My Dad. A Good Man

You Have a Voice

So use it appropriately

Photo by Jens Mahnke on

We grow up and then leave home by one way or another. If it’s by going to university we are more likely to become less introverted than we were as children.

Introversion is my preference. It’s my safe place. However, I now extrovert almost as easily because of the roles I’ve had in life. It’s important to remember that introversion is a preference and not a setting. We should all be able to step away from the preference just as we wear different colored clothes. If we like blue, there may be a lot of blue in our wardrobe but we can’t wear only blue. That is, if you don’t want to be laughed at.

When I was first asked to host a seminar I was horrified. It had been fine to put it together with phone calls and emails, but host it was another thing. I did not flinch, though, but got out three outfits that gave me confidence and, on the first morning, stood in front of a crowded conference hall and took the microphone.

Yes I was scared, but I am brave. By the end of the third day, I felt almost at ease making announcements to introduce speakers or say where refreshments could be found. I later became a guest speaker at seminars.

So, you see, we do not break when we are needed to extravert. We just dig deep for courage and do it.

If you have ever taken a Meyers-Brigg test, you will know that each preference has a sliding scale. That is because we change from day to day according to our environment and mood. Append work to that list. There are many famously noisy comedians who are very reserved in their personal life. One such performer was British comedian Eric Morecombe. He was hilariously funny and talented on the TV or stage but seemingly quiet at home, where he had a happy marriage and family.

I am tired of hearing how Annabel needs three days alone after coffee in a group. Or how Lancelot must wear headphones on the subway in order to not speak to anyone. If at 25 you still do this, you are immature.

Maturity is doing what is needed at the given time. Yes, you can meet your boyfriend’s parents without a six month build up, or go on a group trip. You just make the most of any time to be introverted. That does not include locking yourself in the bathroom.

Be a grown up. After all, we expect an extravert to be quiet at a funeral or during a play at the theater.

I gave birth to the most extraverted little girl. I thought I would go nuts. But no, I enjoyed every waking moment of her. I would give a lot to go back to her early years. When she started pre-school, I got a break to restock myself. However, I did not take all the hours available for her to be at pre-school as I knew she needed unstructured play to let her imagination grow.

As parents there are times when we have no option but to speak up for our children. If we cannot, we fail as parents. The time when you realise your child’s comprehension far exceeds the reading books the teacher gives them, when they report some other child has pushed them over, asking someone not to shout at, or in front of, your child, and many other instances. As parents we have a duty to put our children’s needs before our own.

Therefore, introverts, please wake up and grow up. Stop letting your friends down. Never fail your children. Stop making excuses, and above all, live life to the full by becoming comfortable in company as well as alone.

Published in Shelter Me

A refuge for mind, body, and spirit.

Sustaining A Sexual Connection

For the long haul

When I had a consulting room, I often saw a couple or one of a couple saying that sex had gone out the window after, say, fifteen years of being together.

always found this sad as the best sex is when you really get each other, when you are friends. Not when you are starry eyed first in love. That is when we explore and say we are pleased when maybe we are not.

So you made it as a couple for years but if you are not touching each other as you pass in the kitchen, cuddle as you watch TV, can’t wait to share your day with your partner, then sex becomes infrequent and eventually non existent. Performn’t let this happen.

The secret to whether your sex will last is if you cuddle after sex says Emily Nagoski, Sex Educator at Smith College. If you cuddle intimacy is sustained and you will look forward to your next sexual communication.

A healthy sex life long down the road is about the pleasure of each other’s skin touching. It is emotional presence for each other. Being fully present, attentive, communicating.

Hurt feelings and resentments prevent good sex. Deal with minor conflicts quickly. Keep short accounts with each other. Performn’t go to bed angry at one another. We can’t last with make up sex.

If you are a serial monogamist or divorcee, examine how you approach sex and intimacy. No one dreams of being a third or fourth wife/husband. It happens, but something is missing.

Beware of casual misogyny; ‘life’s a bitch’, life is like a BWA — a beautiful woman with attitude.

Such sayings have no place in the mouth of a good man.

Women, you need a Good Man.

So much depends on men. How they are raised, who they hang out with, whether they watch porn. No teenager learned anything good from pornography.

Performn’t watch it together. It has no place in your sex life.

So the secret to lasting sex lives is skin touching skin. No resentments and no misogyny. Here’s to your good sex life.

Published in The Good Men Project