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GARY’S STORY: The Taboo of Male Self Esteem

All guys are confident? Bullshit. Guys can’t be hurt by rejection? Yeah, we wish. Men don’t feel what a women does, emotionally?  Want to bet on that? I am once again going to write about a taboo, and that taboo is male emotion and self esteem. I want guys to know, as always, that you are not alone and flag up the dangers of low self esteem.

Time to use my real life as an example. I am going to go through my thoughts and feelings at the time.

So, let’s set the scene… I have been single a little over 18 months and live alone. My last relationship lasted over 9 years and was an emotional roller coaster. I starting talking to a woman and we got close. We kissed and discussed our feelings. She told me she was falling in love with me, even though she was in a long-term relationship.  She said that things with her current boyfriend was rocky and had never felt like this before with another guy. Within weeks she said she wanted to slow things down between us and what was daily contact faded to speaking rarely.  A week or so later she asks me to call her as she was going through a rough patch with her friend. I find out on the phone that she had had an intimate night with him.

So that sets the scene.  Not ideal, but also not uncommon, right? Well, here is the internal list of questions my mind went through in the space of about 5 minutes of our phone conversation:


“She obviously didn’t feel anything for me”

“There must be something wrong with me”

“I am not good looking enough or physically fit enough to be with her”

“I am not smart enough”

“I am not loveable and I am unwanted”

These questions sent me spiraling down into an emotional balck hole, to the point that later that day I was close to taking my own life, since I thought that I was no good to anyone and they would all be better off without me.

The picture of my son stopped me. I then immediately started my triangle (see last post) to combat the bad thoughts and feelings.

If you keep allowing these questions take over your mind, your self esteem will always be low. Change the questions to positives. It is normal to not always to be confident, it is normal to feel sad, but it must be proportionate and not all consuming. Men and women may feel like different species on this rock we call earth, but we are much more similar, emotionally, than a lot of people give credit for.  Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?  Nope, we’re much closer than that.  Men are form Croydon, women are from Sydenham is more accurate! We have the same brains and emotions, just in different shapes and sizes. Our emotions may manifest themselves in different way, but we all cry the same, laugh the same, love the same. Depression and emotional pain are universal, so we need to tackle it in this way.

So read the advice columns guys, listen to the motivational CDs and remember the future is a great place to be.  You want to be there, regardless to how difficult and hurt you may be right now. You just need to choose who you want to be.

Self-esteem is like a computer following a programme – it never deviates from it. If your self-esteem is low then you may feel that when good things happen, you are somehow unworthy of this happiness. Like me, you may even go out of your way, subconsciously to jeopardise this happiness for the same reason. So in order to beat it, you rewrite the programme.  Put up a firewall.  Get rid of the viruses.

Sensitivity is not weakness. Asking for help is not a shame. Crying is not a bad thing. You can be a world leader or a street sweeper and still feel hurt by others’ actions.  We all want to be loved, after all. It is not acknowledging this hurt and internalizing it, turning it in on yourself, blaming yourself or bottling up that makes your self esteem worse.  Time to press the reset button, guys.

And as always, Remember. You are not alone.


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