An Oil Change, Ten Years, and Stubbornness

(You guessed it…a story for guys.)

I had a really difficult time last time I changed my oil. I just couldn’t get the oil plug to budge, and it didn’t help that the bolt head was stripped a little from the previous oil change I did. I tried getting into different positions under the van to get better leverage, I tried knocking the wrench handle with a hammer, I even considered how I might break it loose with a breaker bar. My brother happened to be over and offered me an idea, “You’re going the wrong way with it.” I hadn’t asked for his help, mind you. “If I have spent the last ten minutes trying to get this off, don’t you think I would know which way it should go,” was my first thought, but wouldn’t you know it—he was right. I had been looking at the bolt lying on my back and got my lefty-loosey, righty-tighty mixed up, and with a few knocks of the wrench the other way it came loose.

My take-away from this embarrassing story is guys aren’t usually inclined to ask for help. Most of us want to go through the hard (some might say stupid or unnecessary) work to figure it out ourselves.   So when it comes time to transition from a stuck oil plug to a stuck area of our life, men usually aren’t as inclined to call up a shrink for some fixin’. For the most part guys are more activity driven and ladies are more relationally driven. I think its funny when my wife asks me after I get back from time with my dad or brother, “What did you guys talk about?” I’m guessing it’s the same as me asking her when she gets back from time with her mom, “What did you guys do?” You see, I’ll have a few sentences about what we talked about and then 5 minutes worth of what we did, and my wife will have a paragraph about what they did and then a novel worth of what they talked about. Based on this observation it makes sense to me that women are more inclined to go talk to someone about their problems than men are.

I can’t say that it was much different for me when I realized I needed to go talk to a counselor about a stuck area of my life. I was 27 when I was finally ready. I had noticed this stuck part of my life since I was in grade school, and probably knew in high-school that I should probably get some help with it; you know in that deep-down, will barely admit to the thought, kind of way. That’s over ten years of waiting to get help! And now, it has been almost ten years since I went to address this stuck part of my life. I’m not perfect at the changes I made, but I am different, and I’m a much better me than I was before.

If you are a guy with a stuck part of your life and you have stuck around reading for this long, then I’m hoping you will be ready to talk to someone about making some changes. The important part is that it is you who wants the change. If you are doing it for someone else, or to get someone off your back then you won’t have the motivation to see the change through. And the good news for guys is that once you make a decision for something you will stubbornly do what it takes to fix it, and put in the hard work required for successful change.

If you would like to make an appointment at the Rush Creek Counseling Center, please call 817-704-6991 or visit our webpage at to make an initial appointment.

Written by Justin Ziebarth, MA, LPC
Professional Counselor at the Rush Creek Counseling Center

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