October 22, 2020

Psychological Analysis of Three Dilemmas for Men

Recently, the results of a “male stress survey” initiated by a certain platform showed that 80% of men feel pressured by the “society’s requirements for men”. These requirements have three aspects, namely: requirements for male characteristics; requirements for male careers; expectations for male roles in intimate relationships.

Requirements for male characteristics:

Let us imagine the following scenario, what choice we will make: a male colleague cries in front of you about his work difficulties, what will your first thought be?

A. This male colleague may be vulnerable;

B. He must have suffered a lot of wrongs;

C. He trusts me very much;

D. He needs to be comforted.

Among these options, only option D is a direct response to the question without any judgment.

If you include ABC in your options, it actually reflects that you also have certain expectations of male personality traits: men should have tears and not flick, unless they are greatly wronged or face a trusted friend.

This kind of expectation is very normal. In fact, this is the general requirement of the society for male personality traits, and men will unconsciously use such a framework to define themselves.

But men are born strong? Don’t you need to release your negative emotions?

Men are also humans, and humans are emotional animals, so they are also sad. Just because people are also social animals, we are accustomed to working hard to meet the expectations of those around us. Men are only used to conceal their vulnerability and suppress their emotions under such social expectations.

Requirements for career and expectations for men’s roles in intimate relationships:

Why are these two points combined together? Maybe there is some kind of internal connection.

Similarly, let’s imagine another scenario:

Your female friend recently and her boyfriend are preparing to get a certificate, but the man suddenly loses his job and is temporarily out of work. What do you think of?

A. Advise friends to slow down and wait until the man’s economy is stable;

B. Worried about being cheated by a friend;

C. Question the man’s ability to support the family;

D. Tell a friend that her boyfriend needs support at this time, and it may be too cruel to leave.

Among these options, only D treats unemployed men as a group in need of care. In fact, the general expectation of society is that only a man with a good career can be called a high-quality man, and a good man has no reason to reduce himself to a disadvantaged group that needs to be sympathized.

If the question is changed to:

Your male friend and his girlfriend are preparing to get a certificate recently, but the woman suddenly loses her job and is temporarily out of work. What do you think of?

A. Advise friends to slow down and wait until the woman’s economy is stable;

B. Worried about being cheated by a friend;

C. Question the woman’s ability to support the family;

D. Tell a friend that his girlfriend needs support at this time, and it may be too cruel to leave.

Few people should choose C. Will you choose D firmly? Our general expectation is that men in intimate relationships need to have the ability to materially provide a sense of security to the other half.

However, when women are reduced to disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, we are more likely to have sympathy and are more willing to provide help within our capacity. In contrast, a young and middle-aged man who is in a disadvantaged society may not look so friendly around him.

This concept seems to say that men should always keep themselves in a superior position, and a weak man is “not enough man”. Perhaps, even the qualifications to be sympathized.

Under such social expectations, how can men who step into society dare to let themselves slack and regress? Only by advancing desperately at work can you gain the respect of others.

Compared with women, men seem to have more resources and opportunities at work, but at the same time they are given higher expectations, and they will receive less tolerance and sympathy for setbacks. This is the pressure that men really feel.

How should men respond?

1. Stay aware of the demands of the society around you.

We live in this society, and people around us are evaluating and demanding you by common standards. It is indeed difficult to be alone.

However, it is true that we cannot meet the expectations of others in everything. Staying aware of it gives us a chance to choose again: in the face of others’ expectations, which ones I should still strive to do, and which ones I can try to let myself go.

2. Exercise and vent.

When exercising or being alone, you don’t need to think too much, and temporarily let go of the social expectations of people around you. Regular exercise or proper emptying will allow you to adjust slightly, restore calm, and start again.

3. Learn to talk.

Men also need to cultivate relatives or friends who can talk about their work and life problems, and talk regularly. Maybe you are not used to showing your heart in front of many people, just have one or two such candidates. If you can’t find such a friend, psychological counseling is a good choice.