If you want to understand men, the first thing you have to know is that men and women really are from the same planet.
This doesn't mean, however, that every male friend you have really has a crush on you, deep down.
Men are not cavemen who are only obsessed with the basic necessities: food, sex, and sleep.
Solution: As part of telling him how much you appreciate him, tell your man specifically what he provided or will provide for you. Your man feels genuinely sad when he sees you beating yourself up or saying how fat your stomach is, how frizzy or flat your hair is, or how you wish you were slimmer, fitter, younger or more attractive.
In other words, the male ego is not only a reflection of the individual self, but also of cultural definitions of masculinity and ideas about how men should think and act.
To understand the male ego, you need to understand how society shapes men's expectations of themselves. It’s important to find out how individual men feel about and respond to these social expectations of how men should be because they will vary in each and every case. If your man has a reaction that confuses you, keeping this social conditioning in mind will help you understand his reaction. It's important to avoid making assumptions about men and anticipate their behavior to conform to the gender roles and expressions you'd typically expect.
If he makes a lot of sexist jokes that denigrate women and portray men as superior, you're going to have a harder time breaking down the male ego. For example, eating disorders have been increasingly prevalent in men due to social pressures for men to have fit, athletic, and toned bodies. That said, being more aware about how gender is a social construct can make you a more conscious observer of your own thoughts and behaviors.
Though scientific research has shown some differences between men and women, there are plenty of myths that make it seem that men and women are far more different than they really are. Research has shown that men are more likely than women to take jobs in which pay is dependent on outperforming their peers, and you probably know from personal experience that men tend to be more interested in sports (playing or watching).[1] A lot of men act this way because they thrive on competition, and take satisfaction in having skills or traits that dominate others. You'll notice that a lot of stereotypical men's activities - such as gaming, watching or playing sports, and extreme sporting - are focused on some element of competition.
Another side effect to the way men have conversations is that they tend to focus on how to fix a problem. Because men aren't accustomed to discussing their personal problems at length with a buddy, you might find that they tend to process such problems on their own. Studies show that men in seemingly platonic relationships with women are more likely to be attracted to their female friends, and also more likely to have the misguided belief that the women harbor sexual feelings for them. Though men and women may be completing the same task or inhabiting the same office, men and women take a different approach to getting work done.
While women may openly express concern about a failed project, men may retreat and seek solitude in the face of failure. Women are happier when they are complimented on a group task, while men like to be singled out.
But remember that men may want to brag about how many women they like to sleep with to look tough; that doesn't mean they are interested in following through. Sure, men may be more likely to think often about sex than women, especially if they're teenagers, but that doesn't mean that they only have one thing on their minds at all times. You may think that any man you meet is terrified of commitment and wants to run for the hills as soon as you say the phrase, "I think you should meet my parents." In reality, men are just as likely to commit as women.
Sure, men might be intimidated by strong women -- if you're Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey.
If you want to understand men on an even deeper level, then you should try to understand the male ego. If you have a better sense of how to improve your relationship with your boyfriend, you'll have a better understanding of men. In order to understand how the male ego shapes men's thoughts and behavior, it's important to draw attention to the ways in which it is socially constructed.


