For several weeks now, we’ve been bringing you fresh episodes of The Man Rules, a podcast about supporting men through their successes and struggles. What do you think so far? Here’s a quick recap of the core issues we’ve been exploring.
There is no doubt that social expectations for men have changed dramatically in the last few decades. But, guidance for men on how they can meet those expectations has not kept pace with the changes.
The mantra of The Man Rules podcast is, “Don’t let The Rules rule you.” Show up however you want in your life, but do it consciously. Do it because it is reflective of who you want to be. Not because of the lie that says, “This is just how men are.”
RECAP: What are The Man Rules?
The Man Rules are the ideas, behaviors, and expectations that make up our ideas on what it means to be a real man. These ideas come from many different sources and can often be contradictory. They can also be confusing.
In fact, the dominant mental state that most men find themselves in today is one of confusion. Whether you are 16 years old or 60 years old these are disorienting—but also amazing and exciting—times we live in. There have never been more possibilities for who we can be in this world.
One of the biggest challenges men have to face before they can embrace these new possibilities lies in seeing how The Man Rules are so deeply ingrained in our lives. They rule us and shape our behavior in dozens of imperceptible ways.
As boys, we were not given choices when it came to The Man Rules. Nobody sat us down with the list of Man Rules and asked us which ones we wanted to follow, which ones caused us pain, and which ones brought us joy. No one explained that The Man Rules may actually appear to serve us well at times and to severely fail us at other times.
After years of having conversations with men and hearing the pain that following these rules has had on their lives and in their relationships, it is clear that we must learn how to see The Rules for what they are and how to choose, moment by moment, to be the men we want to be.
I have dedicated my work and life to exploring and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century. I am dedicated to helping men be better men by helping them to see the impact of The Man Rules on their lives. I want men to find the success, satisfaction, and personal fulfillment they long for in their personal and professional lives.
My last book, A Man’s Way through Relationships, was the first book written specifically to help men create healthy relationships while navigating the challenges of the “Man Rules™. As important as relationships are to all of us and despite how much the expectations for men in relationships — as fathers and partners, especially — have changed, there is still surprisingly little enlightened and compassionate advice available to help us navigate this new territory successfully. THAT is what The Man Rules podcast is all about.
Each week, I will be sharing my own journey toward being the best man, father, partner, and friend I can be. I call it “conscious masculinity.” I will invite guests on the show to have provocative, deep, and vulnerable conversations about life and love.
I believe that vulnerability is the key that allows men to free themselves from the bondage of The Man Rules. The Catch-22, of course, is that one of the most powerful Man Rules tells us that real men are not vulnerable. And THAT is the rub! I will do my best to model vulnerability by using my own life as an example of a conscious journey of success and failure.
I have been married for 13 years. I have a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter. I am in long-term recovery from addiction with over20 years on that amazing journey of healing and self-care. I have a more amazing life than I could have ever imagined. Or deserve.
I know I am blessed. And, yet, on a daily basis, I fail to be the father I want to be. I fail to be the partner I deeply desire to be. I fail to simply be the man in my community and in the world that I feel called to be.
As best as I can, I embrace that failure. Not perfectly by any means. I always say it is not about doing it perfectly, it is about doing it consciously. I know that the power of The Man Rules and the power they have had over my life are the biggest barrier to my finding the true happiness, peace, and love that everyone wants.
One day at a time, with the incredible support of amazing men and women in my life, I grow closer to being the man I truly believe I am meant to be. As the saying goes, I may not always be the best man I can be, but I far from the man I was. That is the journey I will share on this podcast.
The Man Rules podcast is about men having really honest conversations about being men in today’s society. There are no right answers. Your anger is as welcome as your joy and humor. It is a privilege to do this work. It is a passion of mine to help men and women have the tough conversations. I hope you will join me on this journey and share your own journey with me. Let’s show the world just how amazing men are.
Where to Listen to The Man Rules Podcast
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About The Host, Dan Griffin
Dan Griffin, M.A., is an internationally recognized author, thought leader, and expert on men’s relationships and masculinity. His work and life is dedicated to exploring and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Dan is dedicated to helping men be better men by understanding the impact of the Man Rules on their lives and finding the success in their personal lives they are striving for in the professional lives. His professional background includes over two decades in the mental health and addictions field. Dan earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Kansas where his graduate work was the first qualitative study centered on the social construction of masculinity in the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dan grew up in the DC area and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Nancy, and his daughter, Grace, and has been in long-term recovery from addiction since he graduated college in May of 1994.