The Masculine Mindset
- Independence-denial of dependence
- Control of emotions
- Safety basic survival
Within this mindset, boys are forced to relinquish their vulnerability. At a conscious level, dependence on other people must be given up. But in order to have healthy relationships, a person must know that they need people. It goes without saying that, for so many reasons, we need people in our lives. But for men, dependency related needs cannot co-exist with the requirement to be independent. To be a lone ranger. To be your own man. A man doesn't need anyone. Let alone needing a man. Needing is weak. What happens to the average male—and I mean just about everyone I know—these needs or dependencies must be denied. But because we really have needs, these needs will eventually be acted-out. The acting-out can be seen in the form of aggression and/or addiction.
Boys are forced to give up essential qualities of being human. Some of these qualities are spontaneity, passion, zest, softness, lovingness. This is Locker Room Physics.
Assumptions of Locker Room Physics
- If you hurt, you must be weak.
- You are weak if you show hurt.
- If you are weak, you fear being hurt.
- If you fear, it means you are weak.
Locker Room Physics is ongoing trauma and leaves an indelible mark on the individual. The lessons learned are; don't trust, don't share, and hide from everyone.
However, men in recovery must learn to depend on each other. This is an initial problem in recovery. When men fail to gain recovery, it can often be understood as a failure to form effective (i.e. loving) connections with other men. If there is a failure to bond with other men, the addict cannot feel they belong to the fellowship. There is no recovery without belonging to the fellowship.
The work in therapy must always attend to the challenges/difficulties in forming deep connections. It takes years of work to build deeper connections. The work of building trust creates the safety required to be a real self.