Let’s face it. Our society is never fair when it comes to its treatment of men and women. The ladies, as the feminists point out, are usually at a disadvantage. They are barred from entering the workforce because they are supposedly better suited at home. In instances where they are actually employed, they are paid less.
But all that doesn’t mean that men are having their heyday every day. Everything has its own costs and benefits. In this case, the cost of men’s perceived superiority is their authenticity as humans. They are discouraged from being in touch with their feelings, as being emotional is often viewed as a sign of weakness.
But years of psychological research has shown that acknowledging and letting emotions be a part of life is important for the well-being of any human being. And we are not just talking about happy emotions; negative emotions are important as well.
In this article, we talk about just how beneficial it is for men (and for women, too!) to be in touch with their feelings.
The emotions that we show trigger responses from others
Anyone who has watched the animated film Inside Out surely understands the importance of wearing our hearts on our sleeves, even if the feelings that we have are not so good. In the movie, Joy, an anthropomorphization of happiness, tried to hard to suppress the negative emotion represented by Sadness. But they soon realized that Sadness is just as important, because it’s the emotion that calls for help and seeks out helpful responses from others around us.
If men just keep on showing positive emotions, all they get will be responses that are attuned to such signals. If they are really bothered or sad inside, then those negative emotions and the problems that trigger them will never be addressed.
Now, there is this notion that seeking help through emotions is a sign of weakness. This might have been the conventional view, but this is rapidly changing now. Acknowledging that there is a need for other people is now seen as a sign of strength of character. This can be likened to wearing the appropriate safety gear when doing risky tasks such as welding. We don’t do that to show that we’re weak, we do that as an acknowledgement that the task at hand is challenging, and that we can never surmount it without being assisted by anything or anyone.
Being emotional is experiencing life as a whole
In psychology, there is a growing number of researchers and practitioners who promote the idea that people should acknowledge and work to harmonize their bodies, thoughts, and feelings. According to this group of behavioral scientists, this is the only way to be truly authentic. Neglecting one or more of the three can lead to a certain kind of emptiness or dissatisfaction.
To help people achieve a state of harmony, such experts hold seminars and workshops. Called human potential development sessions, these events allow people to be the rawest versions of themselves without judgment. The sessions are going to be very intimate and intensive so the participants and facilitators will have to take a vow of confidentiality.
For men, emotions are perhaps among the things that are most difficult to express. But there is value in getting in touch with them and letting them out. It makes them more human, and therefore makes life worth living.