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Man Up! Breaking Free from Traditional Masculinity to Achieve Self-Improvement


Men who are difficult to deal with are difficult with themselves. Here’s the problem: The more men identify with the “old fashioned” traditional male stereotypes, the more social and psychological problems he may have. The struggle for men is to go beyond the “male box” or fixed beliefs from childhood that keep a guy stuck in obsolete behaviors and prevent him from being his true or authentic self. The challenge is to examine acquired stereotypical male behaviors that all men have in common which are learned from societies expectation on manliness.

Many guys get depressed because its tough work being a guy. Being strong, silent, competitive, and emotionally restrictive can give a guy a heart attack, especially guys who are narrowly defined with traditional ideas about masculinity. Times have changed. The old symbols of manliness don’t fit the new millennium. The idea that men should always be strong, actually means “don’t be feminine.” Society has created a space where femininity equals weakness, but expressing one’s feelings is about being healthy not being masculine or feminine. Sharing feelings with your partner builds trust. Concealed feelings build suspicion and doubt.

It is important for each guy to review his home life and his relationship with his father and other primary male role models in his life. Those developmental days reflect your current beliefs, values, and priorities. If you are not satisfied with yourself: what can you change? Don’t sit on your insight. Be pro-active. Don’t block your growth. Recognize how you are. What adjustment need to be made. Then practice new behaviors. Start the shifting process. Have a positive success image for self-improvement. An ideal self-image helps transition into new ways of thinking and behaving. Yet, change can result in self-doubt due to a shift in your self-image.




If you sincerely strive for self-improvement, be honest with your feelings, open to feedback and be willing to change. The difficult part is self-honesty and assessing what you have to offer as a man while taking a serious self-inventory of yourself. At different points in a man’s life, he has to re-place outmoded values and replace them with more effective ones. Car spark plugs wear out, so do old values. And each man has to recover from his childhood. Untie any self-defeating emotional knots learned from childhood. When you are self-evaluating, don’t be afraid to be alone. It helps to clarify what is meaningful in your life and get in touch with yourself.

Now, here is some “Psycho-Jive” I thought up. Emotional Diapers: Having many personal issues to resolve and constantly needing help to resolve them. Emotional Straitjacket: Frozen in fear and emotionally can’t make decisions. Emotional Vertigo: Confused about what to do with your feelings, lots of questions-no answers: thus, do nothing. Psychological Quicksand: Coping skills are not working, panic, anxiety and depression is creeping in. Skin Ship: The need for human touch and affection. Social Trenches: Stuck in old school habits and refusing to change. Warm Fuzzies: Giving warm and caring expressions of tenderness and love. Love Tax: Some form of material, emotional, psychological, and/or behavioral payment for participating in a relationship. Psychological Dry Dock: Suspending your belief system and taking a break to receive feedback from friends, family, or counselor to help clarify, modify, and improve attitudes and beliefs. Emotionally Bankrupt: Not having the ability to express oneself and share feelings. Difficulty becoming intimate with another person. Adult-Up: Immediately changing self-defeating thoughts/attitudes/behaviors. Circular Logic: Repeated thinking errors. Making the same incorrect decisions. Okay men. Time to man up! Fear-ward! About the Author:


Hilary Valdez is a freelance Writer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. You can Follow Us: YouTube Facebook LinkedIn TIKTOK

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