If Dad Is A Con Man, What Do You Learn About Being A Man?

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Laurence Johns grew up as a skateboarding punk in the rough and tumble South East side of London with a con man as his father. What lessons do you learn about what it means to be a man when your dad is in and out of prison? And, more importantly, how do you overcome those lessons?

Other topics discussed…

The “exhausting game” played by Laurence growing up which focused on safety as power over others. Power was gained in his world by getting one over on another first, moving up the pecking order, being good at fighting, and being smarter than others. One lesson – find out what others want and exploit that desire. Another lesson – you are either predator or prey (and if you are prey, you deserve whatever you get).

How are men dealing with the isolation and lack of meaning due to the pandemic? The need for self-compassion and self-care rise to the top of the list right now.

In the U.K., homosexuality was illegal up until (roughly) 1968, so touch was “dangerous for men.” And men need touch just as much as women.

Boys wrestle and fight as a way to get their need for touch met in a socially acceptable way.

Laurence Johns is a men’s personal development professional, writer, and the Training and Outreach Director of the ManKind Project UK&I, a charity that supports all men to establish and pursue their life purpose and nurture their emotional wellbeing. The ManKind Project UK&I is part of a global network that has been offering men transformational experiences and supporting them in peer-facilitated men’s groups since 1984.  

Laurence is the co-founder of ‘Project: I am John’; a not-for-profit organisation that creates accessible and entertaining entry points for men to ask the difficult questions about masculinity, have difficult conversations, and provide ongoing support and development at a price point that excludes no-one by using a ‘paid forward’ model. The project’s first feature film is currently in pre-production and is set for release in 2020. He is currently writing his first book on men’s personal development. Laurence works, writes and skateboards in South East London where he lives with his partner and their son.  


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