It’s deeper than societal expectation. It’s rooted in caveman DNA. If you failed to protect or provide for the caveperson tribe, people died.
We have evolved as people, society needs far few protectors than ever before, but our physiology is still running caveperson modules deep in the primitive brain.
For men, the primitive feeling arising from “failure to protect / failure to provide” is akin to “I killed part or all of my tribe.”
(Yes, we are no longer trapped in roles and each have access to our M and F brains and “failure to support / failure to enhance” has it’s own flavor of “… because death” and that can be a factor for men as well, but the question was specific to the provider role, so my answer was sent that direction.)
The trick is to reconginze when the caveperson modules are running and when we are hearing from our Best Self on the matter.
Here’s how I talk to cavewoman.
A loving enthusiastic “wow! thank you SO MUCH for your valuable input and for your desire to keep me safe! I’ll definitely take it under advisement. And please please please let me know when there are imminent physical dangers afoot.”
This shifts me out of “being in” the module and back into “running the command center”.
I don’t know about caveman, but cavewoman needs me to listen and honor her support and appreciate her desire to enhance. I’m sure there’s a caveman equivalent optimal strategy.
(p.s. full credit to Alison Armstrong for the caveperson analogy. She’s absolutely brilliant when it comes to human interactions.)
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