The Masculine Connection
How to talk about emotions in a way that makes you stronger.
The alleged reason why men don’t want to be emotionally open is because they’re afraid it will make them look weak. The common response to this from the matriarchy that runs psychology is it’s okay for men to be weak—any admonishment to be strong is merely a social construction. This is the "bullies are more afraid of you than you are of them" fallacy.
The truth, however, is it’s completely reasonably for men to fear weakness. It’s like being afraid of obesity or poverty—both are states that put you and the people you love in a precarious situation. Yet the avoidance of emotions makes us even weaker.
This situation appears to be a Catch-22 until we figure out how to talk about emotions while not only avoiding weakness, but by being strong. To do this we’ll need to throw out everything we know about talking about emotions—which, thankfully, for most men, isn’t that much.
This is where a lesser psychologist would give you a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to talking about emotions, but there is no trick or technique for it. When it comes to emotions, our intention is paramount—as with talking to girls, it doesn’t matter what we say so much as how we say it.
As such, here would be a few good reasons to talk about emotions:
- To figure out our emotions because it’s only through talking about them that we will understand them. From here it's easier to figure out who we are so we can become who we want to be.
- To demonstrate to other men how to talk about emotions in the right way. It may be the first time they see another grown man doing so without looking like a soy boy.
- To broach discomfort in our psyche and use it to connect with other men.
And here would be a few bad reasons to talk about emotions:
- To attract attention to ourselves.
- To be the victim and get others to play into our victimhood (which is martyrdom).
- To indulge the emotion with a sense that we’re messed up and there’s nothing we can do about it (which is emotionalism).
- To isolate, because no one else has gone through what we have so no one else can understand (which is the result of emotionalism).
We can see from this that to talk about emotions in a healthy way, it’s important to do it with two motivations in mind:
- responsibility and
Emotions are an opportunity to take responsibility for ourselves and to figure out what we can do about our situation. Though we only need to pick one because we cannot have responsibility without edification and vice versa.
Let’s look at an example of how it's possible talk about the same emotions in two completely different ways.
Guy One: “I’m having a difficult time finding a job and I’m not sure what else to do. What feels worse than not having a job is the feeling of being out of place, like I don’t really belong anywhere. When I ride in the subway, it doesn’t feel like I belong there. When I’m at the grocery store, it doesn’t feel like I belong there. It’s the overall sense of disconnection that gets to me. But at least I can do something to work through this difficulty, and in doing so I may even unlock latent potential I never knew I had. It’s still difficult, though, to ride out the gap between paychecks. The anxiety is overwhelming, but if nothing else, this experience may help me to manage anxiety in a healthier way.”
Now here’s another way to talk about this situation:
Guy two: “I cannot find a job and it’s terrible. I do well in all my interviews. Maybe it’s because of this thing one (race/gender/obesity/baldness/etc) issue. Yeah, I saw this study that showed my (race/gender/obesity/baldness/etc) issue was unconsciously a detriment for employment. Everything is unfair and nobody else can possibly know how I feel.”
No one outside a Youtube comment thread would think that guy one is weak in any way. We know, intuitively, that an unemployed guy who takes responsibility is further along than a millionaire who doesn’t.
The second guy, however, is toxic—to borrow a feminist term and use it in a more accurate way. No one will return his calls and few will even tell him why. His fragility makes others feel fragile, so they will tend to be less and less honest with him until eventually, any sort of feedback breaks down. It was all for naught as well because notice this second guy doesn't even talk about his emotions—he only fabricates reasons to justify his emotions.
The matriarchy assumes that men don’t want to talk about emotions for fear of looking weak. That may be part of it, but more often I think it’s because men don’t know how. Women don’t know how either, but there’s less pressure on them to appear strong so they have much less to lose by appearing weak.
The truth is talking about our emotions, in a certain way, makes us more masculine. In fact, it’s when we protect ourselves from anything—be it threats, women, work, or emotions—that ultimately makes us feminine.