There’s a lot of talk about “man rules” and things that men need to do in order to hold onto their “man cards” – work with your hands, know how to use power tools, win fights, all the usual “manly men doing manly things” chest-thumping.
What we don’t talk about when it comes to manliness is simply “learn how to handle your shit”. The problem that many men face is that we’re bad at taking care of ourselves. It’s very rare that men are allowed to give their emotional health priority in their lives. More often than not, we rely on others – primarily women – to attend to our emotional needs. It’s hard enough to even admit we have emotional needs, never mind act on them. We aren’t supposed to complain or acknowledge when shit is going badly for us except via quiet stoic resolve. Admitting to having a problem is tantamount to admitting weakness and invites the traditional game of “You think you have it bad? Stop whining!”
No matter who you are or where you are in your life, sometimes the world goes out of its way to stomp on your metaphorical nuts with giant shitty boots. Maybe you’ve just gotten dumped. Maybe you’ve lost your job. Or perhaps you’ve been slamming your head against the unyielding wall that is your lousy dating life for too long and you can’t take any more. Or sometimes life just fucking sucks and nothing seems like it would go right if you held a gun to its head. But the key to getting through these tough moments isn’t to keep telling yourself “stone don’t cry”. It’s not to keep telling yourself that this isn’t so bad and you’re just a pussy for not being able to take more. It’s to learn how to take care of yourself.
But at the same time, there’s more to self-care than beer, bitching and a marathon of John McTiernan movies.
So let’s look at some rules men need to follow…