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self-regulation

September 21, 2023

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greetings,

thanks for being here. 

here’s my take: lots of men struggle with self-regulation. 

it’s a common issue that has a significant impact on the lives of men, especially as it relates to receiving feedback and managing conflict.

an inability to regulate oneself has implications for all aspects of life (e.g. work, health) but i’ll focus today on the place where it hurts the most, relationships.

typically, when faced with criticism or conflict, men react in one of three ways:

  • blow up
  • shut down
  • make the situation about them

all three make the situation worse.

what’s your go-to?

an alternative: self-regulation

self-regulation is a fundamental component of resiliency and the alternative to the common reactions listed above. 

ideally we learn the skill of self-regulation early in childhood, but for various reasons, many of us miss that window. 

which means you may need to learn it now.

SELF-REGULATION IS A SKILL 

as such, you can practice, learn and achieve proficiency at regulating yourself under any conditions. 

developing self-regulation

three practices

  1. mindfulness: this is all about being present. instead of getting caught up in external events, turn your attention inward. specifically, monitor your body and then gradually become aware of your emotions. practice being present with your moment-to-moment experience – start with less intense experiences. 
  2. cognitive reframing: a fancy way of saying you can see the situation differently. for example, remind yourself that your partner has had a tough day or that it’s not really about you. or reframe the situation as an opportunity to practice self-regulation!
  3. remember your values: ask yourself what’s important to you and let that be your anchor in moments of challenge. would you rather be right or have a healthy, productive relationship? get clear on the kind of man you want to be and how you want to show up in your relationships. focus on what truly matters so you “stay out of the weeds” of the situation.

why?

people who master this skill tend to have better self-esteem, more confidence, greater flexibility, and increased resilience. they can persist through difficulties, leading to a better quality of life and increased happiness.

TAKEAWAY: self-regulation is a fundamental skill for effectively navigating life and relationships – and one you should be actively developing. 

stay on it. 

donald

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