I with their parents, teachers, friends, and

I overheard a father tell his 4-year-old son “Stop Crying! Boys don’t cry.” at the grocery store the other day and had to hold my tongue. Obviously, boys do, in fact cry, or you would not have to tell them not to cry. Yet somehow, men still have this thing hanging over them as men: Men do not cry, and if they do, they are weak. I have not met a man yet who has not wrestled with this feeling. And so it is in secret that men usually cry, If they cry at all. We were taught to think that vulnerability is synonymous with weakness, when in fact, it takes emotional cognizance, self-confidence, and courage to be emotionally honest.Children are born being emotionally honest. They express their true feelings easily and voluntarily. However, children learn at an early age to be emotionally dishonest. Adults often encourage or require that children speak or act in ways, which are contrary to the child’s feelings. Peer pressure to imitate the group also can cause children to be emotionally dishonest. Through all of this, children learn that being honest with their feelings comes at a cost. Slowly, they stop being emotionally honest with their parents, teachers, friends, and often times even with themselves. They realize that there is a double standard when they express their feelings. This is because, in many ways, society shows us that it is easier to disregard, repress, deny, and even outright lie about our feelings. For instance, many of us will reply with “fine” or “good” when asked how we are doing, even when that is not true.Boys and girls differ in many ways, especially when it comes to expressing their emotions. They do not differ in how shy or fearful they are, or in how angry, sad, happy, or emotional they are, and contrary to popular belief, young boys and girls don’t differ in how much they cry. Where they do differ, is in how adults react to their emotions. Mothers typically discuss feelings more in depth with their daughters than they do their sons. Boys are routinely lectured for crying or showing sadness.The truth is, boys do feel sad sometimes. Sometimes more so than others. Even feeling a passing moment of sadness is a normal response to something undesirable. Everyone, all around the world, has experienced sadness at one point or another. Even parents often teach boys that sad feelings are something they should percent of prisoners (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2017). Boys are more likely to have used drugs by the age of 12 than girls, which leads to a higher likelihood of drug abuse in men than in women later in life (NIDA Notes, 2000). American men are more likely to kill or percent of all suicides. Men have an astonishingly high rate of death by suicide compared with wo¬men. Across all countries reporting these data (except China and India) males show a suicide rate that is 3.0 to 7.5 times that of women (BC Medical Journal, 2011).There are logical reasons for emotional dishonesty in men. When pushed to be comfortable with revealing anxiety, lack of self-assurance or unhappiness, men feel as if they are being punished. Why would they want to expose their emotions when women are “turned-off” by men who openly cry? It is for the survival of the species. Nothing inspires intimidation tendencies in men more eagerly than seeing another man as feeble. However, most of these reasons stem from the societal pressure to be “manly”. The stigma of being a “sensitive” man movies. After all, that’s what real men do, and it is time they should Emotional honesty means permitting men to express their true feelings without fear. To be emotionally honest, first we must be aware of our own feelings. Each emotion that we have is neutral; it is neither good nor bad. It just is, and what makes an emotion into any of these things, is the value that we give them. Cultivating boys’ natural capacity for emotional sincerity is critical to their general well-being. We can’t wait until theyare men to do so – we need to start when they are young.