The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives
At 30 years old, Lewis Howes was outwardly thriving but unfulfilled inside. He was a successful athlete and businessman, achieving goals beyond his wildest dreams, but he felt empty, angry, frustrated, and always chasing something that was never enough. His whole identity had been built on misguided beliefs about what "masculinity" was.
Howes began a personal journey to fin...more
Despite Howes' efforts in this book, I received the uncomfortable and unpalatable feeling that this book was not about shedding masks. It was about trading stereotypical, toxic masks for new masks. Perhaps I should start at the beginning.
First, my bias: I am a heterosexual white male. I did not fraterniz ...more
Look, I get it. We all have stereotypes of what men are and the masks they use to hide the pain. I totally believe in this ideal and understand some men suffer from this.
I'm like Lewis in the fact I was sexually abused. I have a lot of history in that. However, none of the mask types in here (disappointed there are ONLY 9 and ONLY stereotypes) do not apply to me.
I get it. I am already an outsider looking in. I had to deal with a lot so my mental wiring is not like oth ...more
I also had a bit of an epiphany in reading the book: I consider myself an open, transparent, heart-on-the-sleeve guy that is mostly comfortable being vulnerable. But when I spoke to my son about how it is okay to cry, he told me that he had never seen ...more
I am quite interested in the topic of masculinity and in psychology in general, so there wasn't tons here in terms of theory that was very new to me. But I really liked the anecdotes/case studies Lewis used and I also liked the idea of the different 'masks'.
Many of the things he talks about are esentially about how to have a good life, and apply nicely to both men and women, though ...more
This book ultimately received three stars from me because it lacked ...more
I’m gonna be biased because this book struck a chord deep. But hey, it’s my review, so... here we go.
I’m a man and I’ve struggled in the past. I’ve had emotional difficulties, intimacy issues, over-aggressive tendencies, and trouble building relationships. In fact, I still do. A lot.
Over the years I’ve come to understand why. Or at least partially understanding why.
This book hooked in so deep because it cuts directly to these re ...more
I borrowed this book from the library because it was a new acquisition and I was the first patron to take it out. The title and the premise of the book both sounded promising.
You can begin anywhere in the book based on which type of mask you are most interested in reading about. I picked the sexual mask because I found it most relatable. It was when I had finished my section of choice and began readin ...more
Very easy read and the voice/tone of the book is written in a way that anyone can pick it up and understand the points Lewis makes in each chapter.
The end of chapter summaries also make it nearly impossible to not at least pull 1 or 2 things from each chapter.
Lewis leverages his experience from interviewing thought leaders and industry leaders from his podcast, and extracts various masculinity lessons within these interviews and places them in indivi ...more
I reserved introspection for Boxing Day. Arising very early allowed me the few hours of zero interruptions or interaction to power all the way through the book from start to finish.
Can you make it through the book without having to stare too deeply into your inner abyss? Yes, most likely you can.
Will the book have you evaluat ...more
My first reaction upon seeing this book was that this guy was a narcissist, and just one of the thousand modern self-help gurus trying to sell you something.
However, there is more depth here than I assumed.
It might not be the most original material, but the author's message is driven home by his effective use of examples.
He has interviewed very interesting and qualified people from a wide range of backgrounds, and then he uses bits and pieces of their life stories to sup ...more
* I wish Howes spent a bit more time talking about why we put masks on in general. It seems men wear these masks to hide their vulnerability. That might be a good thing to know going into the book. And then dig into the specifics of each mask
* I related to some of the masks. But many of the masks were unrelatable. I might know someone who wears that mask but I haven’t noticed it on myself. It’s ...more
Howes is not a professional therapist but does a good job of showcasing why so many men act the way they do, which is namely as jerks. An entrepreneur, Howes turned a football career-ending injury into a self-made business that encourages others to live their best lives, in the same idea as Brene Brow ...more
Firstly, it is heteronormative and views gender as binary. And maybe that will help some people. I know many men who would benefit from this kind of disco ...more
First, I was turned off by the egotistical writing. I understand that he colors his lessons with personal stories, so a lot of it is written in the first person. But it reeks of van ...more
While I’m sure the author means well, there is still a dominant mention and focus on ‘obvious’, generic male stereotypes.
I agree with the concept of breaking down a mask, but there is a broader spectrum of focal points when it comes to exploring masculinity, despite the author’s focus on 9 common ‘labels’.
Instead of reaching out to everyday people, the author has looked to those who have already achieved great things. “I am sitting in a multimillionaire’s wingback chair, in his 16 bedroo ...more
For me, the book is saying that boys need to be raised with love and know how to accept themselves as the ...more
Could skim the bold sections to get a feel of what masks exist and their history or influence.
Pick one mask and work on it.👺
Once you feel comfy, read and engage with the activities of another mask.
I would recommend the 𝗔𝗴𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝗸 first.
Create your wrecking room or space as a priority. Very important to verbalise the aggression! Arrggg!🤬
Social engineering is not going to work, only through feeling and acknowledging the pain, ...more
This quote about what he wishes someone had told him sums it u ...more
A man does not stand unmoved or untouched in the face of truly moving experiences.
He does not judge the totality of his life or anyone else's life by the totals on the scoreboard.
He does not use money as a proxy for emotional connection or as the measure of his self-worth.
He does not define his manhood by the number of women he has conquered.
He does not take risks for risks' sake, because he ...more
Book is very practical with a "action step to do right now" at the end of ...more
This is a book about the nine masks that men hide behind: the stoic, athlete, material, sexual, aggressive, joker, invincible, know-it all and alpha masks. The author advises both men and women (mostly for men) on what to do about it and what is available when each mask is dropped. It was an interesting read, but I felt that he could have done more with this book.
Most of the book was about the author's own experiences and interviews with celebrities. It is the lack of research in this ...more
Lewis did an incredible job with his research and analysis from podcast guest and how they fit the specific masks.
The joker mask chapter really hit home with me because that’s who I was once upon a time.
I felt the need to make other people’s lives better because, deep down, I knew how challenging mine was. I didn’t want people to feel that same pain.
It’s nice to read a differe ...more
He does not stand unmoved or untouched in the face of truly moving experiences.
He does not judge the totality of his life or anyone else’s life by the totals on the scoreboard as the clock ticks down to zero.
He does not use money as a proxy for emotional connection nor material possessions as the measure of his self-worth.
He does not define his manhood by the number of women he has conquered.
He does not always fight fire with fire; sometimes he doesn’t need to fight at all.
He does not meet seriousness with silliness when it is seriousness that is required.
He does not take risks for risks’ sake, because he does not hide from his frailty, his mortality, or his humanity.
He does not pretend to know everything about anything, nor is he afraid to admit when he knows nothing about something.
And perhaps most important of all, he does not walk around thinking he’s The Man.
No, the masculine man goes through a journey, a process of self-discovery, and figures out what he needs to do to acquire the tools, knowledge, wisdom, grace, love, passion, and joy to pursue his destiny. His destiny is his dreams. Those may evolve over time, but in their pursuit, he is not breaking down anyone else or hurting anyone else. He is not at war with other people, conquering them. He is the one joining forces, searching for the win-win. He is the one who is lifting others up, inspiring others through his journey and his own process (in which he is finding ways to create value along the way). He is the hero of his own journey. And in so being, he is looking for every way to have the best relationships possible with his family, friends, his romantic partner, his colleagues, or his customers. He’s finding ways to be the best possible version of himself.
Masculinity is about discovering yourself and owning what you find. It’s about being kind to others, and pursuing your dreams with all the passion and energy you can muster. It’s about doing something that is meaningful to you that brings value to others. That’s how you build a legacy.”