Men Seeking Women For Self-esteem

By “Bob”

It’s sad that some women may rely on men for their self-esteem due to harmful messages about being an inferior gender. 

But I think it goes both ways. I think just as many men seek women for self-esteem, though for different reasons. 

I started thinking about this after reading these words from Maria Infante on your blog:

For as long as I can remember I looked to men for approval. Why? Maybe it was my absent father who was only around for dinner and bed. He paid the rent but didn’t show me much interest. And he favored cousin Daniel over me. So I made it my mission to become his favorite child. 

I sought his love and attention by cutting my hair to look more like Daniel, and I wore clothes that looked like my cousin’s. But instead of being invited to join dad and Daniel, I was scorned and left behind.

Always longing for men’s approval I became promiscuous in my teens. I guess I had “daddy issues.”

I’m sorry that Maria has suffered from low self-esteem and has made harmful choices due to a society that looks down on being female. But at the same time, boys’ self-esteem is so often based on women’s response and attraction to them that guys can also put unwarranted stress on themselves as they seek validation from women, and lose peace of mind in the process.  

Some boys listen to other boys brag about getting hot girls, and they see other boys doing what they desire. And these other, more sexually successful boys may even be less attractive, or even downright douche bags, yet they still get laid. So the rest of us get the feeling of missing out, and feel a sense of failure or undesirability. Now add a sense of competition with other men — feeling we don’t measure up — and that just adds salt to the wound. 

It’s weird how much joy, pride and anger, for boys, is actually based on female desire or lack of desire for them. It’s just amazing how boys’ happiness and self-esteem is based on all this. 

Just speaking as a man and observing how — god! — men do so much for female approval. The middle aged guy with the Porsche? You think it’s just because he likes flashy cars? Hmm, most likely it’s “peacocking” to show off to women. Now think about all their work moving up the golden chains to have money, and then spending it to look better than other men in order to impress women.

Boys and men feel so dependent on women for validation, leading them to feel happy or depressed.  

You know how with rich and poor we talk of the “haves” and the “have nots”? It seems that as far as dating there are a few men who get all the pleasure and ego strokes while other guys are like paupers, just getting crumbs. And in terms of ego strokes its the reverse — ha! 

And then women get blamed, and that’s wrong, as more often than not it’s the guys’ faults holding them back. But it’s very hard to swallow your pride and admit your faults. 

In fact, I think it sucks for women because they are often the losers in this, being the pawns of men’s egos competing with each other. So men are unhappy too, because all the competition is f*cking stressful! 

It’s hard because our society — not just men, but society — shapes people to be so competitive with each other. When you compare yourself to others, you’re bound to be unhappy, because someone is always more talented, better looking, smarter and more successful. So it’s just a set up to being dissatisfied. I’m saying that as a man who struggles with this problem, because I’m such a competitive person in just about every way.

But in my opinion dudes are selling themselves short. But why are we selling ourselves short? 

So many of us compare ourselves to other men and base our self-esteem on women’s approval, which just leads to unhappiness. Instead, we should stop worrying about how we compare with others and shift our focus to see that there really is so much to be thankful for and to be happy about.

***

Hi Bob. BroadBlogs here.

I think this is the first time I have responded to a post from an author. 

I appreciate your articulating what I’m sure many men feel (I’ve heard their complaints), while noting how commonly we unconsciously get caught up in competition and feel bad about ourselves. I also appreciate your pointing out that women end up getting hurt by being pawns in this made up male competition. And how it’s important to base your self-esteem on something other than a stupid competition that society sets up and that we unconsciously internalize. So I appreciate your articulating an experience that many men complain about while actually taking the time to stand apart to question the whole thing.

BTW, Michael Kimmel, who studies men, says that men frequently overestimate how much sex other men get. Partly because most of the stories you hear from other guys are made up and partly because things like pornography make men think that other men are having much more sex than they actually are.

And then of course, women who have a lot of sex are often shamed and yet men get angry that they can’t easily get sex. These are two dynamics, created by our culture, that work against each other.

