Vail Man-to-Man: To get respect you need to respect yourself |

Vail Man-to-Man: To get respect you need to respect yourself

Wayne M. Levine
Vail, CO Colorado

Dear Wayne,

I feel very weak as a man. I have my own business but my employees do not seem to respect me. Things at home are not much better. My children do not respect me and I am not certain my wife does. My employees and my family should appreciate me and respect me for what I do. How can I convince them to behave differently?



Dear Disrespected,

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How can others respect a man who clearly does not respect himself? What kind of a role model are you for your employees and, more importantly, your children? Chances are, you wife has little respect for you as well. So, what’s this weak man to do?

It’s time to develop your N.U.T.s ” your non-negotiable, unalterable terms. These are the things that a man is committed to, what defines you as a man. I recommend that you pick up a copy of my book at, and start working on becoming that stronger and more self-confident man, employer, husband and father.

When a man is without N.U.T.s, he’s full of doubt and fear. It’s the doubt and fear that translates into low self-esteem. Once you get the support you need to realize that you have every reason to respect and honor yourself for who you are and what you’ve accomplished, you will soon see that respect reflected in the eyes and behaviors of those closest to you. It’s not about convincing them. It’s about being that better man and earning their respect.

But all of this won’t happen over night and it won’t happen unless you receive the support of men who understand your challenge. Find a mentor or a men’s group and get into action. Once you make commitments to be that stronger man and are held accountable to those commitments, you’ll begin to see and feel a real and strong difference.

Dear Wayne,

My buddies and I had a weekly phone call where we would check in with each other and help each out with work and relationships and whatever else came up. We got together on the phone because we’re now scattered all over the country. Well, several months ago I got very judgmental about my friends and their problems. Rather than tell the men what I was thinking, I just disappeared, convinced that their petty issues were a waste of my time. Despite their many attempts to reach out to me, I remained unreachable in my cave. They finally gave up. Now I want back in. I want to reconnect and I just haven’t got the courage to face them. I’m so ashamed. How do I get through this?



Dear Caveman,

Welcome back. That little boy in you made you take your ball and go home. But fortunately for you ” and eventually for your buddies ” the man in you has reemerged. But he’s full of shame and afraid. That makes sense. But there’s really only one option: take a deep breath, grab hold of those jewels and make the first call.

An important tool for any strong and successful man is to be able and willing to own up to the truth. In this case, the truth is you were a jerk and now you can own it. It’s that simple.

The longer you hold on to your shame, the bigger this monster is going to appear to you. But it’s all in your head. Your buddies have been your friends for a long time. They care about you. Go home. Tell them the story and tell them how you feel. I suspect that they all, at one time or another, had similar judgmental feelings. And I guarantee that all of them have made choices that they ultimately regretted.

The best way to silence the little boy is it to act like the man you want to be. Go be that man and you’ll be giving yourself and your buddies a great gift.

Wayne M. Levine, M.A., mentors men to be better men, husbands and fathers. E-mail your questions to See how you can become a better man at

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