Men Are Just As Emotional As Women.

SNAPSHOT: After all, human is human.  It’s where, when, and how you’re raised and socialized that determines your emotional expressiveness.

FULL VIEW: I heard recently, and forgive me, I can’t remember where, that it is possible that men are actually more emotional than women.  The person said, ‘look at young children and compare the girls to the boys – it’s often the boys who are initially more emotional, but society through, you know, us – we tell the boys to suck it up, don’t cry, and that crying is something little girls do…” (yet even when little girls, or anyone cries, the usual response is “don’t cry,” which is addressed in several other blogs on this site as an unhelpful response.) Recent research shows that it’s likely that men and women share that same core emotionality, and that differences between the two genders are due to a long list of factors (see this Psychology Today article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sexual-personalities/201504/are-women-more-emotional-men.)

 

I’m usually so focused on the disservice we do to women and other minorities that I didn’t even consider the backlash the duality of ‘women are emotional/men are logical’ has on men.

 

Frankly, when I think of the people I know and have been familiar, I’d have to say while the women are more expressive, the men, when they express themselves, are more emotional.  Maybe that’s why they say women fall in love more often but men fall in love less often and harder. In fact, studies also show that young men, when faced with the death of a parent, feel the grief more intensely but the women feel the grief for a longer time.(Check out this article: https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/parent-death-psychological-physical-effects/) Would it be as intense if the men felt permitted to feel it more often like the women?  

 

It’s like the men have a fraction of allowable opportunities to express their grief as the women do in our society.  And the women don’t have that many allowable opportunities either, so I really feel for the men.

 

And I ask you, if you are a man, or if you know a man, to start a conversation about grief.  Maybe it’s an appropriate time to do so because they recently lost someone, went through a divorce or changed careers.  

 

Don’t tell them, “Let’s talk about grief.”  Say something like, “What are you up to these days?”

 

And then see if they are still participating in their hobbies. See if they are getting massages or other bodywork, taking baths and getting manicures and pedicures (yes, men, you can take a bath and go get a manicure and pedicure…because you are secure in your masculinity enough to allow yourself to be taken care of), or going to a float center and spa, a Cardinals game, poker, playing golf and so on.  Encourage them to watch movies that will help them process the change they’re going through – inspirational tearjerkers.

 

Most importantly, talk about it and let them talk about it.  There is no shame in emotions. There is no shame in grief. Everyone loses someone and everyone experiences difficult change – this is one large universal we all share – so embrace it.  It will bring us all closer together.

TO THE MEN OUT THERE:

Men, if we heterosexual females were to see you cry, we would think more of you not less.

 

Men, if your children were to see you cry, they would learn how to feel their feelings instead of eating them, drinking them and drugging them.

 

Men, if your friends were to see you cry, you would give them permission to do the same.

 

Men, express yourselves, as soon as the feeling comes up – don’t repress it. Let it out. Don’t let your tears evaporate inside you and turn into a hot, stifling sauna of intense emotion that implodes.