Related Posts 
Beauty Tricks to Remove Your Power
Low Self-Esteem? Blame Beauty Myths
I wallowed In Self-Pity, Yet I Was A Bombshell

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on May 24, 2022, in men, psychology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. I feel like you might beat yourself up a bit because you let opportunities pass. But that’s part of living, growing and learning, right? And I think part of it is forgiving yourself and looking to the past for lessons and to the future for opportunity.”

    Yeah I hope so. But it;s hard to not feel depressed sometimes because of how much time I wasted. This is why social media can be bad though. I feel down, because I’m in my late 30s now and think of where I’d be in life now like others had I done the things I wished I did. I know ppl paint pictures that might not be true. Like many ppl my age are married or have kids and neither for me. And some I know on facebook I went to school with, these guys sowed their oats and well are married and settled. None of that feels great to me even though I’d want it too. They have these family pictures of their low key moments and it’s easy to like that because the guys got to want that stage of their life because they did stuff in the previous stage. I feel like I skipped the important stage before settling and I’m very unhappy about it and I just can’t move past it. It’s also why I desire on doing things socially which I have from friends with work and looking forward to that and with kickball crew. But it sucks I feel a lot of stress to kick things in gear fast as window is closing and this is why pandemic caused so much anxiety becase I lost two years of crucial time.

    If I dated, partied, had sex the past 2 years, I’d god damn be ready to be in a serious relationship now, but I’m not. If I want kids,well I’d end up being an old father, just great. My friends happen to be tho so whatever. And that’s assuming I meet someone great within the year too. But yet I don’t want too, my pride and lust is too strong that will override whatever deeper feelings I have for meaningful stuff. I need excitiment, that just feels missing and this just sucks. My friend and family tell me, which is true to stop putting a time line on things and that is true as we don’t have control of that. I have to put my best effort and let it be and keep trying. Focusing too much will just cause anxiety and to back fire. I realize that’s not new though, I believe a lot of ppl fall in the trap of putting a ‘timeline ” on their life. I want to be here at this age, or accomplish this and this by this month or summer or year etc. But then creates more disappointment when you don’t get there even if you were making progress but just at a slower rate. You can lose focus of your small increments of progress when you get ahead of yourself because of timelines you place on yourself. Well one good thing is,I don’t know if it really counts as I didn’t exactly approach. But got a number from somebody when out, when meeting a friend at work at a bar with music. The woman he was with and her friend, but I took the initiative getting her attention and talking and went well. I guess I have to try to focus on the baby steps

    • Social media seems to get people depressed. Probably because they always show the best selves. And it’s interesting that pictures can look more exciting than the reality. I’ve noticed this lately because living in California I’m worried about fires destroying my photo albums so I’m digitalizing them. And when I look at old pics it looks like I had way more fun then I remembered having. I saved pictures of my best self. And even then, during the time of the pictures, I don’t remember having as much fun as it makes it seem I had. So there’s a possibility that people are getting depressed over something that’s more fantasy than reality.

  2. I know I’m responding back to your previous comment or one that I already did reply to, but now specifying another part of your response.

    “When I first started teaching I realized that public speaking made me a bit nervous, but I had no choice but to keep facing my fears over and over again, and then I became comfortable with it. I so maybe grow with it but stay tune to how others feel, social cues?”

    This is the ironic thing and why my issue feels like such a mystery. Well I guess not because I’ve had times as a child where I was sheltered a little because of medical stuff and was bullied in middle school. That might be why there was more sensitivity to rejection, even though my self esteem was only effected during those times. I say once I was an adult and hung with friends from my friend and did some stuff. Not as much as I wanted or should have done, because I shyed away from big social stuff perhaps because of my past. Things progressed over time tho. But my self esteem was strong after I was out of my teens tho, one might say mine could be too strong sometimes ha (pride), I don’t brag, but I’m “aware” when I’m good at things or stuff and will have high expectations in that area. I think people who are cocky or brag are insecure, but I can kind of acknowledge what I’m good at and how I compare to others over time if I keep doing well and know I’m good at something. But anyways. It’s so specified tho. I was shy as a kid for reasons probably as explained. The thing is, even then as a kid in middle school or when I progressed but has some in highschool. There were kids much more than me. Like I wasn’t quiet which many who were shy were. I’ve always had a ton of personality but one who had to warm up to people first.

