Wolf Pack recap: Invite, don’t fight


We got together for “difficult conversations,” but, in the end, our Wolf Pack Vancouver crew had an easy one.

As Next Gen Men, we were set to explore why some conversations are more intimidating — and more thorny — than others, and, with the post-Thanksgiving lull in full effect, our group was more intimate than enormous.

What followed was a full and frank conversation of what drew each of us to NGM — how we found it in our community, and how our lives evolved to lead us there.

For some, it was a reaction against something.

One Next Gen Man recounted a time he found himself in the middle of a men’s meet-up (“Real Jordan Peterson-type stuff,” he recalls), and was quickly shown the door by the “brotherhood”, with which he had certain, er, conflicting views.

He found what he was looking for at NGM Wolf Pack — a positive response to all the modern day manifestations of toxic masculinity like “men’s rights” groups and the “Incel” movement.

And yet still, his experience at the “men’s rights meetup” still nags at him — what about the guys who are being taken in by their corrosive messages?

So what can we do for them? How do you talk to a friend (or a son, brother or stranger?) you feel is on a dangerous path?

What a question — especially for an evening about “difficult conversations.”.

Asking permission is a good start. (Basically, the opposite of the ambush-style “we talk now” demand.)

We agreed, too, that it’s important to remember that “difficult conversations” aren’t always about huge issues.

Mental illness, addiction, coming out, getting fired, firing someone — these things naturally come to mind first.

But the same ideas apply just as much to talking with a partner about a parking ticket or being real with your roommate about their mess.

Having difficult conversations means being vulnerable, holding a space for another person to be vulnerable — or both.

The stakes are high: start it on the wrong foot, or end it in the wrong spirit, and that difficult conversation could turn into a difficult relationship.

But remember: it’s difficult because it’s important.

(P.S. Huge thanks to Eventbase for hosting us!)

— Geoff Davies