Toxic Masculinity and Imposition
Certainly you’ve heard of toxic masculinity. It is commonly defined as a harmful display of aggression or dominance—an imposition of masculine will. It’s my perspective that most frequently what the masses call toxic masculinity actually hides an absence of masculine energy.
When masculine energy is refined and conscious, it expresses with directness and intelligent articulation. Insecurity and unworthiness weakens it. You can empower yourself by uncovering these important core wounds and working through them. Often, we don’t see these things within ourselves. That’s why you'll benefit from working with a mental health professional, coach, therapist or other specialist.
The masculine energy I am referencing is a universal energy that exists within each being, regardless of gender or sexual identity. All humans have polarities of masculine and feminine. When we learn these energetic expressions within ourselves, we can join them in a harmonious dance.
I had an experience today that highlighted an absence of masculine energy. A cigarette smoking man said to me, “We should get lunch sometime.” My Ego went, “LOL. You think I would want to get lunch with you?”
First, I am not morally aligned with cigarettes. Second, I felt so turned off by the casualness of your suggestion. And I was extra turned off by your indirect, implied assumption that getting lunch is something that I am available for.
My lower Self had an experience of judgment, disgust, and grossness. I’m not even available for 1-1 connections with men in general. He didn’t check in about that.
Being the master alchemist I am, in a split second I held space for myself and returned to my compassionate heart. “I'm not interested in meeting for lunch but if you’d like to connect with my community you’re invited to join us for yoga tomorrow morning,” I responded with warmth and clarity.
Although subtle, his suggestion of lunch was an imposition of truth.
What I'm calling an imposition was essentially innocent, but I still felt uncomfortable receiving it.
I feel compassion towards him. It’s understandable the way he speaks to women. It’s a perfect result of the western consumerist culture. Rich with highly imposing propaganda and messages of manipulation.
In my perspective, there’s an artfulness in offering an invitation, versus speaking an imposition.
What I find most attractive is when men speak directly through their experience. This first requires an attunement to their inner landscape, to see and understand themselves at a deeper level. An invitation is expressed from a heartfelt place of non-attachment.
The framework of NVC or Empathic Communication is a fundamental teaching I offer the people that I coach because it sets the framework to express based on an individual’s truth and desires.
Rather than saying, “We should get lunch sometime,” I would suggest a statement rooted in truth and desire paired with an inquiry. For example, “I am interested in getting to know you, would you be open to meeting for lunch?” Or, “I am curious to hear what you’re passionate about. Are you open to sharing more over a meal?”
Asking a question gives the person you’re speaking to the opportunity to either agree in aligned truth, or offer their truth of experience, even if that is unavailability or misalignment.
For best reception, express yourself in a way that is grounded and clear. This isn’t just applicable for asking someone out or speaking to someone that you’re attracted to. It’s a universal truth of expression that will actually lead you closer to what you desire.