Do you know what it means to be a man right now? What about a gentleman? 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 nudge (more like a full-on shove) in the right direction.
A lot of things have changed since the sealing of the Magna Carta, the War of the Roses, Battle of Waterloo, the invention of the world wide web, and release of the iPhone XR (yeah, we’re kind of joking about that last one). Being a man is a lot different than it has ever been, and being a gentleman has become even more complex. Even more complex than the age of knights, maidens, and uncompromised chivalry. We’d even go as far to say that most guys are having a
First of all, you’ve got those vibes telling you to be macho. Second, you’ve got those other ones reminding you to be sensitive. And since too much sensitivity leads to all night cry-a-thons at Superbowl parties, and too much alpha leads to jail time for punching those sensitive guys in their pouty faces – a man has got to understand where to find the middle road.
And this is where we’d like to introduce Dr. Dain Heer. This is a man who has struggled with the same questions that every man has, and has come up with a solid foundation and understanding of what it is like to become the man you’ve always wanted to be. And he has put all this information into his new book, Return of the Gentleman.
And you shouldn’t have to look too deep to find this man, because he’s been with you all along. Allow us to see if Dr. Heer can help you call him out.
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 They know that the idea of the ‘macho man’ or ‘alpha male’ is outdated, but they don’t see anything else that actually matches what they know should exist and what they know is possible. I’d also call it a masculinity crisis, because we’re exposed to these outdated modes of physical prowess and strength, but today’s man knows there’s more available.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 want to be and 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.
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
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
Dr. Dain: I wouldn’t say today’s man is too sensitive, but that they don’t believe they have the freedom to be sensitive without
Dr. Dain: Being himself. Allowing him to know that whoever he is, right now, has value as it is and to stop comparing himself to other people. People are attracted to confidence and confidence is not arrogance. Confidence is an awareness of yourself and a knowing that you don’t have to hide any part of you. It doesn’t mean you have to air your dirty laundry to people, but it does mean that you don’t have to hide any part of you
. Who is somebody we might all recognize that is an example of an “as close to perfect” gentleman as a man can get?
Dr. Heer: Hugh Jackman seems to be a great example of that from what I know of him. He is in a sense a constant gentleman – he can wear a t-shirt and wear it elegantly, he cares for his wife and family, he does not look to make himself greater than other people but looks to support other people and contribute to others. I think he’s a great example.
Urbasm: What do you think is the biggest reason men fail at attracting women?
Dr Heer: They’re not being themselves. Women can spot somebody who’s creating a fake image a mile away. Men are constantly trying to make up for the damage other men have done to women, that they try and be someone they’re not, and try and be what they think women want.
Dr. Heer: I think you can meet authentic women anywhere, but you have to be willing to be authentic yourself. You could meet them in a coffee shop, or a store, or a gym. You could meet them at a
Urbasm: After all the research and soul-searching that went into your book, is there anything that still remains a mystery to you when it comes to what it means to be a gentleman?
Dr. Heer: It’s an ongoing exploration for me and there are so many aspects of it that I keep being presented with because I’m still in this exploration. Writing the book for me was not a conclusion, it was the beginning of a conversation that is continuously evolving. I’m really grateful for questions like this because it’s part of what allows the conversation to evolve. In having conversations with many men and women, as a result of this book, I’m getting so much awareness. Other people gift me with awareness of what they’ve learned about being a gentleman or what they’ve learned that is not a gentleman. So, it’s an ongoing creation and exploration.
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 (SNAG) or the arse-hole that dominates everyone. You can have the potency and sexuality of a man and also have caring and nurturing qualities.