Recently, I was interviewed on the online publication Urbasm by Dr. Eric J. Leech. What follows is the interview! We discussed being a gentleman in the world.
Do you know what it means to be a gentleman right now? If we stumped you with that question, you are not alone. In fact, a lot of guys aren’t sure how to be a gentleman; but today we’d like to give you a different possibility.
Urbasm: Dr. Heer, we understand that every generation of man grows up a little different than the one before, which leaves him with a slightly different set of difficulties to overcome. What do you think today’s man is missing more than anything?
Dr. Dain Heer: A sense of what it is to be a man. There are so many men that are having an identity crisis. They know that the idea of the ‘macho man’ or ‘alpha male’ is outdated; but they don’t see anything else that actually matches what they know should exist and what they know is possible. I’d also call it a ‘masculinity crisis’ because we’re exposed to these outdated modes of physical prowess and strength, but today’s man knows there’s more available. There is an emotional side that they desire to express, but they don’t believe they have the freedom to do so. There is a sensitive side they’d like to express, but they also don’t think they have the freedom to express that. And if men are sensitive and aware and kind, there aren’t really many role models out there showing them that they can be all of those things.
Urbasm: What are the signs that a man is not being his authentic self?
Dr. Heer: Unhappiness, a sense of insecurity, low libido, a desire to withdraw and not engage with others socially and a constant state of self-judgment.
Urbasm: One way around insecurity is to play the part of a better man. Is there any real harm when a man chooses to play ‘the role’ of someone more successful, attractive, charismatic, and funnier than he thinks he really is?
Dr. Heer: Any time you function from a lie, it erodes your connection with yourself, your gratitude to yourself and your sense of joy. Any time you create a lie, you have to contract to not to let that lie be exposed. It also creates a limitation in your money flows and in the people that are willing to be around you – including friendships and relationships. Living a lie is one of the greatest disfavors we can do to ourselves.
It is really about the erosion of self that occurs when you pretend to be something you’re not, rather than being willing to be seen exactly as you are, flaws and all. Lying also sets up false projections and expectations of what we’re supposed to be; and when you can’t fulfill or live up to those, it erodes our self-confidence and gratitude for ourselves. If you’re creating this false image to be something for someone else that you’re actually not, then they’re going to interact with you based on that false image; and eventually, it’ll cave in.
You can’t maintain a lie indefinitely. The level of peace that occurs when someone is willing to just be who they are. That’s more attractive than anyone trying to pretend that they’re something they’re not.
Urbasm: And there is one more important thing that we’d like to know from you. What are the three most important things that every man should know, according to your research, in order to be better men and gentlemen?
Dr. Heer: You’re not wrong for being a man. Be willing to be as different as you are. You can be and have it all. You don’t have to be the doormat or the arse-hole that dominates everyone. You can have the potency and sexuality of a man and also have caring and nurturing qualities.
Be authentic. And be you.
P.S. For the full article with Urbasm, please visit here.
P.S.S. And for more of this discussion and tools, please visit my “Return of the Gentleman” page here.