How Strong is the Facade?

From a young age, men have been socially conditioned to keep up a façade. Heartbreak, death, disappointment, excitement, happiness, love, whatever the case we are trained not to express any emotion. It is not even a conscious decision, it is done instinctively. Men aspire to be statues. Unfortunately, even if we manage to be stoic and adept at maintaining the socially imposed emotional dissonance, it does not mean our emotions are not present. It is usually quite the opposite.

Our emotions often make their way to the surface with unintended consequences. Emotions must find a release valve. Men that have convinced themselves they cannot express sadness might release the pain of heartbreak in an angry gesture. Men that do not feel they can be tender with a lover might be distant or juvenile. What we feel is communicated; however, it might be disguised if we maintain the belief we cannot show our true emotions.

How long have men been doing this? Who knows. Where there biological advantages? Perhaps. Once upon a time. But today, we have outgrown the need for the façade. The emotional misdirection is becoming less convincing, as we continue on a path of social evolution. Women, and even other men, can see the façade for the illusion it is. That unnecessarily tough handshake, or that derogatory remark towards a woman isn’t fooling anybody anymore. It is time to shatter the façade, and move beyond the restrictions it has imposed on men and our ability to be healthier members of society.


Soren Rubin