Debunking 5 Myths Around Being a Man

Whilst there are many ideas around what it means to be masculine and what it means to be a man in today’s world, many of them are either based on outdated cultural norms or are distorted and unrealistic. Why? Because, we are placing far too much emphasis on what man ‘should’ be in an idealistic sense and not actually placing attention on the gifts of man.

Whilst this article will offer insight in to the myths around what masculinity is or should be, it will also offer alternatives to being healthy men in the world, potentially different to mainstream views, and that are more aligned with the potential and authentic power of man.

 

MEN ARE NOT MEANT TO CRY

This is more about healthy emotional expression than just being limited to crying. Men do cry and when they don’t if they want to, it’s because they’re more often than not suppressing themselves. Do men need to cry often…? Perhaps, for short periods of time as they psycho-emotionally move through pain and / or trauma. Is it safe and healthy for men to cry continuously or all of the time? No. It is not. Men don’t think about crying or emoting all of the time, nor do they need to.

The issue largely resides in the truth that men are not taught to emote and that emoting in men is not something that is endorsed by mainstream society. Men are inadvertently and directly told or shown that emotions make us weak as men. Whilst there is truth in this, it is not applicable to every situation. For example. A man may be in a precarious situation and find himself feeling vulnerable, scared and sad. Is it in his best interest to step out of being hyper-focused, solution orientated and resilient in order to feed that fear? Not necessarily. In this survival situation, he must refrain (not suppress forever) but just delay his most prominent expression in that moment (hopefully) for later.

As a side note, it’s not about men being a blubbering mess at the site of a puppy, a newborn or an emotional scene in a TV soap opera. It’s about emotional range and being able to access this. So, men do and can cry. We have a limbic system and amygdala that regulates our emotions. When we are able to tap in to our range, we liberate ourselves of archaic limitations that inhibit our potential. Try this… Try emoting new feelings and emotions with people (namely men) that you trust, respect and revere. This will help you build emotional fitness, expression and help you connect and be intimate with those you care about.

MASCULINITY IS TOXIC 

If masculinity is toxic then so is femininity by default. The truth is, any expression can be ‘toxic’. Masculinity itself is NOT toxic, nor is femininity. Allow me to define ‘toxicity’ in masculinity. What many think or perceive is masculinity is the intersection of extreme behaviour meeting our shadow self. As a collective we have largely remained in shadow-based behaviour for so long that we think it is and needs to be the norm.

For example, when it comes to power, we forget that power has multiple expressions. It can either be oppressive, subjugating, hyper-selfish, imposing, corrupt, controlling, inconsiderate, autocratic and isolating or it can be expressed equitably, inclusively, for the greater good, openly and for the advancement of not just one interest but many. The last few thousand years have seen (mainly) men misuse and abuse power and use it largely for excessive self-interest (and excessive here is the operative word, for self-interest is healthy, it just depends where on the spectrum it resides and for how long) and therefore we perceive it as the norm. This is not the case. It has been distorted over time, we have associated men with power and have therefore concluded that power and men alike are not good.

We need to see beyond this as the two are not mutually exclusive. We have an opportunity to express differently both culturally and socioeconomically. I have written extensively to this in my programs such as Reclaim Your Kingdom. Here, we unpack the responsibilities and roles of both men and women.

MEN ARE PURELY DRIVEN BY STATUS, WEALTH, POWER AND SUCCESS 

Again, a fallacy that has been habituated for so long that we perceive it to be complete truth. Our society is largely driven by status, material acquisition and external success. We validate our self-worth through these means. Again, because so many man hold positions of power, we associate this distortion of validated self-worth with being limited to the realm of men.

Men are also driven by pain, and what they do not wish to experience. The collective wounding of man consists of avoiding fear of being seen, critic, rejection, abandonment, ostracization and humiliation. Wealth accumulation, status and externalised success then become better motivators for validating our egos and feeling good in our bodies and minds. Men yearn for acceptance. The sooner we cease to perpetuate this false ideology, the quicker will be less attached to it.

MEN DON’T FEEL PAIN 

Men suffer and feel pain deeply. Our society requests we hide it AND at the same time wants us to emote and express freely. Most men are confused. It’s not manly to feel pain. Many of us rest our laurels and ability to be strong men on our toughness, resilience and ability to cope with high pain thresholds. Is this wrong? Not necessarily. As being strong constitutes (in part at least) what it means to be a healthy man. However, we do wish to feel and not suppress our pains.

MEN ONLY THINK ABOUT SEX

Yes, AND… We think about more than just this. We also crave connection. There is nothing wrong with thinking about and wanting sex. It is when the contemporary man is not integrated in his being (heart, mind and loins) that he becomes hyper-focused and extreme in his behaviours and obsessions. These obsessions drive his actions and he is perceived as a beast.

Man is a beast AND… He is more than just this. He can own his beast and still act from an open heart and higher consciousness. He can indulge his sexuality, with consideration for the depth of the interaction, thoughts and visceral exchange. Men want to be seen and loved and not rejected or denied. We crave this and often mask it with a focus on sexuality. To be clear, there is everything right with primal sex AND there are even deeper expressions we can reach that teach us so much about who we are and our potential.

As men, we can show our women various sides of ourselves. Compassionate, affectionate and considerate sides that also have the ability to ravage and ravish. This can only unravel when there is trust built. It is the responsibility of man here to demonstrate his prowess and range. That is power.

One is glad to be of service.

STEFANOS SIFANDOS

Relational Alchemist, Speaker & Author

STEFANOS SIFANDOS

Relational Alchemist, Speaker & Author

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There is a deep intelligence that exists around conscious sexuality, especially for men. We have been so deeply disconnected from meaningful and authentic sexual connection for too long and the reality is: we do not know what we do not know.

We think and believe sexuality should be a particular way based on the fallacy of rampant and mainstream pornography and polarised and unrealistic views of romance and sexuality that we are exposed to but the truth is we are deeply disconnected from relating consciously in our sexuality and own sexual expression.

From Fracture We Are Reborn

We often chastise pain in the form of fracture or confusion. We wish to eliminate doubt from our being and whilst being riddled with doubt long term is not healthy, these embodied states play a crucial role in our psychological, emotional, spiritual and social development.

These ‘broken’ states that we experience have the capacity to liberate us by shining a light of wisdom and attention to what no longer serves us and is no longer working for us.

There Will Always Be Peanut Butter

At times we often gaze into the sky, into nothingness, to the stars, to the horizon, to apparent emptiness.

In these times of deep and sincere gazing, we question our place and path. We abstractly enquire into the nature of our existence, of our actions and our feelings.

Stress Is The High Achiever’s Word For Fear

Men are so afraid of fear… We don’t have a healthy relationship for fear, so we leverage semantics to make ourselves feel better. What is mental and emotional stress truly a byproduct of?

In today’s day and age, we are overworked, we overthink, we place rigid expectations on ourselves and we are constantly trying to outplay the Jones’s. Why? There are many reasons, but let’s focus on one.

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