Cover image for Understanding the tin man : why so many men avoid intimacy
Understanding the tin man : why so many men avoid intimacy
July, William.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 201 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BF692.5 .J85 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Why are men so afraid of showing their feelings? What scares men about commitment?Blackboardbestselling author William July II tackles these age-old questions, revealing secrets that every woman wants to know about her man, and every man needs to know about himself. He explains how boys are conditioned to become emotionally closed off, leaving them incapable of sharing their feelings or participating fully in relationships--they are like the Tin Man inThe Wizard of Oz. Taking a realistic, down-to-earth approach, July goes on to provide a step-by-step program for men who want to change, and for women who want to help the men in their lives overcome the Tin Man syndrome. Reading his words is as comforting as talking to your best friend, as enlightening as listening to a wise teacher. His book will help you to: Recognize a Tin Man Understand the real reasons why a man fears intimacy See through the tactics men use to avoid commitment and relationships Discover a man's biggest worries about relationships Identify the five situations in which even the most emotionally numb man will share his feelings Help a Tin Man change his life At the end of each chapter you'll find thought-provoking questions and self-improvement exercises for both men and women.Understanding the Tin Manis a much-needed voice of reason on the battlefield of the sexes.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In his third book, popular motivational speaker and author July (Brothers, Lust and Love) tackles the difficulties many men encounter with commitment--to themselves and others. Opening with a quote from Buddha challenging the reader to become "the noblest victor" by conquering himself, July asserts that men need to acknowledge, understand and learn how to process their emotions in healthy ways. Borrowed from Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, the term "Tin Man" describes those who embrace the destructive cultural truism that a man's worth is based on his ability to conquer and control other people through sex, money, physical power or manipulation. Describing himself as a recovering Tin Man, July humorously relates how he neglected a broken finger out of a desire to avoid looking like a "sissy," and questions why it often takes life-threatening crises to prompt men to recognize that their macho attitudes are killing them. While generally careful not to point fingers, July contends that women are sometimes willing participants in the macho male belief system, encouraging some of the negative behavior in men that they claim to hate. He suggests that kicking out the Tin Man is essential not only for developing healthy romantic relationships but for maintaining good male friendships, which he believes can be superficial when friends fear appearing weak. Packed with solid insights and written in a brother-to-brother style that won't alienate women, July's latest effort reinforces his position as a cool-headed referee in the battle of the sexes. Author tour. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Whenever the subject of relationships comes up, many women ask why so many men can connect physically or on the surface, but avoid deep levels of genuine intimacy.  Frustrated, many women create their own answers to these questions.  They say "men only want sex.  They're designed that way."  But it is that simple?  Are men just emotionally numb robots who have no feelings and live for sex? There are few things more dangerous than broadly brushed generalizations.  First, men aren't avoiding intimacy.  Second, men are individuals and have to be approached as such.  We're human beings with spirits first, then men.  We are not only capable of achieving intimacy, we're equipped and designed for it. But if that is the case, why do so many men avoid intimacy?  The answer to that question can be found in society's age-old beliefs about manhood.  Our society has long supported the view that being a man means we have to conquer and control; make lots of money; have lots of women.  Men must also learn to ignore physical or psychological pain; we pretend we don't have emotions.  We men are groomed to only experience half of ourselves.  But just because we've been trained that way doesn't mean that it's right or the best pattern by which to conduct our lives. Many of us have felt the strain of the warrior mentality wearing us down and unraveling our lives.  When I was on the road promoting Brothers, Lust, and Love , I recall a conversation I had with a radio producer in between segments.  He asked me what my next book, Understanding the Tin Man , was about.  I said, "It's about how some men avoid intimacy because we've been taught that our manhood is defined by our ability to dominate and have power over our surroundings.  Intimacy is the opposite of that: It involves interdependence and sharing.  Since most men have been trained to maintain control at all times, we tend to avoid intimacy.  But by denying our own emotions and feelings many of us travel down a self-destructive path that leads to promiscuity, addiction, neglect of our health, and overall unhappiness.  After we wear ourselves out, we realize there's something missing and decide we need to establish a new and healthy approach to life."  I thought the rugged producer would be turned off by the idea of men needing to be more sensitive and connected to their lives, but I was wrong.  He nodded his head in agreement.  Then he stroked his beard and uttered a deep  "Mmm hmm ... You're right.  I know exactly what you mean." I've had that same reaction from men of all ages, incomes, and ethnic backgrounds every time I bring up the topics in Understanding the Tin Man ; we all feel that our lives and relationships must change, but we haven't given ourselves permission to break out of the mold.  Society hasn't allowed us the freedom either, and so we remain the same and we live by a definition of manhood that leaves us stressed out.  We then seek solace in sex, money, drinking, getting high, or develop an insataible desire for power and control.  But those things only lead to more of nothing.  Some men can never have enough alcohol, drugs, sex, money, or power to make them feel complete.  We have to turn the equation inside out; develop what's on the inside.  By putting out lives in balance and developing the right perspective, we can enjoy our lives with increased health and prosperity. Excerpted from Understanding the Tin Man: Why So Many Men Avoid Intimacy by William July All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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