Todd Hannula wants to shatter the myth that it’s not manly for guys to shed tears.
- Our fathers told us to stop crying when we were nine years old.
- The only men crying in every movie we watched from the age of 12 were either being tortured, faking it, or not supposed to be our role models.
- Society expects us to suck it up. It’s associated with being feminine and this is bad.
- We are told all problems are logical and therefore, have solutions.
- Crying is a sign of weakness and it’s kinda like kryptonite for supermen.
But, sometimes crying is the sign of craziness – and unfortunately, many of us don’t understand anecdotal evidence.
And so on.
I’m the real deal.
I’m a man who cries at movies, a good book and special moments. I can cook, can fix a few things around the house, and I can do more pull-ups than most teenagers or college gym dudes. I drink beer (and wine) and I like my poker with the guys.
I went on a date when I was 17 – to see the movie ‘The Color Purple’ – let’s just say my date had to comfort me near the end and all the way home.
I want and search out experiences that engage my emotions. I like to cuddle as much as I like to ‘cuddle’. I write poetry. I’m a hetero male (cys?) who has performed in drag shows and realizes that having close friends who are gay does not make me gay. (If this last one is news to you, please call a friend and get some help.)
And so on.
Yet, I struggle to comfort my partner when she cries. I’m not THAT guy, but I have to fight an awkwardness to be the guy. And guess what? I often fail because I’m in a hurry, being selfish or just confused.
I’m definitely not saying we are the victims here. Yes, we suck at engaging with your crying. We really do. And it’s a problem.
But, it’s not for a lack of trying in most cases – it’s due to a lack of understanding. Not of you, but of ourselves.
We can do much better, but let’s meet half way. Or at least part of the way. And let’s grow our own boys in ways that make it easy for them to ask you a question, be open to your hurt and generally be more empathetic.
Because crying, well, it’s going to happen.
Originally published on Medium