If you were to describe what it means to be a man in one word what would it be and why?
"Probably understanding. Just to be understanding of other peoples feelings, You know I have been married now for eight years. You have to be put other people's emotions before your own sometimes or pick up on, you know when my wife is having a bad day or when my kid is feeling upset, anxious, or tired because he's two.
Also to have an open mind and be learning. Just in my experience, I don't know I grew up a little more closed minded at times. And the older I've gotten, and the more I've learned and had interactions with people that think, believe, and do things differently than me, the more rich my life experiences have become. And like talking to people that I disagree with it's perfect, you learn so much more about yourself and so much more about the world at large. It's something I wish I would have done sooner. I grew up fairly conservative Christian. That influenced allot of my life as far as being closed minded to these people or those people or whatever because of what I was taught or what I was brought up near. I think that always be learning and understanding. That's not just being a man, that's being mankind or humankind. If you are always thinking and always learning, I think it's probably a good thing; that's the point of being alive. Enjoy a new experience or learn something you never knew. "
Would you describe yourself as an emotional man? If so would you like that to change?
"Yea I am an emotional man. I have been since I was a little kid. I was very sensitive growing up and no I don't think I would change it. There are times that maybe I wish I would have because as a young kid growing up I got picked on. Ah I guess everybody got picked on... but you know I took it to heart allot and I let my emotions kinda guide me and rule my life and I'll be candid I have been going to therapy for some emotional things and there are other things I would rather not talk about, but I am happy with being an emotional man. I don't see it as a fault of character.
I want to be able to empathize with people at an emotional level and I want to be in touch with my emotions so I can do that. I think being an emotional male isn't a negative stereotype or anything like that . I am friends with men who are closed off to their emotions and allot of times it leads to horrible things like drugs, alcohol, and suicidal things or suicide. I mean you can go to dark places if you're not at least trying to communicate with your emotions and if you need help to do that by all means do.
My advice to other men is if you feel terrible or something or you feel like your emotions are eating you up man, talk to somebody about it seriously. That's the other thing there is a stigma about therapy and it is embarrassing to talk about I don't want to tell people I am in therapy. I am trying to be more open about it though because it can change people's mind."
Occupation: Home Inspector
From: Kansas City, Missouri