Society has set certain rules for the “MAN” and he must live by those rules to be perceived as a man by the opposite gender and his peers. But this can sometimes come at the cost of losing your true self.
I remember wondering endlessly if I was gay as a young boy.
Why? Because I consistently got the feedback from my male peers that I wasn’t a traditional male.
As my male friends played basketball to impress the girls in our class, I sat on the sidelines and ‘gossiped’ with my female classmates.
While my guy friends played rugby, I was in musicals.
While my guy friends wanted to get off the phone after 90 seconds of problem-solving conversation, I would routinely spend hours at a time on the phone with my female friends.
And strangely enough, through all of my teen years through to mid-’20s being a sensitive and seemingly feminine guy, I had always had a girlfriend. It was the cognitive dissonance of the highest degree. I thought to myself “I’m so NOT a manly man. How can girls still be interested in me romantically?”
While I have always been more sensitive and intuitive than most of my friends, it took me almost two decades to realize that being sensitive had nothing to do with femininity. And if it does by some people’s definitions of the word feminine for them, then hey, great… I’ll accept that too.
So what if, as a man, you decided on your own personal ideals of masculinity and you lived your life according to your values and not some regurgitated bullshit that you read off of a Buzzfeed article?
How To Be A REAL Man (In 3 Easy Steps)
To opt-out of the societally constructed version of masculinity and choose for yourself, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Here are three simple steps that will help you become a real man (at least in the eyes of the person whose opinion matters most… yours!).
1. Decide On Your Values
Our values are our core beliefs and standards about what we expect and will tolerate in our lives.
What does this mean? Here are a few examples of my personal values in action.
A woman wants to start dating me but then I find out she’s a smoker. For me, cigarettes are a huge turnoff so I politely decline. My underlying value states that I will only spend my time with people who want the best for themselves and treat their bodies with respect.
A few months into starting this website, I had a few offers from people in the relationship industry who wanted to partner up with me on some video courses that would have made me exceptionally wealthy very quickly. The people making the offers had a track record of massive success, but they also had a history of shady ethics. I would have been making six figures within a few months of launching a product with these individuals, but I would have been selling my soul to the highest bidder. I declined because my underlying values stated that I will only ever put out products that are marketed in ethical ways and that I truly believe help the world.
A few years ago I was getting on a bus in my hometown. I was about to enter when the bus driver told me to board through the rear door instead because someone in a wheelchair needed to get off through the front door and it would take a minute. Now, when you board the busses in my hometown it is either assumed that you have a prepaid bus pass on your person, or you go through the front door and pay when you get on. Having been shooed to the rear door, I had not yet paid. When I got on the bus I realized that it was densely packed and I would have had to push my way through 30 or so bus riders in order to get to the front to pay my fare. So at the next step, I got off the bus, ran to the front (we have long busses that don’t stop for very long), and reboarded in order to pay for my trip. Could I have taken the bus without paying? Absolutely. It would have been easy. But my underlying value system stated that every dollar I spend is a vote that I cast in the world… and I enjoy supporting products and services that I feel benefit the world.
- So where do you set boundaries in your life where you decide what is or isn’t acceptable?
- How do you behave when no one is around to judge your actions?
- What things do you do that make you proud of who you choose to show up as in the world?
Decide on your personal values, adhere to them regardless of external incentives, and you will be a much better and happier person for it.