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Montrose Voice, No. 290, May 16, 1986
File 011
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Montrose Voice, No. 290, May 16, 1986 - File 011. 1986-05-16. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 14, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/405/show/390.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1986-05-16). Montrose Voice, No. 290, May 16, 1986 - File 011. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/405/show/390

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 290, May 16, 1986 - File 011, 1986-05-16, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 14, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/405/show/390.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 290, May 16, 1986
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Claude, Ken
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date May 16, 1986
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript 10 MONTROSE VOICE / MAY 16, 1986 MAN TO MAN Secrets Among Men By Dr. Ken Druck with James C. Simmons (This third of a five-part series describes the benefits of male friendships.) Most heterosexual men (and even many gay men) feel more comfortable drawing their closest friends from women rather than other men. We fall back on our wives, lovers, mothers, sisters and daughters. We decide early on that women make better friends. Many men know from experience that women are generally better listeners than other men. They are more understanding, less competitive and less judgemental. Men feel safer talking to a woman about their fears and uncertainties than to another man. We preceive women as more loving and trustworthy than other men. "So who needs other men?" we tell ourselves. "Why take a chance?" Most of us don't. And on those rare occasions when we do risk opening up with another man, more often than not we are disappointed with the response. Male friendships have proven a discouraging investment for many men. And yet today we know more about why this has occurred than ever before. Consequently, we are in a better position to reverse this trend and enjoy satisfying friendships with other men. Any man who has ever had a "real friend" knows the power of friendship to enrich our lives. Having a male friend enpowers us in several important ways. d We Validate Our Experiences As A Man Once we open our world to another man, we learn that we are not alone in our fears, insecurities, uncertainties and desires. Nothing is "wrong" with us, as we might have secretly suspected. Through a friendship with another man, we affirm much that is good and strong in us as men. Frank and honest exchanges of experiences allow us to gain a fresh and clear perspective on ourselves. □ We Lessen Our Dependencies On Women Taught that only women can help us satisfy our emotional needs in relationships, heterosexual men (and some gay men) have disqualified other men as intimate companions. We go in quest of female companionship and tum our backs on other men. We grow closer and more dependent on women, neglecting friendships with men, thus creating an imbalance in our lives. We end up emotionally lopsided, relating only to women. And then we start demanding that our women act more like "one of the boys." When what we really want is interaction with males, we should get together with other men. Instead we fall into the trap of the popular song and ask, "Why can't a woman be more like a man?" Friendships with other men put a balance back into our lives and strengthen marriages between heterosexuals because there is less emotional clinging to the women in our lives. d We Develop Our Skills At Intimacy Men who achieve intimacy with other men enjoy a sense of acceptance by their peers. We become more certain of who we are. We develop more self-esteem. This provides a strong foundation from which we can build relationships with others. Having established ourselves as a man among men, we build confidence and free ourselves to trust others in close relationships. a Friends Protect Us Against Life's Stresses Modem medical research confirms the truth in the Beatles' song: We really do get by with a little help from our friends. Studies have shown that men with at least one close friend in whom they could confide about themselves and their problems had, in effect, a buffer against such crises as the loss of a mate or job, a chronic illness and the psychological stresses of aging. In terms of their morale and health, these men have a significant edge over men who lack a close confidant. a Friends Minimize Loneliness Feelings of loneliness are lessened when we have friends. We can create new families of friends to replace those we lost or who live thousands of miles away. And good social supports help us balance needs which might otherwise yield an overde- pendence upon our mates and families. d Our Male Friends Become Valuable Resources A tight circle of male friends also provides a host of additional benefits: support in times of emergency, companions to share good times and fun in our leisure hours, a source of information, money and profes sional expertise in areas other than our own. □ Friends Reaffirm Our Sense Of Being Alive And, finally, friends help us experience what it means to be alive. Too many men today rely upon activities to do that for them, taking up everything from hang- gliding to chasing after sexual partners to give them the rush of energy they identify with "being alive." But neither diversion nor the accumulation of wealth gives us a true sense of life. We experience that richness only through intimate relationships with others. "Just recall the great feeling of physical energy you get when you meet a new friend," writes Eugene Kennedy, a psychologist at Loyola University in Chicago. "It is one of the natural highs of life to discover that there is a human being who responds to me and I to him. Friendship breaks through a person's shell so that he can taste and experience life more fully." d Holding Back What are the ways we men hold ourselves back from deeper and more meaningful friendships? We make excuses! I have listed some of the most common excuses we use. How many of them are in your repertoire? "I called him last time. It's his tun- now!" How many times have we used this excuse not to initiate contact? We act as though taking turns is the only way to ensure equality in a friendship. "If he really cares about the friendship, he would have called me by now." This is a variation on the first excuse and just as feeble. Insisting that a friend does not care because he has not called is, more often than not, an erroneous assumption. "My mate won't let me." We pass the responsibilities on to our mates and blame them for our failure to get together. We play the role of the henpecked husband and use our mates to make excuses. "I don't have the time." This is the favorite excuse of the man who uses perpetual busyness to void intimacy with his friends. "Jack owns his own company. Why would a man like that be interested in being friends with a mere salesman like me?" There are hundreds of variations on this excuse. "Married men don't get along well with single men." Or: "I've seen the way Bob is on the golf course, and I don't think I could ever be friends with him." All these excuses have one thing in common. They embody prejudices we employ to dismiss or disqualify ourselves and other men serious contention as friends and companions. "How can I be friends after what that bastard did to me?" We hold grudges. We give up important friendships, often over single incidents. We get angry with a friend who has hurt us. Instead of talking the matter over with him in an attempt to resolve the difficulty, we simply terminate the friendship and shut our former friend out of our lives forever. Men too often play it safe with their male friends by putting large areas of their personal lives off limits to discussion. Go through the following list and check off those topics you would feel comfortable discussing with your best male friend. my childhood my religious beliefs death problems I'm having at home politics my feelings about growing older my sexual fantasies money problems Mb drinking problem my fear of rejection my anger with him an affair, his or mine sexual problems, such as impotence my feelings toward my parents problems at work Add up the number of areas you would permit yourself to discuss with your friends. If your total is less than 10, you may be approaching your friendship too conservatively for true intimancy to develop. Do not be afraid to take that chance and open up with another man about your own experiences and problems. You will probably be surprised at how receptive your friend will be to such an overture. d The Credo Of A Best Friend I will work and play to make our friendship all that it can be while acknowledging all that it is. I will be emotionally honest, even when saying how I feel causes a rift. I will cheer my friend's success, recognizing the occasional feelings of jealousy, competitiveness and fear in myself. I will take an active role in defining our friendship by stating what I want and listening to what my friend wants. I will accept my friend as he is, recognizing occasional judgements I may make and negative attitudes I may harbor against him. I will live by the mutually agreed-upon Limits of our friendship, propose changes where I feel they are necessary and negotiate disagreements in good faith. I will give unselfishly of myself without expecting a return on my love. What comes back to me is a bonus. I will be tolerant and forgiving. Since none of us is perfect, I have no right to expect our friendship will be perfect And finally, I will always remember Ralph Waldo Emerson's words of wisdom: "The only way to have a friend is to be one." Excerpted form the book "The Secrets Men Keep" by the authors above. Copyright by the authors above. Published by Doubleday and Co. Inc. Reprinted by permission News American Syndicate.
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