Men Should Not Cry
If you want to get respect in society.
Saturday 7th October 2023 was a traumatic day for Israelis.
Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas launched 3000 rockets into Israel which killed over 1200 civilians and over 200 civilians were taken as hostages by them.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a strong statement after the attack “Citizens of Israel, we are at war.”
Now imagine for a moment, what if he came out in public and cried about the incident. How would their citizens feel about that?
Will you respect your prime minister if that person cries in public?
The world claims not to value strength when it so clearly is run by people of strength. If you wish to have control over your life, it’s wise to learn from the world leaders who are the most powerful people in the world.
Why do we cry?
From our evolution from Monkeys to Humans, we have adapted ourselves to survive in the world. We got rid of our tails as it wasn’t helpful for our survival. In that sense, there must be some usefulness for crying.
Laughing and crying are the only ways infants can communicate. By crying, they alert adults to their needs, such as hunger or other discomforts, which enables them to survive.
As an adult, crying allows us to process our emotions or relieve emotional stress. It can elicit sympathy, support, or help from others, which is crucial in a social species like humans. In early human societies, displaying such vulnerability could foster group cohesion and mutual support, which were essential for survival.
The problem with crying
The conversation around mental health has evolved significantly in recent years, with professionals increasingly advocating for vulnerability as a way to improve emotional well-being.
But men have taken this as an invitation to get away with all responsibilities and blame society for their miseries.
Often, tears come when we see no hope of making progress when we're stuck in a problem with no visible way out. In such cases, crying doesn't solve the problem; it merely serves as an emotional outlet.
But crying feels good. So when other basics like food and shelter are met there is less incentive to do something about the root problem and vent all day. Also due to social media, it’s easy to get support from men with similar situations, reinforcing this behavior.
We are advocating for society to be more empathetic to men so they can process their emotions. Let me explain why society can’t fix the issues of the struggling men.
According to the first two laws of human psychology, humans only act out of their self-interests, and our subconscious mind is focused on ensuring our survival. Thinking from other people’s perspectives is hard, it takes energy. Energy is essential for our survival so our brain tries to conserve it. People with good physical, mental, and financial health can afford to help others. But most people don’t have the energy for this, so they will get judgemental easily.
Society isn't a zero-sum place, but certainly a 90-10 place. Not everyone can win equally, some people win exponentially.
Everyone has desires like Earning good money, Getting respect in society, etc. Most people fail to achieve this with conventional methods. This creates resentment among the “losers”. They put other people down to feel good. Hence society as a whole can’t be a positive place.
When you rely on others for your emotional needs, you are inviting people to exploit you. It's always better to be in a relationship from a position of power.
Also, we are falling prey to survivorship bias with this argument.
We often hear stories of people who showed vulnerability and were praised for it, but we don't hear about those who faced negative repercussions.
Society is more empathetic towards successful people. Police are more brutal towards the weaker sections of society, as they have less ability to fight back in case of discrimination. Even the perception of killing or harming animals often varies considerably based on the physical attractiveness or aesthetic appeal of the animals involved.
The context in which a man shows vulnerability will significantly impact how it's received. A man who has a reputation for strength and competence may find it easier to be vulnerable without facing societal backlash compared to someone who doesn't have that established credibility.
Whom do we respect?
As our goal is to live with dignity, we need to understand how the psychology behind respect works.
We respect people when they can get things done for us that we can't do ourselves.
We take people for granted when they do things that we can do ourselves.
Simple supply and demand rule. Let's take two scenarios.
We respect our prime minister because that person drafts laws and protects us. We can't do that ourselves.
Now imagine I ask my friend to bring groceries to save my time. And that favor is going on in one direction. Will I take them seriously?
We only value what we can't have easily.
I used to complain and cry a lot about unfairness.
In 2011, I cried about not getting easy questions on the exams.
In 2012, I cried about missing the bus.
In 2013, I cried about being late due to traffic.
In 2014, I cried about professors not giving me good marks on the exams.
In 2015, I cried about Manchester United playing poorly and not winning trophies.
In 2016, I cried about Ronaldo getting cheated and how corrupt UEFA is.
In 2017, I cried after getting rejected by my university crush.
In 2018, I bought a headphone with my first income and that broke down.
