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Feeling and Dealing: The Truth About Masculinity and Emotions

Have you ever heard any of the following: Real men don’t cry! It doesn’t hurt, stop crying. Never let them see you sweat. An emotional man is a weak man. Man up!

These are some things that men hear their entire lives, and these are phrases that cause men to think they can’t ask for help because they will be deemed less than a man. They won’t cry when they are hurting (physically or emotionally) because tears are a sign of weakness. Men are taught to “suck it up”, but rarely are taught and encouraged to feel and deal.


Men are humans, too. Yet, they aren’t often encouraged to feel sadness, hurt, pain, confusion, etc. Men aren’t allowed the same moments of crying after falling and scraping their knee as their female counterparts. Even as young as 3 years old, our little boys are told, “it doesn’t hurt” while our little girls are ushered to a parent, her booboo is kissed, cleaned and she gets a Hello Kitty Band-Aid. This obvious difference in treatment instills in our boys, early in life, that it is not okay to show pain.


Men have the exact same feelings as women. Why? Because we are all human. We all experience hurt, disappointment, confusion, sadness, and the entire gamut of emotions. If ever you have been expected to NOT feel, it was wrong. You can’t help but to feel, this is natural. If you don’t feel, then there is a need to be concerned.


Since many men were taught or encouraged to actually feel their feelings, they also were not taught to actually deal with what they were feeling. No healthy person can go their entire lives not dealing with their emotions. If you are angry, let’s evaluate what caused the anger. Sometimes this emotion is actually the indication of being emotionally hurt, but if you have never processed your emotions, you simply fall victim to exhibiting the same reactions with no resolution or healing.

Understand that no man is an island. Contrary to popular belief and the teachings, men feel and need help processing the emotional churning within. There is nothing “wrong” with you because you experience sadness. There is nothing “off” because you are happy. You are not weak because you were hurt by someone you loved. You are not less than a man if you cry when a bone is broken, OR even if you cry while watching a movie with a scene that moves you to tears. You are NORMAL.

Remember to allow yourself to:

Feel – as emotions are a normal part of being human

Deal – because if you don’t deal with your emotions, they will manifest in someway

Seek – the help you need to process what you are feeling


You may have been taught to not ask for help, but to “man up” and “figure it out”. Well sometimes it isn’t that easy to figure things out when you don’t know where to start. If you find that you are experiencing feelings and you don’t know how to deal with them, there are counselors at Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock that can help you identify the emotion, process, and move forward in a healthy way. We care for you and are here to let you be human and feel.

Learn more about the Men's Counseling services we offer.

Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.

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