It may be a lot easier than you think to become a better man. For a range of reasons men have lost their identity and are out of touch with their authentic selves. Many men are confused and living a lonely existence motivated by fear. They are spending their days doing what they think they “should” be doing based on stereotypes and other people’s opinions on what constitutes being a man. The negative masculine traits that they have embraced from poor role models have led them to unhealthy states of competition, power struggles and controlling behaviour. To be a better man you need to familiarise yourself with – who you really are. You can do this by exploring your inner world. Once you become proficient at this, you can embrace positive masculine traits to vastly improve your life. There is no right and wrong way to become a better man, it’s about embracing who you are and bringing out the dormant positive masculine characteristics that lie latent inside of you.
Sad State Of Affairs
Men have controlled the world in a hierarchical system for thousands of years. This system fosters the idea that there is one person at the top and in charge, with more people on each subsequent tier underneath, all having less control and power as this triangle reaches its base. The hierarchical system is based on unhealthy competition which is all about being better than someone else instead of valuing each individual and their contribution to society.
Much of our culture in the western world is based on the Christian religion. Its leader is one male God and everyone else is less than him and subordinate to him. Disobedience leads to being ostracised and eternally punished in Hell. There is an argument to be made that this is the best system of organisation we have at this time, however this comes at a cost to men. This issue can only be fixed by looking deeper into the area of masculinity than is currently being done.
Men currently rule the world with the negative masculine traits of competition, power, and control. This has led to violence against other men and the suppression of women. Men and masculine traits are not evil by design but many people have this at the root of their belief system. If you are a man and this is the case you will be in a perpetual state of internal conflict as you struggle with your masculinity. I say embrace your masculine traits but you need to do this in a positive way to become a better man.
Masculine Role Models
Your father and any other adult males you knew in your early years are your first role models. From this you developed a sense of how to behave and the way to “be” if you are a male. This behaviour is often designed to show others that you are a “man” and an endless string of posturing is created as each man looks to the other and copies accepted behaviours. It’s likely that these early role models were themselves struggling to understand their masculinity and the typical male behaviours you picked up are not necessarily correct or the best choice to be made.
Later in life male role models are often famous macho movie characters and sportsmen. Teaching men only warped, unrealistic and limiting ways of being.
From these role models men learn to act in typical masculine ways.
Here is a short list – I know you can think of more;
Do You Fit The Stereotype?
The problem is that many men don’t fit the typical stereo type of what a man is and they certainly don’t want to behave in all of the ways listed above or designated as “male”
When you behave like a typical male is “supposed” to behave. When you do the things that you do, based on someone else’s opinion of being a man, then you are not being true to yourself. Behaving differently to your core identity leads to insecurity in regard to your masculinity. When you behave this way it is your attempt to stop other males questioning your masculinity. What happens however is that unless you have a strong sense of self then you yourself question your masculinity. You end up doing what you “should” instead of what you want and this is bad for your soul. Men who behave in an exaggerated masculine way are often covering weakness and vulnerability. Remember this is an individual thing and it’s very difficult for you to look at someone else and make a judgement call on their behaviour without an understanding of the thoughts that led them there.
Men Are Isolated
Many men feel alone and isolated from their peers. They have friendships that are more like acquaintances as a result of competition. This masculine trait used in a negative way, common with men, means that each man is continually competing against other men. This leads to the male population being alone. Not being able to rely on one another as they see each and every other male as a competitor for jobs, status and women.
Men are often overtly masculine and / or unable to display vulnerability, admit mistakes and are pretending to be far more “manly” than they really feel. This has taught men to cover up certain traits that show vulnerability or do not fit stereotypical male traits from the fear that they will be labelled “a girl”. This term is levied at a male when they show any sign of emotion or vulnerability. In this situation hiding your vulnerabilities from another may be the best course of action but you may have been made to feel as if there is something wrong with you because you have feelings and emotions. You see other men as being tougher and without this perceived handicap. You end up blocking the faculty of feeling and this is extremely detrimental to you as a human being. It leads to loss of direction in life, disconnection to your internal world and if not corrected, depression.
