I will offer my thoughts on this.

The founding context of what I say being: there is truth in all things… I.e. there is some truth and wisdom in aspects of stoicism, as there is some truth in being emotionally feeling.

Now I do think stoicism taken to an extreme. Actually weakens a man, when it gets to the point he’s shutting his emotions off completely, when he’s not expressing his care or his love, or even his vulnerability on essential relationships. A man becomes brittle and hard, posturing, shut off and ultimately weak.

But what stoicism DOES get right. Is that fundamentally a man needs to be able and capable of; holding his shit together when the shit hits the fan. As a man we should be competent in emergency in crisis, and during such times are not the times to be curled up on the floor feeling but instead acting!

Also…. There is truth very much that; a man’s deepest satisfaction comes from living a life of purpose. The deeper and more profound and more aligned with God’s will this life of purpose is. So the deeper the peace and satisfaction that the man feels.

It is childlike to use happiness as a measure of success, happiness signals when we are on the right path or when things are good or joyous. But it is not meant to be a constant state of being.

Satisfaction in the grim pursuit of our purpose.. that IS far more constant and something to be aimed for.

Living a life of REAL purpose is often VERY difficult and challenging. BUT doing the right thing no matter the cost IS its own satisfaction.

Now. A bit more of the other side of the coin, and this bumps up against the weakness stoicism breeds when taken too far. That by coming unemotional so we become less caring and we shut down others emotions as a defacto, just as we shut our own down.

There’s an excellent book I’d recommend; the langue of emotions by Karla Macklaren. Especially the second half of the book where she describes the emotions and the wisdom inherent in each one. That YES even jealousy, hatred, anger .. ARE essential things to feel and listen to.

A true man, yes should know how to maintain composure when needed, especially when the shit hits the fan and other people are (metaphorically or not) losing their heads around you.

But also…. A man SHOULD be comfortable and literate with all of his emotions. He SHOULD shed tears when the beauty and wonder of life overwhelms him, he should grieve fully when he suffers great loss… He should be able to hold and cherish and adore as he should.

And likewise with his woman, he should be able to express the full range of his masculinity, from his savage and passionate animal like nature… To his impossibly sweet and caring and husbanding loving too.

Another essential aspect of the softer side of things. Is that as a man you need to learn to become a natural space holder. Where you can welcome and be comfortable with ANY emotion expressed by someone. Where you can be there without doing anything, and that just through your presence and attentiveness so the other feels held and protected.

Yes there is a time for advice and direction, this is a huge part of being a man. But so to is space holding, compassion, empathy… Not needing to change someone’s emotional state because it makes us uncomfortable.

Never mind how such emotionality and space holding’ness, leads to deeper and more.potent forms of intimacy with your woman.

A man also should be humble, but not falsely so, he should also be aware of and honest of his strengths. And a man should be honest and forthright and bound by code and principle and honour.

AND to service to something far greater than himself.

Emotionality AND composure have their place in order for a man to be a TRUE man.

So there is waffle to unlock from both opposing approaches. And also truth to distil and integrate.