As a society we have this archaic idea that boys shouldn’t cry and men should not show emotion. The ideal man in our societal view is a strong, stoic individual who shows no emotion and stays tough no matter the situation. The saying, “man up,” is a great example of this when a little boy who’s upset or hurts himself, then you hear their parents telling them to man up, not be sad and don’t cry. This is an absolutely crazy idea due to the fact that when we tell boys not to cry, they then grow into men who are emotionally stunted and unable to be connected emotionally to the people around them.
We then wonder why we have such a problem in our society with domestic violence, male depression, and a lot of other conditions and situations that occur because men are taught to bottle up their emotions and not show them.
Women have far lower incidents of suicide and depression then men do, and I believe that is wholly due to the fact that women are encouraged from a young age to show their emotions and talk about what troubles them. If a young girl cries or is emotional, she’s supported and nurtured. If a young boy cries and is emotional, he is often shunned and made fun of, or at the very least he is given the message overtly or covertly that showing his emotion is absolutely not the right thing to do.
Therefore, these little men grow up into big men and they don’t show their emotion. Then generation after generation, we perpetuate this unfortunate situation where young boys are told not to cry and show their emotions. They then grow into the fathers who then teach their sons the same and the cycle continues in perpetuity. It is absolutely freaking crazy.
When we teach our boys that it’s not only okay to be emotional, but it is encouraged, we then create a generation of men, fathers and husbands who are emotionally connected, expressive, will talk about their feelings, and will put up their hands and ask for help if they need it. Then we will start to really impact this epidemic of male depression and suicide.
What we also do is then perpetuate generation after generation of emotionally mature and developed young men, and then that contributes to stronger children, stronger marriages, stronger relationships, and generally an emotionally connected and stronger society. We need to change this archaic idea that boys don’t cry and teach boys that to be emotional and to show their sadness is absolute strength and courage. Teach your sons it’s okay to be emotional.