Traditional Masculinity: Is It Really Such a Bad Thing?
In today's world, there is a lot of conversations around the traditional or stereotypical male masculinity and how that has been a harmful thing. This is often referred to as "toxic masculinity".
3. I get the job, don't do the job well, and get fired:d::t get t2. 3. he job:ob:b:e more common traits that are listed are:
Risk-Taking, among others.
There are other traits listed that would qualify as toxic. But I believe those have to do more with the character and nature of the man exhibiting those traits than has to do with "masculine" traits.
I want to focus on the above traits of "toxic masculinity" and take a closer look at these.
Where Do These Traits Come From?
First, regardless of what society may say and the pressure given to cast these traits in a negative light, men in general are hard wired for these traits. Men have about 20 times the testosterone than women do. This increase in testosterone aids in bringing out these traits in men.
Also, since man has walked the earth, evolution has selected specific traits to be passed down through men's genes.
In our early ancestry, there were certain male traits that were beneficial for the safety and survival of that man and his tribe. There were no grocery stores, fast food chains, or restaurants.
These men had to hunt for their food and assist in gathering fruits, vegetables, and other things to eat in order to survive. Those men who survived were often those who had:
Risk Taking Behaviors.
The men with these traits were often more successful in hunting, defending and protecting themselves and their tribe. They were also more likely to live long enough to have children. The men that did not have these traits were those who were less likely to survive and live long enough to have children.
It was a pretty dangerous time back then . . .
As those men who had these traits and had children, often they would pass these traits onto their children through their genes. And as their children grew, those who had these traits were more likely to live long enough to have children of their own. Those who did not have these traits, well, you get the picture.
In general, most men come built in with these traits AND these traits are still helping men today provide for, protect, and defend their tribes.
Traditional Masculine Traits & The Benefits of These Traits
While society has progressed and women are in the workforce as much as men, the traditional role as the "man as the sole provider" has changed. Although this is not true across the board as some couples make the decision together and choose to have the mother in the home while the kids are growing up.
I know, I know, super controversial isn't it. Or is it? In our world of "inclusivity", is there room for those who choose to live this more traditional lifestyle? I'm kind of a live and let live kind a guy.
Regardless of whether you are the sole provider, or your partner is also in the workforce, what is a man's goal while in the workforce? To be successful in earning a living to provide, defend, and protect his family.
While each man chooses for themselves what kind of living they would like to earn and lifestyle to provide for, most men I know really want to be able to live a comfortable lifestyle. And this takes HARD WORK.
And you know what traits may come in handy for a man as they are working hard to provide for their family? Yup, you guessed it.
It's not easy out there. There are other men who are also wanting to compete for the best jobs and the best pay. If you are not driven to compete, you will be limited on the jobs you will land and the pay you will earn.
Physical & Mental Toughness
I'm going to combine the two here. They often go hand in hand.
While it's important to have a good balance in life, physical and mental toughness comes in handy when you are willing to work harder than the other man who is competing for the same job or position. When you are willing to work harder, you need to be physically and mentally tough. Whether you feel it or not, the perception needs to be there.
Whether you are at a construction site performing hard, grueling labor or sitting behind a desk typing away at a keyboard writing blog posts, if you show that through your work performance you are not physically or mentally up for the challenge, the boss may be looking for someone who is.
Don't get me wrong, with some men, aggression gets them in trouble. Unchecked and unbalanced aggression can hurt yourself and those you love.
Many times, aggression is viewed in the negative light of coming across angry, mean, disrespecting the right of others to be respected, etc. In this way, aggression would be "toxic".
And aggression is an important trait to have when competing in life. When a man can channel his aggression in healthy ways, aggression can give the drive and energy to compete at higher levels while respecting others.
It's when aggression bubbles over that it becomes problematic for men and those they love. However, this isn't a trait of a genuinely masculine man. This is a mental health challenge and where anger management comes in to help a man learn to channel his aggression in healthy ways.
I think this is fairly self-explanatory. I was kind of surprised that I found this as a trait of "toxic masculinity". It leaves me scratching my head a bit.
In general, most men (and women) stive for self-sufficiency. There are those who choose to not be self-sufficient and live off of government assistance. Sometimes this is needed if an emergency comes up that is outside of your control,
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is there to assist you while you are getting back on your feet. The key work is the title of the assistance is "temporary". It's not meant to be permanent.
However, for those men who want to compete to provide a higher standard of living for his tribe, the trait of self-sufficiency is an important trait.
