The Macho Sentiment (Guest Post)

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

The world knows it as Newton’s third law of motion, I am sure he wanted to say the Third Law of Emotion. Because, whatever you say or do, it tends to generate a certain kind of emotional reaction in other people. This is very evident in the case of social media celebrities – one tweet or one Instagram story from them and you can see all emotions flooding the comment section. 

When I agreed to write about this topic, I was a little unsure if I can do it. Not because I do not have emotions. I do realize my eyes oozing out a teardrop when I am watching an emotional scene and my hand wisely wiping it off secretly before my wife finds out about this and mocks me. I was hesitant because I cannot even name many of the emotions. Just like I can recognize only basic colours on the rainbow and not all the shades on the paint company’s colour catalogue, I understand the basic emotions like fear, anger, and happiness but I cannot clearly identify the other emotions and feelings. Partly because, as men, we do not talk about other emotions much. It is not very common to hear two buddies, at least as I have observed, having conversations like “I am extremely anxious about this situation”, “This made me super emotional, I feel sad”, or “I am feeling ashamed”. Most of the conversations will be about positive emotions like pride, excitement & amusement.

Each one is different. In my case, many a time I catch myself going into an empty cocoon without thinking about anything. I don’t feel anything – neither happy nor sad, neither anger nor fear. I am calm. I think this is the enlightenment state that many spiritual leaders talk about. My wife doesn’t think so. She says I may have some sort of diurnal lagophthalmos. As a man who has not read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, I refuse to let her assumptions shake my belief. I was thinking maybe I am special until I found this video from Mark Gungor. The response from the crowd says how true this could be for all men. All men seem to get into a box (not the final one, although one day they will). 

I am not an expert in this field. If I was, I would be publishing a book instead and charging for it. In order to learn more about emotions I started reading the book, “Master your emotions”. I must say that I was not too emotionally attached to the content and set it aside for another time. Like any normal human being slaving in the Information Technology world would do, I resorted to Dr.Google and asked, “Hey Google, how do men handle their emotions?” There were a bunch of articles both from experts and from wannabes like me. Some interesting ways that men use to handle their emotions, that caught my attention, are listed below. 

The feelings may be expressed in the form of physical ailments. It looks like men tend to complain of sudden headaches, backaches etc when they are emotional. Have I done this before? I do get headaches and backaches but mostly they are either because I am sick or because of strenuous physical work like sitting in that uncomfortable seat in the flight for 9 hours. I do feel fatigued on certain days but that’s a rare occurrence.  Otherwise, I was guilty of occasionally faking physical complaints to avoid a certain situation or people. Maybe that was my way of expressing disinterest? Is disinterest an emotion? Not sure. Only experts can say. 

Men remodel one feeling into other feelings. They tend to convert emotions that they perceive as weak like sadness into an emotion that they feel is strong, like anger. The belief that it is okay for men to express anger but not sadness could be because the former is considered as a more masculine feeling. We have all done that. When I feel incredibly sad about how little common sense few people have, I turn the hulk mode on and smash that like button, err, smash whatever is in hand. I miss my Nokia 3310. Sigh!

Walking away is the default survival instinct. When men find themselves in an emotional situation they tend to walk away from that place or situation to calm themselves down. Be it when you are arguing with your better half or when you are in a group where the stupidity hits the fan. I have walked away from a lot of arguments when I sense that my heartbeat is rising up. But with this Corona fiasco on, not many people have the luxury of walking away from an argument. Please remember facing the conflict and having that argument with your wife is far healthier than going away and risking your life. 

Is it really a blog post if you don’t leave a quote at the end to ponder about? Here is the food for thought on handling emotions from an anonymous person that is generally attributed to Lord Buddha (or Mark Twain, if you know what I mean) on the internet. 

“Don’t promise when you are happy, don’t reply when you are angry and don’t decide when you are sad.”

Mr Sadogapan Govindan

To know more about the author, Mr Sadogapan, click here.

Do let us know in the comments below, if you feel the same about how men handle emotions or if you have anything more to add to the list.

