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Stereotypes Of Men That Everyone Should Abandon

Stereotypes Of Men That Everyone Should Abandon

Every Sunday evening on Italian TV, a female comic, Luciana Littizzetto, makes fun of men and repeats incredibly funny and ridiculous stereotypes. She mocks men as being incapable, hopeless at domestic tasks and in bed as well as being hypochondriacs. What is more, she gets away with it and has done so for several years. She also mocks ridiculous TV commercials, politicians and anything else that she finds absurd. The only thing is that her male stereotypes are repeated again and again. Imagine a male comedian spouting stereotypes about women. I doubt if he would get out of the TV studio alive!

What is the problem with stereotypes of men or women? They are usually simplistic, untrue and are based on certain assumptions we make which are shakily based on gender. They assume that men and women will behave according to the gender role. They forget one key fact which is that each person is an individual. These stereotypes are “sweeping generalizations” as my father used to say. He was right.

Now that gender differences are less rigid and women start to gain equality, isn’t it time to abandon some common stereotypes about men and lay them to rest for good? Here are the top 7 that I want dead and buried!

1. Men don’t cry

Unfortunately, when a man cries, it is still regarded as a weakness. But this is changing and a caring man is not so rare nowadays, thank goodness. A man who can deal with emotions is not weak. He is simply mature and is not a robot. He is in touch with his feelings, emotions and will ask himself whether he is a caring partner, friend and parent.

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“Boys don’t cry, but men do.”- Malorie Blackman, Boys Don’t Cry

2. Men never notice how women look

It would seem that men never notice when a woman gets her hair done. The truth is though that many men really do notice and that they will get real pleasure in telling their partner how great she looks. But split ends and botox injections might go unnoticed. I love the joke,

Husband: “Honey, you seem strangely unmoved by the fact that the dog just ate a carving knife.”

Wife: “I’m furrowing my brow with concern… on the inside.”

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3. Men are aggressive

If the stereotypes are right, they are likely to follow the trend and abuse their partners emotionally and physically. After all, that fits in with the myth that they are demanding, hard and physically strong. Wife batterers often justify their actions by saying, “she wouldn’t stop nagging me,” another stereotype, according to one research study on why men abuse women, published in the Harvard University Gazette. Fortunately, there are millions of loving, caring men who never need to resort to bullying and violent behavior.

4. Men don’t do housework

How many men still feel that housework is beneath them because that is women’s work? Start counting in billions and trillions. The stats here are pretty damning in that 83% of women compared to 65% of men are actively doing all the household chores. But look at the 2010 figures on how many women are breadwinners – 60%!

Now look at all the stay at home dads who are doing an awful lot of housework and child minding. Latest figures show that the number of househusbands has doubled since the 1970s and is now estimated at 550,000. Some things do change, albeit slowly. Stay-at-home dads are the pioneers of gender equality and Anne Marie Slaughter’s husband, Andrew Moravcsik, has written convincingly about this in the article, Why I Put My Wife’s Career First

“A female executive needs what male CEOs have always had: a spouse who bears the burden at home.” – Andrew Moravcsik

5. Men decide and tell women what to do

“You’re a man. Whoever the woman is, it’s their responsibility to listen to what you say.”- Quote from MenEngage.org

This is so widespread that the MenEngage.org have joined forces with over 600 organizations worldwide to enlist the help of men and boys because this is the key to equality. Watch the video here about what male stereotypes are still floating around. Long way to go.

6. Men don’t do girlie things with their daughters

Dads will play soccer with their boys and will not be bothered with playing with their daughters. Playing and bonding with kids should not be based on rigid gender lines. It is reinforcing gender stereotypes from a very early age.

Nathan is a single dad who lost his wife to cancer last year. He has decided that one of the best ways to bond with his daughter is to let her paint his nails and also help his daughter with hers. Watch the touching video here of a great dad who is not afraid of stereotypes and is perfectly happy to go against the tide. An awesome dad teaching his daughter a wonderful life lesson.

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7. Men love sports

I hated school sports and spent many an hour inventing excuses to escape or praying for heavy rain. But I still grew up to be a balanced and happy person. It is comforting to know that there are men who are not so addicted to sports as society would have us believe. They can gainfully use their time doing things they are really keen on, such as writing. Milton James, the Man Booker winner for 2015 has remarked:

“I was the nerd. Because I was reading. I wasn’t into sports. I was really into art. Very geekish about comics. Assumed gay.”- Marlon James,

He was bullied of course because he did not fit into the male stereotype. In order to cope with that he started to read more and more and write.

“I’m tired of stories that use race to define someone’s character—that help brew suspicion, contempt, and anger among people. How long is it going to take for all stories to be told without a color bias? In the end, aren’t we just human beings under the same skies?”- Shalita Grant

Just substitute the words ‘race’ and ‘color’ with anything like ‘age’, ‘sex’, ‘men’, ‘women’, and you will see that we still have a long way to go!

Featured photo credit: Househusbands on the morning jog/Matthew Rutledge via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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