Friday, March 30, 2012

Message #20 - Be a Crybaby!

“Be a man. Men don’t cry.”

How many of you gentlemen out there had this pounded into your brains when you were a child?” If you’re an American and of a certain age, your father or your uncle or a big brother or some other male authority figure probably passed on this piece of sage advice.

Don’t pay attention to them. Forget what you’ve heard. Be a Crybaby!

Most of you women are already crybabies, so this message may not be relevant to you. I invite you to read it anyway. It may give you an insight into why your significant male other(s) behaves the way he does.

When I was growing up I was pretty good at suppressing my emotions (truth is, I still am) so I could hold back the tears. I didn’t want to be taunted with “Danny’s a Crybaby, Danny’s a Crybaby” when I fell and scraped my knee or someone hurt my feelings. So no way would I cry.

That would be a sign of weakness. That would prove I’m a sissy. That would mean I’m behaving like a girl.

And is there anything worse than that? Behaving like a girl. Humiliating.

I’m not sure if this phenomenon is the same in other cultures. I suspect it is. After all, male and female roles are deeply ingrained from birth everywhere. It may even be worse in other places, especially where machismo is stronger than it is here in the U.S.

If you’re a man, think about it. Your relationship with crying is a powerful part of how you’re wired up. I’ll bet you’re embarrassed when you cry or feel like crying. I’ll bet you are uncomfortable when you see other men cry. I’ll bet you don’t even know to cry.

Have you ever watched a man cry? We’re really bad at it. We don’t have much experience with crying. So we are like fish out of water. Our breathing gets in the way. Our body shakes awkwardly. We try to stifle the tears, which makes it worse. We’re hopeless.

Women are experts. They can cry easily. It appears to be a natural mode of expression for them. They don’t fight it. They just cry. If they’re embarrassed it doesn’t show. And it doesn’t occur to us to chide them for it, to call them crybabies.

How silly, don’t you think? Why should you deprive yourself of a natural part of being human? Because somebody somewhere decided it’s not the way you are supposed to behave is not a good reason. It’s another one of those ‘shoulds.’ Or in this case a ‘shouldn’t.’

Men of the world – arise. Throw off the chains that force you to wimp out on crying. Turn it around. Tell them that only sissies won’t cry. Real men aren’t afraid to cry when they feel like crying.

Be a Crybaby!


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