I am no Casanova or Hank Moody when it comes to my history with women. However, I have learned a few things about women and about myself from women. I hope that by sharing these observations with you may help some men become the man that a woman would want.
This article is in recognition of all of the things that women do. Not every woman is a good person but there isn’t a good human out there who wasn’t influenced by a good woman at some time or another. I know that I have.
Tip # 1: Define what being a man is
I can safely say that I have spent far too much time watching TV and movies growing up. In doing so my opinion of what a man should be was definitely influenced by Hollywood. The same can be said about women I’m sure. What I learned was that men should look like The Rock and be cool like Will Smith.
In the shadow of Hollywood archetypes, who in real life are probably not as manly as their characters portray, how do we match up? Well we don’t. We don’t because that’s not reality. Manhood, like womanhood, isn’t about looking a certain way. It’s about growing confidently into your true self.
Since we are on the subject of Hollywood, one of my favorite movie scenes that demonstrates this comes from Cool Runnings. The character Junior Bevil asks his dad what he sees when he looks at him. His dad says he sees a lost little boy and Junior replies that he is a man and an Olympian. He stood his ground. Despite not having a giant physical stature or supernatural coolness he reflects true manhood.
Tip # 2: Be a Learner
In the movie “What Women Want” the protagonist is endowed with the supernatural ability to hear women think. The idea is that he can then ascertain what women truly want by hearing their intimate thoughts. I don’t think it’s necessary or possible to know what every woman wants. However I don’t think a super power is needed to understand the opposite sex a little bit more.
As the youngest of three boys, I was the last at home when my brothers were at school. This meant hanging around with my mom and her friends. As I watched TV or built structures with my Legos I would listen. Mostly they’d talk about their husbands and kids. Hearing them helped form my opinion. I took mental notes.
Over time I have developed many platonic friendships with women. One thing I can tell you is that most women talk about relationships to some degree. My wife does it too. By listening a little bit more and paying attention you can get a better picture of what women value in the men in their lives and also what they don’t like.
Tip # 3: Be Honest with Yourself
Growing up in the 90’s wasn’t easy. Especially for a socially awkward overweight boy from a low income family. As a child I wasn’t aware of social expectations. As I aged I started caring about acceptance more. Like most people, I suppose I began to create a persona to hide behind. I lost the ability to be honest with myself about myself and the world around me.
It took me many years and a lot of work to gain this ability back. You can’t expect to change yourself unless you can be honest about who you are. Know your strengths and weakness. Accept your personality traits and flaws.
Once you can face yourself then you can understand where you need growth. A person who accepts themselves is less prone to lie and more likely to have direction. Nobody likes a liar or a fraud. Plus, if you are OK with your own flaws then everyone else will be too.
Tip # 4: Develop Yourself
I’ve spent a lifetime looking at the accomplishments of other people and feeling envious. Over the past few years I have decided that it’s important to develop myself. I am not religious and I don’t believe I’ll get another lifetime so I want to do what I can now with the time I have.
Over the past 3 years I’ve dedicated time to exercise and I’m stronger than I was in high school. My wife Jessica and I have recently lost quite a few pounds from eating better. Jessica is a go getter and has motivated me to learn new skills to get stuff done around the house.
I’ve taken multiple online courses in subjects and learned many things that I’m interested in. And I’ve started this blog to re kindle my passion for writing. There are many things I want to achieve but only I can make them happen. Once you start becoming the person that you want to be then the people around you will see it and might even be inspired themselves.
Tip # 5: Grow Some Confidence
You’ve probably heard the expression that confidence is key. Having or not having it is the difference between getting or not getting the job, the sale, the vote, the phone number and so many things. People typically care more about confidence than actual ability.
It took me 28 years and a terrible marriage to grasp the importance of confidence. By not having it, my standards were low enough to enter into a destructive relationship. Once I finally built the courage to stand up for myself my confidence soared. It was only then that I began to see the world differently.
Some people are born with confidence it seems but most of us have to push ourselves to get it. I learned that every time I was in an uncomfortable situation by pushing myself towards what bothered me most was what eventually helped boost my confidence. If you don’t challenge yourself emotionally, mentally or physically then you will never grow.