Emotional intelligence is one of those traits that tends to be woefully underdeveloped in men. Call it part of the toxic masculinity package; when things like “having feelings” are treated as a weakness, men are taught to bottle them up and pretend they don’t exist.
It’s not terribly surprising. After all, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “get in touch with your emotions”? In all likelihood, it’s an absurd image of men sitting in a circle, crying like little girls1 and going through lists of petty hurts and insults. Why the hell would any dude want to do that when they could be spending time with their friends, doing man shit instead?
But what if I told you that low emotional IQ was part of why suicide rates are so much higher in men than in women? What if I told you that having low emotional intelligence is part of why you’re so lonely? Or maybe I might tell you that the more emotionally intelligent you are, the more likely you are to get laid?
Yeah, I thought that might get your attention.
Here’s the truth about understanding our emotions: the more men are disconnected from how we feel, the harder it is for us to connect with others. It isolates us, cripples us and means that we have an even harder time trying to just get a date. Maybe it’s time to stop laughing about “cry babies” and “beta males” and start improving our emotional intelligence.
- No, trust me, this phrasing was entirely intentional. [↩]