Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Men and their Self-Esteem

When it comes to men and the type that I go for, there are some things that are important to me that have nothing to do with looks: smart, funny, hard-working, ambitious, kind, trustworthy, and confident.

Confident. A confident - not cocky or arrogant - man is very important. A confident man that believes in himself and his talents/attributes, has his beliefs and stands strong in them (even though he'll listen to your POV) and just all around exudes strength is important. For me, thinking "Damn, I like that about him" and sometimes "Lawd, will he shut UP," is kinda dope. I think that a confident person can help inspire the people they're around because even if they haven't reached their ultimate goals, you see the tenacity that's going to get them there.

What I can't stand...is a man with low self-esteem. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why we are gathered here today. Over the past few months, I think I've encountered more than I care to mention (no, not for me to date - just people I've met) and I just don't know how this has happened. Of course, we all have our days when we don't believe we can reach our full potential or our outfits look ridiculous or we just feel ugly. But I've met men who are completely disengaged with what it means to have self-esteem. And I don't like this "trend." Not one bit.

Let me say this: I have a hard time enjoying the company of anyone, male AND female, who has low self-esteem. I do think that because of the pressures of societies, some women will let it get completely in their heads and feel less than worthy of...whatever. But it gets old at some point and try as I may to give you a pick-me-up, I can't make my homegirl feel better about herself all the time. So if I can't do it with a female, I damn am not doing it with a male. Is it a double standard that I'll probably deal with it longer from a female friend than I will from a male friend or man I'm dating? Yes, that's probably a fair assessment and I'm okay with that.

But I need help understanding: Where does low self-esteem in men come from? From the same place women get it? Are they looking through the pages of V magazine and wish they were those so-called sexy European men? Did a girl they date or have a crush on break them down to their lowest points of being and now they needed consistent reminders that they're good guys and are attractive? Were they teased as children? Did their parents not show them lots of love and affection as children? The last question you might read as a "tone" but it certainly isn't; I'm genuinely trying to understand.

Further, does this affect they type of women they date? For example, if they think they're a little on the bigger side (which to many women they probably look like men with football player builds), do they only date slim women? If black men, in particular, were teased about being brown/dark skinned or light skinned, do they only date light-skinned/non-black women or dark skinned women, respectively? I mean, of course, they could have just grown into their own preferences and their lack of self-esteem hasn't affected that at all. These are just the questions I ask and the thoughts I have about it.

So have any of you dated a man with low self-esteem? If so, how do/did you deal with it? Men, if you're brave enough: are you dealing or have you dealt low self-esteem? Where did it come from and has it affected your dating lifestyle? I'm not attempting to fix because I'm not a man so I'm looking to you.

This is serious for me. Let's discuss.

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