How men can build friendships with other men - Connor Beaton - Episode 104
I had a great interview with Connor Beaton, the founder of Man Talks, to talk about how men can build solid friendships with other men. I also invited one of my sons to join me for this interview. Connor challenged both of us and opened up a great dialogue about how to improve our friendships with other men. In this episode, we discuss:
- Why men need friendships with other men
- How male friendships are protective for men's emotional health
- What healthy relationships with other men look like
- What prevents men from forming meaningful friendships with other men
- How we can help our sons and other young men form healthy male friendships
- What men can do to initiate and maintain healthy friendships with other men
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Meet Connor Beaton, the founder of ManTalks. He was raised to believe that being a man meant you had to follow certain rules. The most notable one is like the first rule of Fight Club: don’t talk about it. For most of his life, he believed all men had the same rule. Shut up and deal with it. Man up. So that’s what he did. Outside, he was successful, funny, and charismatic with a great relationship and rapidly rising career. Inside, he was full of all the pieces he didn’t want to talk about or admit to anyone. Every moment of shame, confusion, and anger urged him to lie and manipulate his way into feeling better. The lies kept growing and eventually, he lost someone very important to him and he couldn’t lie his way out of it this time. To avoid crushing shame, he shut everyone out and ran. One night, while living in the back of his car, his reality hit him like a ton of bricks. Finally, he had hit rock bottom. He tried everything except confronting all the shame, sadness, and anger he felt. And the whole time, he had told nobody. It was then that Connor realized he only had two options: to continue to hide and silently suffer, or shine light into the deepest corners of himself and start talking about it. Over the next few years, he learned to take his trauma, shame, and denial—all the shadowy parts of himself—and integrate them. He spent thousands of hours learning and training. He consulted psychologists, historians, neurologists, and authors. Connor trained for years under mentors and leaders in Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, and holotropic breathwork. He even apprenticed under a disciple of Carl Jung himself. In 2014, Connor founded ManTalks as a grassroots movement to further the cause: giving men the tools and training to create a truly self-led life.