Ending Toxic Masculinity
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There seems to be some confusion still about what it means to "be a man". So let me tell you what it definitely is not. Being a man does not mean solving your issues or a problem by getting into a fight or physical altercation. Being a man does not mean showing your dominance. Being a man does not mean suppressing your feelings. Being a man is not based upon how much money is in your bank account. It's not about how many beers you can chug or how many women you sleep with. These are all issues I see every day of how boys becoming men think what it means to be a man, and even grown men who embody all of these problematic characteristics.

So now we know what it is not, let's talk about what it does mean to be a man.

To be a good man means to realize when you have messed up, admit that you messed up, and try to make it right. It's not easy for people to admit when they are wrong, so I admire anyone who is capable of doing so. It takes a great amount of humility and vulnerability to admit your faults.

Furthermore, a good man is someone who is honest and truthful, but loving. The truth can hurt sometimes, but a man who can deliver the harsh truth in a loving way is a great man.

Being a man means being respectful to everyone, and apologizing when they realize they are not. Giving respect to people that we ourselves do not respect is truly difficult, but a man who will still respect that person even if they do not like them or whatever is a great man. But most importantly, it means respecting women. A good man will never lay his hand on a woman, and a good woman will never lay her hand on a man.

Being a good man also means being in touch with your feelings. It is part of the human experience to have empathy and compassion for one another, that is how we can thrive. But if you do not allow yourself to feel or come to terms with those feelings, how can you expect to have empathy for others? You won't, and that is a huge problem that leads to many other issues, both on a personal level and on a global level.

Lastly, to be a good man means being unselfish. It means giving yourself to the world, loving the world, and not expecting anything in return. We live in a world where a lot of relationships (between family members, friends, partners, work buddies, etc.) are a transaction. You talk to this person because they can give you something. But that's not how healthy relationships operate. You should always give in a relationship and not expect anything back.

Ultimately what it means to be a better man, is to be a better human being. So for all of you men out there, reflect upon what kind of "man" you are, and how you can be a better man. Life is all about improvement.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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