As a man, you’re expected to jump in front of the danger at all times. Protect your significant other, children, and anyone else who may need the protection of a man. Your fear should never stop you from acting. You need to be brave because men are brave. These are the expectations placed on you from your earliest years. Protect everyone. But, who protects you when you’re afraid? Who’ll listen to your fears or even acknowledge you have any?
Being a man doesn’t preclude you from fear, as being a women doesn’t preclude her from anger. But, both men and women are taught to not express these emotions, lest they seem “less of a man” or “less of a woman”. The need to be strong, confident, and fearless is a tough act to keep up. While you may run into burning buildings, go to battle at just 18 years old, and be saddled with the expectation of pretending you don’t cry, fear is a reality.
Here are three of those fears that hurt deeper and lost longer than running into a burning building ever could.
No. The Sting Of Rejection
The therapy strategy states clearly that, “exposure lessens the fear.” When trying to rehabilitate phobias and anxieties this may work, but for matters of the heart, this advice doesn’t ring true. While the landscape of relationships is becoming more equal, for the most part, as a man, you’re still responsible for initiating pretty much everything. Questions like:
Do you want to go on a date?
Are you available?
Do you have a boyfriend/husband?
Where do you want to go?
Are you having a good time?
Will you marry me?
Do you want to have children?
That’s eight questions, with eight potential rejections, placed on your shoulders. And the truth is, each no hurts. No matter how many times you hear it. You’ve spent a couple of hours getting the courage to ask her, checking your clothes in the mirror, styling your hair the best it can be, and finally, you ask.
But, sometimes, her rejection isn’t even that kind. It’s dismissive, rude, or full of pity. This can make you feel bad, even unworthy, no matter how high your self-esteem is.
But, for just a moment, let’s look at the other side. For a woman, being asked out is a common thing. Oftentimes, men interrupt her when she’s reading, studying, talking to her friends, or just sitting quietly, no matter how uninterested she looks. Men force themselves into her world, whenever they like. For her, it can feel as if she can’t just be without being sought after. Like she’s nothing more than a prize to be had, rather than a person. This may lead to a dismissive, or angry, rejection to your inquiry. And, it hurts.
No matter how much you tell yourself her answer doesn’t matter, when she says, “No.”, you may feel like you aren’t good enough. A compassionate rejection would go a long way to ease some of the pain when you are rejected. No one, including you, likes to be rejected. Sometimes, you may stay in a relationship that does you no good because you are afraid to be rejected. Fight this urge. Rejection is better than misery.
Irrelevant. Never Good Enough.
Irrelevancy is a big hole that you may try to fill with more hours at work, stuff, and avoiding your woman. When you are made to feel as if you, and your efforts, mean little, you may find another means to be recognized.
When you are asked to do something and she constantly says that you aren’t doing anything, i.e. being ungrateful, you may just decide to not do anything. What does it matter, she doesn’t care anyway?
Being acknowledged for your effort goes a long way in building a healthy relationship. Not only are women givers, but you are also a giver. While you may enjoy giving her what she’d like, you are, also, expected to. Throughout the dating phase, honeymoon, and the rest of your life, for the most part, the gifts are supposed to be from you, not for you.
Feeling inadequate can be a big fear of yours because being needed proves that you are worthy. That you are good enough.
I Tried. She’s Disappointed.
Many times, you may be afraid to disappoint her. Because, of course, by disappointing her you are rejected and deemed irrelevant with just one look. Sometimes, women can be harsh. They forget to couch their disappointment in compassion and that hurts a lot. Rather than saying, “Here’s how to do [insert activity],” they may say, “You did it wrong. You never do it right.” This negative, blaming language doesn’t build positive relationships.
Disappointment is hard for everyone, but it’s very hard when it’s from someone you love. And rejection is awful, no matter how many times you hear it.
These are just three of the fears that may haunt you, because, often, it feels like no matter what you do these three fears come true. While discussing your feelings isn’t encouraged a lot of the time, your woman may not know you feel this way. By opening up a little and letting her know how much she can hurt you, she’ll become more aware of her words and actions. And you can live your life with fewer feelings of rejection, irrelevancy, and disappointment.