In 2019, the speaker of my phone stopped working, and I felt the universe was working against me.
In 2020, I cried about my toxic manager working me overtime.
I always cried and vented about why something bad always happened to me.
It felt good, really good.
It allowed me to get rid of the responsibilities. It allowed me to get rid of the guilt of failing again and again. I went by the flow of the events.
I used to share my emotions with everyone without thinking about the consequences. I thought everyone cared about me. I wanted to get support from others in difficult times.
But I was wrong. I didn’t understand the difference between sympathy and respect. And it took a long time to realize that.
Problem with toxic masculinity
I have been following the personal development space since 2016 but failed to take any action until recently. Why?
You have to understand the 3rd law of human psychology. To understand a human you have to understand their motivation and how much power they hold.
I wanted to improve. But I lacked the power. I had no way to bridge the gap with my ideal version. In my mind, I had no control over my destiny.
Let’s explain this with the speech by Andrew Tate “Real man don’t cry”. YouTube
I heard his advice on crying. I felt motivated. I tried to implement it and failed. I thought something was wrong with me. And I felt ashamed for not being a “real man”.
This is the problem with toxic masculinity. The “should” statements are a big demotivator for any new people.
Problem with not dealing with your emotions
Andrew Tate asked me not to cry and to focus on my work. Theoretically, this should work.
But humans don’t work like this. We are not machines. Most of our actions are controlled by our subconscious mind. And it takes time to change our subconscious programming.
But why fight against the subconscious? It is not our enemy. According to the 2nd law, our subconscious mind is only focused on our survival. If we can change our subconscious programming we can get an immense boost to our productivity without relying on willpower.
You can consider your subconscious mind as your muscular but naive friend. Anyone can convince anything to it, like social media algorithms making it fight with other people. But if you can convince it to focus on your goals, you can do a lot.
What can you do if you feel like crying?
You should cry.
Suppressing your emotions won’t help. You can’t manage this with willpower for long. You need to resolve the root problem.
So initially just do whatever you feel like doing. Be mindful of the emotions, and write down the exact emotions in your journal. Notice patterns.
To give my example, I feel angry when I feel something unfair is going around. I have always faced unfairness in my life, so it’s a big thing for me. For example, I was regarded as a lazy person since childhood. But I had health issues that no one cared to address.
I am worried about the spillover of these emotions in everyday conversations which will damage my relationships. So I trained my brain to focus on the big picture. Complaining about unfairness won’t solve anything. Society won’t change. I need to be more powerful to deal with this myself.
Find a private space for expressing your weaker emotions. Avoid telling this to friends who have tendencies to bully others, they will certainly use this to put you down in the future.
It’s desirable to get support when we are feeling weak. But if you don’t have that kind of support, it’s better to prevent any negative feedback loop. You will get temporary relief from venting but the long-term consequences are not worth it.
If somehow they come to know about you feeling weak and try to make fun of this, don’t explain anything. Crying isn’t illegal, you can do whatever you want.
But in the long term, you should stop doing it and focus on solving the root problem.
Keep reflecting on your journal every day. Eventually, your brain will pick new patterns to deal with your life problems.
Have patience. Building a new healthy habit takes time. Your brain has been adjusted to the old situations where you prioritized crying. It needs time to see better rewards.
Imagine the time when you learned to walk. Before that, your brain was okay with crawling despite that not being the best option. Your brain was not aware of other options. But after learning to walk your brain has no desire to go back to crawling.
The same will happen with the desire to cry. At this moment you want to cry because you don’t see any option other than crying. Once you see a way to build a better future, you will only focus on the work rather than complaining about how hard your life is.
If your goal is to live with dignity and get respect from society, then you need to help society. They can help you for some time, but if you cry about your problems all the time, everyone will get fed up after a while.
Crying is easy to do.
But anyone can do that.
Why will society give you the respect you want?
And as a society, we don’t need to empathize with men. We don’t need to create safe spaces for them. We need to teach them how to become powerful.
We need to teach them how to handle their own emotions and how to take responsibility. We have to teach them not to expect anything from others. Instead, they should focus on helping others. They will automatically drop the urge to cry if they have hope for a better future.
Independent men will make our society better and stronger.
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." - Ancient Chinese proverb.
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