The Real Man Concept: A Counterpart to The Good Girl Syndrome

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In the dynamic and ever-changing social environment, we encounter countless labels and concepts aiming to describe our behaviors. One such popular idea is the "Good Girl Syndrome," typically used to depict a pattern where females tend to be excessively compliant or submissive, often due to societal pressures and expectations.

However, there's another side to this coin, a counterpart often overlooked - "The Real Man Concept." While the societal expectations for girls and women have been widely discussed, those for boys and men deserve equal attention. The Real Man Concept deals with long-standing societal expectations surrounding masculinity.

Understanding "The Real Man Concept"

Fundamentally, the Real Man Concept refers to the societal pressures on males to conform to traditional definitions of masculinity. This includes consistently following rules, pursuing success and power, suppressing emotions, and avoiding any signs of vulnerability. But what's the true cost of these expectations?

The Impact

  • Emotional Suppression: Boys and men are often discouraged from openly expressing emotions by society, leading to unhealthy habits of internalizing feelings and escalating stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Avoidance of Help-Seeking Behavior: The burden of the "real man" image often inhibits males from seeking help when facing personal issues or mental health problems, raising the risk of untreated psychological conditions.
  • Unhealthy Competition: The constant need to prove oneself and the fear of failure can foster unhealthy competition and harmful stress, impacting both personal relationships and mental well-being.

Breaking Down The Stereotypes

Remember, society is evolving, and our understanding of masculinity should evolve too.

  • Emotion is Not Weakness: Emotions significantly influence our decision-making process and can strengthen social bonds when shared empathetically. They offer insights into our needs and desires, helping us understand ourselves better. Emotions, particularly primal ones like fear and disgust, also contribute to our survival instincts. Furthermore, they serve as motivation, driving us to take action or make changes based on how we feel.
  • Seeking Help is Courageous: It involves challenging societal stigmas around mental health, admitting personal struggles, and opening up about vulnerabilities. This process also signifies a courageous commitment to change and personal growth, requiring confrontation of uncomfortable truths and changes in ingrained behaviors. Additionally, it reflects an act of self-care, prioritizing one's well-being amidst societal pressures to put other responsibilities first. Thus, seeking mental help isn't a sign of weakness, but a testament to strength and courage.
  • Cooperation Over Competition: Cooperation strengthens relationships by cultivating trust and respect, and it enhances productivity by leveraging individual strengths. Cooperation also reduces stress by creating a supportive atmosphere, promoting individual well-being. Ultimately, it contributes to building a more inclusive, empathetic society, bridging gaps between different groups. While competition has its place, striking a balance with cooperation is essential for creating a more harmonious and productive environment.

Transforming Masculinity: The Next Steps

The Real Man Concept, like the Good Girl Syndrome, is a societal construct that needs re-evaluation. Reframing masculinity in a healthier, more inclusive way is as important as redefining femininity—it's vital for the well-being of society as a whole.

In our journey towards a more compassionate society, remember, the real strength lies in authenticity. It's okay to be a "real" man who feels, cries, loves, and most importantly, seeks help when needed.

And for those who feel ready to begin the journey of self-discovery and healing, Meetelp is here to support you. It's an app that matches you with a psychologist who understands your personality, offering both online and in-person sessions tailored to your needs. With a supportive and empathetic environment, it's a valuable tool on your path to better mental health, complete with a Mood Diary and Daily Questions to aid your progress.