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Mens sensitivity and kind heart mistaken for weakness
I've worked with men all my life mainly in the security, defence and investigation fields, areas of employment that you rely on your colleague for back up. You get to know them over a long period of time...sort of.
I've imagined my most robust and mean looking work partner as never crying, never buckling under the pressure of the harshest trauma yet have walked in on such a person sobbing at his desk. I've had the best father anyone could ask for and never saw him cry....until my older 26yo brother took his own life and watched my dad crumble. Three months later when he had an off day my mother exploded and yelled "mothers grieve more than fathers I've been crying for 3 months far more than you have". My dad walked from the family home for 3 hours and I believe I was lucky to see him return.
And this is the most non understandable facts about men- we are difficult to understand even if we are of the same sex. I cant relate to women being so close to each other, sharing their secrets and bonding. On the same token some men you wouldn't want to be close to. Ruthless is the word. As a man I have always found it difficult to determine such ruthlessness...whether sensitiveness and kindness is indeed present at all? I use the "be kind to them until proven that I'm wasting my time" theory. It becomes a two lions in a cage conflict situation.
Why do some men possess such staunch barriers that appears threatening? I know why, they are afraid and have learned as young men to be prepared for being hurt, dominated or even physically defeated. For men some have found that being ultra ready for a threat they can respond in a cool, calculated and convincing method that they can and will defend themselves from any criticism. I've joked with men and they've taken it totally as a threat, told them it was a joke and still they threaten and again threaten. For example: I met up with friends once when I was 30 odd. A mate brought along a sheep farmer and introduced him so I eagerly wanted to make him feel welcome. "I owned a shoop once" I said. "What's a shoop" he asked. "One sheep" I replied. Three of the six men got the joke, he stared at me and said angrily "are you making fun of my job". "it was a joke mate" I said. But what was typical of a man that commits himself to aggression, he said "that's ok but if it wasn't you'd be facing the wrong end of me mate".... and on it went.
Men deserve the benefit of the doubt to their inner character.