What does masculinity and femininity bring to the discussion regarding our emotions?
I think in many ways that question answers itself. Women have permission, men just redirect that which inevitably exists. I am firmly convinced that the emotional being which consists of worth, value and feelings internally resides in every human being and the necessity to acknowledge that fact is paramount whether male or female.
Are we, as a society, conditioned and comfortable with the display of emotions in men? If those emotions are associated with anger and justice or a solidified resolve, we most certainly are. However, if the emotions are shrouded with fear or angst or signs of perceived weakness, we turn away in shame, understanding what that actually means to the psyche of a man. I am not addressing this issue to belittle but to instigate a discussion about that which can actually heal the mind and body of any individual.
Women are natural communicators. That fact is indisputable for most. Not saying that there are not women who struggle to vocalize or interact, just that verbalization is usually more accessible if an individual chooses to interact. I’m not into stereotypical analysis. Believe me, as a woman, I have found myself without words on many occasions but for the most part, I’d say women long to express their emotions. As discussed in previous blogs, the times I have found myself without words have been related to trauma or unresolved pain. I also realize that there are introverts and extroverts in both male and female but as a starting point, I think we are safe to say that women are more skilled in their ability to sort and express emotions. Perhaps because it is simply more accessible and safe in regard to the acceptability of society.
I don’t assume that it is a desire for men or women to continually express emotion. I think it is just an inevitability of being human, it is a release mechanism. We react and respond because that is what we are designed to do. The process of maturity gives both male and female the opportunity to assess those reactive responses and to learn something more about themselves in that endeavor. The gut level responses are “caught” through our conditioning. Anger, for example, is a secondary emotion, meaning it resides beneath the true reaction. The true reactions may be embarrassment, shame, humiliation, fear or the likes thereof, these are the bedrock for the explosiveness of an easily accessible emotion called anger. Without this understanding pyrotechnics of every emotional sort are exploding internally without even a remote ability to comprehend the “why“. Living that way or living with someone who lives that way is disconcerting and having the ability to assess the “why” behind the “what” is valuable to the emotional health of all involved.
Learning to be able to safely emote is a voyage worth taking for both male and female. You may ask how is it possible to control reactivity and rather redirect for responsiveness? It is literally a process of dissecting every thought. It is not a proposition for the faint of heart. Learning to administer the “delay” mode for this wondrous mechanism that resides between our ears is vital for reorganizing the thoughts that have governed in ways that we actually do not even really understand. Time is on our side. Composure leads to rationality and rationality leads to the redirection of those mental roadways that have been traveled for far too long. Over and over again is the truest methodology for any change. Not with a “have to” that accompanies behavior modification but from a “want to” that gives you the chance to find the amazing person that actually resides inside your container.
Emotions are the gateway for relating, finding the key that unlocks those healthy mental pathways is more important than anyone can ever imagine regardless of gender. The health and well-being of yourself, as well as those who encircle your life, will be the “thank you” that is so appreciated and deserved.