I'm sure by now mostly everyone is familiar with the term "toxic masculinity." The Good Men Project defines toxic masculinity as "a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly 'feminine' traits—which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual—are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away." When we go on social media or the internet in general, we see attacks on men for having toxic behaviors due to their masculinity, and it is bringing awareness to the issue. It's easy to blame men for the way they behave but we don't bring enough attention to the root causes and how we need to help men.
We are a generation of more awareness, more education, more information, more access, and more platforms. That's why it's more important than ever to break cycles that have proven to be harmful.
It can be a generational cycle. Maybe your parents were abusive. Maybe your parents didn't allow you to communicate your side. Maybe your parents made you grow up too fast by giving you so much responsibility and/or exposing you to things too early. Whatever it is, you don't have to be that way towards your kids. Let your kids communicate, let them be themselves, show them love and compassion instead of fear and violence. Learn to discipline them in ways that won't have negative longterm effects on them. Be the parent you wanted your parents to be when you were going through a tough time as a kid. If your parents ever made you feel super awful, remember that and don't repeat their same mistakes with your kids. Break the cycle.
I have this theory that you should be whole on your own first before seeking out a relationship. Why? Because this makes it less likely for toxic behaviors to happen in the relationship. Also, if you're whole on your own, you won't be so dependent on your partner to "complete" you. You won't have to rely on them for your overall happiness. I think people get so overly invested in relationships that they forget that they're still their own individual person. When you're in a relationship, you tend to make everything about you AND your partner when not everything in your life has to include your partner. You literally make your partner part of who you are and it's just excessive and unnecessary. So many people are convinced they can't be happy unless they have a partner and that's why I'm writing this. Now I've talked about why being single isn't a bad thing before and you can click here if you want to view that because it ties in with this post too.