February 19, 2021 | By tj

Real Men Don’t Cry

This one is for the fellas out there; ladies feel free to stick around but I’m talking to the fellas here. Alright fellas lets get real, emotions suck. They hurt, they ask more of us than most things ever will, they put us out of our comfort zone, they are something that we cannot conquer. Emotions often throw a wrench into our planned-out day, a happy moment turns into sad reflection on old times, our quiet time turns into a scrolling list of all our insecurities, the feel-good moment in a movie turns into us busting a blood vessel to hold back tears and forcing out a “not bad” as the credits roll. Why? Why are we so afraid to feel? Why are we so opposed to having a good cry or telling someone that we don’t feel like ourselves today? Is it because we have bought into the idea that “real men don’t cry” or that emotion shows weakness?

We are taught from a young age that emotions aside from anger are weak.  There are rules that we must follow from a young age, “don’t cry”, “suck it up”, “walk it off”, “rub some dirt on it”, “don’t be weak”. And whether we want to admit it or not those things stay with us, they become an unconscious part of who we are. We feel, we push it down, we move on; lather, rinse, and repeat. And we maintain our status as a man, in fact we become more manly because we have conquered adversity and overcome emotions. We continue to go throughout life as emotionally immature beings, struggling with processing our feelings but again, not showing anything to the outside world.

Embracing your emotions and feelings will not only benefit yourself but, it will be a benefit to your significant others, your children, friends, co-workers, family, on and on the list goes. Imagine going into a meeting with your boss knowing exactly how they feel about your work, you would know how to approach the conversation, you would know where you can push and where to lay off. It’s the same with our emotions, when we tell the people in our life about how we are feeling they are better prepared to embrace us in the way we need.

I am writing this as a letter to myself, I struggle to share my emotions with others, I am afraid of being a burden. I don’t want others to worry about me, I don’t want the attention, I don’t want to feel weak. But recently I have come to a point where my emotions could no longer be contained. I realized that I was holding back from the people in my life who cared about me, I wasn’t fully there for them because I wouldn’t let them be fully there for me. As men we must be vulnerable, we must embrace our emotions, we must be willing to communicate those emotions and allow those who care for us to walk with us through them. A great leader will let their supporters know what they need. We don’t have to walk through this alone, embrace, reflect, ask. I promise you will see the benefit.