BIG BOYS DON’T CRY: Wearing Emotions Close to the Surface

BIG BOYS DON’T CRY: Wearing Emotions Close to the Surface

Tears are completely normal and healthy and don’t need to be hidden away under the cover of shame and guilt. It has no gender role to play in. The norms society places on males/boys quashes their spirit of who they are. It’s extremely important to teach them the power of authenticity so that they live their life by being true to who they are, and not what others expect them to be.

Boys should understand that it’s only society’s unnatural and unrealistic expectations that need to be changed and not them at all. No boy or a grown-up man needs to detach themselves from their emotions. That being a man is not about giving the impression of emotional invulnerability. They need to value their sensitivity, not banish them into a deep place within them.

Schoolboys are exposed to the notion that “boys don’t cry” from a very early age. If any male classmate dares to cry in front of them, they recite this mantra with vigour and excitement, subjecting themselves to disdain and even bullying. Boys are subjected to constant media pressure to be tough and condemned for expressing any emotion other than anger. The stigma attached to a male crying only grows farther as the boys make their way through junior school.

Changing masculinity

Boys alter their modes of expression in order to be accepted by their peers and the community as a whole. They project an image of themselves for the outside world that doesn’t match with the boy they are on the inside. In order to fit in with the world around them, young guys begin to hide their feelings deep inside. They suppress unpleasant emotions like tension and anxiety, which causes an emotional time bomb to develop.

Some men even develop the so-called “fraud syndrome”. Tough on the outside; damaged goods on the inside. They project themselves to be tough, superior, cold, hearted but what they have on inside is completely different i.e, unhealed, kind and warm, filled with varied emotions. Not everyone knows, but crying can be a healthy way to process emotions and it can have a range of physical and psychological benefits.

Why crying is healthy?

Tears have a very important role to play in and its extremely essential to cry and vent our emotions. There are three different kinds of tears-

  1. Basal tears: It’s continuously produced by your tear ducts to keep your eyes lubricated and healthy.
  2. Reflex tears: Releases to clear your eyes of irritants, like debris and smoke.
  3. Emotional tears: It flushes out the stress hormones and toxins out of the body.

As you can see how essential it is for both the men and women to cry as it’s considered as the self -soothing behavior. Crying releases oxytocin and endorphins. These hormones can soothe pain and lift your mood, helping you feel better and comfortable.
Men generally try to avoid emotional conversations. During an argument with lover or wife, they often flee away from verbal confrontations and instead withdraw into a turbulent silence. Men get adapt to a technique called stone – walling which means getting silent while facing negative emotions. Compared to women, men are more physically sensitive to conflict. Their autonomic nervous system responds more quickly, and adrenaline and stress hormones start to flow through their body and mind, preparing them for “fight” or “flight.”

Reaching out for help!

In order to deal with the emotions in a more constructive way. Working with the therapist and resolving internal conflicts helps in the whole process as they suggest strategies for healthy emotional regulation.

  1. Identify a local support network. Men who have gone through a similar situation are able to express their thoughts, feelings, and strategies for getting through challenging times in a group setting facilitated by skilled and experienced experts. They might feel safe and at ease in support groups by knowing they are not alone.
  2. Talking to someone who you confide deeply in will offer you some sort of relief without any judgment. This will be a completely safe environment and try interacting with someone who isn’t involved or associated with your case or problem you are facing.
  3. Finding a therapist with a more integrative approach might be a better fit for men, and especially finding therapists who specialize in working with men and men’s issues can prove to be vastly helpful.”

Everyone deserves equal access to the care they require, and seeking mental health therapy is never an act of weakness. Men may find it more challenging to start the process because of social stigma, but always keep in mind that men also deserve support and assistance. There are therapists out there who are ready to work with you and your unique requirements.

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