Men are fragile beings. There…I said it! Whew! For many men the completion of Valentines Day can feel like an exorcism. This results from hours and hours of between-the-ears conversations…listing all of the fears we have about ourselves, our relationships, and our “standing” in your eyes. I know it may be hard to believe that a gender famous for saying “what?” or “huh?” would actually worry themselves about you and how you perceive them.
Now it is true that, even for Normal Males, relationships are difficult for us. We struggle to understand how you can truly love and believe in us when we struggle so mightily to believe the very same things in ourselves. This is why we act out, speak out, run out, and work out. We do all of these things because we are striving to avoid any and all conversations that establish value, propositions of love, and/or situations that require reassurance.
We fear that we are not good enough with regards to our looks and our brains. Normal Males worry themselves with so many imagined fears that it is as if we are racing against baldness on a daily basis…fearing the receding hairline like a wave of perceived criticism coming our way. We aren’t sure what you want and we aren’t even sure what we want. So I ask you this
“What imagined fears are occupying your mind today?”
Now please don’t think that our fears just happened upon us. No…they have been building up steam and accolades for years. Initial fears can be seen from grade school on up through adulthood. If anything Normal Males can hang their hat on is this…we wouldn’t be Normal nor human if we didn’t worry or concern ourselves with what others think. Now, I would imagine my female readers will agree or at least say that they believed this to be true…some of my male readers, though, will tell themselves that I am full of malarkey. These men are kidding themselves and those in their lives. I have never worked with a male or been friends with a male who hasn’t admitted these fears. We all experience them…and here are the Top 10 we fear the most:
Top 10 Imagined Fears of Normal Males
- You compare us to former lovers.
- You see our inadequacies more than our attributes.
- You don’t trust us.
- You don’t love us.
- You don’t want to be intimate with us.
- You think we could do and be better in every domain imaginable.
- You look at us not like men, but like children you have to take care of and take Control of.
- You expect us to be MEN…ALL the time even though we might feel like sheep.
- You think you could have done better in choosing a mate.
- You won’t like or love us if we displayed our true fears and feelings.
Now before some of you throw your computers…I will remind you that these are fears…imagined and not completely based in reality. Fear of something can originate from negative stimuli and/or events and it can also be born out of assumptions and perceptions based on faulty intelligence. WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) we are not…misunderstood by others and ourselves…yes. It is neither easy nor desired to figure out the origins of our fears. We do not experience these fears daily, for the most part, and they can be fleeting in duration.
The most intrusive thought or fear comes from a worry that we will lose control. Normal Males have feared the loss of control since being young boys. We were told by family, friends, and the media that what we felt inside was a lie. That our emotional experiences of life were misguided and/or sissy. We were told not to cry or express hurt, sadness, or shame. We were told to buck-up, man-up, and stand-up. This pervasive messaging can put one on high alert for a very long and lonely time. It is no wonder why we have so many imagined fears…we were never encouraged to share with other males so how on earth would we know that others felt and experienced the world in the very same way.
Many men, women, and even professionals will scoff at such notions, but I will tell you this…males that are honest with themselves will admit having a number of these fears “a time or two” during their life. They can be experienced as crippling, annoying, and sometimes refreshing for the natural reflective properties of such fear(s). They can be painful, but also provide lessons for the individual in how far they have come and achieved since the origin of the fear.
Why share these unspoken truths about men? What is to gain or be accomplished? Great questions…valid and necessary. Because males have spent an eternity running from the truths and leaving subsequent generations to clean up the emotional and relational messes left behind. It isn’t fair and it isn’t productive to act as if everything is “fine” or “ok.” Sometimes life isn’t and should be talked about in terms of reality. The impact these fears have on the individual, the struggling marriage, and the young boys wondering what dad is doing when he “freaks” out are significant for short and long-term health. We want to get past the past and realize the present and the future to come. We do not want to be annoying to you or ourselves. We want to live without persistent worry for our place in your heart, our own heart, and place of employment.
We want to feel secure in the men that we are on the outside, the gentle boy on the inside, and the husband and father we both want us to be for a lifetime. We want all of these things and sometimes cannot help feeling insecure. Forgive us for being convicted of being a human being. We want to share all sides of our experiences and personalities. We want to feel proud of ourselves, what we have accomplished from fortitude and perseverance, and in the ways we make you feel good…and loved.
Push us. Challenge us. Let us know that you want to know us. If we respond poorly then shame on us. Normal Males will respond to your passionate pursuits with humility and security that the women beside us are just that…beside us.
Men..push yourself to share and share openly and honestly. The fears you think you have will probably be extinguished by the one you love…give them a chance…give yourself a chance!