Sometimes…and I am going to be completely honest here…I feel like men, Normal and abnormal, can’t win for tryin. I will admit that last night I turned on American Idol to see who had made it into the top 24. Beyond the cackles and snickers that the show has been known to garner…this was a very big deal for the participants. They are going after a dream and laying it on the line for all to see…
…and of course emotions became the Special Guest appearing alongside the contestants, their supporters, and the judges. So…why is it that when I turned on the radio this morning this first thing I heard about was the “unmanly” display of emotions from the male contestants?
Shouldn’t a young man who wants something so bad feel safe enough to express emotions that have never been owned, outright, by females…but rather the human race? Shouldn’t a male of any age be able to share his emotions as they happen when they are appropriate for the situation?
I say YES! I applaud all of the contestants for handling themselves with more dignity and honesty than the pundits who find joy in raking them over the coals the morning after. We have seen this before. We have seen this with athletes who have won or lost a big game…with actors who have won the coveted Oscar. This should not be considered a revelation. There should not be even a trace of sarcasm.
So the question then needs to be asked of women…
“Do women really want men who are emotionally complex and Normal or men who display emotion with hand signals and grunts?”
It really is that simple. I will say it again…it really is that simple. Why do I say this? Well, because men are trained early on that the gender holding the carrot and the one chasing the carrot are set in stone. We chase the carrot of your affection even if we do so like a drunken monkey at times. We will swing through the trees of life in pursuit and, in most cases, abide by your “rules” of engagement. Those men who scoff and wait for women to come to them are lonely gents who are probably still living in their parent’s basement playing video games!
We, men, play a significant role in determining appropriate emotional expressions. Those men who want to provide a better experience of life for ourselves and the next generation of males understand the gravity of the situation. It is those that think I am being trivial that disturb me. How many little boys heard the DJ belittle the Idol’s who were crying and thought, “Wait a minute…when I didn’t make the soccer team I was upset…did I do something wrong?” Further, how many caregivers heard the same message over the radio and said nothing but laugh. Never forget that we often say more with what we don’t say than with what we say. All children listen and take notes…we are just foolish enough to think they don’t.
It can be very easy to laugh at the stereotypical man and the ridiculous and detrimental manner with which he responds to life. It makes for “funny” sitcoms and reality shows. Who doesn’t like to say, “Yup, another dumb man!” What we should be doing, though, is thinking ahead…for the long-term implications. How will my son, my brother, my neighbor, my cousin feel about himself and how will he even know how to express himself?
The answers to these questions become quite important for future romantic relationships. There will be days, ladies, when your partner responds like a caveman and you will say, “If only I had married a man!” And, there will be times when he cries in your arms and you say, “If only I had married a man!”
We need assistance from you. Other men won’t agree with me out of some unfounded fear that they will appear weak. Other men…Normal Males…will agree, let down their ego and proceed with needed negotiations. We want to feel safe enough that if we want to display emotion—it will be received in a loving and safe environment. We promise to embrace this New World and we will put the time into understanding our fears and how to better express them. We just ask that you, too, think about this New World where men share feelings, both good and bad, and include you in their thought processes. It would help us immensely if you thought about how this new, relaxed version of ourselves would impact you—how you experience the world, where you will turn your frustrations now that we are open communicators, and if you truly understand the systematic changes that will occur.
So many of us wish for the greener pasture…for that green grass just outside of our reach yet fail to comprehend that if you actually land on the greener pasture, you actually have to mow it, tend to it, and water it on a regular basis just like the patch of grass you stand on today. Never underestimate the impact positive change in one area can have on another. If men actually take this seriously…women might find themselves in some uncomfortable situations very soon. It might feel odd at first to see your husband expressing emotion, discussing his feelings and asking about yours—you might even think that he was abducted by aliens…but give him a chance and give yourself a chance. You might find that winning the emotional jackpot is worth it to you, your marriage, and your kids.
All the Best!