By Minhaz Remo
Why being vulnerable is the bravest thing to do
With social media causing us to question everything these days, the idea of masculinity is thrown into flux, causing a lot of confusion, especially amongst young people. One commonly held notion that is being rightfully challenged now, is about men and their ability to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is such a taboo word when it comes to men’s mental health that many shy away from the topic like it’s a garbage truck on a hot summer day. From an early age, men are conditioned to believe that expressing their feelings is out of character with the male identity.
“Don’t cry, men don’t cry!”
As if showing their emotions will take away the strength and character of a man. This false and toxic belief has been shaping the modern world for generations, and it is doing more harm than good.
How is this hurting others?
Women are often treated with tenderness, whereas most men are always told to toughen up. These kinds of thought processes are not only conditioning society to ignore men’s emotion as a whole but also teaching men to bottle up, and bury everything, because it is common knowledge that their feelings are not valid. This continues until there is a big outburst and the casualties are lost relationships, friendship, jobs etc.
“Men don’t feel pain”
Many women complain that their partners aren’t emotionally available, involved, or they are abusive, and harsh. Why are they, have you ever considered? They’ve never received tender care in the first place. They don’t know how to express their feelings in a healthy way. They never got the chance to! They never put in the hours of trial and error to express how they feel, so they end up having very poor communication skills in their personal life. It affects their work, their relationships, family and their sanity.
it’s not just their problem, as we can see. Society as a whole is involved with both sexes. But as long as these misconceptions exist, other people will never let men be men.
How can you express yourself in a healthy way?
Stop forming biased opinions and acting out.
She offered to pay for me? She must be attacking my manhood.
Just because one person made you feel like trash doesn’t mean others will. Treat everyone as a case-to-case basis. Understand this: our mind likes to formulate to save headspace because too many decisions paralyze us. There is nothing wrong with it. Regardless you must take a step back and see this from a detached point of view, then act, not react.
If something upsets you, share it with a detailed explanation.
Take your time, but open up and express your feelings with as many details as possible. This gives the other person information for them to process and understand you better. The more the info, the better the understanding.
Don’t expect everyone to understand all the details, speak to them at their level and vocabulary. Case to case basis, remember?
You may think that your friends don’t listen, but trust me there are a few rare gems in your life.
They do listen. You will just have to find them. The way you find them is to find out the people who are just as weird as you are. I have met good friends who share mutual traumas. So can you.
Remember – your vibe will attract your tribe. Be you and without hesitation show some of your interests online, you will see a few common people always react to your funny memes. They are your tribe.
Like all the great men before us have done so, so can you. Journaling isn’t just a time capsule; it is a processor. It helps you process meaning, information, events.
Journaling isn’t an active way to understand your own feelings. Don’t think of it as a task or worry about word counts. Even if it is just one sentence, start with one!
Men being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing. A man can be dangerous and vulnerable. A man can feel and act with as much emotion as possible. Being a robot isn’t cool, being a human is. Encourage open communication and let others understand you. If it gets too much, speak to a therapist. Be a man, and take charge of your mental health.