You have been born into a world that tells you that you deserve to go through life without any adversity—full of safe spaces, "micro-aggression" complaints, and insulated lives. But this is an illusion, and a horrifically cruel one at that. It's a con, a statement about reality that is utterly detached from actual human experience.
Previous generations, especially previous generations of men, knew better. They knew there was no such thing as avoiding pain and defeat. You will, too. Maybe it will be in a physical fight. Maybe you'll lose an argument. Maybe you'll get shot down by a girl, or humiliated in public. Maybe you'll lose your dream job or fail a test. Maybe you'll just lose a game of some sort.
Whatever it is—you're going down. Hard. It will be humiliating. It will be painful. It will leave a mark or five. And it will probably happen multiple times. And if you want to succeed and thrive in this world, you'd better throw away the nuclear-bomb-shelter mentality of safe spaces and learn how to deal with the hurt and become stronger in its wake. Victimhood may or may not get you sympathy, but it will certainly not allow you to be content or happy.
Most men knew how to do this, and this includes some of the greatest men in history. US Grant suffered repeated personal failures before helping to win the Civil War. Winston Churchill was politically crushed multiple times—and legitimately so!—before bouncing back to victory repeatedly. You do not have to reinvent the wheel here, but here are some tips to jumpstart the learning process.
First, learn to tell the difference between a scratch, a flesh wound, and a severed leg (emotionally and physically). Not every insult or hurt really means anything or should. Not every stupid thing someone says on the internet or social media is worth your time. Have a sense of proportion about your own self-worth, goals, and values, and understand the difference between stuff you can brush off and stuff that cannot pass.
Second, understand that "going to the mattresses" involves a cost. As Marc MacYoung, one of the foremost experts on violence (and whose work you should read in full), put it: even the winner of a fight ends up with scars and blood and legal problems. In a more minor sense, constantly getting into angry arguments with friends or people on the internet may bring brief emotional satisfaction—but the cost will be a dangerous anger hair-trigger which at the very minimum will lose you friends and will often eat you up from the inside and prevent you from growing. If you can de-escalate or avoid conflict, do so. Pick your battles carefully and fight them intelligently.
Third, try and look at the experience for your own self-improvement. Is there anything I could have done better for my own sake? Is there something I can improve on in this path or did this blow mean I need to go in another direction? Where do I go from here (and I mean go in the sense of progress, not wallow in self-pity and misery)?
Ideally, you should prepare for this sort of thing before the hammer falls. Much like armies train their soldiers thoroughly before they send them to get shot at, training yourself to deal with adversity in a healthy way will make the blow(s) easier to deal with. At the very least, being hit should be a wake-up call to start doing so.
Most importantly, don't do it alone. Male mentors are great for this sort of training and help. There's a reason I suggested you get yourself one.
Now clean off that blood, drink some water, and get back in the ring.
Leave a Reply.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.