5 Ways “Man Up” Is Deceptive


5 Ways “Man Up” Is Deceptive

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I get so tired of seeing the ways men do the “man up” part of life. It really is sickening to me, especially since I am a man. Yet I think that I did many of these same things to one extent or another.

No, I didn’t realize I was practicing what I was taught by my dad, society, and church. We as boys are pushed to “man up,” and this is taught to us from the moment we are born or very shortly after that.

I’ve seen so many guys do this, and it is really sad. Sometimes they inadvertently hurt others in the process of trying to prove to the world that they are a man. Most of the time these men think they are acting normally, but in their minds the tapes are playing from their father, society, and churches that they are failing.

Of course, I see women in our society expecting the man to do all kinds of things, which would equate to “man up.” Maybe they don’t realize the role they play in this. I’m sure they were taught from an early age what a man was supposed to be. Anything that does not fit is not measuring up.

Society and church and family teaches all of these things unconsciously. Most of the time, the parents wouldn’t admit that they had made any mistakes. Many times, the children only do what they were shown and taught, not growing and evolving from that point.

Often we say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and that is often accurate. We do that which we were taught from early on in our lives. If you were abused, the lessons got twisted and turned into something that is a confusing mess of mixed messages.

“Man Up”

Here are five ways “man up” is deceptive in our society. Please keep in mind that I don’t believe men or women set out to be deceptive, but by their unconscious actions, they are.

It is up to each one of us to grow and evolve and become more than what we were taught. More often than not, the problem is that we don’t challenge our growth, and we stay stuck right where we were growing up in our family and society.

I believe that most of the time, we’re oblivious to all that we do unconsciously and on automatic pilot. We just have not taken the blinders off to see all that is around us. Sometimes it is scary and frightening to do this. Other times, if our family and society units feel threatened as a result of our interest in evolving, they can turn on us and keep us in line.

In my family, this was the case. No one will admit it. Everyone wanted to keep me in line and keep the family secrets. They didn’t say this, but their actions and behaviors prove otherwise. If you want to know more about my experiences, check out my book, Overcoming A Mysterious Condition.

Don’t Show The Pain

I think men are programmed not to show pain. Showing pain is taught to be a weakness. Only babies show pain! If you are to be a man, you must act as if your life is under control. Pain takes you out of control, and therefore, it is an unwanted reaction.

These concepts were taught in my family. Yet my dad was in deep chronic pain as far back as I can remember. No one else could have pain because that took away from the attention that he received. It was a mixed message.

What I have learned, though, is that to own your pain means you are strong. It means you are in touch with your mind body, not numbing and hiding. The more I embrace pain and all that is happening to me, the more in control I am. When I’m in control, then I can make choices as to how I deal with it, numb it, ignore it, or learn from it. You “man up” when you are in control, not when you act as if things don’t exist.

When guys think that showing pain is a sign of weakness, this is the opposite of what it truly is. In fact, weakness is when you don’t show or acknowledge pain. I know this is not what is taught in our society, but through my life, I have discovered the truth in what I write.

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Emotions Are For Sissies

Oh, how I dislike this “man up” stuff. From a little child, I was taught to have emotions or be sensitive were the worst things you could do. In fact, as a boy, you were not supposed to experience emotions. Those were for little girls and little babies.

While you may gasp at what I write, this is what I was taught. Through the years, I have found that I’m not alone. Many others, especially abused boys, were taught not to show emotion.

In my life, I have been whipped and beaten for crying or not crying enough. I was ridiculed if I was sad as if it was a crime. Many times I was told to just look on the bright side, as my father lectured us with platitudes and ridiculous statements. All too often in our society, especially on social media, we do the very same thing that is hurtful to others and so demeaning.

When a man shows emotion, to me that is a moment where they “Man Up.” In these instances, the man is real and authentic. They are in touch with all sides of their lives, not hiding and numbing as was taught to them.

It is a position of strength, in my view, to be able to embrace your emotions. Anyone that thinks showing emotions, especially as a man, is a sign of weakness is not someone I would hold in high regard. When you embrace your emotions, you do “Man Up.”

I have actually heard that some women were taught the same things as a child. They were not allowed to show emotion and if they did, it was considered improper and unladylike behavior.

Emotion is our pressure cooker release valve. If you keep that stuff bottled up inside, you’ll blow the daylights out of your mind body. Emotion has to go somewhere. I know this from my own life’s example that I shared in my book.

It is better to embrace emotion and learn how to discharge it than to bottle it up and explode, hurting innocent bystanders. I believe there is a significant portion of the world’s problems that stem from those that cannot release emotion effectively. They were never taught, and they haven’t done the hard work necessary to learn. Too many in this world don’t truly know how to “Man Up.”

Many people out there with great intentions will tell you how to bury or hide or numb your emotions. There are all kinds of ways they do this, but most of them (if you look closely) have not learned how to do it themselves. They give lip service with convincing platitudes and memes, but have no real clue how to do this.

To me, it is a life learning process of dealing with emotions effectively, especially if you were abused. When control and safety are taken away from you at a young age, you don’t learn the best way to deal with, embrace, and accept your emotional side. Emotions are a beautiful thing if we learn to understand why they are an essential part of life. When we do, we’ll more fully understand what it means to “Man Up.”

