What it Means to be a Man XI: Empathy

Published in Feminism - 2 mins to read

For the final pillar of masculinity upon which I intend to rest my metaphorical roof, I have chosen empathy. I’m not sure this one needs much explanation as to why I think it’s important, and why it deserves to be a tenet of manliness, save to say that it enables one to have many of the other qualities on the list. If you can’t put yourself in another’s shoes, you’re going to struggle to be patient with them, to accept them, to be unashamed and honest when dealing with them. Empathy seems to be the keystone that holds everything else together.

And actually, I don’t think I’m doing too bad on the empathy front. Sure, I’m sure I could improve, but certainly in comparison to most of the other things listed, I know I spend a lot of time trying to see things from others' perspectives, and I think I have a non-zero amount of success with it.

Being OK at one thing on the list is quite reassuring, it offers some hope that the other qualities could all be gained or improved with conscious effort. Even though I am just as filled with self-doubt now as when I wrote the first post in this series, hopefully these have been the first steps towards that effort.

See other posts in the What it Means to be a Man series