Sean Galla - MenGroup.com
An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.
A men’s group is typically a group of 5-10 guys that meet on a regular basis to share what is happening in their lives and receive guidance on how to best navigate their situations. The purpose of a men’s group it so help the men better their lives. Men’s groups take place locally, online and over weekend retreats.
Both virtual and a face-to-face men’s group can be equally as effective. Meetings can be held bi-weekly or monthly.
There is usually a group leader, let’s call him the facilitator, who ensures that everyone will have the opportunity to talk and encourages conversation to keep a steady flow. The facilitator’s job is to also make everyone feel comfortable as much as possible.
One at a time, each man will update the group on their lives and then support each other – offering feedback and perspective – on whatever issues or opportunities the guys may face.
Oftentimes, men are attending men’s groups to talk about things that they are not fully comfortable discussing with others in their lives. They might feel that they don’t want to burden their partner or best friend with their problems or don’t even want to tell them at all due to embarrassment. Luckily, these groups are 100% confidential and a safe place to discuss anything you might be facing.
You might have countless people in your lives to spend time with, but you are looking for that support group to tell about some f*cked up shit that happened a while back. That is what we’re here for.
For the shy guys out there, no one is obligated to speak, but the group of guys will support you and make you feel welcome when you do communicate.
It doesn’t always benefit you to have people say what you want to hear. With a variety of topics in men’s support groups, it can be helpful to know the absolute truth even if it’s uncomfortable. In a men’s group, the challenge can be healthy!
A man in your support group might share about a certain situation that they went through and what they learned from it. This is why a men’s support group can help you grow, help motivate you and help you connect with people on another level.
And it’s not just sharing our own situations that lead to learning and growth. Active listening is important in men’s groups. By listening to others and their unique situations, you will find different perspectives and knowledge that will serve you for the rest of your life. It’s not just sharing our own situations that lead to learning and growth.
Guys who are joining men’s groups vary in age, orientation, nationality and so forth. At first, it might feel more comfortable to meet with a group of guys who are all in the same careers as you or who watch the same football team that you do. But having a more diverse group of guys will help you see different sides to issues that you may be facing and will help you grow more. Most men’s groups encourage diversity.
What to expect in a men’s group?
Men’s groups don’t always involve sitting around a fire, holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Some men’s circles do engage in men’s group exercises like this, but most do not. Here at MensGroup, we feel that our time in a men’s group is better spent digging into the issues that you’re facing, right now! Guys can save the exercises, rituals, and ceremonies for their personal time.
Men’s groups can vary in size, but small groups such as 5-10 can help men feel more comfortable opening up.
You can expect the facilitator of the group to initiate an icebreaking activity to start, even if it just means getting everyone’s voices in the room to chat about how the group of guys are currently doing at this stage in their lives.
After an update on the men’s lives, often groups will spend the rest of the meeting deep diving on issues that men need the most support in. One week a guy in your online men’s group might be facing a divorce. Another guy might be dealing with business partner conflict. A different guy may be having health issues. Different weeks different guys will have things to bring up.
In the meetings, you can expect questions during your group discussions such as, ”can you tell us more about that?” Guys will ask clarifying questions about your relationships, career, emotions, inspirations, lifestyle, communication, the list goes on. They do this to get clear on the context of what’s really going on.
Some groups out there are heavy on practices like meditation, chanting, first nations traditions, academic discussions, and more. But the core of every men’s group is just guys sharing what is happening in their lives and other guys sharing about how they navigated similar situations.
Men’s groups aren’t as scary, or weird or intense as the media makes them seem. At the end of the day, you can expect most men’s groups are just about the guys getting together to chat about life.
What are the reasons that guys join men’s groups?
There are numerous reasons why men are joining men’s groups. Men today are facing a number of unique challenges that inevitably lead them to a men’s group; below we’ll touch on a few of those reasons.
Part of being human is being in relationships. And a part of relationships, romantic relationships especially, there can be conflict. It can also lead to relationships coming to an end and heartache. Men’s groups are an incredible place to talk through relationship troubles.
Confusion Around Career & Purpose
It might seem that everyone has their sh*t together with their careers besides yourself. Maybe you’re jumping from job to job while also losing motivation to succeed. Your group can help you through finding your path and taking the leap to getting your dream job.
Lots of men struggle with family relationships. And deep down, everyone wants to get along with their families; fighting takes up a lot of energy. The guys in your group can help you get down to the roots of the problems you may be facing with your family.
Desiring More Success
Who doesn’t want to be more successful? Your group can help you through this and they will give you advice on how they jumped over hurdles to get where they are.
Men’s groups are way less expensive than the average therapist. The cost of men’s groups depends on a lot of aspects. But trust us, you’ll save money compared to seeing a therapist or other group therapy methods.
Know Yourself Better
A lot of people don’t like themselves. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true. Bro, how can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself?
Maybe you are looking for friendships with guys who are going down the same path as you. Imagine ONLY hanging out with the same people you did in high school. You’re going to the same pubs, talking about the same things, you’re going to be bored out of your mind. Going to men’s groups helps you make friendships with guys who are on the same path as you.
Lots of men in these men’s groups are challenging themselves to be more in control of their emotions and lives. This is important because without understanding your emotions, a guy could lash out at his family and friends and not know how to control his anger. When we often get upset about something, the emotion that you are feeling might not be coming from the actual situation that is occurring. So it’s important that guys understand their emotions and learn how to better manage them.
Many men need help taking action on an ongoing basis to achieve their goals. This is a very human experience. Accordingly, many men seek out a men’s accountability group to help them stay the course towards their goals.
Loneliness is a real b*tch because it makes facing common challenges a lot more difficult. You have no one to bounce things off of. The isolation creates pressure because you have to figure it out all on your own. Instead of looking at a problem that you’re facing by yourself, with a men’s group, you’ll have a team who is raising you up which is way easier than getting through sh*t alone.
What are the benefits of a men’s group?
There are countless benefits from joining men’s groups and the benefits can vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common benefits that guys have mentioned after joining a men’s group:
Becoming a better dad, husband, friend, etc.
Better at communication around a wide range of men’s group topics
Men’s group accountability
Helps with getting things off of your chest
Find direction with things like career/purpose
More cost-friendly than going to a therapist
See more success in your life
Real friendships that provide support outside of meetings
Get advice from others who have already been through a similar situation, saving you time and energy
Men’s groups are about self-improvement
You can join a men’s group while being in any stage of your life. Life often has peaks and valleys. Sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield. But that doesn’t mean your life has to be in shambles to join a men’s group. You can still share your experiences with other guys, make connections on a different level, or have support already there for you if things do go a little sideways.
We’ve all had some tough times in our lives, whether we realize it or not. Many people are starting to acknowledge that men have feelings too under the new age men’s movement. And the groups of men that you will be chatting with want to hear about it and help you through it.
How to find a men’s group
There are a lot of men’s groups out there. Some in your local city. Some retreat weekends like Mankind Project. There are a number of great organizations. Some are in person, others are online. You can also learn how to start a men’s group.
We also offer a free men’s discussion community and online men’s groups here at Men’sGroup.com. You can check out our discussion area or another men’s group for free to see if it’s a good fit for you.
No matter what kind of men’s group you choose to join, we highly encourage you to just get out there and do it. There is no risk or downside. Only positives will come from joining a men’s group.