Why you need to open up more, men
In my youth I was no gifted person with the ladies. In fact I would look at other men of my age group and watch them in awe at how they would naturally navigate amongst the sexier of our species and just, well, get them home. I was a dud, though. I’ve had all sorts happen to me in my quest for betterment. I’ve had women tell me it’s not what they are looking for right now, yet go and bang some dude that wouldn’t look out of place in a crime stoppers photo. I’ve had women outright laugh at me, walk out on me, start talking to me full of expectation and then watch as their faces drop disappointedly. Yeah, I was the regular trip up and fall flat on your face guy when it comes to relationships. I didn’t truly learn about women until I met Natalie, which sounds strange but I have a weird knack of using feelings in memories to assess how I was and the adjustments I should make in the future.
And it is from there that I fully embraced my masculinity. Like I know now that it’s perfectly natural to cry. Sometimes when I’m writing out these posts I get so wrapped up in emotion I need to break away for some time just to recover. There was an era in history, from our grandparents and before, when men were supposed to act as pillars of no emotion, as bastions of stiff upper lippery, and yet as I write this I can actually see how flawed the thinking is to this. I had a gentleman on some crazy Politics group once tell me that I needed to ‘man up’ and embrace what it is to be a man, and by his definition that is being so disconnected from my emotions that I don’t know if I’m coming or going.
“The grand alignment” let’s call it (yay, for another term) was when my body was finally tuned with my mind, no longer was I saying one thing and thinking something totally different. And it was such an eye opener.
A lot of men forget about their feelings, they forget that their heart and the hormones that drive them are just as powerful as the mind. There have been countless times where I’ve chosen to stifle my heart and listen to my brain, you see I’m very logically minded which means that I favour my brain above anything else. But what I didn’t realise is that all these crazy outbursts I was having, all the drinking, all the fear and the hatred was because I was not accessing my emotions in the way that I should. I was denying them a voice, or essentially, denying that they existed. To deny any part of yourself is to deny your very existence.
Why shouldn’t I cry? Why shouldn’t I feel emotion? Why shouldn’t I feel intense emotion? Why shouldn’t I embrace it? And more importantly why is this mocked? Why is the accepting the very essence of myself being mocked up and down like it’s the joke of the year?
Questions that I’ve asked myself for a few years now. And I’ve came to terms with it. You can get lost if you think I’m denying myself emotion for your insecurity. I see it everywhere, and not just in me and the way people interact with me but with my Son too, kids, asking him why his Dad gives him a hug and a kiss, and why he’s allowed to do the emotional things others aren’t – he’s 6 god dammit!! 6. That’s no age to be dressing him up like a man. It’s how I was beaten into shape. My Dad would take me behind the curtains and beat several shades of shit out of me,
“Cry? I’ll give you something to fucking cry about, son”
And thus this tarnished youthful sprite was successfully departed from his emotions, never to embark on them again until I was at least 27. Quite a denial phase for a young boy, beaten and scolded and told that the way he “feels” is why he’s getting a kicking – and yet I feel I’m not the only one in my era. I expect the same is a for a lot of males my age, albeit less of the beatings!
Ever heard the terms such as “You’re so emotional!” or, “Jesus, you’re just like a woman, calm down Mavis” terms that seek to strip the very fibre of yourself away. You’re probably angry, or happy, or sad about something and those feelings are perfectly valid no matter what anyone tells you. Let’s make it clearn now that whatever you are feeling, right now is valid. Because you know exactly how you feel about something, and no-one else can tell you differently. After all, you are always going to be you. No-one else will. And if you’re feeling upset – own that damn shit. It’s totally valid.
It’s why I don’t see many men at the school gates with their sons or daughters waiting to take them in or out. Those of us men that have had the fortune to embrace with our nurturing side quite happily walk our children up there, hand in hand, talking happily, without a care in the world, to society, or what anyone else thinks of us for that matter. Maybe this judgement is unfair of me? After all a lot of men work long hours whilst the woman stays at home, but then, this has been my life. My last job I came in 30 mins late just to take my son to school, and I would end up working 30 mins later at the end of my shift to make up the hours. Alas, who am I to judge, there are many sides to life!
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