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I’m Sorry Men

Im Sorry Men

Damn, I’m sorry men.

I wrote this post called I Love Women less than two weeks ago. Since then it’s gotten over 34,000 views. Almost 2,000 people have Liked it on Facebook.

Which means a hell of lot more people are reading my writing than when I started this blog two and a half years ago. Which is totally surreal to me.

I wrote “I Love Women” after I wrote .

Correction. By “wrote this post on Facebook,” I mean I completely lost my fucking shit and blew up all over the internet.

Since then that post has been shared on Facebook almost 200 times and stirred up some fiery conversations in the comments. I’ve since then had to start blocking people from my Facebook page because I can only handle so much negativity.

A week after these posts went live, my good friend Sean Aiken jumped onto my Facebook wall and left this comment for me.


And for the first time in a while I took a look in the mirror and thought deep and hard about my writing. And I realized that Sean was right.

I was speaking to women more than I was speaking to men. And worse, I was shaming men in the process.

So where did I go wrong two weeks ago?

I let the stress of redesigning my website, writing a book, launching a retreat, and launching a conference get to me. And in that moment I was so angry that I couldn’t even sleep.

My chest was on fire. Anger was coursing through my veins. So I lost my shit.

And here’s what I’ve learned (and re-learned) from this process.


1. I Want Women To Like Me

This is my shadow and I accept it fully.

I’ve done a ton of work around my relationship with women and letting go of attachment and neediness, but it still rears its ugly head sometimes. Complete non-attachment isn’t even a reality for most of us. Unless you’re a monk.

At the heart of every man is a desire to be appreciated, loved, and supported by women.

But I think I lost it a little lately. I lost my balance and out came what you read in the links above.

I’m sorry.


2. I Lost Sight Of Compassion

I let the stress of The Conference For Men overwhelm me so much that I lost sight of one of our most important tools for creating transformation: Compassion.

Compassion is a lens that when looked through, turns pain into gold. Compassionate friends, coaches, and mentors have helped me rewrite my life, changing it from a story of pain and regret to one of love and gratitude.

Many of my coaching exercises are designed to help men look at their former selves with love and compassion, transmuting shame into appreciation.

But just like any other man, I’m imperfect. But let’s all put back on our Compassion hats.

Women, can you look at the men in your life with compassion instead of believing the lie of “men just don’t get it?”

Men, can you look at the women in your life with compassion instead of believing the lie of “all women are crazy?”

And can I look at the men around the world with compassion instead of feeling frustrated that more of them aren’t on board yet and that they should “stop fucking around?”

Yes, I can. And I will.

Can you? Will you?


3. Younger Mike Would Have Thought I’m A Big Asshole

I thought about what my former self would have thought if I saw one of my female friends share some random dude’s Facebook rant about underfucked women.

I would have shut down a little.

I would have felt like less of a man.

I would have felt even more stuck.

And I would have felt even more lost with this “alien species” that we call women.

Because when I WAS in my twenties, I was shut down, I didn’t feel like much of a man, I felt stuck, and women seemed like aliens to me. And if I read that post I would have thought that that The Men’s Coach is a big asshole. Or even a little of a bully.

Because I know that if I read that a decade ago, all I would have felt is a lot of pain and discouragement.


4. I Really, Really, Really Care

As much as you love someone, you’ll sometimes hate them just as much.

Think about your father. There are things that he might do that drive you insane.

Maybe he embarrasses you in public. Maybe he doesn’t eat as healthy as he should. Maybe he’s a little bigoted or racist even.

If that was someone else’s father you wouldn’t care. You might even laugh and be amused by your friend’s father if he had some of those characteristics. We all have that friend’s father who is a little too drunk or a little too obscene sometimes. And we enjoy his antics.

But if it’s your father or mother, you lose your shit with them and turn into a rage monster when they “act up.”

Do you know why?

It’s because you love them so much that you want what’s best for them. And they love you so much that they want the best for you.

But often our beliefs are different, which causes the disconnect. And that disconnect causes all the fighting and the screaming and the drama.

But at the root of it all it’s because you love your father so much that it breaks your heart to see him live his life that way.

And that’s how I felt in that moment.


5. It’s All A Practice

Everything is a practice.

Becoming a good cook is a practice.

Becoming a skilled artist is a practice.

Becoming a skilled lover is a practice.

Learning to share authentically and with compassion is a practice.

Learning how to build a business that touches into some of the deepest areas of our lives is a practice.

Learning how to write in a way that opens both men and women up is a practice.

Learning to share what I’ve learned transparently without intimidating or shaming is a practice.

