RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.
*Written in 2014.
I write about manliness a lot on here. It seems to be a topic not only popular with men but also women. In fact, I find more positive responses from the ladies than the guys on some of the things I write. It seems like manliness is in short supply and men and women are wishing that there was more of it to go around in the modern era.
There are a lot of blogs, websites, books and other media that thrive on the subject of manliness, what it is and how dudes should embrace it and employ it. The truth is, there are a lot of opinions about what a man is and how he should behave and carry himself. Different sources say different things and to take it all in can be confusing, as there are a lot of contradictions depending upon where you chose to get your information from.
I read a lot of the stuff out there. I agree with a lot but I disagree with a lot more. However, my opinion, as well as the opinions of those I am reading, is all subjective. I outlined what I really think it takes to be a man with my post Misconceptions of Manliness. I wanted to expand on some of what I said there though.
In it, I outlined what character traits a man should have above all other things. I can talk about beards and sports and steaks and booze and cigars and knives and all types of “manly” shit but none of that stuff makes a man. A man is what his character is. One of the best traits a man can have, in my view, is not giving a fuck about what other people think. Before that is taken to an extreme, let me elaborate.
By not giving a fuck, I don’t mean to be an asshole and look at those who disagree with you or offer criticism as useless assholes. Often times criticism and others’ opinions can be beneficial. A man doesn’t walk around with a holier than thou attitude, looking down at everyone else as some sort of lesser being. When I say a man shouldn’t give a fuck, that’s in reference to the negativity and the haters out there. And just because you don’t give a fuck, doesn’t mean that you need to be a douchebag about it.
The thing is, not everyone is going to like you. Being universally loved isn’t possible and you have to recognize that – the sooner, the better. Again, this isn’t a license to be an asshole. The point is, you can’t be negatively effected or hindered by the shit that those people say. Many assholes are just being douchebaggy because they are miserable people – negative husks with nothing going for them other than trying to hold others down. You shouldn’t give a fuck what these people think or say.
However, you should also be able to realize the difference between the good people and the assholes and where their feedback is coming from, whether it is a good place or a bad place. If you’re not sure about someone yet, take what they say with a grain of salt. On the flip side, it also doesn’t mean that you have to take everything that the good people say to heart. Analyze the information and do with it what you will because good people can also give bad critique and advice.
You can’t go through life overly concerned with others’ opinions. There comes a point where you have to find enough confidence in yourself that you know how to steer your own ship. When there, it doesn’t mean that you don’t listen, it just means that you know where you are headed, who you are and does the feedback your getting enhance that or go against it? That’s the question we should all ask ourselves: men and women.
Going back to the different views of what manliness is and how you should be, you should really apply the not giving a fuck rule. Everyone has their opinion on what a man is and how you should apply it. Fuck them. Who do you think you should be and what is a man to you? There isn’t some man factory pumping out templates for all of us guys to jump into. Besides, in my opinion, just following what someone else tells you to do isn’t the action of a man anyway.