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The Insatiable Male

     For 28 years I've been in the business of helping people solve their problems. During this time, I've seen hundreds of people and one type of person captivated my interest - the insatiable male. I'm intrigued by these individuals for two reasons. First, the more coaching and consulting I do the more insatiable males I discover. Second, most insatiable males feel trapped and are looking for ways to achieve satisfaction.

Insatiable males come from all walks of life. They are hard-working and strive to make the American dream come true; many have achieved some degree of outward success.

Whatever that degree of success, it hasn't brought them the contentment or satisfaction they expected. They're diligent and industrious men who need to excel and to "prove" they can be successful. However, their results lead to frustration and stress instead of satisfaction. They feel inadequate despite numerous accomplishments. Many feel guilty because they've worked long hours and ended up neglecting their family.

These men want change but can't pinpoint where change has to take place. Many say they feel trapped or on a treadmill with no way off. For them, there's never enough time, sex, energy, accomplishments, money, or love.

Insatiable males are the result of sociological influences following World War II. In 1945 the Baby Boom began. From 1945 to 1959, some 70 million children were born in the United States. A new age of prosperity and opportunity dawned after World War II and with it the manpower to make it happen. "Beat the Russians" was the name of the game. Pregnancy became equated with patriotism and our government applauded the efforts.

From the beginning, everyone knew these youngsters would be a special generation. These little bundles of joy were the future for America. They were to be the best and the brightest and reared in the strongest and wealthiest nation in the world. Parents aspired for their children to be scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and maybe even President! Education was aimed at producing graduates who would be advanced enough to insure our nation's status as a world leader.

Baby Boomers couldn't have missed the message; society trumpeted it loud and clear: You are special. Much is expected of you. You can achieve whatever you want if you just try hard enough.

Boys were groomed for places of leadership by parents, schools, and governments. In this process, male Boomers were encouraged to do things early - walk, talk, potty train, and read. These young men got the message that they were special and would assume more responsibility by virtue of gender alone.

These children were not only encouraged, but were pampered and protected by well-meaning parents. Hard work and responsibility in the home were often replaced by entertainment. It became much easier, to flip on the TV, or turn on the stereo, than to spend time with children establishing goals, or communicating values. Success, then, became a means for securing gadgets for entertainment and amusement.

For Baby Boomers the values of honesty, fidelity, modesty or loyalty were not emphasized for survival. These were leftover tools of an ancient America, which had viewed success in terms of personal satisfaction in life. The "new" society needed new tools to achieve success. According to this new definition, success was measured in terms of money, accomplishments, and status. The new tools took the form of improved communication skills, positive thinking, and "get-ahead" techniques. Society now dictated to us how success looked, more than how it felt. Baby Boomers added "image maintenance" to their tool set; look "good" at any cost.

The message to Baby Boomers, was compete: There's plenty to be had. You can have it all if you work hard enough; and when you have it all, you will finally be satisfied and successful.

This unique mind-set began a cycle of distinct behaviors, characteristics, emotions, and escapes in millions of men. I have termed these men "insatiable" because their appetites are never appeased. Their heritage has left them hungry for contentment and meaning in life. However, they will never achieve these using the tools acquired in childhood. Insatiable male characteristics have resulted in a generation of men who ultimately are disappointed with success and life.

The Characteristics of Insatiable Males

Hyper-responsibility: All insatiable males develop a sense of hyper-responsibility. They overstep the boundaries of normal responsibilities and take on responsibility that belong to others. They become the "rescuer" who pulls the wagon, while others take the ride. At work they will likely feel it's up to them to solve problems and answer everyone's questions. At home, they feel they're in charge of everyone's happiness and entertainment.

The Need to Please: Insatiable males generally like to please people, but compromise themselves to oblige others. They'll often say "yes" to things they need to say "no" to. The positive feedback they receive from people-pleasing feeds the image of success they've formulated. After years of people-pleasing they find themselves getting fed up and frustrated with people.

The Need to Prove Themselves: Insatiable males are constantly harassed with an inner feeling of inadequacy. This feeling will often result in taking on far more than they can accomplish. They attack every effort, whether at home, at the office, or in the health club, with a vengeance. Insatiable males work longer and harder than anyone else. They hope, with every accomplishment, to reach a point of contentment. They may feel better for a short time, but soon that old nagging inadequacy cries out for a new "fix."

Through the years, insatiable males develop an enormous amount of performance anxiety. They feel they're always on stage, always performing. This performance treadmill results in an undercurrent of anger and agitation. They "stuff" these feelings because expressing anger would be displeasing to people around them. Around mid-life the anger becomes too intense to be contained and oozes out in the form of irritability. They can't express it at the office, so family members are likely victims of their emotions.

Insatiable males feel guilty about their inability to please everyone. At work, they feel guilty because they should spend more time at home. At home, they feel guilty because they're neglecting work. They progressively feel a great deal of dissatisfaction with their lives. They expend a lot of energy trying to find satisfaction, but experience emptiness with their failure to do so.

Insatiable men employ several escapes to alleviate the misery they feel such as alcohol or drug abuse, excessive physical exercising and emotional or sexual indiscretions. The chosen escape will be pursued with a vengeance. However, it only serves to temporarily relieve the pain, which returns more powerfully than ever. Each escape is one more thing that they can't get enough of.

Insatiable males are a unique and fascinating breed. They are a product of a "personality culture" that demands success. They came from families who expect them to have the good life and fulfill the "all American" dream. Now that the good life is an illusion they are looking for ways to change. Insatiable characteristics will always be a part of their personalities. However, they can learn to develop new patterns of behavior. It takes a crisis or the desire for something better for this shift to take place. Only then will they be open to change.

The first step in shifting insatiable characteristics is awareness of what they are and how they serve the man. The characteristics of proving self, pleasing others, and hyper-responsibility are learned through experiences with people and events throughout their life. The second step is recognizing the internal strengths of insatiable males. What are their strengths? How can these be used to create satisfaction? These two steps create a "benchmark" for behavioral change. From here they can formulate strategies that allow for more satisfying behaviors.

Changing insatiable male characteristics can be extremely difficult. These men have invested a lot of time in performance. Change is accomplished by creating a new approach to how they handle work, home, and personal life. Taking the steps to shift these behaviors creates personal energy and increases satisfaction in all their endeavors.

Article Source:

Dr. Bob works with overwhelmed C-suite executives and business owners who are hard on themselves, their teams and families. He helps leaders reach the next level of leadership. His leadership system helps you manage your energy and time and develop reasonable expectations of yourself and others.Visit Energy Driven Leader.

Posted on 2013-10-12, By: *

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