I’m practicing. And I’m still learning.


6. I’m Sorry I Hurt Your Feelings

“I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”

It’s an almost magical phrase that I got from my good friend Charmaine that takes the charge out of almost every argument when said directly and truthfully.

Use it any time you’ve wronged someone, even if you “think you’re right.” In their eyes, you did something wrong. So apologize. And with that said…

I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.


PS – If you shared one of the links above, please share this as a followup for the men in your life who you love the most.

[Photo Credit]

  • dawnmccaslin


    I just wanted to say that I love you because of what you do for men. And yes, those women-positive posts completely resonated with me. They made me jump up and down with joy because it was so validating to know there was a man out in the world who GOT IT.

    But, I started following you before those posts came out because I admire your approach to life. I adore the way you call yourself out and admit your own mistakes. I love how you lead by example, by living authentically and transparently.

    That is what makes a man completely irresistible to me. So kudos to you for this wonderfully vulnerable post, and for returning to your target audience. Even though I’m not that audience, it doesn’t mean I don’t find value in what you do.

    You’re stunning.


  • Schuyler Kaye

    I will be honest Mike…

    When I read your Facebook post, I couldn’t help but notice all the areas that I felt I fail as a man. Shit as a person… as a human being.

    After having met you so recently I felt conflicted. On one hand I felt inspired by both you and the people you surround yourself with. And on the other I could only watch as walls went up… “be careful” they whispered.

    I can only imagine how difficult all of this must be to have been so public. How much more powerful it can trigger these needs of love and acceptance. And instead of emailing you, I wanted meet you publicly (even though I can’t help but feel a little scared at putting it out there).

    You have succeeded Mike. At least with one man. I felt the walls as they came crashing down with each word. My heart is maybe more open to hearing what you have to say now, then it has ever been in the past. I hope you never lose sight of younger Mike because this article really spoke to me as a man.

    This is the part where I’d give you a hug and say thank you for being you.

    With love,


  • Graham Phoenix

    Mike, I know you mean well, but why are you apologising? Just stay grounded in your inner certainty and believe in what you are saying, in what you write. Men will want to work with you because they can rely on your inner strength AND your compassion. “I’m Sorry, Men” will only put them off, in my opinion.

    • jonathanmead

      I disagree completely. Real men make mistakes and own them, like Mike is showing here. By owning our mistakes we can show men that’s it’s okay to fail and not be perfect all the time. I think that creates more trust, rather than puts people off.

      • Graham Phoenix

        Of course we make mistakes and, of course we own them, that is what real men do. I did not criticise that, Jonathan. It’s OK to fail by the energy of “I’m Sorry” is not owning your mistake, it’s compounding it. I said that Mike should speak what he feels and be certain in that. the energy of “I’m Sorry” is looking for outside validation which is what real men don’t need. Mike can say, “I did this and it didn’t work with men for this reason….” is OK and good. Don’t go out to ask people to say it’s OK, just own it. It’s the apparent need for outside validation that will put men off. I think that we probably agree but you are quick to defend Mike when he doesn’t need that. Let his words stand and speak for themselves. Great to talk to you about this, Jonathan.

        • jonathanmead

          When I say I’m sorry I’m not looking for anyone to ever say “It’s okay” or to say “I forgive you” — I simply say I’m sorry when I hurt someone, because it’s important to me to show them that I felt their hurt by my actions.

          I think what we’re seeing here is that there are different energies and intentions behind “I’m sorry”

          • TheGirl

            I say I’m sorry because I want to show a person that I feel bad with what I did, but I don’t feel well unless they accept my apology. :)

        • Mike Hrostoski

          Graham, I totally disagree. I say I’m Sorry all the time. Because as someone playing full out in life I sometimes make a mistake and the best way to remedy any wound is to clearly and truthfully apologize. This works in any relationship, romantic or business.

          • Graham Phoenix

            Came across this today….

  • Paul Cooper

    I’m glad to see this progress from that last post. You’re openness and vulnerability through your process is admirable and a beautiful example to men. What I hear you saying so far is, “I lost it and said a bunch of stuff that I didn’t really mean and I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings.” I don’t want to invalidate the value of saying that but I believe that it’s important to point out that saying that doesn’t really amount to anything when comes to real internal change and growth. That’s the kind of thing an abusive husband tells his wife after a fight so she won’t leave. The truth of the matter is that you wouldn’t be able to shame men in your outbursts if you weren’t still ashamed of yourself on some level. It’s far more important that you forgive yourself for whatever it is that you are still carrying shame around than it is to apologize to us for acting out of that shame.

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