Why men find connecting and sharing their emotions difficult

mens emotions comic

I have seen many times in my life that men’s failure to connect to others and share their emotions has a high cost. We see this in society at large, and even in our normal relationships with others. Let me share why I think this is happening.

mens emotions comic
men’s emotions comic

It starts primarily with our society. We have taught men to control their emotions and that women are emotional and men are logical. So as a society, we narrowly define what genders should be doing. By doing so we cut off the intelligence of many women and the feelings and capabilities of many men.

Then if the message from society isn’t believed, there is peer pressure. Men who do show emotion are routinely punished by other men. They are called “over-sensitive” and “feminine”. I myself have been called those things on a regular basis. In fact, I have been called over-sensitive by bosses. When I asked multiple coworkers if I was over-sensitive they said I wasn’t, and that the boss was under-sensitive.

As a society, we send mixed messages to men and women. We say to men that they have to be tough and be a good father. Yet many men interpret being tough as not sharing their emotions and that doesn’t help make them a good father. As men, we have to be courageous in sharing who we are, or society suffers.

Men are punished by being different. If you are too emotional or do too many things that women also do you are criticized. I was insulted in the past for my interests in cooking, sewing, and acting. I was told I was a “f*” for doing those things. Even now, at some bars when I order a mixed drink some bartenders have implied that it is a “woman’s drink”. I even had a coworker I worked with who said this to me. I replied that a man chooses whatever he likes and that the ability to choose makes him a man.

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So often when you are not part of the classic male mold you are criticized. Yet how often do we stereotype people when they don’t fit into our preconceived ideas? Rather than judge people, you can accept them for who they are. This is the single best thing you can do to help men express their emotions.