Have you ever wished you could look into your guy’s head and see what he’s thinking?
What does he worry about? What does he think of your relationship? Why doesn’t he tell you what’s on his mind?
We can be just as guilty of stereotyping men as they are of stereotyping us. We assume they never worry about anything, they only think about themselves, and they’re always brimming with self-confidence.
But that’s not the case. Men struggle just as much as women do. They just don’t necessarily share their most vulnerable thoughts and feelings with others.
Podcaster Paul Averill is on a mission to change that.
He has created a space for men to open up about what’s on their mind. “The ManBits” podcast has reached the top 10 on iTunes in 5 countries and was even featured on Virgin Australia’s inflight entertainment.
In this week’s YBTV interview, he shares with us what he’s learned about the inner lives of men.
What You’ll Learn
Paul Averill recently celebrated the 100-episode anniversary of his podcast “The ManBits.”
“It’s been such fun to interview influencers, best-selling authors, academics, doctors, PT’s, and people who have gone through the journey of adversity,” he says. “If I look back at the beginning, I would never have imagined where it would have gone.”
But his podcast is not an all men’s club. Half his listeners are now women. And the female influence is evident from behind the scenes as well.
“My wife is 50% of it, even though she’s not always on the show,” Paul says. “She is part of the heart of the journey as well.”
Paul recently celebrated another milestone in his life, with the birth of his daughter Audrey Grace. As a new dad who wears a number of entrepreneurial hats, from property investment to coaching, Paul knows the stress and pressures facing men today.
But it was his work in remedial therapy that taught him how much men needed an outlet to talk about their feelings.
Remedial therapy is a type of massage therapy “somewhere between relaxation and physio.” The men who came to Paul for massage therapy would be so tense that it was “like working on a piece of brick [or] a piece of concrete.” He could sense that there was more going on for them.
Some guys would open up in the room and actually start sharing things that were going on for them. I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing! Some guys actually can share what’s happening. They just need the right outlet. They just need the right kind of person to share with.'”
And that’s where the idea for a men’s wellness podcast was born.
Men need a space where they feel comfortable opening up about what’s going on for them, because traditionally they’ve been expected to present a strong-and-silent facade. A man who showed vulnerability risked losing his authority.
But times have changed. Vulnerability is not weakness. “It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and actually go, ‘Hey, I’m not feeling good about myself.’”
The era of the alpha male is fading. Women expect their partners to emotionally support them and be good fathers. The alpha male, who provided financially but stayed out of “women’s work,” can’t offer that.
“I think there’s a bit of a generalization when it comes to [the idea that] women like powerful men,” Paul says. “Women like men who are listeners and want to have a conversation and may want to share what’s going on for them.”
But men can still fall into the trap of thinking that their only role is to provide financially.
There’s a misconception for men that providing means going out to work 60 hours a week—that’s it. Providing is putting a roof over their heads. That’s not what providing is. I mean, that’s one aspect of providing. But there’s also providing love, providing a shoulder, providing support for your family and being present for your children.”
It’s also a misconception that women are the only ones who pay attention to what’s going on in the relationship. “Stress in relationships happens on both sides,” Paul says.
“Everybody wants love. That’s one of the the fundamental needs of a human being.” Men need love as much as women. So when communication breaks down in a relationship, men worry.
He gives the example of coming home after a hard day of work and being met by his wife, who hands him the baby. “That’s all power to her, because she’s had a bad day with the baby and she needs a break. So I need to help her and support her there. But what I think subconsciously is, ‘Man, I had such a bad day. You haven’t given me any appreciation … and I’m really tired. Can I just have ten minutes?’”
Luckily, Paul and his wife have a relationship where they encourage one another to be brutally honest about how they’re feeling. They do their best not to take it personally and to remember they’re on the same side.
“If we bury these things that bother us and we don’t share them honestly,” Paul says, “this gap of resentment gets wider.”
Paul discusses topics like these in The ManBits, and he also offers coaching and courses at Mind Nation JP. “That’s where we’re building courses that cover things like mindset, confidence, motivation, relationships, emotion, habits, goal-setting, time management, the whole lot, because we think there’s a real foundation to living a fulfilled life.”
Paul’s goal is stay real and shatter the stereotypes keeping us stuck in outdated gender roles.
“Men are maternal and they’re emotional, [just as] women are maternal and emotional. Women are also driven, ambitious, and powerful,” Paul says. Our relationships are becoming more egalitarian, and we’re happier because of it.
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:29 Paul’s reflections on the 100-episode anniversary of “The Man Bits”
3:46 How Paul’s work in remedial therapy helped him see the need for men to have someone to talk to
6:42 How men have been conditioned to avoid sharing their feelings
9:07 Do women prefer strong-but-silent alpha males?
11:55 What men worry about
13:57 What men struggle with in relationships
18:37 Paul’s work with Mind Nation JP
20:09 The importance of being a role model
Paul is a coach for performance, self-worth and fulfillment. He’s a podcaster, international property investor, and remedial therapist whose wellness podcast “The Man Bits” has global reach. It’s made it to the top 10 on iTunes in 5 countries and was even featured on Virgin Australia’s inflight entertainment. Paul is an advocate for positive mental wellness, physical health and financial wealth. He believes that everyone can achieve one or all three of these distinctions if they take action. Paul and his wife Pascale and their daughter Audrey Grace currently live in Adelaide, Australia. Subscribe to The ManBits.