Wendyl Nissen: Cuddly Prince William is an example to all men

Prince William
"I like Prince William much more now that I know he likes a cuddle." Photo credit: AAP file

OPINION: Prince William was "caught" at the weekend hugging huge rugby royal Mike Tindall during a family day out at the polo.

The Queen was horrified, the Duke barely noticed and Kate made a mental note that those counselling sessions have really paid off. (I made that bit up but it's probably true.)

I like Prince William much more now that I know he likes a cuddle and this lovely moment, coming on the back of his recent unloading of his emotional grief about losing his mother Princess Diana nearly 20 years ago, should be seen by men of the world as permission to let it all out. Really, no one will die.

Last week I was in a meeting with a male colleague who got some bad news on his phone.

"Do you feel like talking it out?" I said. "Or we could hug it out?"

"No, I'm going to internalise it," he replied.

We were joking, but not really because for the next 10 minutes he was in our meeting but I could tell his mind was elsewhere, busy wrapping up the problem in a nice tight package of emotional leak-proof angst and slotting it away wherever men slot these things, possibly in their gut or perhaps behind their manly chests.

I've spent years trying to get the men in my life to "let go", "talk it out" and "share" but to this day I remain unsuccessful. And then the smartphone arrived, giving them the perfect avoidance barrier as they stare forlornly at a screen for hours on end without registering a single emotion. Whereas the women in my life, well we just let it all out and overshare till the cows come home.

I think the reason men are so unwilling to share their feelings is because they have seen what happens when we do. It just leads to more drama, sometimes going on for days as we women try to analyse all the feelings, have a journey, an "aha" moment and a learning, work on some sort of strategy to resolve the issues and come to closure, just because one of us said how we really felt.

Men, on the other hand, instinctively know that for them it is better in the long run to shut up, gaze at your phone for a while, then walk out of the room. Problem solved.

So hug away William and Mike because nothing is changing. Women will continue to do a better job of dealing with their emotions and men will continue to worry themselves into dying on average at a younger age than we do.

Wendyl Nissen is an experienced magazine and television journalist, and will host RadioLIVE's Afternoon Talk, weekdays from midday until 3pm, from Monday June 26.

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