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For episode 80, we’re excited to welcome Chris Wilkinson into the studio. 

Chris Wilkinson is the owner/GM for Nurse Next Door Home Care Services for Cowichan and central Vancouver Island. For more info visit www.NurseNextDoor.com or for questions or a free in-home Caring Consult call 250-748-4357, or email Chris.Wilkinson@NurseNextDoor.com

Chris is also a columnist for the Cowichan Citizen and the article he wrote about the death of his father, inspired this episode. 

On Today’s episode…

– Fathers and Sons

– Stiff Upper Lips 

– Know Better, Do Better

We talked about our death denying culture way back in episode 19!

If you can’t sleep, listen to our fantastic episode on it.

Heather’s episode is a master class in vulnerability and one of the best conversations we’ve ever had. It’s a must-listen for anyone who has loved and lost as she discusses the untimely and tragic death of her husband, Brock.

The Pixar movie Coco explores the connection between loss, grief and death.

“I got this,” may be a signal that you are repressing your thoughts and true feelings.

Repression is at the heart of toxic masculinity.

Anger is almost an emotion that boys are encouraged to have.

Emotional diversity: It’s important to experience a range of emotions, not just pure happiness but pride, excitement, calm and negative ones as well.

Boys grow up in a world inhabited by a narrower range of emotions, one in which their experiences of anger are noticed, inferred, and potentially even cultivated. This leaves other emotions—particularly the more vulnerable emotions—sorely ignored or missing in their growing minds.

Harvard Medical School shows that boys are in fact more emotionally expressive than girls, but our culture actively negates the expression, or focuses on emotions like anger and aggression

The byproduct of this repression: Psychologists have found that children who deny emotional vulnerability are also more likely to become adolescents who engage in health-risk behaviors, such as substance use. Later in development, men suppress (i.e., do not openly express) their emotions more than women; and men in turn experience greater depressive symptoms and resort more often to physical violence.

Men may be at greater risk for stress-related cardiovascular problems in the long run.

5 Common Ways to regulate emotions

1. Avoid situations that may trigger certain emotions

2. Modify situation to enhance your chance of experiencing positive emotions

3. Focus attention elsewhere, rather than letting emotions control

4. Try to see situation from different perspectives

5. Suppress emotion (this is generally the worst option)

From NY Times Article “Teaching Men to be Emotionally Honest”:

“Last semester, a student in the masculinity course I teach showed a video clip she had found online of a toddler getting what appeared to be his first vaccinations. Off camera, we hear his father’s voice. “I’ll hold your hand, O.K.?” Then, as his son becomes increasingly agitated: “Don’t cry!… Aw, big boy! High five, high five! Say you’re a man: ‘I’m a man!’” The video ends with the whimpering toddler screwing up his face in anger and pounding his chest. “I’m a man!” he barks through tears and gritted teeth. rather than negative

● Studies have shown that suppressing emotions increases blood pressure and impairs memory

● Study showed that 25% of Brits believe that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness

Male to female suicide rate: 3 x 1 in Canada, 4 x1 in US, 5 x 1 in Russia, Mexico and Brazil

Is our toxic masculinity the path of least resistance? Bad habits?

The phrase, “don’t be a pussy,” is deeply offensive to all people. It means, “don’t show emotion,” – which is a sign of weakness, not strength. 

Ice Guardians!

Vulnerability is not about blunt and random honesty but rather sharing our true emotions.

Don’t use Facebook as therapy. 

Our sons watch us more than they listen. May they see something worth imitating.