Video – Vlog #43
Why don’t men show their emotions?
Why don’t men talk about their feelings?
How do you get a man to talk about his feelings?
Script – VLog #43
David Logan: Hi and welcome everybody to the Techno Dinosaur Meets the IT Geek, week 43.
David Logan: My name’s David Logan, the IT Geek, based here in Annan, south west of Scotland. I am the IT Geek who takes the jargon out of technology for you the home worker and the home office worker.
David Logan: Today we are with my usual partner in crime, Willie Nicol. So, Willie, how are you and where are you today?
Willie Nicol: Thank you David, I’m very well. I’m based in Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland. I am the Techno Dinosaur, also a personal development life coach. So, the beauty of being here is I get to pick your brains David.
David Logan: Brilliant. Where you pick my brains, I want to pick your brain. My question’s gone out my brain here, what I was going to ask you. I’ll come back to that later, towards the end. This week’s question, I want to ask you …. Why do we, as a male species, why as men, why don’t we open up and show our feelings Willie?
Willie Nicol: Very good question David, thanks. There are several reasons for this, and we could be here for a lot, lot longer than we normally are.
David Logan: I’ve got all night.
Willie Nicol: Men traditionally have been seen as the strong ones. We are the guys, the hunter gatherers from way back in stone age times who went back and brought the food home. And showing our emotions and showing our feelings was seen as being weak and that went against the male stereotype of being strong, silent, bringing the bacon home, so to speak. And that has been caused by a number of factors. Our up bringing, for example, we, as young men, are surrounded by other young men, our peers. And you didn’t want to show any weakness or emotion in front of your buddies, did you?
Willie Nicol: You may have been influenced by your father or other male elders who showed you that portraying emotions was not a good thing, not a “manly” thing. And we’ve all heard the various phrases to describe this. “Shoulders back”. “Chest out”. “Man up”. “Big boys don’t cry”. And consciously or unconsciously, we absorbed it and we decided that this was the way to progress, this was the way we would go through life not showing our emotions. Because we’re apprehensive we would be identified as being weak if we did so.
David Logan: Very good. So, at what stage do you think we break away from our elders and start retraining our own brains?
Willie Nicol: Well, I think it would depend on the individual. Now, if we’re talking just about males, right. Some young men break away from their elders at the age of fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, whatever. Some take a lot longer. I think it depends on your upbringing and your environment. The ability to think for ourselves as it were.
Willie Nicol: I think, well you know, maybe that strong silent type isn’t exactly what I want to be or I want to portray and we then move away from our up bringing or our conditioning, as some people call it, to form our own opinions.
Willie Nicol: But there’s still this very powerful background story about not showing emotions, about bottling your feelings up because that’s what we’ve learned. And to “unlearn” that is quite a task, but might I suggest that it’s a good thing to consider. “Unlearning” that strong silent type, because suppression of our emotions can very often be detrimental to our mental health and sometimes to our physical health.
Willie Nicol: So, there is actually scientific evidence to show that crying is therapeutic because there are actually chemicals in your teardrops that help you unburden yourself with these pent-up emotions.
Willie Nicol: We’ve also heard stories about a good rant, losing the rag, blowing your top, can be therapeutic because you’re letting all your pent-up anger and stress and frustration out. Suppressing our emotions is like putting them in a little bottle and storing that little bottle inside ourselves. So, the emotion is still there, and it can become a bit toxic.
David Logan: So, is that almost like a pressure valve in the body?
Willie Nicol: Well, I was going to say, yes, it builds up, it festers. And what if the bottle leaks and that “poison” gets into our system. Any poison within our systems not going to be good. And I’m using this like a metaphorical sense, an allegorical sense, right.
Willie Nicol: Suppressing emotions, and we’ve talked about stress and anxiety as well, about the chemicals within this, if we have the wrong type of chemicals within us that can be detrimental to mental and physical health.
Willie Nicol: So, I’m not suggesting you run down the street screaming and bawling. I’m only suggesting that you don’t bottle up your emotions, that you let your emotions out because it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s not a sign you’re not strong.
Willie Nicol: It’s a sign that you’re sufficiently self-aware to know that bottling up your emotions is not always a great thing. So, that self-awareness is actually a sign of strength, a sign of, “I’ve identified this is not a good way to go about things, bottling up my emotions, so, why not let them out”.
Willie Nicol: You can do it privately, you can do it by talking to someone like me, or whatever. But the bottom line David is we’re conditioned through upbringing, through “osmosis”, through our peer pressure, not to show emotions and that can be detrimental to us.
David Logan: Great, fantastic. I think that’s us towards the end of the time now for this week. Unless you’ve got anything else you’d want to add briefly? Maybe summarise what you’ve just said there?
Willie Nicol: Well, I think I did just summarise it there. One thing I’d leave the viewers with is – we’re emotional beings, humans, right. We’re happy, sad, angry, frustrated, whatever it is, and any negative emotion we bottle up isn’t a good thing. Let them out. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of self-awareness and strength and you’ll feel a lot better for it. That’s all I would say.
David Logan: Fantastic. Thank you, Willie. So, to the viewer, specifically to you, men, boys, or the male species. If you’re frightened, if you’re unsure, speak to Willie.
David Logan: Add a comment below here. If you want to keep it confidential, send us a private message. If you connect it to me, send me a private message I’ll forward it to Willie or vice versa. Sorry, to Willie, send it direct to Willie.
David Logan: Anything technical, give me a shout, the IT Geek. That’s my job to take the jargon out of technology, keep it simple for you.
David Logan: Please, to the viewer, both females and males, we need subscribers for YouTube, our YouTube channel. Jump on it please, subscribe. Excellent. Willie, last words?
Willie Nicol: As I say repeatedly, stay safe, keep well but also try and have some fun along the way. Not always easy but one thing I would say, laughter’s the best medicine. It’s an emotion where it’s joyful. So, it’s goodbye from me, Willie Nicol, the Techno Dinosaur.
David Logan: Keep smiling, keep safe, keep healthy everybody. Have a good week. Thank you.