he is told to be nicer, more considerate and thoughtful - will try to please them and will fail.
These are weak men and their partners know it.
Of course, the seeming opposite - being mean, dictatorial or angry - is even worse. Both extremes are error.
What I am trying to convey is that there is a middle ground. Neither wimpy on the one hand, nor angry on the other. I'm not talking about being distant or uninvolved, letting the wife run everything. I'm not talking about being bland. I'm definitely not talking about being inconsistent, vacillating, or mercurial--or cruel one mind and kind the next.
I'm talking about firm but fair. The expression tough love comes to mind. Firm but not angry and kind but not weak. Perhaps you men can see that you do not know how to stand for something without being angry. You don't know how to be nice without being weak. You are always going to extremes.
Your family needs something from you, but you don't know what it is. What they need to see is agape love -emotionless love. You cannot find this type of special love in a book, or from counselors or experts. It comes from within. It cannot be taught, you have to reach within and find it.
You may have seen something analogous in sports. Certain players have an extra gear. They rise to the occasion. They are best at the end of the game. You must find something similar, but in the case of your family, it is a deep love that makes you stand for what is right, even if you become unpopular. It means knowing what is really good for another (not what they are asking for), and having the courage to do the right thing. Because your words and actions are based in love, a love within that is not dependent on the approval and support of others, your actions spring from faith and love. That is why you can be firm and principled without anger. Get it?
Remember John Wayne? Remember Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind? Remember Gary Cooper in High Noon? They portrayed men who had character. They stood for something. They were firm, but they also had a tender side. They loved principle more than anything.
They loved principle more than their wife (but their wives felt secure because she knew he could be trusted and would never fail her). They were not people pleasers.
Have you ever seen Miracle on 34th Street (the original version, the one with Natalie Wood)? If you have not seen it, you definitely should. The movie is about a man who played Santa Claus in the Macy's Parade and in the department store. In this story, he not only plays Santa Claus; he really is Santa Claus. The plot revolves around a little girl and her mom who are cynical and don't believe in Santa. But as time passes, they both come to love this kind man and eventually discover his true identity. Santa calls himself Kris Kringle. He is portrayed as kind, tenderhearted, concerned, and full of love. But he is not wimpy.
At one point he becomes very firm with an incompetent personnel department psychologist and gives him a piece of his mind in no uncertain terms. In other words, Kris Kringle is a principled, honorable, kind man, who stands for what was right. He stands for principle and speaks his mind with firmness, but not with anger. He always has a twinkle in his eye.
We all need to see this kind of strength: someone standing for principle but without anger. Husbands and dads - your family needs to see this in you.
Men - stand for something. Learn to be honorable and principled, without anger or resentment. Be a man and love principle. Then your wife and kids will have something to respect.
If you are a people pleaser and too nice, they may like you (they like like having their way with you), but they won't respect you.
If you are angry or violent - no wonder they hate you. They may fear you, but there is no love, and there can be no true respect either. Anger and violence are wrong, and others secretly judge and hate you for your wrong. Anger and violence are also weakness. Anger taints anything you say. Even though your message may be right, the anger ruins it and tempts others to reject it and rebel.
Many men, on the other hand, are not violent or angry. They are decent. They do say the right things, but they say them too weakly. They are afraid of offending. Thus their family is tempted to walk all over them and to be contemptuous. Sensing that your weakness is tempting them, they will also resent you.
If you are a decent guy and are home every evening; If you don't drink, take drugs, cheat, smoke marijuana, gamble, use bad words or get violent - then you have gotten to first base and there is hope for you. You just need to find that missing something--which the movie heroes I mentioned had.
You find it within when you realize that you don't have it. You see your family needing you to be their hero. You have discovered that just earning money and being home every night, as good as those things are, somehow are not enough. You have discovered that anger does not work. You are also finding out that being a weak people pleaser does not work either.
You also know that compensations--money, big muscles, intellect, being accomplished in business or sports, or even being an important person at church--do not make up for what is lacking inside.
You see your lack, and you yearn with all your heart to be the man your family needs.
This is the attitude, if it is sincere, that will set the stage for your beginning to find the inner character and self motivation that you need. When your family sees this in you, they will respond to it with hope.
Remember - be like Kris Kringle. Always have a twinkle in your eye.