The Lost Art of Deep Conversation

When was the last time you had a deep meaningful conversation with someone?

If you can’t remember, that’s a problem.

The majority of the conversations that men have are extremely shallow.  Many rarely ever go beyond the weather or sports.

But men need conversation.  We need to connect with one another on a deeper level.  There is a level of connection and intimacy that men are craving yet aren’t engaging in and it’s having consequences.

Many porn addictions are a result of a desire for intimacy, connection, and acceptance.  When men are addicted to watching porn, they’re not seeking out sexual pleasure, they’re looking to feel something.  They’re looking to fill a hole in their life, to fulfill a legitimate need, but they don’t know how to find it in a legitimate way, so they seek it in the illegitimate quick fix of porn.

Many men aren’t seeking porn, they’re seeking a friend.  

So why aren’t men having meaningful, heartfelt conversations? 

1. Men are afraid to open up.

Men have a tendency to put up walls around themselves.  They are afraid to let anyone see what’s going on inside.  Often they’re fearful of what others will think.  So instead of risking rejection, they don’t open up all.  The consequence is that these thoughts, feelings, and emotions are bottled up inside until they explode out in negative ways like porn, alcohol, angry outbursts, nervous breakdowns, etc.  

Men need opportunities to be vulnerable.  They need to show emotion.  Yes, men should remain steadfast and in control in front of their families.  Families need to see strength.  But men need someone with whom they can be vulnerable and express what is going on in their lives.  

In the interest of putting up a wall of strength, men put up a wall around everything.  You can build an impenetrable castle wall, but you know what happens when someone lays siege to it?  It slowly dies from the inside out.  

We need to learn when to show strength, and when to find opportunities to open up to other men through deep conversation.

2. Men think deep conversations are for women

Far too many men think that deep, heartfelt conversations are for women.  If male conversation strays from anything other than sports, beer, music, cars, and politics, you’re requested to turn in your man card.  

Women are more conversational and emotional, yes, but that doesn’t mean men cannot have meaningful discussions.  You’re not effeminate or less of a man if you talk about the issues you struggle with in your life.  Men need to discuss their weaknesses.  They need to seek help from other men.  

You can and should have open and intimate conversations with your wife.  But nothing can replace the bond that can form when two men grow in friendship.  It’s not “gay” or a “bromance.”  It’s fraternity.  It’s comradery.  It’s brotherhood.

3. Men do not have the proper place for conversation.

One of the biggest reasons men don’t engage in deep conversation is they lack the proper venue to do so.  Many so-called “men’s groups” never actually engage in deep conversation either.  I’ve been a part of many church bible studies for men that dance around the tough conversations.  Most workplaces don’t offer a suitable environment for meaningful discussions either.  In other areas, men are so scared of “offending” anyone that they never bring up anything substantial or potentially controversial.

The result is men have no place to actually have a meaningful discussion even if they wanted to.

If you’re going to thrive as a man, you must find a group of men to bond with.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”

Proverbs 27:17

Men grow by bonding with other men.  They push each other to be better, support one another, and keep everyone accountable.  

Men need a tribe.

You can find your tribe in a close group of like-minded friends who are willing to band together as brothers.  You can find it in fraternities like the Masons.  I’m actively involved in my Masonic lodge and the relationships that I’ve made there are deep and close.  

Believe it or not, you can also find this tribe online.  I’m part of the Fraternity of Excellence, a brotherhood of exceptional men. We gather together online from around the world to be a place where men can be men, have meaningful conversations, and learn from each other.  

I recently went to a meet-up with 25 men from F.O.E. and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  We bonded as brothers, we faced challenges together, and we became better men.  We had deep, intense conversations expressing where we are weak so we can learn to become strong. 

Men today are in search of deep conversation.  They need intimate relationships.  They’re crying out for brotherhood.

I challenge you brother, find a tribe where you can engage in meaningful conversations. Connect with other men so that you can share your burdens and learn from each other.

Brotherhood is born in conversation.

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Published by Timothy Reigle

I’m Timothy Reigle, the founder of Into The Wilderness Ministries. After overcoming a fifteen year addiction to porn and sex, I have made it my life’s mission to help other men break free from the bonds of addiction. As an author, coach, and chaplain, I work with men to transform their lives by renewing their faith, re-energizing their families, and restoring their masculinity.

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