Or how about the guy who freaks out and swears at the video game when he fails or cusses out the TV when his team loses? What about the guy who’s palms are sweaty and knees are knocking as he approaches a girl to ask her out? We’ve all been that guy before I’m sure.
One characteristic of a REAL man that I didn’t put in my 10 points on How to be a Real man or in my Leadership discussion, is he remains calm and collected in all circumstances. The idea is that regardless of whether things go the way he expects or hopes them to or not he will remain in control of his emotions.
Disclaimer: I’m not advocating a jaded, emotionless man. You should know from many of the other posts that feeling and empathizing are essential. Emotionless men are boys who are too scared to admit they have feelings (and often on steroids).
So let’s look at a couple instances of remaining calm. Let’s say that you go out with a girl and while you are out another guy at the bar starts to hit on her. An insecure guy would try to pull her away from the situation. Or he might distract her. Later on he’s let out a rant about that guy being a jerk or a loser and how he couldn’t stand guys who don’t show respect. But the real man remains calm. He realizes the girl went out with him not bar dude. He may lean back in his chair with a chill smile and enjoy the entertainment. After all if the girl leaves him he didn’t lose much. But chances are she won’t and they can both laugh about it later.
Here’s another one. Adult boy’s girlfriend comes to him freaking out about something he did. “You’re not a gentleman; you don’t open my door or pull out my chair. Don’t you see how that other guy is being so much more of a man than you?” Adult boy becomes defensive. “Do you see all I do for you? I bought you that dress you’re wearing and dinner tonight! I put up with eating at this stupid restaurant and suck up to you every chance I get”. To which she responds “exactly, that’s my point, you ‘put up with me’. I don’t want to just be some girl you tolerate!”
You get the point. What does a real man do? He sits back and listens. If it’s something that holds weight he may try a therapeutic dispute resolution technic:
- restate the problem in your own words
- agree with the parts that you find true because there is always an element of truth in every accusation
- express your feelings about the way the subject was approached
- suggest or ask an appropriate change in action).
However, it could be she has something else underlying the issue (her boss didn’t appreciate her at work, her girlfriend gossiped behind her back) and it has nothing to do with you. If you can calmly determine you’re not in the wrong then just listen. And then move on.
Real men don’t react. They act. Calmly and purposefully.
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