“No thanks, I’ve got it…”
This has been a common phrase for me to say to men when they offer to help me…with anything.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
“Can I help you get your luggage from the overhead bin?”
These two questions are probably the most common that I’ve said no to. And the truth is, I’ve always been terribly afraid of two things if I welcome support from a man who isn’t my boyfriend (or my dad):
- I’m too “weak” to do it on my own.
- I’ll have to give them something in return.
Do either of these fears pop up for you when you are offered help from a man?
The thing is, accepting support from men is VITAL to your self-care.
Let me say it again: receiving the support of men in your life is absolutely necessary if you want to achieve optimal self-care.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t really believe this until just recently.
All of the sudden, men have started showing up for me – without wanting anything in return.
Male friends have reached out to have lunch with me – and brought tears to my eyes with the complimentary things they have said to me, reassuring me of my amazingness.
Male co-workers have gone out of their way at work to ask how I am and offer an ear if I need someone to listen.
Groups of male friends have gotten really defensive and protective of me (this cracks me up, but in its own way, it IS support).
During each of these moments of support my heart softened.
All of these men listened. They showed they cared.
I got to receive non-romantic, non-fatherly, masculine support and it felt damn good.
My “I can do it all by myself” attitude shifted to “It feels really good to have a few guys over on my side of the world.”
Can you think of a few times when you denied masculine support because you were afraid what might be expected of you?
Hang on to that question for a minute as I tell you another story. Beware…you might think I’m a little crazy, or too trusting…
I was on my way to Prague for another solo-travel adventure. On my 10 hour 30 minute flight from Las Vegas to Frankfurt, I sat next to Jerry. A middle-aged guy who is originally from Prague and flies back and forth from Vegas to the Czech Republic to do business in the luxury car industry (we’re talking Ferraris, Porches, BMWs and Mercedes). I learned a ton of things from Jerry about Prague and the Czech Republic in general, but the lesson he taught me that really stuck was how to accept the support of a male…who I just met!
We chatted for four hours on the plane, then discovered we were both on the same flight from Frankfurt to Prague, which meant we had a 4 hour 30 minute layover. During this time, he insisted on carrying my bag (which was really heavy), paying for my cappuccino, beer and soup, and then offered for me to get a ride to my hotel once we arrived in Prague with the person who was picking him up.
Call me crazy, but I trust my intuition (something I’ve really developed over time), and for whatever reason I just knew hangin’ with Jerry would be good for me.
Now, I’m not insinuating that every woman travelling alone should just pair up with the first guy who offers to “help” her. We’ve gotta be smart as women. We are much more vulnerable when travelling alone. But Jerry had a lesson for me and I knew it.
I received so much support from Jerry. I didn’t have to carry my heavy luggage. I didn’t have to think about where my next gate was to go from Frankfurt to Prague (something that is always stressful for me in a foreign country airport). I didn’t even have to worry about getting money from the ATM at the airport in Prague so I could pay the cab driver to take me to my hotel (I had read there are some shady cabbies there).
Of course I could have done all of these things. I would have figured it all out just fine. But Jerry’s masculine support = less travel stress.
Hello super self-care!!!
And, as an added bonus, towards the end of my Prague trip, Jerry and his friend took me to a really cool 500 year old bar and then to karaoke (they only sing American songs- hilarious!) for a really fun night! I hadn’t had that much silly fun in a longgggg time. Plus, the entire time I never felt like my space was being invaded or they wanted a romantic relationship from me. They were just cool, supportive and fun guys who genuinely wanted me to experience their city.
So, let’s circle back to my original question.
3 questions to see how masculine support can support your self-care
Can you think of a time when you denied masculine support because you were afraid what might be expected of you?
Is it possible that your self-care suffered as a result?
And, if you would have accepted the masculine support, what would have changed?
I know it can feel scary, overwhelming, inconvenient, complicated, and a myriad of other things to accept masculine support.
But, as you can see from my story, it’s an opportunity for growth for us as women seeking self care success.
Masculine support is vital. It helps put us at ease and makes our lives just a teeny weeny bit easier – or in cases like my 18 hours of travel to Prague – a whole heckuva lot easier.
If you’re curious how to accept more masculine support into your life to elevate your self care success to a whole new level, here are my top tips.
5 Tips to Receive Masculine Support
- Stop assuming you’re the shit and everyone wants a piece of you. Yep, I’m calling myself out. Inevitably when I assumed the male in question couldn’t possibly “just” want to be friends, my assumption turned true and he took a romantic interest in me. When you stop assuming every dude is interested in a relationship with you, you open the possibility for platonic support and friendship.
- If he wants to help, let him. As I mentioned, I can’t tell you how many times I kyboshed the offering of guys to help me lift something, pay for something or handle something. It doesn’t mean that you are weak if you accept. It means that you are willing to receive. And that’s a beautiful thing as a woman.
- Resist the urge to play tit-for-tat. Open yourself up to receive support from male friends without judging what it “means.” So what, he bought you dinner? So what, he opened your door? That doesn’t mean you have to provide anything in return. Great male friends will do that for their gal friends because that’s just who they are. And sure, you’d be an awesome gal pal to buy him dinner next time.
- Just be yourself. I’m talking the wacky, fun, moody, sexy, silly, driven, expressive, smart gal you are. Don’t hide any of it. Subconsciously, this will allow you to relax and establish the friend vibes.
- Embody boundaries. Look ladies- you can talk about your boundaries all day long, but men won’t hear the words if you aren’t communicating them through your body language. Get clear on what you’d like from this friendship and avoid the mixed signals.
In Legit Love,
Lifestyle & Wellness Coach for Busy Bold Women
Share with me in the comments your tips for receiving masculine support…
I’d love to hear your answer in the comment box below! Just login to your Facebook account. Easy-peasy. This is a safe place to share (no judgments).
Love it? Like it. Share it! Thank you so much!…