Risk Taking Behaviors
You won't get far on your journey in life if you aren't willing to take some risks. A position is going to open up that you are qualified for. You can risk applying for it and risk being rejected or you can avoid the risk of rejection by not applying.
The position itself may be a little intimidating. Questions may come to mind of whether or not you can really do the job. Self-doubt can accompany risk taking but it doesn't have to get in the way.
The questions I like to ask myself in these situations are:
What's a realistic worst-case scenario?
Can I live with the worst-case scenario? And,
What is the likelihood of the worst-case scenario coming true?
For example: I'm an ambitious person who wants to advance my career. I would like to provide the best living possible for me and my tribe. A position comes up that I'm qualified for. If I apply for it, what's the worst that can happen? And what's the likelihood of that thing happening?
A few things come to mind:
1. I go through the interview process and don't get the job:
It would be disappointing, but I could live with that. And what a good experience that would be to at least get the experience of going through the interview process for that position. May prepare me better for the next position I apply for.
2. I get the job and don't do well and step down:
It might bruise my ego a bit and I may need to deal with those feelings. It might disappoint my tribe that I wasn't able to do the job. We would get through it.
And I bet that through that process I would have learned a lot that I can do differently in the next position.
3. I get the job, don't do the job well, and get fired:
Wow! That would be terrible but incredibly not likely. I don't want to be fired from any job. While it would not be the ideal outcome, it is something that I could live with. I'd find another job and continue my journey.
And again, the things that I would learn through that process may help me be better prepared for the next position that I apply for and get.
At the end of the day, the most likely out of those scenarios is that I interview and don't get the job. Should I get the job, I'll learn as I go and use my other masculine traits to help me succeed at that job.
And I'll survive if any of the worst-case scenarios happen.
It's the Man Who May Be Toxic, Not the Traits
I argue that these masculine traits are not toxic. In fact, they are healthy and appropriate for men in general.
Where men get a bad rap is when the men themselves are toxic and who also display these traits. There are good men and there are not so good men. There are good women and there are not so good women.
Because these traits are hard wired into men in general, good men can use these traits to help themselves, their family, and society in general. Some men may have problems or challenges that cause them to hurt others. And it's not the traits that cause that man to engage in those behaviors, it's the man separate from the traits.
We shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater and blame the man's toxic behavior on the masculine traits that men in general are hard wired with. We need to focus on the man, his behavior, and his choices and how that reflects that man, not men in general who have masculine traits.
And when men have challenges that get in their way of competing to provide for themselves and their family? That's where we step in.
Men & Counseling: Helping Men Overcome the Obstacles in Life
As men compete to provide a better quality of life for themselves and those they love, sometimes challenges come up that may be too complex to solve on their own. Emotional challenges may arise that act as obstacles for men in competing to provide a higher quality of life.
I share my story on the website of how panic attacks popped up in my life. They were very situational in public speaking situations, but this was an obstacle that could have impacted my ability to provide.
As a man with the same traits above, I did not go right away to men's counseling. Afterall, I am a therapist so I can handle this on my own, right? Wrong.
I needed a counselor who specialized in men's therapy and helping men overcome the obstacle of panic attacks. I'm forever grateful for my men's counselor and her talent in helping me overcome that obstacle.
You too may experience some emotional challenge that just seems to pop up out of nowhere. You may have experienced something in life that led to the emotional challenge. Or you may simply be genetically predisposed to an emotional challenge thanks to the genetics and that challenge being passed down to you.
At Katy Counseling for Men, we help men who are working on overcoming the obstacles of:
We also provide couples therapy and marriage counseling if the obstacle in your path is more relational that emotional. Our couples therapists and marriage counselors are trained to help couples overcome their obstacles together.
Katy Counseling for Men: Counselors Who Specialize in Men's Counseling Katy, TX & Houston
Emotional challenges are complex. They often are not logical where our analytical problem-solving skills can resolve them on our own. It often takes a trained professional in men's counseling to help remove that emotional obstacle in your life.
At Katy Counseling for Men, our men's counselors specialize in therapy for men. We also have both traditional talk therapy options and non-talk therapy options like EMDR, ART, and the very effective neurofeedback.
At our Katy, TX location of Katy Counseling for Men, we are ready to help. If you are ready to start, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Counseling for Men
Meet with one of our men's counselors
Start your journey in building a stronger future today!
Other Support Services Offered at Katy Counseling for Men: Katy, TX & Houston
At our Katy, TX location of Katy Counseling for Men, we have a variety of both talk therapy and non-talk therapy approaches in counseling for men. Below are a few of what we have to offer: