A father and adult son posing for a picture.

What does healthy masculinity look like? How can you develop it?

Healthy masculinity takes maturity, emotional balance, and a humble attitude. It admits wrong and doesn’t let ego get in the way. 

Here’s more on what that looks like.

Healthy Masculinity Requires Balance and Humility

One of the keys to healthy masculinity is being humble: A mature man admits when something’s wrong with him and takes action to fix the problem. This is crucial because nobody has a perfectly healthy psyche, and everyone’s aspects become imbalanced at times. Therefore, the sooner the man realizes it’s happening, the better things will be for him and for the people he loves. For example, horror author Stephen King has spoken about how his obsession with his work nearly cost him his family, and he’s said one of his biggest regrets is that he didn’t recognize that problem sooner. 

Tip: Get Ego Out of the Way

It’s important for people to recognize when their psyche is badly imbalanced, but how do they do that? 

In Ego Is the Enemy, self-help author Ryan Holiday gives one suggestion: Use failure as a chance to learn. When someone fails at something, whether it’s a professional goal or a personal task, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Therefore, the person should carefully consider what happened and how their own shortcomings contributed to the failure. 

However, Holiday also warns that too much pride—in his terms, too much ego—will make that impossible. A person’s ego will only consider what they did well, and it will blame anything that went wrong on other people. 

For instance, if a man gets into a shouting match with his wife, that’s a failure of communication. Perhaps it happened, at least in part, because the man was trying to overpower his wife instead of really talking to her. In that case, the best solution would be to use empathy to better understand his wife’s point of view. 

However, if the man is caught up in his own ego, he’s likely to see the fight as only his wife’s failure, not his own, and his only concern will be with “winning” their next fight. 
Healthy Masculinity: Learning to Be Balanced and Humble

Becca King

Becca’s love for reading began with mysteries and historical fiction, and it grew into a love for nonfiction history and more. Becca studied journalism as a graduate student at Ohio University while getting their feet wet writing at local newspapers, and now enjoys blogging about all things nonfiction, from science to history to practical advice for daily living.

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