In order to understand the male ego, it is necessary to understand how gender roles develop and function in society. This is important because many men have developed ways of dealing with these social demands. Men are courageous, strong, competitive, independent, and stable (in contrast, women are passive, emotional, weak, and more socially-oriented). Men are often taught to suppress their emotions, which is not always the most productive way to deal with emotions.
Don't assume he likes sports, for example, or that he likes beer and hates "chick flicks", which are all common stereotypes about men. Try to understand where the particular man in your life is coming from when he does something that shocks or upsets you.
Try to understand that he lives in a world where women's sports really are NOT valued as highly as those of men. Once you empathize with how his behavior has been impacted by social expectations and norms, you can then begin to open the conversation to challenge that process.
For example, if he mentions that he really likes to go the ballet, your instinct based on conventional gender norms might be to consider that "girly" and not very manly.
Studies have found that both men and women use humor as a way to complicate their identities as men and women, and experiment with the boundaries between them.[15] But what is interesting is also how humor functions for men and women in terms of sustaining their particular gender roles in society. Share private details about your past, stories that give a sense of who you are, how you grew up, and what sorts of things made you the way you are today.
For example, if the man doesn't seek treatment for his depression based on the idea that men don't need help, his depression will likely continue and perhaps even worsen.
Because the social expectations of men are so high, men have to find a way to cope with the pressure. Changing one's self identity is not easy, and in many cases men do this to realize the benefits of complying with social expectations. In this case, men who do not conform to societal pressures can incur negative consequences, such as rejection from other men, lower status, and fewer social and romantic possibilities.
For example, while it can be useful in some respects when men remain calm and don't let their emotions overtake them, in other situations it's important to show and work through emotion. Even when you realize how much of who you are is based on social influences, this doesn't mean that you have to start over -- in fact, this is basically impossible since ideas about gender roles permeate all aspects of our society!
If you ever feel that the strain between who society tells you to be and who you are becomes too much and begins to adversely affect your mental well-being, then you should consider seeing a counselor.
If you want to have a better understanding of men, then you should take the differences and similarities between men and women into account while remembering that every man is still an individual with his own hopes and needs. Because succeeding in competition can be more important to men, support the activities that can bring your guy this sort of satisfaction in a relatively safe way. Men, however, are even more apt than women to respond to visual cues.[2] As a result, you might find that men prefer to view a map to understand directions over hearing the directions read, or they might insist that they need to see a problem in order to fix it.
If you expect your boyfriend or husband to be like your best female conversation partner, only better, you might be surprised - men tend not to build strong relationships through conversation, and they switch topics more frequently than women do.[4] In addition to this, men also don't make as much eye contact when they're talking to someone.
Men tend to be more focused on completing a specific task while women are more focused about the process used to get the job done; women tend to ask more questions while men have a harder time listening. Though men may look at the women around them and can have wandering eyes, they are still selective when the time comes to actually sleep with someone.
It's true that women may like to be more open with their feelings and to talk more, but that doesn't mean that men aren't sensitive, don't have the ability to get hurt, and don't know how to sympathize or empathize. Just like anyone else, men spend time thinking about their friends, family, hopes and dreams, and career prospects. You may think that men only care about what a girl's body looks like, adding bonus points if she actually has a nice face, but that is not the case when men get serious about a girl.
However, both men and women are capable of cheating, even if women tend to look for more of an emotional connection while men look for the physical connection.
But in general, men are actually attracted to assertive women who know what they want and are comfortable with going after it.


In other words, much of what we consider to be the "male ego" is based on long-held assumptions and stereotypes about masculinity and maleness that have social meaning and have been, for the most part, unconsciously internalized by most men. Men are assumed to be more active beings who do important things (such as political leaders, soldiers, scientists, etc.) and who are deserving of attention by others. To give another example, men in many communities in the western world are expected to avoid showing emotion. Rather, get to know the man in your life on an individual level as opposed to approaching him based upon what you think you know about men in general. Women also often feel pressure to conform to prescriptive roles about how women should behave and be feminine.
In a lot of ways, this attitude isn't surprising; both men and women have been told by society that professional men's sports matter more than women's.
While some men might prefer making jokes that reinforce traditional gender stereotypes, such as those positioning women as inferior to them, other men might instead challenge those stereotypes by making fun of the way men have traditionally considered themselves superior. Keep in mind, however, that this might take some time, as most men will not be willing to open up right away.
Ask the man to reciprocate; you might be surprised by his honesty and how, over time, the layers of the macho male ego slip away to reveal his true colors. Movies, TV, magazines, and even the people around you all provide cues on how you should act and how a man should be.
For men, these benefits are numerous, including acceptance from other men, increased self-esteem, and increased social status, among others. For this reason, most men do not choose this option and instead find it easier to try to fit traditional gender norms and then cope with the discrepancy (and not always in a healthy way).
They really are pigeon-holed and the potential options listed above also do not sound very encouraging for many men. Try not to be annoyed at this tendency, and accept it as an inborn trait he may not know how to control. Men may be more resistant to showing emotion, but that doesn't mean that they don't have feelings that are just as big as yours.
The ego operates in reality, and is also responsible for mediating between our own needs and how to satisfy them within our environments. For example, most men don't really know how they came to be sports fans or think that blue, green, and gray are boys' colors while pink and purple are girls' colors. After all, he's just a human being just like you and has his own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
Making men aware of their behavior and drawing attention to the things that they do that reflect almost unconscious motives can help them to be more conscious about what they say and do. However, there have been successes in the past, as the growing acceptance of homosexuality and transgender individuals indicates.
However, one thing a man can do to deal with social expectations is build on some of the strengths of that gender socialization. The roles help to differentiate between the sexes, so that men are seen to be one way and women another. People are not born knowing how to express their emotions in meaningful and efficient ways. In some cases, men don't even intend to subscribe to the male ego, but it just happens since they've been socially conditioned regarding how to act. However, as your relationship progresses and you begin to delve into deeper topics about your interests and views on the world, he may be able to let some of those gender scripts go.
Some of the qualities of the male ego that can produce difficulties for men can also be resources and strengths. Societal expectations of how to be a man can be harmful and leave you with low self-esteem and self-image.[18] In some cases, the effects can be even more dire.



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