It's been really sustainable and I've FINALLY gotten all those books off the shelve and actually read them instead of using them as decoration.
I don't remember where I heard of this book, but it intrigued me. The author isn't a doctor or anything, but writes this book through his own experiences and based on the hundreds of interviews he has directed where he stared to see patterns.
He writes directly towards men, but states that these masks can be applied to any gender. But mostly he speaks to men. I think because that's what his experience is in, and what he feels comfortable comparing the antidotal stories.
The masks of masculinity are:
The Stoic Mask - The idea of being mentally and physically (but mostly mentally) strong. It can result in the people around you feeling locked out of your life and don't knw who you really are. He interviews and references several successful people who have used the Stoic Mask in their lives. Captain Dale Dye, Phil Knight, Robbie Rogers
The Athlete Mask - Where we get higher than average feedback on physical strength and skill. It's where being a man is equal to how good the person is at sports. It's where the Nerd vs. Jock idea comes from. He references interviews of Joe Ehrmann, Steve Cook as well as many sport icons.
The Material Mask - This is when people use... you guessed it...material things to give themselves a sense of worth. It's more important to LOOK successful or rich than to actually BE successful or rich. That's not to say that people with the Material Mask can't actually BE successful or rich, it's just that those are the only markers they use to measure their value. The time and effort that it takes to get maintain the mask gets in the way of developing and maintaining personal relationships. It doesn't matter how much you have, you can't buy real friendship. He interviews Tai Lopez, Alanis Morissette to talk about this mask and how it affects those around you.
The Sexual Mask - This is pretty intuitive. It's when someone uses their sexual prowess to feel like they have something to offer and have value. Men in particular are given value based on how many people they have slept with. He talks about how sex has the immediate gratification aspect, but that not nurturing the emotional aspect leaves an individual feeling empty. Neil Strauss, Chris Lee are authors that he has interviewed on this topic.
The Aggressive Mask - When aggression is used as a protective mechanism. Stick before someone else strikes you. This can result in criminal charges, or some find ways to channel that aggression in ways that society finds more acceptable. Sports lets people be aggressive in ways that they are rewarded. Football, cage fighting, the military...but when aggression is used as a protective mechanism and breaks free from those acceptable boundaries it keeps people from being emotionally healthy. Andy Cohen, Ray Lewis, Randy Couture are a few of the people and athletes that he spoke to.
The Joker Mask - When everything is a joke and the individual hides their pain and sadness behind a happy go lucky mask. Robin Williams is a really obvious example, but it can be at a smaller scale. "The effects of making another person laugh are reminiscent of a fast acting drug: you feel instantly better - and the results are addictive. Sad people make careers out of making us laugh." Apparently comedians are wildly unhappy, unbalanced people that desperately need therapy. Zara Barrie, Edward Dreyfus, JP Sears, Jamie Masada were some of his interviews and references.
The Invincible Mask - Daredevils often wear this mask. The need for the rush that you can do ANYTHING is addictive. Shoplifters also often hide behind this mask as well as work-oholic. "If you push yourself past what is reasonable often enough and long enough, well, you might as well be chasing down tigers and base jumping off skyscrapers. Because your overwork can lead you to run the same risks." Travis Pastrana, Jonathan Fader, Richard Meth, Dan Harris were a few of his sources.
The Know-it-All Mask - It's about over compensating and filling those moments where we would learn more by listening rather than talking. Not knowing equals weakness and weakness can not be tolerated. When you don't feel like you can ask answers without losing face, that's a problem. When you aren't open to new information, that's a problem. Mike Rowe, Rick Fox, Paulo Coelho lent some of their experiences and knowledge on this mask and how to combat it.
The Alpha Mask - Being in control is the most important thing to someone wearing the Alpha Mask. Being confident isn't a problem. Not being able to change your course and adapt in a situation because you won't be in charge is where the problem arises. Being Alpha is often equated with being "a man". Chris Voss, Glenn Harris
spoke of this mask.
Overall I enjoyed this book and found it to be a pretty easy read. I would have found it interesting to go more into depth on the topic. He kept things pretty surface level with the descriptions and their causations. The book is also written directly for men, and it would have been more engaging (for me) if it was more gender neutral. I think that the masculine and feminine roles cross boundaries and genders, so it would have been more interesting to delve into why people hide behind these masks rather than just men.