You big wussy, suck it up, crybaby! Have you ever heard any of these or said any of these to anyone? These are definitely some reasons why men have difficulty with emotions. Maybe you cried and were made fun of because of it. Or maybe you were scared and had to suppress those feelings in order to feel accepted.
In this video, we are going to understand a little more about why men don’t show emotion and then talk about why showing emotion is actually really good for you.
I saw a study that was done and it said there are 27 different emotions that we experience. For the purpose of this video, let’s stick with the 6 major ones:
I think for men, 2 of these really stand out as us having difficulty with them: sadness and fear. For the most part, I don’t think men have too much of a problem showing the other types of feelings. So let’s focus on sadness and fear.
Why Don’t Men Show these Emotions?
1) They don’t know how to show emotion – How can you show emotion if you if you were never taught. If you grew up with a dad who never cried or showed emotion, it makes sense. Let’s just make sure your son doesn’t get to use the same excuse.
2) Fear of Weakness – Did you ever hear any of these as a kid:
“boys don’t cry”
“swallow those tears”
“crying is for sissies”
“what are you scared of?”
All of these phrases have negative connotations with men and emotions. Boys are taught from a very young age that having these emotions is a bad thing.
3) Fear of being judged – This sort of goes along with the weakness but men fear being judged for being an emotional man. You think you will be judged negatively. It’s a fear that people will think less of you. Maybe people will look down at you. You may not want to show emotions in front of your wife because you think she will think negatively of you. She may then think you are needy or have low self-esteem. We keep the emotions inside for the fear of being seen this way.
4) Protecting Someone else – Whether it’s our spouse, our kids, or anyone else, we will often refrain from showing emotion in order to protect someone else. We don’t want them to be effected by our emotions. When my mother passed away, I didn’t want my kids to see me cry. I felt like if I was upset in front of them, it would cause them to get upset too. Going through grief counseling allowed me to understand that it was ok to show the emotion and be authentic. In fact, it allowed my children to see how I felt about my mom. I was sad, that was the reality.
Now that we understand why men don’t often show emotion, let’s look at;
Why It’s Important for Men to Show Emotions
1) It allows you to be authentic – Humans have emotions, it’s the reality….and being authentic is important both for you and your child. In the example I provided about my mother and allowing my kids to see me cry, they were able to see the real me. I actually felt a lot better when I did it because i didn’t have to hide it anymore.
2) Improves mental health – Allowing yourself to feel and express your emotions is good for your mental well being. Have you ever expressed some negative feelings and then afterward just felt better? It can provide you that mental release.
3) Improves physical health – In addition to the mental release, you can also benefit physically. Bottling up emotions can actually cause physical pain. You may feel this in your chest, have back issues, neck problems, etc. Expressing emotions can make you actually feel better physically as well. Maybe like a weight has been lifted off of you.
4) Can improve connection with others – Having emotions is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Vulnerability can allow people to better understand you. As a result, they will feel more connected to you. Men showing emotion is important. It’s important for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to shed a little tear or admit that you are scared.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you had difficulty expressing your emotions? What’s been the reason you haven’t shown emotion? Leave your feedback in the comments section below.