21 thoughts on “The Macho Sentiment (Guest Post)

  1. Excellent post Sadagopan and thanks Irut for featuring. Men and emotions, where does one start. The root cause is as men we may never have seen our fathers being emotional. If our mums became emotional then we instead of sharing that emotion, I.e. get tearful too we would have to show a sense of strength and put on a brave face.
    Over the years I’d say I’m more receptive to showing my emotions. I once say a documentary in a cinema and my eldest child and wife were with me. I was in tears and I could see them peering over, but that didn’t stop me.
    On arguments, then I’ll be the one to back done but I’ll know I’ve shown diplomacy and my opposition knows that too.
    Every once in a while ill argue a wrong point, but later admit I was wrong to. Showing emotion is in our make up, we will either do it, learn to do it or never attempt it. Men!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I look up to men who are brave enough to show their emotions and do not self pity or get all embarrassed and behave all weird after..
      I strongly believe, men are really not strong when they have Brauns and biceps but a truly strong man is the one who is not afraid of his own emotional self along with handling the emotions of others upfront with empathy and care.. very few men i come across are courageous enough to let their emotions come out openly..
      It always leaves me wondered, what goes through the mind of a man when he goes through a heartbreak or is at the lowest point in life..
      Im soo impressed by potatosandwich have embraced and accepted his emotions and is not embarrassed by them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A friend of mine was near rock bottom many years ago when he was battling for custody of his son. When he realised his ex wife started turning the 8yr old against him, he decided to let go so that it wouldn’t impact the son too much. That was hard and he was heartbroken. But he marched on…re built and started again. I respect him for that massively.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. My ex, the most not self aware person on earth, gave me Men are From Mars, blah blah to read and after I did, I wondered if he actually read it or just skimmed the parts that basically gives men free reign to be emotionally stunted hunters and gatherers. It makes a wonderful point that there are emotional differences between male and female brains, as well as the personal experiences that help shape us, regardless of gender.
    I’ll be the first to admit I grew up with the whole ‘the man does not do woman’s work’ crap and I reject it and resent it so maybe my review of the Mars book isn’t objective but…You did not miss much, Sada, evolutionally speaking.
    If someone grows as a person in any way, I consider that a win, gender be damned. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Woow!! You can seriously give any thought a new perspective..
      I so love that about you niki.. thanks for the read and input.. i always wonder what kind of ex u had .. anyways long gone.. be happy he’s gone and stay blessed ❤️
      Sada did an amazing post and im so grateful to him for that..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, now I feel a little obnoxious, lol :p
        I’ve kind of been on my own planet this week so I wanted to get active again with everyone, can’t seem to censor my opinionated wordiness. Guess people who get me don’t want me to. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I am lucky in that I have always seen my grandpa, my uncles and my dad do all the chores at home without any fuss. And we are 3 brothers. So we used to doing chores since we were kids. I never felt odd doing any chore but recently the negotiation is based completely on my work and meeting schedules. If I have meetings in the evening, my wife will take care of it. If not, I will.

      About the book, I do not know if I ever will read it. Maybe I will someday, just to know what’s written. But it doesn’t interest me much.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love enlightened men who are more interested in pitching in to help out where needed as opposed to sticking to old gender roles. Way I have always seen it is if you live there, then half the mess and chores are half yours. I mow my own lawn, I change ,my own lightbulbs, kill my own spiders, and do all the household chores and I don’t fuss about how poor lil female me has to do ‘man’s work’. If I had a partner, though, I’d want the work divided basically the way you and your wife do.
        I am trying to train my kid to be a helper monkey but she is allergic to work of any kind.
        I don’t think you’re missing much with that Mars/Venus book. Life is too short to read something that doesn’t interest you. Except maybe maps and assembly instructions…Oh, wait, that’s another one of those gender stereotypes about men. :p

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Frankly, its a rare sight in pune specially for men to be handling household chores without a fuss..
        now the times have changed, everyone is ready to cooperate and do everything but earlier it was a set rule for the boys for not doing any chores


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