Let me begin by saying yes, men do have feelings. Despite what you may have heard or experienced, men do, in fact, have emotions.
Now, whether or not we feel so inclined to show them... well, that’s a different story entirely.
I mean, it’s not like society is very receptive to the entire premise of the “emotional man,” which is sad, really.
It’s 2015; everybody and his sister (no pun intended) say they support feminism, yet the minute a man decides to break – even temporarily – from his presumed state of emotional apathy, he’s labeled effeminate.
If you want an example, look no further than everyone’s favorite: Heartbreak Drake. Poor guy writes a few songs about love and has inadvertently labeled himself “soft” to such a degree that Charmin would benefit greatly from some of his personal branding strategies.
Oh, men show emotion all right – it’s just that when they do, it’s usually not all that well received. From what I’ve learned, the whole notion that women yearn for a “sensitive man” is bullsh*t, anyway.
I know women want aggressive men, men who will walk right up to them at the bar and sweep them off their feet – that much, I know.
Yet, for whatever reason, I’ve yet to catch wind of dudes looking to pick up chicks by sobbing next to them at the bar, commenting on how beautiful the sunset was.
Manliness today is conveyed through brashness. Masculinity is found on the football field, in beards (along with parts of last meal) or on a set of barbecue tongs, for that matter.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a long list of things that make a man more “macho,” but feeling isn’t one of them.
So if we act a certain way, or withhold from acting a certain way, with regard to our emotions – it’s not so much a reflection of us as it is the people around us.
We've been hurt before.
It’s not that we’re void of emotion; we’re just more deliberate with how we choose to show it.
It only takes getting your heart broken one time to realize the ones you trust the most are also capable of hurting you the most.
I think back to my first relationship, and while I don’t regret falling head over heels, it’s hard not to scratch my head at how blind I became over the course of it.
When you first fall in love, you really do want to tell everyone – it’s actually pretty mortifying in hindsight, especially once that person ends up cheating on you.
Once you get hurt though, you realize how vulnerable you had once made yourself.
Guys who choose not to show their emotions aren’t any manlier than the next man. Nine times out of 10, they’ve just been through more sh*t than he has.
It's smarter not to show our hand.
While it’s certainly healthy for men to express their emotions, it’s not always the most conducive to their careers of choice.
I’m a writer, so if I’m having a bad day and feel like throwing on some of Billy Joel’s “The Stranger” en route to a good cry, it usually won’t affect my daily agenda.
For those of us, however, who work in the finance world – or sales, for instance – you’re expected to maintain a level head for the greater good of the business.
Emotion can hinder judgment, which might help you en route to chasing the woman of your dreams, but won’t always result in the most rational decisions.
If the people around you notice you’re emotional, it might show you’re prone to reacting on impulse, which ultimately provides them with a target.
This is why a lot of men will safeguard their own feelings, at least outside of their own bedroom, or sauna or wherever their personal place of meditation might be.
We’re worried about the public response.
A lot of men are afraid to show their emotions. While most men won’t show any restraint when replaying a sexual encounter to their group of “boys,” they’re usually not as fast to open up about a new girl they might have feelings for or a past relationship that still might be bothering them.
As a result, we act as though nothing fazes us, as if we’re immune to any emotion.
In the minds of many men, if we prove to those around us that we’re immune to emotion, we’re also assuring them we’re immune to any emotional pain in the process.
Most men stray away from pain, regardless of how much growth might ultimately come of it.
It’s not that we’re any less emotional than our female counterparts; it’s just that society holds men to a different standard than women, and we’re worried about being judged.
We're not really used to showing it.
Growing up, we were used to our father's stoic face whenever any conflict sprung up.
All our lives, we've been conditioned into believing men are supposed to act a certain way, to the extent that I'm not even sure most young men know how to correctly display their emotions to other people.
We're used to drinking away problems, not speaking about them. We're used to rolling sh*t up when something is bothering us – not opening up to someone we trust.
At this point in time, men have been so aptly trained to suppress their feelings – or hide them by any means – that they fail to even stop and think about them.
Trust me, we have feelings, although we might not know what to do with them.