How to Cry Like a Man?
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” — Brené Brown.
We live in a world where our lives are dictated according to gender norms. Men don’t wear pink; it’s a feminine colour. Men don’t cry or show weakness; it is a trait that is for women.
And, that is where the foundation stirs. Feeling emotions is not a man or a woman thing; every single human feels emotions, be it a surge of happiness or the dawning sadness. But, given how bound we are with the societal norms, you will not find a single man who hasn’t struggled with being vocal about their emotions.
From a tender age, men are told that crying is a sign of weakness and vulnerability that women do and men don’t.
“Real men don’t cry,” is what the society said.
But, is it even true?
REAL Men Don’t Cry — Is it true?
Let’s start this section with an example.
Take every man’s beloved source of entertainment — sports. Whenever a man’s favourite team wins a game after a struggling battle against the other team, you will find groups of friends in the bleachers hugging in circles, with their eyes rimmed red.
When asked, crying in such situations is called Masculine and Justified.
But, similarly, a man crying while watching an ending scene to a tragic movie is labelled as a “wuss.” Because, men crying while watching a movie is not a sign of masculinity.
People fail to realize that being vulnerable and emotive is not a sign of weakness. Men crying over petty and simple things is not a sign of weakness. It shows they care.
We have oppressed men from showing their real emotions so much that they don’t feel secure crying in public. But, does that mean that they don’t cry at all? Statistics suggest that men cry 1–2 times a month, which is slightly lesser than what women do.
Every man that you meet has a series of oppressed feelings buried within them that they want to share and cry about, only if they didn’t feel pathetic while doing so.
So, how to cry like a man, and why is it so important that they do?
Understand Your Emotions First
“Treat your tears like a welcomed guest you invite into your home, even if you have no idea yet why they have come.” — Jan Meyers Proett.
Tears, be it of happiness or sorrow, only come when it deals with something that you have invested your time and heart into. It could be the first moment you held your baby in your arms or the moment your business secured its first investor — the reasons are amiable and plenty.
To learn how to cry, you need to understand and value your emotions. It is what most men don’t do.
They have been programmed in such a way from a young age that feeling something in small victories seem petty to them. And, it’s not their fault.
You need to welcome your tears and normalize feeling weak and vulnerable. Most of the times, we fail to express our emotions because we don’t understand them.
So, you could have tears in your eyes even before you realise what you are crying about. You need to understand that the tears you are shedding aren’t frivolous, they matter even if you don’t understand the meaning behind it yet.
Let Your Emotions Take Control
For years, men have been told that crying is a weak trait. So, they have built their walls so high up that crying on occasions that demand such emotions can be preemptive.
Instead, you need your emotions to take the reign and sometimes, its okay for your tears to take you by surprise. Your tears will generally come when they need to, and this is where you take control and allow them to come instead of pushing your emotions to the backseat and faking strength.
It is never easy to break down the walls that the society and gender norms have made you build ever since your childhood. But that is what you need to do. You have to let your emotions and the tear jump you and win. It would help if you let it overpower your fight against that feeble definition of masculinity that the society has ingrained into your mind.
There is no guide on “How to deal with emotions as a man” much like how there isn’t one for women. So, to tell you precisely what standard points you need to follow to cry when you have to as a man is futile.
You need to embrace it within yourself and realize that crying doesn’t have any impact on one’s masculinity. You need to tell and enforce this idea in you that vulnerability is courageous. You need to find ways to celebrate your emotions, even if they aren’t worth celebrating.
Famous sociologist, Brene Brown once said that vulnerability is a sign of weakness that you feel but to the people around you or the ones looking at you; it reflects a sign of courage. Men aren’t told this often, and that is exactly why they have a hard time accepting emotions and expressing them.
We, as a society, need to instill this belief that when a man cries, they are crying like a man. We need to overthrow the phrase “Stop crying like a woman or Stop crying like a girl” that is casually said to a man when they cry.
There are parents and family who get physical when they see their boy cry because that is not a “Manly trait”. And, this is what needs to stop altogether.
A man crying doesn’t have to be anything other than him crying because he’s too happy or because he’s having the worst day of his life. There doesn’t have to be a suffix to the reason behind their expression.
Set Better Examples
Not just as individuals, we as a society need to enforce the idea that crying is acceptable for a man. We need to establish examples for our coming generations telling them that men can cry.
Families need to be accepting of the fact that men are human beings too, filled with emotions, that need to be let out whenever needed. Fostering the constant belief that “Men don’t feel pain” and “Men shouldn’t be vulnerable” needs to be a thing of the past.
Role models and artists need to preach to their fanbase to learn and accept their emotions. If you have someone who looks up to you, teach them that crying is a human thing and not a man or a woman thing.
If you haven’t met good men who aren’t shy about expressing their emotions, you need to go out and find men who do. Instead of walking away from a scene of a crying man, you need to see and empathize with them. If you don’t take enough steps in the direction towards acceptance, you are setting your coming generations up for failure.
Constant Cycle of Repression
Even with the world advancing in the field of science, technology and medicine, we are failing as human beings.
While we celebrate victories with parties and get-togethers, we never accept failures and lament over them. Not seeing our fathers and grandfathers cry in front of us is what has set us up for this constant cycle of repression.
Seeing men in your close vicinity not cry and “get over it” instills the feeling within you that crying is not okay, and this keeps on progressing through the generations.
Instead, teach your sons that it’s okay to cry, even if its in front of the entire family or front of the whole school. In short, we need to start letting men cry.
We need to find ways to break this cycle, so it doesn’t keep on progressing through the generations, leaving men emotionless and scared of embracing vulnerability when there is nothing wrong with it.
While we have walked you through so many details concerning emotions, feelings, vulnerability and masculinity, there’s nothing that explains it better than a professional. Personalized life coaching at Mattrix.in is one of the best ways of reflecting on your actions and finding ways to overcome the traits of toxic masculinity.
Hearing from someone like Dr. Paras could be the slight awakening that you needed to accept your emotions and work on them. Remember that what you learned in your childhood is likely going to be passed down to your children in the way you act around them. Instead of repressing your son’s emotions, you need to teach them how to accept it.
Pledge that from here on, you will teach your sons that being vulnerable is courageous and not a sign of weakness. If you want to teach your son how to cry, you need first to teach them that there is nothing wrong with men crying; real men do feel. It is the baby steps that bring significant changes. So, start small.
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