8 Tools That Will Change Your Life: The Hold On to Your N.U.T.s Book Giveaway

by Brett on March 23, 2009 · 232 comments

in Dating, Fatherhood, Friendship, Marriage, Relationships & Family


Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Wayne M Levine, M.A., Director of BetterMen.org and The West Coast Men’s Center

If you’re tired of coming up short as a man, father, husband or leader, these eight BetterMen Tools will help you to change your relationships and your life.

The fixes may not happen overnight. Embrace these tools and get the support you need to bring them to your relationships. With commitment, hard work and the courage to change, you’ll be amazed at the man you’ve become.

So here are the eight BetterMen Tools in a nutshell. Can you see the art to your better manliness in these descriptions?

Tool #1: Silence The Little Boy

Most of us have a little boy in us. He’s the one who didn’t get the love, attention, guidance, mothering, fathering or discipline he should have gotten – or thinks he should have gotten – when he was a boy. He’s also the real, wounded little boy who was abused and who never received the help he needed to heal and to grow up to be a healthy man. As a result, males in our society grow up without having a clear understanding of themselves as men, and they continue to act like needy little boys. Quit stomping your feet through life and in your relationships. To have a successful long-term relationship and to feel like a successful man, you’ve got to silence the little boy.

Tool #2: Express But Don’t Defend Your Feelings

Rather than discussing your feelings, you simply need to communicate them. When you learn to express your feelings without defending them, you’ll be giving your woman what she needs, strengthening your relationship, and feeling much more like the best man you can be. And when you express without defending with everyone else in your life, you’ll become a man others can count on and respect. Expressing your feelings also helps you avoid the anger, stress, resentment, depression, and a host of other unhealthy emotional and physical outcomes that come with stuffing them.

Tool #3: Cooperate Without Compromising Your N.U.T.s

Men get angry and resentful when they agree to something that compromises who they are, what they stand for. Men who have developed their N.U.T.s-non-negotiable, unalterable terms, have no problem cooperating as long as they’re not asked to compromise what’s important, their non-negotiable, unalterable terms. Men who have not developed their N.U.T.s are likely to not cooperate at all because they live in constant fear of being compromised-they feel they must defend themselves. But when a man use this Tool, he can show up as the man he wants to be in his relationships at home, at work and in his community.

Tool #4: Run The Sex And Romance Departments

You had lots of sex at the beginning of your relationship because you romanced her and made her feel special. Now you want to have a vital sex life but you’re too lazy for the romance? As most married men know, that won’t work. It’s your job to run the sex and romance departments. And when you do a good job, you’ll both get what you want. Fear of rejection is probably the most popular reason why men shy aware from this duty. But once you learn the Tools and have a clear vision of the relationship you want to have, you’ll be surprised how much power you have to re-ignite the passion in your woman and in your relationship.

Tool #5: Be The Rock

One of the most important things your woman needs from you is to know that, no matter how she feels, no matter how angry, scared, sad, uncomfortable or frustrated she is, no matter how she acts or what words come out of her mouth, you will still be there when she’s done. She wants to be able to be who she is and know she doesn’t have to be responsible-in those challenging times-for the way her behavior may affect you. If she has that freedom, and you don’t run away, get defensive, try to fix her or her problem, or make it about you and argue, you will be much more the man she needs. You’ll be the rock!

Tool #6: Don’t Argue

Abandon your need to be right. Don’t argue with her. Have you realized that when it comes to arguing with your woman, when you lose, you lose, and when you win, you really lose? There is nothing to be gained from arguing that will, in any way, benefit you individually or as a couple. But you continue to do it. It may even feel, sometimes, as if it’s out of your control. It’s not. When you stop arguing, you’ll see a remarkable change in ALL of you relationships. When a man owns his N.U.T.s, there’s simply no reason to argue about anything with anyone.

Tool #7: Listen

Your woman needs to have someone who will listen to her, care about her, offer her a shoulder to cry on, be there to complain to and laugh with, and to support her. You’re it! Developing this skill-and learning why it’s a challenge for you-will transform your relationships! And when you improve your ability to listen to her, you’ll find listening to be an asset in ALL of you relationships.

