Any news that targets men as culprits are easy to reach to people rather than any incident where a man is a victim. Majorly every constitution ensures to treat every person equally irrespective of their gender. In order to compensate for the cruelty or exploitation that women faced all these years and are still facing, Is it fine to completely push any other gender off the plate?.
Being a woman myself, even I have my share of traumas that included men. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve come across the most beautiful men inside-out, anybody can ever meet. See that’s where perspective plays a part. I can’t ignore the traumas but it is equally unavoidable to not acknowledge the men who changed my life by just being in it.
This brings me to a statement that before being men, they are human beings and every human being is unique in their own way. And that is my first thing to remember which assisted me with learning how to empathise with men.
I mean you won’t stop walking on a road if you fell once or you won’t stop cooking if you burnt your hand once. Similarly, you can’t categorize and judge blindly just because you had some bad experiences with men.
Even some men are emotional, maybe more than you, sensitive and humble. I learnt to empathise with men the hard way. But here is a piece of writing that may help you to understand how important it is to empathise with men.
Listen without any judgement
We have a tendency to judge people based on our past experiences. But keep this in your mind that the man you are talking to is not the same person from your past. Every person is different and so is their life and actions. Before asking them to open up, first build a trust shelter emotionally, where they can speak out without having the fear of being judged by you. Even if their situation contradicts your pre-existing ideology, before jumping to a conclusion, try to put yourself in their shoes and judge as less as you can.
Acknowledge the feelings of men
Everyone is carrying their own emotional baggage. Not everybody is good at expressing themselves, especially men. The fear of being misunderstood and judged overpowers and they suppress all of it, which is emotionally unhealthy to do. The misconception that men are not sensitive pushes them more towards showing that it’s true. If they feel like crying, sharing, being vulnerable in front of you, acknowledge their feelings and do not push them away by saying “C’mon, you’re a man”. It’ll make them form suppressive forces.
Get to the roots of what men is facing
This point doesn’t imply investigating what your male friend or partner is sharing. It simply means being attentive when they share and try to connect dots. Trying to understand how the situation is affecting their mood and behaviour. PSMing makes us irritated, angry and causes mood swings, Similarly, men can also have behavioral changes due to certain situations. It is undoubtedly essential to not only listen with your whole attention but also try to understand where they are coming from.
This will help them in sharing more.
Validate and summarise
Once he is done talking or expressing out, you’ll get your turn to speak. Before giving any piece of advice, summarise what they say. Just tell them that you understand where they are coming from. Try to put yourself in their shoes and speak accordingly. Make them feel trusted, understood, heard and most importantly supported. Even if his opinion differs from yours, politely mention it like “ how could you not feel” or “of course you felt that way”. Such statements show empathy and comfort the other person.
Don’t mix your emotional baggages
It’s human tendency to take up the negative road. You carry your own baggage of traumas. But while listening to somebody, be there for them and just don’t bring your emotional baggage in between. For instance, if he is sharing something personal, trust him and console. Don’t trigger yourself, and even if you do get, remember he is the one who came with a problem to you. Let it be about him for the time being.
Don’t categorise men
The biggest factors that won’t let you empathise with anyone are judgement and categorisation. If you’ll already categorise that he is a man, he’ll be emotionally unavailable, not sensitive, rude and will cheat, you’ll never be able to look past these words ever.
As I mentioned above, every man is different and so is his personality. Don’t follow the list which was given to you by society, rigid on “how a man is” or “how he should be”. Think like what any human will feel in that situation. This helps you understand their situation better.
Understanding how a male ideology works is not rocket science. You just need to give them that cushion of comfort and trust. They won’t ask for it because they don’t even know if they need it. Empathy can reduce male toxicity and even help others around them. Making a change is not impossible, it just needs acknowledgement first. Acknowledgement that there is a problem to solve and a situation to change.
Ending my article while asking you this time