For years, if not more than a decade, I was “proud ”of myself for not having cried for a long time. Indeed, I can barely remember crying between middle school and a few years ago. I am sure I did but definitely not at an uncontrollable level.
Even when my exes broke up with me, despite the sadness taking over, pretty much no tears came. I considered crying was not a “manly” thing to do and, as a result, willingly turned my sadness into anger. The good old “What have I done to deserve this?!”.
It was mostly aimed at myself but clearly wasn’t a good solution to get over whatever happened to me. This had some long-term repercussions such as a lack of trust or a need to be liked.
Those are just two of the ones I noticed and, as such, was able to somehow work on and fix. However, I am sure there are countless others waiting to be discovered deeper within.
Thanks to having become more self-aware and accepted who I am, I now cry without shame.
But why did it ever get considered “girly”?
More than anything else, I believe it comes down to our muscles letting go.
It may sound weird but hear me out: When overwhelmed by sadness and crying, our muscles tend to lose their grip. Often enough legs get shaky. In the past, being a man also meant being quite muscular so I like to believe the muscles giving up on a man and potentially bringing him to his knees may have been the reason.
I am certainly not right, but that image makes me smile so I’ll keep it as is.
Of course, more probably, it must simply be due to the fact that crying meant being in touch with one’s feelings, which wasn’t a “manly ”thing to do back in the day.
Could we make men accept their feelings?
As a millennial man, I feel my generation was already in the bud stage of accepting one’s feelings. Some rare people even did before becoming adults.
Newer generations are much more in touch with their opinions and feelings, growing up in a connected world where sharing is pretty much everything.
The difficulties of sharing that one is of a different sexual orientation or feels a different gender are topics that would have never been brought up not even 50 years ago. Now, they are openly discussed on TV.
This makes new generations more open to crying and, hopefully, even more, future ones.
As for current adult men would refuse to cry because “they’re not a little girl”, get over it and try crying without restraint for a while. I can assure you, not only you’ll feel better but maybe you’ll also learn that having feelings is not a “girly” thing. It’s a “human thing”. A great one.