By following the male crowd and ignoring your true self you will lose your identity as a man. You need to look internally and embrace who you really are.
Positive Masculine Traits To Make You Become A Better Man
You have both masculine and feminine traits within you and it’s important to balance the two. Here is an article I wrote, “How To Be A Man”
that touches on balancing male and female energy. However in this article we will focus on the masculine traits. Here are some positive masculine traits that will help you become a better man,
These are all great masculine qualities and to become a better man you need to search within and find these types of qualities and bring them out into the world in a practical way. Look at the list of positive masculine traits above. Don’t try to fit yourself to this list. Look at which positive masculine traits you have. Perhaps you can see all of these traits in you – perhaps only one? How can you express these traits and move away from the negative traits.
Here’s an example for the trait – action
Can you create action in a team environment without creating competition within your team?
Can you create action in a team environment without controlling behaviour that stifles the other participants?
Find Your Authentic Self To Become A Better Man
To find your authentic self you need to look internally and focus on your true desires irrespective of what they are and how they fit into your community’s accepted idea of what’s normal for a male.
You do this by examining and questioning your behaviour when it comes to typical masculine things. Have a look at something masculine that you do and explore and question why you do it? This will lead to you discovering what you really like and lead you to be your authentic self.
Here are some basic examples from my life.
I have been lifting weights most of my life, a very masculine activity. The motivator to start this as a teenager was twofold and ego based. Firstly to increase my athletic ability in order to beat one particular person and secondly because I thought it would attract more girls. Now that I am considerably older and I look at my motivation I can see that I truly love exercise of all types and I will continue lifting weights. Had I discovered that I don’t actually enjoy this activity and I was still doing it for the original reasons then I am not being authentic and I would be better served spending time doing an activity that I like.
In Australia sport is dominated by football in the winter and cricket in the summer. I love football but I hate cricket. Typical male behaviour involves using sport as a means to converse and get to know another man. This is great in winter as I can talk about the football for hours but summer is another story. In my earlier years I would have a feeble attempt at conversation about cricket and the current score in an Australia vs India test match. As my awareness of my inner life improved I quickly realized it was far more authentic to state that I don’t like cricket or not say anything at all, rather than giving half-hearted answers and pretending I do.
Drinking alcohol is another male dominated area. I am not and never was a big drinker. I just don’t like it and the fact that I am heavily into fitness accentuates this. In a male environment being able to drink large amounts of alcohol is a sign of manliness. It may be necessary and/or pleasurable to attend social functions that involve alcohol but the amount you drink should never be dictated to you by others. Since my very early twenties I have always said “no” to anything more than one or two drinks in spite of the consumption around me. In some environments I have been in, this meant being ridiculed by others, but being true to yourself is far more important than going with the crowd.
These are easy examples and it gets more difficult when you start to get into areas such as your career choices, your choice of spouse and how you behave towards other people. If you know yourself, which is achieved by looking internally, then you will have a guide as to what to do.
Steps To Look Internally
Here are the steps you need to do to look internally and get to know yourself. They need to be done constantly until they become habit;
1. You need to first and foremost raise your energy vibration. Doing so reconnects you to your being. This is done by changing your negative inputs to positive. Associate with positive people, watch comedy and laugh, getting closer to nature especially water, music, exercise and meditation. One of the most powerful ways of getting a positive feeling flowing through you is being grateful. This is an attitude and on its own can completely change your life.
2. You need to learn and practice the ability to be present.
3. You need to learn and practice the ability to stand apart from your thought process and see what your thoughts actually are.
4. Once you have practised and gained strength in the first two steps – you will be able to pinpoint the thoughts that occur as they lead to an emotion. An emotional situation is often complicated and filled with multiple lines of thinking and you need to tackle each one individually.
5. You need to dissolve your emotional blocks around each negative situation. This is done by identifying the base fear for each individual line of thought and then changing your belief around this.
6. On an individual event basis once relief has been achieved, you can then create action and change. Change becomes easier because you have changed an underlying belief by exposing and facing a fear.
I know this can be done as I have helped many people through this process for some amazing results.
Authors Details: Aymen Fares