From a young age, we teach boys that is unacceptable for them to cry. I have seen parents chastise their sons because they cried when they fell and hurt themselves. “Stop acting like a little girl,” they said. Boys are allowed to feel sad, defeated, or any emotion that requires actual feelings. This makes them grow up into men that can’t effectively communicate. And let me tell you nothing is more frustrating to a woman than to a man who can’t communicate.
My husband and I had this problem for years, the only time I had ever seen him cry was at the birth of our son, and when a relative passed away, other than that nothing. And when we would have discussions, he would just sit there and listen to me talk. When I would be asking for feedback, it would something vague with no real thought or emotion in it. I felt like he was uninterested in my opinions therefore he didn’t care about the situation. We would sometimes argue about his nonchalant attitudes to serious situations. But the truth was he really didn’t know how to communicate. He wasn’t allowed to feel, therefore, feelings were awkward for him so he would turn away from them. And it caused a lot of problems and I would get fed up and shut down.
So I saw this post on Facebook and realized how accurate it was. These men expressed real emotions and people laughed at them. At first, I tried to rationalize it as their arrogant attitude caused people to not take them seriously. But when you look at the post as a whole, take away the star status of the men in the picture, you see the message very clearly. These men were hurting and we made fun of them. We treated their pain as a game and created memes to further embarrass them. The consequence of that is we pushed men away. Men that really wanted to work on themselves, the ones that wanted to talk about their problems and seek help. I’m sure they are thinking, “this is exactly why I don’t say anything”.
We need to take another hard look at this post. Boys need to cry, they need to feel sad, they need to feel pain. They are not acting like girls, they are acting like humans. Our emotions have a purpose, not just happiness, love, and lust. But sadness and pain express hurting. Communication is vital to any relationship but it can make or break romantic relationships when you have one party expressing themselves and the other party shut down. If we expect men to be able to effectively communicate, its starts when their boys. We must make it socially acceptable for them to express real emotions whether it’s sadness or crying, therefore, allowing them to feel.