I’m sure that every man has heard the phrase “real men don’t cry” at one stage or another in their life—it’s a saying that is as old as the hills.
The whole stigma and ingrained ideology that men are supposed to be strong, the whole real-men-don’t-cry concept is inherently flawed—men are brainwashed from a young age that we shouldn’t express weak emotions, and we learn to bury them, bottle them up, and ignore them.
What does this do, ignoring the so-called weak emotions?
It renders us almost incapable of dealing with emotional trauma, unable to express our emotions, or properly deal with them. And, in doing so, these unresolved feelings or emotions then translate into anger because this emotion has been cultivated as a normal response to trauma, as the correct emotional responses have either been suppressed, never learned, or completely ignored.
As a grown up man, with years of emotional conditioning, it’s difficult to untrain our brain in its, now natural, response to any emotional trauma. But if we are aware of it, we can work on it but—and this is a big but—we have the ability to change this for the next and coming generations.
Teach the younger generation of boys that it’s okay to cry; it doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you less of a man. In fact, if you know how to deal with these traumatic emotions, without letting them devolve into anger, it actually makes you a better man, not less of one.
It’s okay to feel hurt, to feel the pain of betrayal, the feeling of loss, or whatever is causing you emotional trauma, it’s okay to speak to someone about what you are feeling, to ask for help, emotional support, or simply just an ear to listen.
Real men don’t cry—absolute rubbish, and an archaic and barbaric mindset.
“Real men feel, real men hurt, real men can deal with this and don’t lash out in anger but instead understand the pain, accept that it’s real and work through it, a real man is not afraid to cry.” ~ Douglas Viljoen
That’s what a real man does.