Traditionally, gratitude was considered to be a female tendency alone; the reasons rooted in social expectations of men. In their scholarly paper “Gender Differences in Gratitude: Examining Appraisals, Narratives, the Willingness to Express Emotions, and Changes in Psychological Needs,” a research team from George Mason University and Hofstra University reported:
“Gratitude is associated with indebtedness and dependency among some people (Solomon, 1995). It is possible that men regard the experience and expression of gratitude as evidence of vulnerability and weakness, which may threaten their masculinity and social standing (Levant & Kopecky, 1995). Consequently, men might adopt an avoidance orientation toward gratitude, showing a preference to conceal rather than express it. This would serve as a type of self-protective mechanism from contact with unwanted negative emotional experiences or adverse social consequences. Ironically, this avoidance orientation may cause even greater disruptions to psychological and social well-being.” [Emphasis added.]
Today, men are encouraged to express gratitude for spiritual, social, and physical health reasons. The 21st Century man who has willingly shed—or rejected— his machismo mask can more readily enjoy benefits of being grateful.
Here are five benefits a man can enjoy when he adopts an attitude of gratitude:
1. Gratitude makes you a friend magnet.
People like being around individuals who are confident and charming. Saying “thank you,” or exhibiting gratitude for life, love, and the pursuit of happiness is contagious. People are often drawn to an individual with a “sunny” personality versus someone who is always dark and remorse. Wearing an attitude of gratitude sends an infectious pleasant subliminal message to the brain of those around you. They are more apt to remember your friendly disposition, especially when you make their heart’s smile.
2. Gratitude makes you more agreeable.
Being grateful not only makes you more agreeable to be around, but it also decreases aggression and makes you more empathetic. When you aren’t on the warpath, you are in a better position to assist someone who is dealing with aggression. In our world of cell phones, tablets, and MacBook’s, we don’t verbally touch others with our words as often as we should. When a friend is having a bad day, a grateful male role model is more apt to sense their pain. Thus they are in a better position to help that individual better deal with the situation from an empathetic point of view.
3. Gratitude increases your self-esteem.
Having a low self-image can be a bummer for anyone but, when you find reasons to be grateful, it increases your self-esteem. Being thankful for the “good” things in your life can boost your self-confidence and empower you to better handle the challenges in your life. Make a gratitude list and keep it posted nearby. When you find yourself doubting your ability to be the best “you” can be, pull out your list and remind yourself of all of the wonderful things that make you who you are and that are propelling you to be a better man.
4. Gratitude increases your resilience.
As surely as you breathe, stuff will happen, but gratitude can increase your resilience when you face the trials of life. Wrapping yourself in an attitude of gratitude can also boost your mental agility. Life doesn’t appear to be so bad when you can find the silver lining in your proverbial cloud.
5. Gratitude helps you be more resourceful.
When you are soul searching to determine what you are actually made of, gratitude clears your vision so that you can accurately ascertain your strengths, thus better utilizing them to accomplish your life goals and guaranteeing success.
During this holiday season, take a moment and do a mental check of your internal and external resources, allowing gratitude to lead the way to a more prosperous and happy new year. 2017 is just around the corner, and you want to make sure that you take an attitude of gratitude with you!
Related articles here on The Good Men Project:
Holidays are a time to rejoice, don’t miss the opportunity.
5 steps to increase your happiness through gratitude.
Studies show expressing gratitude improves sleep, relationships, decision making and conveys success.
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