Posted in Gender, Mental Health

An Open Letter to Expressive Men

Hello guys,

Are you expressive, emotional and wear your heart on your sleeve? Do you fly in the face of expectation of what being a man means? Have you openly cried in front of one or more of your closest friends? Are you an introvert in a world that demands you should want to be the centre of attention, and a world that expects you to be domineering? Then you’re not alone.

I know how hard it is for you, being expected to be the “Strong Silent Type”, to be stoic, the emotional grounding in all your relationships. You’re not allowed to show the hurt because of the assumption that you don’t hurt or that you suffer just a little bit less than the women around you because “it’s easier for a man” and all that bollocks. But you do hurt, and it is bollocks.

You’ve hurt all your life and sometimes, you get angry at this expectation, resentful even. You’re sick of putting on that face and sometimes it is a near impossible feat.

I want to tell you today that it’s ok. You don’t have to put on that front. You don’t have to act the hard man all the time. Though certainly there are people around you who expect you to “Be A Man“, it’s important you understand that you don’t have to fit this mould. Furthermore, you shouldn’t force yourself into it. That way lies feelings of inadequacy and eventually if you push and punish yourself too much, towards despair. There may even come a time when you feel that you can’t do it any more.

Nobody should make you feel like that. Nobody should feel shackled by the chains of expectation, and especially not one based purely on the genitals you have between your legs.

  • You will be told that no woman would ever want to sleep with you if you cry. They can throw around their PUA pseudopsychology all they like, but I am emotionally expressive and I have a very health sex life right now.
  • You will also be told that you lose social standing if you cry. Perhaps you will, but there will come a time in your life where you must choose what is most important to you – your social standing or your well-being. What other people think should be way down your list when it comes to your mental health.
  • You will be told to put a brave face on and “be a man”. It’s not always going to be possible to put a brave face on, and if you try, that way lies anger, breakdown and depression (by the way, depression in men generally manifests itself as anger rather than shedding of tears and neediness).
  • If your girlfriend or partner loses respect for you at seeing your emotion, then she is not the right person for you. She will make you miserable in the long run, she may even cheat on you. Not because you cried, but because she has a rigid idea in her mind of what a man should be and how he should act. It’s important to remember that that’s her problem, not yours.

These may be harsh lessons to learn, but some of us have already learnt them the hard way.





I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

5 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Expressive Men

  1. Hi CUCH!

    I have been having issues with WP in that I am unable to comment while logged in. This has been an ongoing problem. One WP was never able to solve.

    Anyway. I am testing to see if the issue still exists so I am commenting on your post while logged in.


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