When Society challenges you to be a Real Man

 This one is about men’s mental health. Women are welcome, though.

Have you ever heard, “be a man” or “a real man would do this” or possibly a “real man would not do that?”

 Of course. We all have. We’ve all probably even said it, men and women. But what makes someone a “real man?”

 Because the feeling of not measuring up is a common issue for men, the fear and insecurity of not being a “real man” is always present whether consciously or unconsciously. In this post are a few considerations as to how to handle the pressure of being a ‘real man.’

 It is important to remember we all have different talents. Our gender differences sometimes create stereotypes that may play out (stereotypes come from some place after all) but we are by no means defined by our gender. To recognize and embrace the talents and aptitudes we have is one way to be mentally healthy. As a professor of mine used to say, ‘it takes all types.’

 Growth is important. In her highly impactful book ‘Mindset’ based on years of research Carol Dweck discusses the value in believing change is possible. She discusses a mindset that believes behaviors should reflect back a certain assumption (fixed) versus a mindset that values development (growth). To value oneself as a man, it's important to realize that growth is possible. With curiosity and a willingness to try new things being a well rounded man is possible which leads to a healthy state of mind.

 The late Fred Rogers, influencer of millions of people who grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood said it best when he said, “I love you just the way you are.”

 Discussing one’s specific mental health hurdles with a trained professional has also been proven to be beneficial. We all have mental health. To schedule an appointment with a licensed therapist in Paducah or for Telehealth call/text 270-777-4490, or call in Owensboro 270-215-4000. You can also book online here.

Written By: Justin Lewis, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a specialty in marriage counseling who practices in our Paducah location. Check out his bio here!

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