Please don’t fall for those that think they have it all together and try to convince the world that they do. It will only leave you on a wild goose chase, exhausting and shaming yourself that you can’t be like them. Discover for yourself the role emotions play in your life and how best you can use them to evolve and grow, not numb and hide.

No Fear

For some reason in society and family units, we think that you cannot have fear. We are supposed to “Man Up” and we do that by thinking we are strong if we don’t have fear. What a crock of laughable half baked and ill informed ridiculous talk.

Fear is an essential part of living as a human in a body. If you have no fear, you might need to check your pulse to make sure you are alive. When you “Man Up,” it doesn’t mean that you have no fear. In fact, to “Man Up” means you acknowledge the existence of fear in your life. It means you embrace it and honor it and respect it, not shun or numb fear.

Fear is there as a way to help guide you to find the right solutions for problems you may face or how to live your life. It is a natural part of living. Too many act as if fear means they are not a man and that is about as absurd as you get when it comes to the ability to “Man Up.”

I wish men could embrace fear more, but they’ve been so conditioned to ridicule it, judge it, and shun its existence. I don’t know how many times I was told that I was a baby if I was afraid or had fear. There were times that I was given platitudes or some scripture verse in the bible so I wouldn’t be afraid.

Let me enlighten you that none of these things I was taught helped me “Man Up” and have no fear. In fact, the harm that was done to me has followed me throughout my life. It is a difficult brainwashing tactic done by my parents, church, family, and society. I have struggled to rid myself of its affliction.

Don’t for a minute allow anyone to tell you that to “Man Up” means to have no fear. They have no idea what they are saying and most likely are propagating the lies taught to them. It is more than likely an unconscious reaction to your fear, but pay it no attention. It will only bring you further pain and heartache in life.

“Man Up” By Blaming Others

Unfortunately, society teaches us that to “Man Up” is accomplished by blaming others. It is almost as if we deflect our deficiencies or inadequate understanding on to others. We blame others for anything and everything we can, without consciously realizing we are doing this.

These days, especially on social media, we find someone to blame. Someone is responsible for our lot in life or what recently happened to us. There is someone to blame for a problem we experience or stress we might feel but not acknowledge.

Sure, sometimes there is a person to blame, and I’m not dismissing this at all. What I’m focusing on in this “Man Up” example is that we excessively blame everyone for all that happens in life.

Sometimes we even blame ourselves, and we do it as a badge of honor. If you’ve been abused as a child, there’s a good chance you do this to some degree. Maybe you aren’t consciously aware that you do, but more than likely, others can see it in you. Blaming yourself is no different than blaming others, and it definitely doesn’t mean you “Man Up.”

Blame is destructive. Holding someone accountable is empowering and helpful, but when the blame continues forever and ever, it hurts not only yourself but the other person you hold responsible.

Now, please note that I’m not suggesting we dismiss great harm that others did to us, such as abuse. No way in the world am I making that point. I’m referring more to the daily things where we blame someone for the smallest thing that happens.

Sitting In Judgment

In many ways, sitting in judgment goes hand in hand with blaming others. Neither of these things helps us to “Man Up.” In fact, I believe they take away from our personal power and strength.

When you constantly are sitting in judgment, you’re not able to see the other person for who they are. You aren’t able to see beyond that which you see in them. It isn’t about the ability to “Man Up” when you do this. It is the complete opposite in my view.

These days, we do this far too easily. In the political climate we are in, we’ve lost a sense of balance and reason with others. There is no listening. It is only judgment.

It doesn’t matter what walk of life you are from because judgment is happening so quickly these days, hardly anyone will speak to one another. Most avoid each other unless they know someone will agree with their thinking. If they don’t avoid each other, they become exhausted and will just nod along as the person talks, hoping they will soon quit.

It isn’t healthy, and it is surely not a way to “Man Up” when we sit in judgment of others. When we can only see our way, but not even entertain the moment of listening to them, we’ve lost the hope of humanity.

Sure, it isn’t easy to sit there and listen to things that you disagree with, but if you don’t, how can you expect them to see your side? It either works both ways, or it doesn’t work in the way you demand it.

Sitting in judgment is not a way to “Man Up.” Instead, it is demeaning, limiting, and useless when it comes to evolving. This is one place where we can either be part of the solution in the world or continue to propagate the degradation of society and civilization.

What Do You Choose

Do you choose to “Man Up” or do you choose to be limited by what was taught to you? Have you chosen to go further in your own evolution and consciously further your life?

The choice is really up to you. No one else can make it for you. However, if you don’t challenge all that you know, and I mean everything, then you’re perpetuating that which was taught to you. You’re not living life from your knowledge and experience.

In a way, if you choose not to evolve and grow consciously as a person, you’re holding civilization back. You’re limiting the potential of all that can be.

Again, the choice is up to you if you will truly “Man Up” or become a dinosaur that faces extinction on this planet.

Photo by Tim Bogdanov on Unsplash

Written 9/14/2020