What it Means to be a Man X: Self-Respect
As you might have noticed, I am running out of steam a little bit - I think that was kind of inevitable trying to write on the same topic, to the same standard, for so many days in a row. So for the first time, I thought I’d go looking on the Internet for inspiration, and try and find what other people arrogantly proclaim to be the qualities vital in a modern man. And let me tell you, they all suck. I can’t even really put my finger on why. I think it’s just something in the tone, some pretense, or maybe the qualities they choose that are still so stoic, so chiseled-chins and chopping wood without a shirt on.
Anyway, it made me feel quite a lot better about writing my own list. Today’s quality is something I think plenty of men (maybe even the majority) have no problem with - in some ways it’s even part of the toxic archetype - it’s just that I am sorely lacking in it. Self-respect is something I’ve never had a great deal of, and it has a knock-on effect in almost all areas of my life, at work, in my relationships both platonic and romantic, in most of the interactions I have with another human being. Having a more appropriate amount of it would not only clearly serve me better, but likely serve others around me better in plenty of scenarios as well. If I don’t have respect for myself, can I really respect anyone else? Can I really embody any of the other qualities described in this series?
I prefer to think of it in reverse - if I can cultivate all those other things within myself, I’m hoping self-respect will be a convenient byproduct, the cherry on the top of the cake. It feels like a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing, except I have neither. Writing these posts is a little like writing a grocery list; looking at how other people’s recipes turned out and trying to pick ‘n’ mix the best bits for my own.
Or maybe I’ve just massively overthought this analogy. Who knows.