The saying, “boys don’t cry” is actually a mantra that many men repeat to themselves during childhood. While girls are seldom discouraged from displaying their emotions regularly, boys are taught from a very early age that they should stifle them to save themselves embarrassment. There have been many studies held in counseling program online courses that show how damaging this can be to the psyche of growing boys, but social attitudes have not changed. Men who grow up to understand that they could be a better version of themselves if they knew how to handle their emotions often try to show vulnerability and seek out help. The only problem is that they don’t generally get much support from their peers.  At Bradley University, men can take classes that will reveal why they are generally shut off to their emotions. This type of study can be very revealing to you as a man and help you to make better life choices.

What is Vulnerability?

You may think of the word ‘vulnerable’ and think of a spry young woman with a sprained ankle waiting for someone to come and rescue her. Okay, vulnerability isn’t always defined that dramatically, but essentially it does make people, and men, in particular, think of being helpless. You have to put your guard down in order to be vulnerable, which is not something most men are willing to do. Men might show some vulnerability to their significant others, but only after growing very, very comfortable in their presence. In reality, vulnerability could just be asking for help when you get lost or revealing that a situation made you feel afraid or uncomfortable.

Defining What It Means to be Manly

A lot of people get being manly mixed up with being overtly macho. Sure, if you enjoy wearing nothing but flannel button-ups and carry an axe on your shoulder, you might be a pretty manly man. On the other hand, being overly manly can actually be a cover-up for your deepest insecurities. Studying for an online masters in counseling will enable you to feel more comfortable being a strong man without feeling like you can’t ever show your emotions. Machismo can develop as a result of being emasculated in the past, and it may further grow into an unhealthy obsession with putting on a constant front.

Learning to Identify Toxic Masculinity

Lastly, there is the idea that men who don’t know how to properly channel their emotions can actually become toxic to everyone in their lives. These are the guys who objectify women, judge other men for being loving fathers, and secretly grow into very bitter caricatures of what masculinity is supposed to be. Unfortunately, toxic masculinity is something that perpetrators would never admit to because it would make them vulnerable. It’s a catch-22, but you can fight it if you are honest with yourself about any potentially toxic behaviors you have exhibited.

If you don’t cry during sappy movies then you probably won’t start doing so after you take a few counseling classes. However, if you have always been the type of man who has shut down rather than openly expressed his emotions, a little education on the subject should open your eyes. Those who love you and respect you will look up to you even more after you take steps to improve yourself as a well-balanced man.

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