I decided to take a jab at this manliness issue. It’s an issue to me because I think there’s a misunderstanding of what manliness is for guys in this life.
And no one has bothered to clarify it without coming across as, well too manly. Because the internet has raised manliness on a different pedestal altogether.
As a result, many dudes out there have no idea how to be manly.
Okay so, what is manliness eh?
It seems like the internet has concluded that it’s all about beards, beers, muscles and generally being a badass.
A man of manliness has all the physical aspects of looking manly while he supposedly does badass things, most of which are really physical and focus on the…. (I’m trying to find an appropriate description now) "tough plus traditional side of things", like putting out a fire.
And then you can find examples of manly dudes everywhere. Some are mere celebrities. Some are “heroes” who save lives and shit.
That’s all good, but I personally thing manliness goes way deeper. Why? Because this is life. It’s always subjective. There’re so many nuances involved in the human thanks to emotions, culture, lifestyle and societal expectations, all rolled together in one.
One person’s idea of manliness is another person’s chance to smirk, point, laugh and ridicule.
Even a woman can be manly. And that’s cool.
The Facets Of Manliness
Manliness needs sensitivity
Straight up, a real man knows how to be sensitive of the needs of others and himself. That’s all. That’s what real sensitivity is. It’s too bad the idea of sensitivity today is butchered and dismissed to be sissy-like, girly or “gay.” That’s a very one-sided opinion.
And so, a real man doesn’t ignore feelings, be it his own or others. He follows his heart more than anything, while also making sure he acknowledges how others feel. This is simply called empathy.
Manliness needs to get rid of boyliness
You want to know how to be manly? Then stop being boyly.
A man is not a boy. Immaturity and childishness need to be shed. A boy becomes a man when he toughens up physically, mentally and spiritually. That being said, he does things that may upset others, because he needs to watch out for his own feelings (sensitivity again.) He needs to stop being a coward to change.
Also, a touch of class has to be put in the mix. He has to have mannerisms that are impressive to others as they acknowledge how secure he is acting the way he is. A man hence knows how his appearance reflects who he is inside.
Manliness needs brains
A real man isn’t stupid. He doesn’t do stupid shit. He is intelligent.
But of course… intelligence alone is subjective. Questions of what, why and how he learns stuff come to mind.
Manliness needs evolution
Extending the idea of intelligence, a man is always learning and evolving. He is changing according to how he feels, wherever he is and whatever that goes around him.
In other words, he adapts.
We all change. Get over it. Change is truly the only constant in life.
Manliness needs realness
So, combine sensitivity, getting rid of boyliness, brains and the constant need to evolve, we have to bring it realness. We all need to be real.
A real man keeps it real. I can’t describe this idea any deeper without sounding too contradictory or confusing, so let me try to be clear with some questions:
How manly is a man if he acts all self-centered and shit as he ignores how others feel? Yet, how manly does he come across as if he’s so sensitive that he cries over little things like a little bitch?
How manly is a man if he has an awesome beard, when in actual fact he simply grew one because others told him to? Is it very manly if he secretly hates it so much that doesn’t like what sees in the mirror? That he cares too much about what others think?
How manly is a man if he is classy enough to order his “manly” drink at the bar, wearing a suit and all, but gets drunk and totally shitfaced after one glass only? Yes. Such people do exist. One glass and they’re a goner. That’s weak.
How manly is a man when he thinks he’s only manly because he reads Art of Manliness, when in actual fact, he’s so socially awkward he can’t even talk to anybody? How manly is a man when he doesn't dare to practice when he reads or even preaches?
How manly is it to take care of your girlfriend, when actually you don’t love her at all?
It can go on and on.
Manliness is subjective. It has to be real. Here’s my real, yet very subjective guide then:
But don’t ignore a huge ass amount of pain. That’s stupid. If you’re hurting inside or even depressed, take some time to reflect before you move on. Talk to others even.
If you’re suffering from a lot of physical pain, go see a doctor. It’s as simple as that. Hell, you SHOULD see a doctor if you're in a lot of pain before huge, but preventable happens. You're absolutely not going to be able to take care of those around you if you suffer a paralyzing stroke or die from cancer or something.
2) Toughen up by daring yourself to do shit you’ve never done before
In other words, get over your fears and do it. Feel fucked up and do it anyway.
I personally don’t think it’s very manly to only take up challenges which you already know beforehand you’d succeed, but ignore the ones that scare you a little.
Otherwise, you’re Commodus from Gladiator, the little bitch who showed up only after the war was over
3) Always strive to improve physically as long it's physically possible
If you can work out and improve your body, then there are honestly no excuses.
Just do it. No questions asked.
Physical health protects you and your loved ones. Physical health allows you to do the things you want in life.
Physical health is mental health hence allowing you to improve every spiritual aspect of your life.
Nothing else needs to be said here.
4) Find your own challenges
That’s right. Your own.
With so many ideas on how to be manly out there, it’s easy to be waylaid and think that you need to do this or that just because others say so.
Combine this with the second point above though. The worthy challenges are the ones that scare you; that are meant for you so you can become the god damn, super awesome person you’re meant to grow in to.
5) Never ignore your own feelings
A real man is never denial of how he feels. Never.
All things being equal, yes, you need to balance it out with people around you, your challenges and ultimately toughening up, which does consist of ignoring your feelings sometimes so you can adapt.
Hence, an easy way for a man to be in tune with his feelings, his heart is to find passion. Find that passion, keep at it, and eventually you'd attain fulfilment.
6) Believe in something even greater than yourself
I think a real man believes in life. He believes that life is unpredictable and despite having passion and all that, he needs to know how he fits in this world.
A real man can do this easily without being too philosophical or over one’s head.
You just have to be compassionate. A real man is kind. Show kindness and help those in need, without expecting anything in return.
Because only little bitches are wishy-washy and take forever to make a decision. A real man thinks, then makes a firm decision. He stops asking so many questions.
And once a decision is made, he doesn’t bother to look back. He looks forward because he knows the past essentially has no effect on the future anymore.
8) Make sure it all works together so you can adapt and survive.
Unless you’re a hermit living in the mountains, which I doubt you are, you’re going to encounter people in life non-stop, and you going to have to deal with them. This is where your mannerisms come into play. Add in some class too.
Why is this important? Because people are superficial. We all judge. First impressions do count. And people will take advantage of this to betray you and take you down.
It's important to know that you must always adapt to your surroundings in order to survive.
Yet of course, again, like finding your own challenges, only deal with the people you care for and stick to your own standards.
If you just met an asshole for the first time, politely take your leave rather than try to outwit him with words, or worse, your fists. It’s not very manly to lower your league for short-lived satisfaction that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
I once knew a guy who considered himself manly. He knew what to say and how to act to both guys and girls. Then I found out he was actually an insecure loser who needed all the attention to validate himself. E.g. During World Cup season, he would read up on soccer in the news so he could fit in with his soccer-loving friends. He did not care for soccer, neither did he play the sport at all. Notice how fucking stupid he also was as he could have… oh I don’t know… watch a soccer game or just go kick the ball around instead?
There you have it! A Small guide on how to be manly today in this universe!
If I’d to sum it up, manliness is all about having passion, challenging yourself in life, helping others and making sure it unfolds nicely so that you don’t appear socially awkward in front of others.
And you don’t need a beard, suit or a beer in your hand to go along with any of that. Looks are important, but sometimes, they aren’t either.
There’re a ton of manly dudes out there battling cancer. Think about it.