Men have feelings too: Understanding men’s emotions.

Updated: Apr 4


It is often said that women are more emotional than men, that they suffer more emotionally compared to men who are being labeled as always strong, stoic and emotionless which is why when men showed vulnerability (e.g crying), they received criticism, telling them to “Stop being a baby”, “Man it up”, “Get over it” etc. (Brand, 2013). Due to their fear of receiving negative commentary and crushing their ego, they try to repress and not express emotions as to avoid dealing with them and maintain a strong figure. The society also plays a role in why men do not express emotions, they have defined that men should always be in character (i.e strong, provider of the family, masculine, etc.) and keep their emotions within themselves. This repression of men’s emotions resulted in various mental health problems, viciousness, and outrageousness


Dekin (2020) stated that 30% of men experienced depression at some point in their life and 9% are feeling depressed and anxious every day. It was also stated that men experience emotions with the same amount that women do and that men's inexpressiveness of their emotions is not an implication that they do not have them and/or they are emotionless at some point. The study of Smith et al. (2016) stated that several researchers explained that men’s emotion/ mental health can also be demonstrated with the same explanation as with women’s or can be measured with the same capacity as them. They have stated that men, compared to women, encounter more external symptoms (i.e aggressiveness, addiction, etc.) and these structures are likely related to the gender differences in social interactions, coping, treatment-seeking, etc. Most research about gender and their mental health focuses on two things: a)men and women have roughly the same values of mental disorder (e.g depression, anxiety, stress) and b) men and women are prone to different types of psychiatric illness. When men try to repress their emotions, especially the negative feelings, they manifest violence and aggression towards people around them or even with animals or things. Repressing their emotions often leads them to destroy everything in sight, which may lead to stealing or even lying.


Men’s emotions are given less importance, especially here in the Philippines. They are expected not to cry when they feel hurt and feel vulnerable because of their gender. Their emotions are being neglected and given less importance and because of this, they repressed emotions and act stiff and stoic that is why the study; Chaplin (2014) focuses more on men’s emotional expression, which is also what young adults demonstrate others externally in the form of facial, vocal, etc., to communicate their internal emotional states. She has stated that it is hard to ascertain kids' actual emotion regulation since children may not even be conscious of their strategies but can gain a lot of knowledge regarding real-life regulation by observing emotion expression in various situations. Lastly, she has stated that men who demonstrate an overstated pattern of displaying un-modulated frustration as well as repressing sadness and anxiety may be at greater risk for developing behavioral issues and potentially drug addiction.


Without proper guidance and acknowledgment of their emotions, men can be subjective with violence which can affect the people that surround them. Men have feelings too. They can cry, be vulnerable, show weakness and be feminine without harming others. If they too, can accept their own weaknesses and emotions, then they can gain stability with their mental health.




References:

Brand, N. (2013, June 29). Get Over It. Men and the Cost of Emotional Repression. The Good Men Project. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/get-over-it-men-and-the-cost-of-emotional-repression/

Chaplin, T. M. (2014). Gender and emotion expression: A developmental contextual perspective. Emotion Review, 7(1), 14–21. https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073914544408

Dekin, S. (2021, May 26). Men and emotions: The importance of becoming vulnerable. Mission Harbor Behavioral Health. https://sbtreatment.com/blog/men-and-emotions-the-importance-of-becoming-vulnerable/

Grubber, G., & Borelli, J. (2018, February 22). Why we should help boys embrace all their feelings. Greater Good. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_we_should_help_boys_to_embrace_all_their_feelings

Kevin Zoromski, Michigan State University Extension. (2021, March 17). How men and fathers express emotions. MSU Extension. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/how_men_and_fathers_express_emotions

MensLine Australia. (2021, July 12). Men and emotions. https://mensline.org.au/mens-mental-health/men-and-emotions/

Smith, D. T., Mouzon, D. M., & Elliott, M. (2016). Reviewing the assumptions about men’s mental health: An exploration of the gender binary. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(1), 78–89. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988316630953


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