As all men will tell you, we are different than our fathers and grandfathers. We didn’t have wars or hard work, or hours on a farm to become strong and brave and prove to ourselves that we had what it takes. I personally know that I am a different man than what society thinks a man is.
However, I think the rules might need to change because the circumstances that make a man are different in today’s world. Men aren’t the sole breadwinners for the family anymore, nor are they a family’s only defenders. So what exactly are we as men? What is our role in this new world?
What is our role?
In the past, we were the warriors and hunters and leaders of others, and we mostly fixed problems by hitting the source of the problems very very hard. We never got to sit down and talk about our problems, and we were always on the move.
But now that the role of being the defender isn’t needed as much anymore as women are often bringing home money just like everyone else.
So our role is to adapt.
That’s one of the only things we as men can do, and we need to keep doing it. If the social world has changed around us then we need to do the same. Men are still protectors and leaders, but now we are protecting our spouses and loved ones from toxic comments and online bullies rather than the man who wants to bash our brains out with a rock.
Using Support Groups
Men are taught to keep their emotions hidden, and we are constantly told boys don’t cry or to man up. However, this does teach men that they need to keep emotions in stone and not show them. However, when things get overwhelming every man needs to talk to someone.
Men support groups often allow men to do something other than playing their assigned role in society, and really speak about issues that matter to them. By helping one another through issues such as depression, debt, and other problems that are in there lives, men in support groups can feel less alone.
With those groups, it’s often the best to simply be yourself. I am a nerd, a worrier, and have no muscles to speak of. I was vulnerable and willing to be embarrassed about what I thought were my failures as a man when I went.
Thankfully, the support group understood and kept me going, and they told me that as long as I was being truthful then I was perfectly fine. The support from like-minded men really kept me going when I needed it the most.
Show Your Flaws
So my advice for a man is this, be yourself. Let all your flaws and quirks and desires loose. It doesn’t matter if it is masculine, or feminine, or traditional or modern – as long as a man is comfortable in his own skin and loves what he does with life, then that’s okay.