Change in life is inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any easier to face. Here’s how men can face major life changes.
Men are always expected to put on a brave face, not show emotion and roll with the punches.
Rudyard Kipling said one of the true measures of a man is he “who keeps his head when all about him are losing theirs and blaming it on you.” It may be brave to put on the tough exterior, but I find that change can be extremely disruptive to a man and that we may not deal with it quite as well as is thought. Here are reasons why change can be difficult for men to deal with.
We Need The Status Quo
You might chalk this up to “business as usual” which is a comforting dynamic. When too much change happens, it throws off that day-to-day consistency and creates havoc in our world. I find that men tend to thrive better in a stable environment where a lack of change or surprise allows for better focus. They say men are not great multi-taskers and, whether or not that is true, we are very capable of focusing on the task at hand, something that when disrupted can throw us off.
We Need Control
No surprises here, a man with a life that is out of control feels very helpless. Men are, of course, not the only ones who experience this but when you try to be a strong husband, father, boyfriend or provider there is a primitive instinct to protect and nurture those around you. An extreme change is the ultimate in loss of control, and it’s like trying to wrestle a plane out of a tailspin to regain balance.
Change can disrupt the sense of control at many levels from emotional to even your surroundings. A man needs to feel in control of his environment, and it’s the idea of home base where you can regroup and assess things. Constant change makes it difficult to feel that you have that control and that your feet are planted firmly on the ground
Change Makes You Leave Your Comfort Zone
In some aspect, your way of life becomes altered when you’re faced with life changes. It goes back to that control issue again which is at the root of all our trials. Leaving your comfort zone means giving up that control and putting yourself on the line. We don’t like to be forced out of anything, and it could mean having to relearn something we thought to be true along with having to feel exposed and vulnerable.
Extreme change can challenge your character and make you dig down deep inside. This can have great results but the prospect of having to face it is very daunting and challenging.
Change Causes Fear Of The Unknown
This might be the core issue. Fear throws us out of balance and out of control. The unknown is foreign, terrifying and potentially full of failure. The outcome is out of our hands, and it’s hard to not imagine a potential worst case scenario. Being positive and keeping that stiff upper lip is noble but it can be hard to ignore that nagging of insecurity that’s hiding behind any strong outward appearance. Fear of the unknown can make you question the future. When you have your goals in sight you feel better prepared to reach them and success is in your hands. Serious change compromises this and leaves you dealing with many potential “what if” scenarios.
Wrapping It Up
It goes without saying that change can be good and bring about new opportunities and experiences. I just can’t pretend that when encountered with change at various stages of my life that it didn’t scare the crap out of me. I found choosing not to ignore it but recognize that it is taking place made it easier to adapt, process and deal with it.
Change in life is inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any easier to face. I think when we acknowledge, instead of ignore it, we become better equipped to handle it each and every time it comes.
Photo: Flickr/ Andreas Klodt