You see it on the news. Another rape case. Increased bullying. More abuse victims. A lot of hurt and pain caused in a community, on a campus, or for a family. What is happening? And what can be done about it?
Hurt people hurt people. Behaviors like rape, bullying, and abuse are all about the doer being hurt and living in pain and not knowing how to release it.
Parents and society teach boys to “man up,” don’t cry, and act like it doesn’t hurt even though it does. Boys are taught to bottle up emotions, push them down, and ignore them, and then as men, they get blamed for not talking, showing emotions, or expressing their feelings, when that’s all they have ever known….because that’s how they were taught to be.
Girls are taught boys need to be tough, strong, and provide for us. When these girls grow into women and men don’t fit this mold, women are made to believe they need to look elsewhere until they find this “epitome” of a man. Girls grow up expecting this and when a man doesn’t fit this, then he must not be “a good enough man.” Women have their ways of molding men into what they want when they hold back sex, tell them, “How will we keep this house if you leave your job for another”, or by shutting him down when he does talk. This only adds to emotional issues for men, helping them feel not good enough, worthless, or not worthy.
Boys grow up to be men who don’t know how to feel, process, or express their emotions. They keep them bottled up, because that’s all they know. Share This!
When they’ve internalized these feelings for years or decades, they become like ticking time bombs…ready to explode about anything. They feel out of control and want to control something, which can result in rage, rapes, bullying, and abuse.
Boys are just like girls in the sense they have feelings and emotions. They need a safe place to share them. Moms, dads, and society need to allow boys to be boys–to cry, feel, and share what’s really going on–and not who they want their boys to be. Boys and men will finally be able to be who they are and not who their parents, society, or anyone else expects them to be.
Since the first people in boys’ lives are their parents, it begins with them. I’ve heard both moms and dads scold their boys for crying which suggests to boys it’s not allowed or accepted.
I go to the park and witness other boys using the term “wuss,” because boys can’t run, jump, or climb up as fast as they can. From a young age, boys know the term “wuss” and don’t think for a second about using it toward another boy. Since no boy wants to be labeled a “wuss,” he’ll do whatever it takes to not be called that again. It’s time to eradicate that term from everyone’s vocabulary (because boys learn that term from someone), so boys are free to be themselves.
When society and parents allow boys to be truly who they are, you’ll see a HUGE shift in the world. You’ll experience healthier relationships, because men will be able to better communicate with their spouse, children, friends, and clients. You’ll witness more bold leaders, because men will be able to share past experiences without seeing themselves as failures. You’ll see more productive use of their time, skills, and abilities, because they will be more present for their families, they will have higher self-esteem, and they will be more purpose-driven.
Men will be able to give and receive love more willingly, accept they are worthy, and live a life they love, not a life someone else expects of them. They will be more fulfilled and happy, which trickles down to everyone in their lives.
The world will have less obesity, addicts, depression, crime, violence, and suicides. Men desire to control things will decrease because 1. They won’t feel so out of control themselves 2. They will be able to express themselves in productive ways.
Girls won’t have to carry pepper spray, be so afraid to go out in the dark, or hesitant to run along a trail. In essence, girls will be freer too.
So whether you’re a parent, teacher, aunt, uncle, grandparent, daycare worker, or anyone around children, take a courageous step forward to be that safe place where boys can be themselves. They can express their emotions without being judged. They can cry if they are hurt or feel pain. They are able to share with you how they feel, and you’ll have compassion and empathy for them.
Make it a point to teach girls how to do the same. Girls have compassion and empathy for their girlfriends, and let’s teach them to do the same for boys. So when girls become women and boys become men, wives, mothers, sisters, and friends are those safe places for men.
Men will feel the love, acceptance, and comfort of this and will be able to better feel, process, and express their emotions, because they know no different. And this, my friend, will not only change the world for the men and those special people in his life but it will change the world as we know it. Share This!
Jessica Rector’s mission is simple: transform lives. As someone who attempted suicide at 17-years-old, had a lot of self-judgement around being a single mom, and has a brother who committed suicide, Jessica and shame used to be BFFs. She knows personally how shame can manifest in parenting, relationships, leading, working, and living. Through her own experiences, she now helps others walk through the process to free themselves from their inner struggles. As a thought leader, keynote speaker, and author of two books, Jessica is able to help people create massive change to Lead Courageously, Love Authentically, and Live Boldly! Get Jessica’s soon to be released third book, Breaking the Silence: Taking the Sh out of Shame and find out more about her at JessicaRector.com. Follow her at Facebook.com/JessicaRectorSpeaker.