So you may say to yourself,
‘man a man, who sey a mus express myself? It is not as easy as you all make it seem. Oftentimes, the emasculation and ridicule are real, so why take the advice to express oneself? It is all a trap!’
From an early age, men are conditioned to be stoic and strong. What this means, they are not allowed to cry or be too expressive with their emotions; especially emotions that make them vulnerable such as sadness and fear. Besides, our women ‘nuh waan no saafas man’ [soft man]. Expressing one’s emotions is akin to being weak. As a result, males have been conditioned to suppress instead of expressing themselves constructively. Traditionally, this has been a part of the definition of masculinity.
As with anything, this is not a perfect world. No matter the efforts towards social change, no matter the efforts to change minds, and no matter the efforts of people changing their attitudes and behaviours, there will always be the dark shadows lurking and perpetuating the ills of toxic masculinity. As such, should we drown in their pool of ignorance and negativity? I am certain we carry on with various positive efforts in spite of the antagonistic forces. Men bear in mind what can bumboclaat happen if there is suppression instead of expression:
Pent-up emotions have the potential to expand like a balloon, and we know what will happen when the balloon is too tight with air, it eventually pops. The difference between a balloon’s startling pop and your popping is potential trauma. Your popping can traumatically change a life and a real loved one at that; yours will be the frightening sound of yells, or the unsettling pop of a slap, a terrifying smash of an object, a deafening pop of a gun, the crack of a bone, or the last bumboclaat gasp of air.
Lucy E. Cousins highlights in her article, “Downsides to Always being Positive,” a study by the University of Texas that shows that not acknowledging one’s emotions only results in them getting stronger. By suppressing one’s emotions, there is a potential flare-up and overreaction over another irritable situation (usually a small matter) and that is because your body and mind are trying to find a release (no matter how irrational and explosive) for previous pent-up emotions. Wouldn’t it be much easier to express emotions constructively at the moment to deal with one problem than to compound a problem?
If emotions are not expressed, how can the people you love and who care about you genuinely understand the whole you, the whole context of any situation you are in? And then the unfair criticism is voiced: “you just don’t get it…or….you just don’t understand.” Did you give them a genuine opportunity to get it? I recently read a quote by Sylvester McNutt which sums up this kind of scenario: “…if I’m insensitive to your needs, to your desires or thoughts, tell me so that I can consider them, but don’t hold an attitude with me because you haven’t clearly expressed yourself…” It is not bumboclaat fair! It is time to express, not suppress.
So, let’s say the expression is by-passed. You believe suppression is better than expression. After all, your pride and ego will be preserved. I guess you do not love yourself because that is akin to bumboclaat self-torture and you convey the impression that you rather embrace the pains of self-sabotage? Taking this route, your mental and emotional health suffers.
With the emotions nowhere to go, there is the risk of depression. All of a sudden, life has no meanings, no purpose, no pleasure, and suppression is now compounded. Your emotions are all mixed up. You are confused. You do not know where to begin to unravel the knots of your emotions, much less to acknowledge and deal with them. You go through life with a chip on your shoulder: aggressive, violent, disconnected, frustrated, apathetic, and DEPRESSED. There is only one thing that is bumboclaat left.
According to Sam Dekin, men are 3.56 times more likely to commit suicide If life has become meaningless, listless, hopeless, why live? No one cares right? And in your final pop, your existence is buried.
Expression is life. Your emotions are a natural occurrence. To suppress is abnormal. It is much better to deal with the discomfort of expression than to be burdened with the darkness of suppression. Take my bumboclaat advice, learn to express yourself constructively, and stop being a vessel of toxicity. Think beyond the stereotype. Tap into your emotions, become emotionally aware; consciously, and rationally analyze how best to approach and release your emotions in a healthy way. If personal efforts fail, seek help. #talktosummadibredda. Practice self-love and self-care, become compassionate. You matter. We need you.