I feel sorry for men.
More to the point, I feel sorry for the men that feel they can’t express their true emotions.
Having spent my entire life as a woman, I can’t fully understand the pressure men are under to “be a man”. It must be terrible to grow up being told to “man up” whenever emotions start to surface.
Why do we associate manliness with having a lack of emotion?
We are all human beings, and as such, have come complete with a vast array of emotions, so why not use them as and when they are needed.
A man that lacks emotion doesn’t appear any more manly to me. However, in some sense he appears less human to me.
Emotions are a way of expressing how we feel, whether we are happy, sad, joyful, scared, content, surprised, angry, or wherever we happen to be in that moment. How wonderful it is that we can communicate to ourselves and others how we are feeling at any given time.
There have been times in my life when I have suppressed certain emotions from certain people because of their reactions. For example, if I’m feeling sad, there are some around me that want to move me on from my sadness so I’ll often hear “aw, don’t be sad” as if it’s a bad thing. The only bad thing is not experiencing that emotion which means I’m not being true to myself. What is so wrong with feeling sad? If we never felt sad then we wouldn’t know how to recognise happiness when it came along. And what if we were perpetually happy? Isn’t that just as bad? I don’t want to be a robot, I want to be a human.
Why do we see some emotions as good, i.e. happy, joy, surprise, but others as bad, i.e. anger, sadness, despair? They are all good in equal measure. Sure I’d worry about a friend that was feeling sad if that sadness was going on for many weeks or months. But equally so I’d worry about someone that was happy all the time. I’d be concerned that the happy they show the world is merely a face they put on in the morning to mask their true self, and that perhaps inside they were in utter sadness.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s great to be happy. But I also think it’s great to express all the other emotions that come up from time to time as a result of life’s challenges.
In recent years I’ve made my emotions my friends. I feel what I need to feel and let it take over my being. I find when I don’t fight back to suppress them, they last as long as they need to get me through whatever challenges I’m facing and I’m much calmer from the experience.
So let’s embrace the fact we have come with a complete set of emotions and we know how to use them and “be a human”!