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Struggling to Feel
Theme of the Week: Owning Your Emotions
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Average rating: [ see ratings/comments | 4 Comments ]

Key Bible Verse: Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Dig Deeper: Psalm 57:7-11

Men typically don't know what to do with anger or fear, and some men even struggle with joy or gratitude. They don't know how to take a compliment any more than they know how to take a complaint.

In a long article summarizing a study by George Vaillant that followed a number of men for their whole lives, Joshua Wolf Shenk points out that men struggle with positive emotions as much as they do negative ones, as positive emotions make men "more vulnerable." He tells a story about one doctor whose patients wrote thank-you cards at the end of his career, which he promptly stowed away in a box. Eight years later, Vaillant interviewed the man, who pulled the box down from his shelf. "George, I don't know what you're going to make of this," the man said, as he began to cry, "but I've never read it." "It's very hard," Vaillant said, "for most of us to tolerate being loved."

That's an astonishing summation of how many guys think about themselves. Men don't know how to allow others to praise them because they are either afraid they won't feel gratitude or they don't know how to feel gratitude.

Source for article: "What Makes Us Happy" by Joshua Wolf Shenk, The Atlantic (June 2009).

—Darrin Patrick in The Dude's Guide to Manhood

My Response: How do I handle praise and compliments?

Thought to Apply: Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.—William Arthur Ward (writer)

Adapted from The Dude's Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick (Thomas Nelson, 2014) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, you designed emotions, and they are a good thing. Please help me to keep my emotions in proper balance, and let them be a catalyst for loving you and those around me.

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Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments

mark mcclendon

May 30, 2014  2:41am

I really like affirmations. I usually live for them. Lord help me know and believe how much you love me. I am special because you made me, you knew me before I was formed in my mothers womb. You have always had a plan for my life. Let me trust in you. Amen

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Curt Schleicher

May 27, 2014  9:14am

As i respond to this question i reflect on the few times i've give compliments when they are truly earned. i feel it's from the fact that i felt under appreciated by others. This observation is entirely untrue; however, i claim it to be so.

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ANTHONY Swaggerty

May 27, 2014  5:56am

Amen for the word. To not wrap a present and give it is a horrible thing to do to one's self. I have caught myself many times in that situation. Thanks for the words of encouragement M.O.I. Thank you, Anthony

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lionel zamora

May 27, 2014  5:02am

Regarding the response question, I feel I need to be encouraged like that from time to time because it helps me persevere & I tend to feel insecure without hear it. But at the same time I am fearful to receive them too often for I could easily be puffed up with pride & arrogrance. A healthy balance & heart check is personally needed for me after being praised & complimented.

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