Inquiry: Not masculine enough / masculinity means….


Here is a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet my current inquiry partner wrote about me.

  1. I am frustrated with you because you are less cool than I expected you to be. And that means: You won’t be able to support me like a strong man. You are sensitive. It will be all about you.

  2. I won’t get enough for myself.

  3. I want you to do more easygoing chitchat with me. I want you to be a different person. I want you to resemble your picture.

  4. You should stop taking The Work so seriously. You should lean back and relax.

  5. I need you to be funny. I need you to be light-hearted. I need you to adore me as a woman.

  6. You are not cool, too soft, overly gentle, not directive enough, not masculine enough.

  7. I don’t ever want to experience you as not cool, again.

It fits my own thoughts. And I also have a justification for it: It’s because of the chronic fatigue. I have gone through a dark night of the soul, a transformation of the will. It’s because I’ve been flattened by this. There is a cultural difference. (Men in Norway are less caught up in traditional beliefs about masculinity.) It’s because I have beliefs about robustness, masculinity, power. (I have fearful thoughts about it, so don’t allow it in myself as much as I could. I hold it back.)

Some beliefs I found in the follow up:

I want you to see me as a whole person. I don’t want to be (too strongly/exclusively) identified with this. I want you to understand it’s temporary, and that there is more to me.

Some of my own beliefs and statements for inquiry:

If I am strong (powerful), what I fear the most is…. People will be afraid of me. People won’t like me. I will scare people. I will misuse my power. People will get hurt.

If I am robust, what I fear the most is…. I will miss out. I will be half a person. I won’t be a whole person. I won’t grow. I won’t find empathy for others. I will be arrogant. I will be blind to what’s going on for others.

If I am masculine, what I fear the most is…. People will get hurt. People will get scared. I will misuse my power. I will overlook something important. I will be half a person. I won’t learn from weakness. I won’t understand others. I won’t be able to empathize.

If I don’t dive into my weakness, what I am most afraid would happen is…. I will miss out of something important. I will be half a person. I won’t grow. I won’t understand others. I won’t find empathy for others.

Masculinity means…. Being distant. Uncaring. Strong. Protection. Silent. Brutal. Insensitive. Feared by others. Judged by others. Embracing what’s given, biology. Protecting others. Standing up for what’s right. Standing upright. Embracing all of me. Being deeply honest. Being clear. Embracing the masculine and feminine. Being a full human being. Embracing strength and vulnerability.

Power means….. Abuse of power. Crushing. Protection. Feared by others. Isolation. Misjudging use of my power. Inadvertent abuse of power. Ability to get things done. Ability to protect others. Resilience. Steering a situation in a more life-affirming direction. Protecting life. Being honest. Being clear. Standing upright. Embracing all of me, being a full human being.

Strength means…. Isolation. Power. Harm. Harm of the less strong. Judgment from others. Met by fear from others. Standing upright. Resiliency. Ability to bounce back. Ability to handle difficulties and come through stronger. Embracing all of me.

Robustness means…. Insensitivity. Pushing away weakness. Pretending to be half a person. Isolation. Others wanting to keep me at a distance. Stability. Power. More self-reliant. Resilience. Going through difficulties and coming out stronger. Embracing the whole of me and life.

Being directive means…. I will override others. I will be insensitive to others. They will resent me. They will see me as egotistical. They will see me as self-absorbed. They will keep their distance from me. I will be isolated. I will be misunderstood. More likely to get what I want. Being more efficient. Less confusion. Fewer misunderstandings. Cutting through confusion and misunderstandings. Being clear. Being seen more clearly by others.

I am too sensitive. I am weak. I am not robust enough. I am not strong enough. I am not masculine enough.

People judge me for not being strong (masculine, robust) enough, and that means…. I will be alone. I will be isolated. I will be miserable. I will get caught in the identities created by how they see me.


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