Written by Michael Taft
What do you think of when you think of the definition of a man? Do you think of someone who is tough, very stern and doesn’t show much emotion? Why can’t a man be someone who expresses his emotions and isn’t afraid to tell and show people around him that he loves them?
I think too many times men are discouraged from expressing their emotions because it is “too girly” or it makes them “seem gay.”
This is a double standard, though. We look at women and how they interact with each other and see that this is not the truth. They are not looked down upon when they tell others how they are feeling, and platonic physical contact between two girls is not uncommon. Why can’t this be the same for guys?
John 13:34-35, Romans 12:10 and 1 John 4:7-8 all talk about how we need to love our neighbors because Jesus first loved us. If men are deterred from showing their emotions, how are they supposed to show others that they are loved? Looking at the love language test, we can see how different people express or feel love from others. This is a great way to further understand yourself and how you can better interact with others.
To say such a broad statement like “guys do not show affection” is polarizing for all those that show or receive love in a very normal way. They then believe that they should not show those emotions, and they push down the emotions under a cover of “masculinity.”
The idea that this is wrong also creates many future psychological problems for those with physical touch as No. 1. A very common problem that comes up in most adults is “skin hunger.” This is exactly what it sounds like: a need for contact with another person.
Psychology Today put out a test on the effects of daily physical contact among adults and lack thereof. The results from people who experienced less physical contact throughout the day are this: “People who feel more affection-deprived: are less happy; more lonely; more likely to experience depression and stress; and, in general, in worse health. They have less social support and lower relationship satisfaction. They experience more mood and anxiety disorders and more secondary immune disorders (those that are acquired rather than inherited genetically). They are more likely to have alexithymia, a condition that impairs their ability to express and interpret emotion. Finally, they are more likely to have a preoccupied or fearful avoidant attachment style; [and] they’re less likely to form secure attachments with others in their lives.”
God created us to need physical affection like it’s food or water. If we continue to discourage men from showing emotions because of false notions such as “it’s not manly” or “it makes you gay,” it will lead to drastic consequences. If you have any needs, come forward as we stand and sing.
Michael Taft is a guest writer for The Bison. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.