Over time, many concepts are transformed, so the image of a man and his requirements have changed a lot in recent decades. Whereas masculinity was considered something obvious in the past, and it did not take much effort to be a man who would receive approval from others, now the situation is somewhat more complicated. There are more examples of men’s behavior, popular culture has begun to offer completely different and sometimes mutually exclusive images, and the requirements for men have only increased. We have collected several reasons why it is so hard to be a man now.
Mutually exclusive requirements
How often have you heard that a man should be fearless, as restrained and calm as possible, outwardly courageous, and maybe even slightly careless? So, now new requirements have been added to these requirements: you must be able to express your emotions – after all, this is a manifestation of strength, you must take care of your appearance, you must move away from gender stereotypes and not be afraid to show your individuality.
The masculine image men were supposed to support is gradually receding into the background. Still, society is not yet ready for a new image of a person who does what he wants and is not afraid to go beyond stereotypes.
It turns out that mutually exclusive requirements are imposed on the modern man: do not support gender stereotypes, but still look courageous. And meeting such standards is challenging because both are remaining yourself and trying to win the good attitude of others; you will fail in any case.
Responsibility for yourself and others
Every man must be able to take responsibility for himself. A man is responsible for everyone around him. He takes responsibility for his family, parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, friends, acquaintances, those who need help and support. But everyone has limited resources: there is not enough time and energy to deal with both their own and others’ problems.
Very often, the amount of “you should” that the people around you demand from you is incompatible with life. You take responsibility for everyone, and in the end, you become guilty of their misfortunes and failures. And if you refuse to help, you find yourself accused of selfish behavior.
Finding a middle ground is not easy, especially when under pressure from all sides. Therefore, from time to time, you are faced with burnout, forget about your problems, and only dream of being left alone for at least a short time.
From childhood, boys learn that they will have to be independent because they should be responsible for the family, they should protect the weak, cope with their (and others’) problems without outside help. The psychological load only grows over the years, and you can feel as if you are cut off from the whole world. When you find yourself in difficult situations, you will not want to ask anyone for help until the very last moment.
Self-reliance is good, but it’s important not to overuse it. Some problems are solved very easily and quickly if only you allow someone with the necessary knowledge, skills, or experience to help. Survival is built on mutual assistance, so it’s time to move away from stereotypes and stop taking requests for help as a manifestation of weakness. If your self-esteem depends on what the people around you may think of you, you will never be able to learn to accept yourself and feel happy.
The need to succeed
Often men are judged not by their inner qualities, not to the people around them, and not even by their appearance, but by the status and size of their wallet. Society believes that you must succeed: get a managerial position, start your own business, or make a lot of money to afford to support your family, look after girls beautifully, help your parents, buy things that would keep your status.
When you are given to understand from childhood that great hopes have been entrusted to you, and without a good job and a high salary in life, you will have a difficult time – this leaves a huge imprint. You are trying with all your might to achieve the very success that others tell you about, but alas, not everyone is equally lucky.
The main difficulty is that you want to fulfill yourself not only in your profession but also in your personal life: to have a family, be a good friend, and have an interesting hobby. These things take up a lot of time and energy, so you must prioritize every day. Everyone wants to enjoy life and not just make money, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The fact that you did not become one of the heroes of the pretentious advertising on TV, did not turn into the son of your mother’s friend, and cannot afford to buy two tickets to vacation does not mean that you are a loser. And you certainly shouldn’t put an end to your life just because you did not justify someone’s hopes. If you are satisfied with your position, you do not need to change anything because of other people’s opinions.