What do you think of when you hear the term “real man?”
Typically, our mind tends to think of what we see in the media, on TV, or in movies. This causes a problem: these views on what a real man is like are wrong. It’s time to throw out the stigmas of men. Being a real man isn’t material. It isn’t about how much money you have or how physically strong you are. It’s about the actions you take. One of the biggest stigmas men face is that of how they are supposed to handle their emotions. Let’s address this stigma.
As boys or young adults, males hear a lot of talk about what they’re supposed to do with their emotions and feelings. Whether it be from their male role models or what they have seen in the media. Now, have you ever recalled a time in your life where you’ve heard something like “real men don’t cry” or “real men keep their feelings inside.” Odds are, you probably have, but why are we taught this?
We are born to express ourselves.
It is in our nature to show some form of emotion every day. Whether it be excitement for plans you have, anger over something that happened, and so on. So where did we decide as a society that men aren’t supposed to show emotion? Truth be told, we can’t answer that. What we can do, however, is discuss how to move past that in hopes of ending the stigma.
Men should be in touch with their emotions. Keeping them inside in hopes of being a “real man” is a toxic trait to have. Think in terms of relationships, do you really believe your significant other wants you to keep everything inside? No, they want to talk to you. They want to know what is going on in your brain, how you feel about them, and how you feel about things in general.
Real men aren’t afraid to talk about how they feel.
Real men know the damages caused by keeping everything inside. Don’t let what the media or Hollywood tell you what makes a real man. We all have struggles, we all have emotions and feelings. Talking them out will help you feel better, shows maturity, and is an effective form of communication.
Apply this idea of being open with your emotions to all facets of your life. Keeping your emotions inside can really hurt your mental state. Don’t’ be foolish to the idea that men can be depressed and men can have anxiety. Mental illness is a very real thing and it doesn’t just apply to women. Talk out the issues and struggles you are having. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Men shouldn’t fear expressing themselves.
Let’s end this stigma!