I’ve recently been pretty deep in my R&B bag, thanks to my brother Kenyon Dixon AKA R&B Kenny. His new project N****s Get Emotional Too, which drops on Christmas, touches on all the feels that men go through in our encounters with women. I’m not going to tease the contents of his new music, but I definitely was inspired to speak on the fact that contrary to prior belief, men get emotional, too! At this point, I don’t know if our emotional tendencies are considered a misconception anymore, but nevertheless, we have a different way of expressing our emotions, which can lead to some messy interpretations. Many of us were not raised to properly articulate or express how we feel. Societal norms have told us that showing emotion was only for women and if men do it they are considered soft, weak or even homosexual. Crazy, right?
Yet that was the norm for so long.
For example, a man’s outlet to relieve his anger could resort to something physical, such as playing sports, or a vice, such as smoking, drinking or sex. It’s not to say these are the only outlets, nor are they the most effective to subside the pain, but generally speaking, a man is not going to call his boys up for a pow-wow to spill his emotional anguish. He’s going to participate in whatever activities he sees fit to temporarily block it out and numb everything at all costs.
As stoic as we come across, men can be as—if not more, on occasion—sentimental as women. The issue arises with not feeling comfortable showing real vulnerability to anyone, let alone someone you’re looking to court, date, or marry.
The stakes are even higher as a black man. We’re out here trying not to get killed for rocking a hoodie or simply driving a car and minding our business. So if you believe he’ll just open up and freely express how he’s feeling, you are sorely mistaken. That’s just not how we’re wired.
Why does it take so long for a man to show his softer side? Because it takes time to feel comfortable sharing certain parts of ourselves with a woman. That amount of time is largely based on the woman’s vibe and how she makes him feel. He’s paying attention to how you talk about other people, your friends, your family, co-workers, etc. If you’re out here spilling all the tea, is it realistic for him to expect to be the exception once he opens up his heart to you?
Why do men always act like they don’t care about anything? Men do care about a lot of things. We care about being respected, appreciated, loved and wanted amongst other things. Imagine shooting your shot over and over and continuously missing. That can make men reluctant to caring, too. Sometimes men are out here protecting themselves from rejection so that nonchalant attitude is merely a safeguard for their mental well-being. We care we just have a different way of showing it.
What about the man that’s emotionally unavailable? To keep it bean, it’s not that he’s emotionally unavailable, it’s that he’s not interested enough to share that side of himself with you, and unfortunately there’s really nothing you can do to change that.
What about the man that never commits? Will he ever be with just one woman? Totally possible, but it’s a combination of him making a conscious decision to settle down and also believing he’s found the right woman to do that with. Always remember a man that wants to change will change, and actions always speak louder than words.
Why do men feel some type of way about women having male friends? It comes down to trust. Sometimes one of those “friends” is a former lover or a man who’s been waiting in the wings for that one time his number is called from out of the friend zone. As we say back home, “You ain’t low!” We’re keeping an eye out on what’s going on. Plus, men know other men. We can see peep things that a woman may not initially notice.
Here’s the thing—men are just as complex as women, just with different wiring. But however you want to slice it, we still need each other. Individually we can and should feel complete without having someone by our side, but having that companion or lover with emotional intelligence and understanding makes life a helluva lot more fun. There’s so much more to touch on, but I’ll be sure to speak more on this topic during our Let’s Taco ‘Bout Love event on Feb 12, 2019.
Happy Holidays, and see y’all next year!
Jacky Wright is striving to become a master in the art of living; pursuing his vision of excellence and blurring the lines between work and play.