Tool #8: Develop Trusting Relationships With Men

Women are terrific. But they can’t-and aren’t supposed to-satisfy our every need. That’s why we need men in our lives. And not just buddies to drink, watch sports or B.S. with. You need trusting relationships with men who will go the distance with you, challenge you when you’re in pain but denying it, who will hold you accountable to your commitments to be a better husband and father, men who will risk their relationships with you in order to be honest, so you’ll do the same for them. These relationships, this support, will help you make amazing changes in your life and in your relationships.

Got your attention? Good. The art of manliness includes a man’s ability to be strong and confident in his relationships and his life. Now, get your copy of “Hold On to Your N.U.T.s” and start developing the skills and support you need to be the man you’ve always want to be!

Wayne M. Levine, M.A., mentors men to be better men, husbands and fathers. Email your questions to MantoMan@BetterMen.org. See how you can become a better man at www.BetterMen.org.

©2009 BetterMen®

Hold On to Your N.U.T.s Giveaway

We’re giving away three copies of Wayne’s book, Hold On to Your N.U.T.s to three Art of Manliness readers. Want a chance to win? All you need to do is leave a comment sharing your best piece of advice on developing stronger, more mature relationships.

Contest ends Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 11PM CST.

As usual, I’ll randomly pick three people from the entries.

{ 232 comments… read them below or add one }

201 Shawn October 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Never let your past failures determine who you are. If you see yourself as a failure…you will be and so will your family. Instead stand up when you feel like laying down. No matter how many times you fall…stand up. Your inner strenghth builds more and more each time.

202 Manyura October 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

Be affectionate with them, praise them, give them wings…..

203 O'Neill November 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Take the steps to be a better man. Its all about taking advantage of the opportunities to better yourself and make the ones around you feel happy and loved.

204 Nick Aguirre January 21, 2010 at 12:04 am

When in doubt, do that which is hardest, 99% of the time it is the right thing to do.

205 Cesar March 21, 2010 at 9:21 am

Say what you mean, mean what you say & remember WHAT you said. It will come back to help or haunt you.

206 walter daniels March 21, 2010 at 10:52 am

For those not familiar with WorldWide Marriage Encounter (a weekend program for couples), they have two things. 1) Communication between partners, Usually expressed as “Never go to bed, mad with each other,” If you let arguments, which are healthy, fester, they only get worse. 2) Men, treat your partner like Dulcinea, in Don Quixote. See the best in her. Don’t look for flaws, but don’t ignore them. Like it or not, she’s doing the same for you.
Encourage, don’t demand change. Women only look softer, because they express their emotions more freely. If you give her the freedom to do that, she’ll be healthier, and, in the end, so will you. Sometimes she may yell at you, when she’s really mad at someone else. It’s hard to accept, but if you know that, it’s a lt easier to take. Maybe even set aside times, or phrases so you know it isn’t really you
Look for little things you can do, to make her feel good. The more you do it, the more she’ll do for you. Give her an unexpected hug, or kiss. When she asks why. Say, “Just because.” If you really means it, when you do it, both of you will feel better. You may be the rock of her foundation, but even foundations are shaken by bad storms.
If she feels secure, the storms of life won’t shake as badly, and she’ll keep the foundation intact. Always remember that foundations need the structure, as much as the structure needs the foundation. The more you avoid the, “but it’s your turn to . . . ,” the better

207 Bryan March 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Don’t be selfish. When I look back at moments I (or someone I know) has done something that negatively affects a relationship, it can usually be boiled down to selfishness. Don’t tell yourself that you are more important that that other person.

208 Alan July 7, 2010 at 12:53 am

Wow, so much unasked for advice!

Must admit, I take offense at the idea that I shouldn’t defend my feelings, am not supposed to argue and should take any sh*t thrown at me, and that somehow makes me a man?

No, that would make me a hen-pecked doormat and walking wallet. Maybe this only works for American men?

209 mike July 7, 2010 at 2:03 am

You wanna be a “rock?” This article wants you to be a rock in similiar fashion as the rock a turkey vulture uses in its natural habitat. If you ever have been on mountain ridges where turkey vultures hang out…..all they do is hang out and SHIT on their ROCK! The ROCK is covered in SHIT. If you want to be your woman’s rock, you to will become like shit. This does not make you a man.

