To the men reading this, you will leave with a better understanding of yourself, emotionally. To the women reading this, you will leave with a better understanding of why men are the way they are when it comes to their emotions.
When I was a kid I had anger issues. When I felt my emotion boil up they would come out in bursts of screaming or punching something. I’d disassociate from people around me, especially my family, even though at the time I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. It’s a habit I still have today.
I remember being very observant, noticing the same patterns in grown men, the kind of patterns you see today. Men keep to themselves and suppress their emotions. We tend to call this masculinity.
But I've thought about this. What makes you more of a man? Never being able to handle emotions so they always come out as anger? or being able to let them run through you where you have full awareness of what you feel?
Your dad most likely has a gap in your heart, even if you know you love him. If he is a masculine man who doesn't show emotion, there is always some sort of disconnect, even if it is small. In my case, I would notice the men around me, how they were quiet, held their emotions in, and be a man.
After all, hard lives create hard men, but as a masculine man, there is a flaw with this idea. Let’s say a cup of water represents me. I am the cup, and the water is everything I keep inside. It’s memories, pain, trauma, and emotions. As time passes, my cup fills with water through the nature of life. But when a cup gets too full of water, what happens when you bump it? It spills.
Even though it’s an accident, you still have to clean it up. These spills are when you act out of anger, yell at someone you love, then feel that guilt after. It’s when men get to the breaking point and start crying for the first time in years. As a new-age man myself, I do look up to my dad in how he always solves the problems of his life.
When my mom would stress and make that stress known, he would be trying to solve whatever it was. I could tell he was stressed too, but I always knew he would figure it out. I think we all look up to that traditional way of men. We like to practice being hard. We like thinking about the romantic man who has such a strong, masculine essence to him. We like fantasizing about the stories of strong men leading wars, building empires, and just being men.
But there are things we don’t see, and we have to think past the things we don’t see in order to understand the rest of the picture. I remember asking college-aged guys what is a feeling they miss. They said they miss contentment, the feeling of looking forward to something, to being in love. If you look at these videos there is literal depth in their eyes.
You can tell this kind of question unlocks a part of them they hide, but it’s also the thoughts they can’t escape. If I can notice this in 20-year-old men, imagine what’s inside the eyes of 50-year-old men.
This brings me to my next point, men need other men. We are tribal. We thrive best when our support system of men is strong and filled with love. But I’ve noticed a trend in modern friend groups, especially in men. It’s just joking on each other for jokes, wrestling, and talking about sports.
The issue I have isn't this in itself, it's making emptiness become a habit. We know our male friend groups are like a tribe, and as a tribe, we should be able to be open without pressure. I want to be able to talk about anything without feeling any pressure, but the issue is that one word, pressure. What happens is we open up, get shut down on, and even though it’s all jokes we are reluctant to open up the next time. This pattern continues until you all realize the bond you once had is gone. You don’t talk about the things you used to, you don’t bond the way you used to.
Something specific is on my mind, and it’s the thing I think all men will relate to. Men want so desperately to be able to let out the problems they have with love, with women. I’ve noticed with my friends, our most vulnerable side of ourselves comes out when we open up the soft spot in our hearts, the side of us that longs for love.
This is also when we leave the conversation with a stronger connection. Imagine how much good it would do if men were able to open up with their tribe rather than overshare with a girl who now respects him less. With the right girl, this won't happen. The right girl will want you to open up.
She will be receptive and reciprocate the vulnerability you share with her. But men don't do this. They put on the hard side of them and suppress the softer side they 'know' isn't attractive. Then they eventually open up and the girl respects him less, subconsciously. The issue isn't opening up, it's never opening up in the first place.
You attracted the kind of person who isn't equipped to handle their emotions. The side of you that showed on the surface isn't a full representation of who you really are, so you attract what isn't fully meant for you. Maybe you got what you wanted, but it didn't and will never feel true to your soul.
I've always wondered what it meant to be yourself, and I always wanted a reason why it was better. It's better because you will attract what is actually meant for you when you are you. Imagine some time in the past you were with your soul mate one day, but your souls never collided because she never saw the real you.
But still, there is hesitation with this idea of opening up because of pain. This is probably what stays on a man’s mind, and it’s why they don’t open up. Men are so afraid of oversharing and looking weak, and they feel like that vulnerability leads to pain. Even though this may feel true, men need emotion.
This lack of emotion is why I used to feel uncontrollable bursts of anger. It’s why men have that quiet, death stare. To the women seeing this, you know what I’m talking about. To the men seeing this, you just don’t know the underlying reason for it.
We aren’t equipped to handle our emotions, let feelings run through us. We are equipped with putting them to the side. We end up thinking this is the better route because we can take care of ourselves, and our women, and be stronger. But imagine the kind of love we would be able to feel if we were able to handle emotions.
Imagine if we were able to keep the cup half full to prevent accidental spills. Beautiful things happen when we can open our hearts as men.
I think the best way to start learning to handle emotion is to talk about the things we keep hidden, with our boys. One of those deep talks where all judgment is to the side. When we express what we keep hidden, we start to understand ourselves on a different level.
How will you ever fully feel love if you don't fully feel your other emotions? How will you understand the feeling of love if you don't understand your other feelings? Imagine a life where you never got the chance to reciprocate genuine love because you never knew how.
When you start talking about the things you keep hidden, you start to see the rest of the iceberg. You begin to put in words how you feel, which creates the deepest connection with anyone. We become able to connect with feminine energy better, and we can tell people we love them. We can say the words ‘I love you’ without it feeling off anymore.