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Do You Have to be Into Sports to Relate to Guys?

by Dr. Robert Glover on Feb 26th, 2012.     2 comments

watching sportsIt is common for Nice Guys to report that they don’t relate well to men. In general, they tend to be much more comfortable with women.

This tendency probably has much to do with being primarily raised by women and alienated from men in childhood. It might also be due to being bullied by other guys in adolescence.

One of the most common reasons Nice Guys give for not connecting with men relates to a perceived lack of common interests. This usually centers on sports and cars.

A typical Nice Guy writes:

“Last night I had a guys' night out, which was great. However, I had a problem. There were several times where we would all be chatting and the conversation would shift to sports. I couldn't contribute, because I know nothing about sports. I'm just not into it and don't really care.

And so during these long conversations about teams, players, etc. I felt like less of a man because all I could do was sit there and listen and laugh at jokes I didn't even get, just so I would look like one of the guys. I hate that.

How do still be a man around men, when they're talking about sports - something I know nothing about or really care learning about?”

You can be a man without being into sports. You can still hang out with guys who are talking about sports, even if you don't know much about them.

Example, most of my clients are techies. When they talk tech, much goes over my head, but I listen and ask questions. As a result, I know a lot about tech for a non-tech guy. You can do the same with sports.

I believe sports recreate the basic skills and teamwork of our hunter/gatherer/scavenger forefathers. I think we like them culturally because they allow us to watch talented people do what our forefathers did. Nowadays, it isn't about survival, it’s about entertainment, but the appreciation for the skills involved are deeply wired into us.

With that said, I encourage men who say they aren't into sports to find a sport they can participate in personally. It doesn’t matter if it is tennis, cycling, racquetball, or dodge ball. Find a sport and consciously have some fun while developing your skills. Find a buddy or a coach to help you learn the basics if you are just starting out.

I encourage a team sport because most Nice Guys have a tendency to go it alone in most things. It is also a way to connect with guys doing guy things.

Playing team sports teaches you how to be part of the group, working for a common goal. It builds camaraderie and masculine bonds. It teaches you how to win and how to lose as part of a group. It teaches you that you can make a mistake and be picked by your teammates.

Playing sports with other men can help you embrace your masculine self in ways pretty much nothing else can. I often say that one of the key ingredients in a man’s great cake of a life is doing guy things with guys. It doesn’t matter if it is a Bible study, road trip, poker night, or night out drinking beer, but I have found that sports is one of the most powerful ways for men to bond.

Even if you don’t play a sport, I encourage you to learn a little about sports. Read the local sports page. Watch ESPN SportsCenter every once in a while.

Ask your buddies who watch sports to watch games with you or go to a game with you. Ask them to explain what is going on.
Don’t worry about looking foolish or inadequate. Most guys would be happy to do educate you.

It's kind of like when my boys were teenagers and I asked them to explain South Park to me. They enjoyed teaching me what was going on (like why Kenny dies in every episode). I’m glad I took the time to ask. It built a deeper relationship with my boys, and I’ve come to love and appreciate South Park.

Robert

Topics: Men Personal Integration

2 Comments

TCoats says ...
But what if you find sports completely borring? I've tried to "get into" a few different ones with a buddy at the beginning of a season and got bored out of my mind.
Lee says ...
So, a love of sports means one is more masculine. This is complete B.S.
I am a man. I feel masculine. I love women. I am married. Not watching or listening to sports is at the top of my list of things not to do. I do not need to be part of someone's team to feel a sense of inclusion. There are many other facets of my personality that give me social value. I feel no connection with those who are so narrow minded as to believe that a love for sports equates to manliness.

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