210 CMR July 7, 2010 at 6:16 am

It used to be that real men saved themselves for marriage. They avoided venereal disease and illegitimate children that way.

And real men did not read filth, they had real romances with real women instead of comic book cuties.

Real men also control their mouths and don’t make crude references to their private area the way you do.

Get in touch with your inner adult. Stop swearing and lead a chaste life. You’ll be glad you did.

211 Joe July 7, 2010 at 6:16 am

Why is every entry here about what a man can do for a woman? Why is my manhood defined by how useful I am to her?

212 Sean July 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

As Polonius said, “To thine own self be true.” Don’t let the little things in life bog you down, and remember that you, too, are a fallible human being.

We all complain about how life’s complicated when, really, life is pretty simple. The most important things to remember in life are the simple ones: “Love thy neighbor.” “Apologize when you’re wrong.” “Accept responsibility for your actions.” “Don’t compromise your principles.” “Change is inevitable.” I’ve found by keeping things simple, my life became easier. Hope that helps someone.

213 A July 7, 2010 at 10:32 am

Best advice: Imitate Jesus Christ, the ultimate man (and husband of the church!).

214 jojo July 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

Joe July 7, 2010 at 6:16 am
Why is every entry here about what a man can do for a woman? Why is my manhood defined by how useful I am to her?

I’m glad other people noticed this. Thank you Joe, for being awake. On this list #5 & #6 are especially nauseating as they encourage further childishness in women an already infantile society generally. This nothing short of worship not being a rock. Do you notice rocks worshipping you?

215 jojo July 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

Credit should also go to Mike for this statement:

mike July 7, 2010 at 2:03 am
You wanna be a “rock?” This article wants you to be a rock in similiar fashion as the rock a turkey vulture uses in its natural habitat. If you ever have been on mountain ridges where turkey vultures hang out…..all they do is hang out and SHIT on their ROCK! The ROCK is covered in SHIT. If you want to be your woman’s rock, you to will become like shit. This does not make you a man.

You are a genius my friend.

216 Doomstoned July 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

The comment “Joe” left above contains some very simple but appropriate questions and we should all challenge this notion of being defined as “men” or persons through the eyes of others (in this case females), who are in reality, just as flawed, if not more so than us.

You and you alone must define what it is to be a man and then decide if you shall seek to manifest that definition in yourself.

Reject the foolish and fleeting notions of maniless foisted upon us by culture, religion, society and so on, notions that in truth only seek to strip you of your inante masculinity, or in orther words, your ability to seek for yourself truth and take ownership of your destiny.

I would also agree with “Mike” above in his sentiment that this article consists “typical metrosexual advice” in that it is perhaps only suitable for certain types of “men”, men willing to compromise everything in order to ultimately achieve interpersonal tranquility. But look in your own life and throughout history to see the resaults of peace and tranquility… complacency, stagnation, loss of self/meaning/purpose, decadence, and decay. Therefore, continuous and relentless resistance is the only path, for it is the only means by which one can be truly defined both figuratively and literally.

It’s not about being a “man” since those definitions are arbitrary and transient, and therefore, meaningless. t’s about taking ownership of your own self and destiny.

217 Conan July 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

For real men, there is only one meaning of life!

To Crush Your Enemies
See them Driven Before You
And Hear the Lamentations of the Women

Ok just kidding.

I think a lot of the above posts are quite insightful, but beat around the bush of what is ultimately very accessible Christian wisdom – do unto others as you would have done onto yourself, and husbands, love your wives.

218 Mark July 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm

If you weren’t brought up by manly men, I mean real men, chances are you will never be a manly man. You may emulate some of the traits of a man, and there is nothing wrong with trying to improve, but you will never be what you aren’t. You don’t learn manliness from a book, you have to have the traits already and have role models as you mature.

219 cristy July 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Good advice, especially #5. Not trying to make excuses for us ladies, but we do go through monthly hormonal swings so violent they would kill a man outright. So wildly irrational and emotional episodes do happen, though it’s our job to recognize, minimize and control how and why we feel and act the way we do as much as we can. If, as a man, you want a strong, healthy long-term relationship with a woman it is important to understand and accept why we occasionally act so “crazy”. It’s not because we are weaker, sillier, or stupider, we are just wired differently hormonally and emotionally. A man who respects that and resists the urge to become resentful or hateful is a rare and precious find.

