Ocean's 13

Why do men find it hard to show emotion?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.

Comments (5)

(5) Wayne, July 30, 2008 11:10 PM


I think that it is not so much a fear of seeming like a "sissie" that makes it difficult for men to express emotions.

Men, by nature, are competitive. We compete with ourselves and with each other, it's part of our "evil inclination." It can not be helped, but it can be overcame through self discipline (which ironically is the hardest form of self competition).

Why do I say it's about competition? A physical example is found in sports. If you get hurt just a little you try hard not to show it so that your competition can't exploit your pain. If you get severely injured you try to walk away so that they don't think your team is easily broken, or you get mad to distract from the pain and play harder.

Every young boy learns these things subconsciously. We learn it when some one grabs our toy and pushes us. When we are on the playground at recess. When we play or watch sports. The first time we meet a bully.

This is how we learn to deal with physical pain...through experience. So, when we first encounter emotional pain we tend to suppress it like the physical unless we are instructed otherwise while growing up (this is where our dads' come in as an example).

As far as happiness goes, it once again comes down to competition. If a team gets too happy over a small point lead it causes the opponent to desire to take the lead in order to stop the joy. So, joy is suppressed. Men often hide joy around other men in order to keep that jealous "what's he so happy for?" from coming up in other men... it is this question that causes the other team to strive to regain the lead.

As for men who show little to no emotion regardless of the present company. Perhaps they see everyone as competition or maybe they think emotions are weak and they desire to be strong.

As for myself, and the majority of guys I know, we show our emotions in moderation. This is in order to avoid being overwhelmed. Only those very close to our hearts can see the fullness of our emotions, because emotions open the heart and none of us want to be opened to a possible attack. Emotions are shared, but only a small percentage of what is felt. However, we are not stones that are cold and emotionless... we are not all Spartans.

(4) Anonymous, July 29, 2008 12:23 PM

Tears are an expression of your soul.

I am not a man, so I was not sure i should respond, but growing up around many male family members i learned that they were taught that "men don't cry'. They really internalized that. Now that I am becoming more religious Baruch Hashem. I find that real men do cry. I love it. Anyway what i really wanted to say is that society makes it almost impossible for men to show their emotions. When I mentioned to some friends that I was looking for a man who can cry because I find it admirable, I was ridiculed and told that I want to marry a sissie. I think they are wrong and men should cry. It is not just a woman thing. We are all humans and have the need to express our soul. Tears, say's my Rabbi, are a manifestation of your soul. So it is society that makes it hard for men to express themselves. Luckily men have an outlet when they Daven.

(3) Anonymous, July 28, 2008 9:38 AM

Manly Men

Men have been conditioned to hide emotional responses. It isn't a matter of looking "sissy". They realize in situations that are emotional, someone has to take the lead. A lot of women can't do what needs to be done, because they are too wrapped up in the issue emotionally. Yes I am a woman.

(2) Rosen, July 27, 2008 3:57 PM

depends on which men hide their emotions, and which ones speak their mind or act on their impulses

Men hide their feelings and emotions out of appropriation, where they're afraid they'll be judged for acting out upon certain impulses speaking their mind. It's just a matter of channeling what we have to vent either thru therapy or exercise.

(1) s, July 27, 2008 2:46 PM

they're afraid that they'll look like sissies. Men want to keep their manyly image


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