220 jeffersonianideal July 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Prior to attempting some or all of the steps mentioned in the above article, men must consider what has happened to women’s lives and their own as a result of 40 years of the modern feminist movement. While feminism may have provided women with more independence, more opportunity, more freedom to express their views and more material gains, the women’s movement has given them little to no assistance with their emotional well being. In my view and in the view of many single and married men I have spoken with, the sexes have never been further apart. While there are exceptions of course, the techniques offered assume that the woman in question is rational, fair, accepting and encouraging. That may be a sizable leap of faith for a man to have to take nowadays. More women are harboring bitterness, hostility, anti-social behavior, have chosen to isolate themselves from men, and are more jaded, cold and guarded then ever before. And on top of that, it is happening to women earlier in life. I realize I am not not painting a rosy picture of relationships but I would rather be pragmatic than blindly optimistic. I am not dismissing the validity of many of the points mentioned in the piece by Mr. Levine but I my opinion, companion reading should include the book, “Why Men Are The Way They Are” by Dr. Warren Farrell.

221 jojo July 7, 2010 at 3:28 pm

My dear Cristy, what would be the compensation for tolerating such violent mood swings? And regularly to boot? Would most ladies tolerate one-tenth of that from a man w/o calling the fuzz or having a breakdown themselves. I think some self-discipline or impulse control is in order and since “hormones” are not a sufficient excuse for men then perhaps likewise they should not be for women. Equal, right?

222 Robert July 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm

If a woman asks you to do something with her, and she is clearly excited about it, do it. Even if it’s not something you would ever choose to do yourself. Being agreeable about things that are important to her make her feel that she is important to you.

223 protectedparody July 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

You’ve covered several of the proper steps required to help a man become more manly. Now how about a primer to teach today’s women how to be less manly?

224 gto July 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm

protectedparody July 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm
“You’ve covered several of the proper steps required to help a man become more manly. Now how about a primer to teach today’s women how to be less manly?”

Nice one guy. Well said.

225 Bob Stuart July 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm

When you and a dog just need a walk, let it lead, and don’t issue too many commands that might seem arbitrary. If you appreciate the available intelligence, it won’t be used to frustrate you instead of helping the team.

226 jim July 21, 2010 at 12:21 am

Thank you.

Women are a pain in the ass.

Find a woman who doesn’t tax your every move. Who is strong like you. You will be able to ignore most of the above and just get back to being a man.

Women who are high maintenance are dead. Not that I have anything against them… it’s just Darwinian. Women are smart? They need to get body checked bigtime with Darwin. Period.

227 Josh December 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I’ve recently been going through a rocky break-up. I feel much healthier now, but have been going through convoluted thoughts in my head about how I want to live life; what I stand for, what matters to me, what I can’t back down from.
After stumbling upon this article, and reflecting on my past actions, I am positive that these 8 points are my key to living the way I want to!
I’ve got a document on my computer that summarizes the key points of some of my favourite articles on this site, and somehow this one article has whittled them down in to something concise and perfect for how I want to live. Thank you so much!

228 David June 20, 2013 at 8:37 am

Build a great cake of a life, and then invite a great woman to be the icing.

229 David Arbelaez June 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I gather that many of those who have commented here have not read the book so these 8 rules are taken out of context. Wayne is by no mean wanting any man to become metrosexual nor compromise who they are. If anything, he discourages us men from doing that. Read the book.

230 Tommy August 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

I would love to hear more about silencing the little boy and if possible a follow up article on it would be great. That entire paragraph hit home hard for me and though I know it to be true, I still can’t silence him. I never learned how to be a man from my father or any other male figure and so I am grateful to have stumbled upon this site. I need to silence the little boy because my relationships, my success and my happiness depend on this change. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

231 Cesar November 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

About 1, silencing the little boy. I feel like just silencing him would be like ignoring your issues, having pitfalls in your character that can surface when your get to an instable period of your life. is about rather helping your little boy to become a man

232 Greg April 2, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, mirror what you admire.

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