    Normally people with social anxiety have a hard time just in regular social situations or freeze up or aloof or akward, etc. Or multiple ways. Like you said public speaking was tough for you. I did a course in college. That’s the weird thing though. Even though I have to warm up to ppl. It wasn’t that tough for me, Yeah I was a little nervous, but it was not tough for me. The ironic thing is I knew some people in my class who I’ve known pretty well from outside of class. And some were otherwise extroverts. They could talk to ppl they don’t know at parties and it’s easy. But they said how the public speaking made the nervous. Here at the time it was tough for me to ask a girl out but public speaking was not tough. My buddy even now, said it;’s good to go on dates so it’s not tough for you, should you meet someone you like. I went on dates last summer. But first dates don’t make me nervous and yet I heard all these people say it can be nerve wracking who might otherwise be very social and not seem to have social anxiety. I guess my social anxiety is due to not having control of the situation. When I’m public speaking, I could fumble my words, say something wrong, so all these possible embarrassing situations.

    But I have it written, I have it practiced and planned, so I feel confident it will go well because I’m prepared. When I’m on a first date, I don’t know if the woman will be attracted to me, like me or I like her. But I feel she wants to talk or she obviously won’t take her time to meet me. That invitation itself makes conversation easier for me. Walking across a room at a bar and normally women aren’t by themselves and it’s atleast two. And just not just saying hi, but have a good opening convo, but then carrying the conversation. That can feel stressful and create social anxiety. You know it’s not a big deal, but some reason anxiety can not always be rational. So you freeze every time you go out in which you promised yourself you were going to approach but same story. For someone that has to warm up to ppl, it can feel daunting to “wing it” in convo with a woman or women you don’t know or are in an environment we have nothing in common with. Trying to find interesting questions, find something in common, make it fun. It feels like too much thinking. I can small talk but I don’t like topics often with that so I’m picky. My friend just seems to not have to think in that regard I guess. The ironic thing is I am interesting tho I just like have to get in a “flow” first. Once I am, then my charming, funny, witty personality shows. Did I tell you I’m humble? lol. It doesn’t make sense, so my social anxiety is so specific when it can be stronger or broader for many people. It’s really such specific situation. Like I’m quite sociable when a lot of people aren’t to baristas, or people working out and about every day. I mean I will say somethings here and there if I’m near someone shopping. But I try not to bother ppl too much, that can be tricky.

    • Some of this might be biological. I did 23 and me and it said that I have about an average likelihood of fear of public speaking. But most people fear death and then public speaking next. Maybe your biology is low on public speaking. And maybe biologically you are more shy with asking people out but I think that’s also common. It’s a constant risk of rejection, which understandably many people want to avoid. Of course social experiences affect all this too. So it’s complicated. And most people have been bullied at some point. And it’s interesting that even bullies were bullied. They have felt powerless and want to feel powerful. The most confident people are the least likely to bully because there’s simply no reason to. They don’t need to put someone else down to raise themselves up… But yeah, just keep facing your fear makes the fear diminish.

  3. Hi Bob, thanks for your article. I think you made an interesting point with recognizing that men are usually in competition with other men- so as far as men feeling like they are seeking approval of women in a similar vain as the reverse seems a little off based on that observation you had earlier.
    I feel like everyone is seeking approval of men: men from other men, and women from men. This is because of the patriarchy pushing the narrative that a man’s validation is the most important validation. This validation is important because of the role of the provider that men are forced to fall into. Therefore, whoever is the most financially secure is the one that men and women are seeking approval from since they are the ones that are providing security. But I think that you actually said this in other words when you touched on the competition that we are in with each other (mostly for resources). I appreciate the point of positivity you leave off on, that we should be content as people in general. However, I think it’s hard to expect men to change this behavior as well because they are responding to the roles that are placed on them. What we really need as a society is an entire socio-political and economic shift but that’s a tall order!

    • No you definitely aren’t seeing my point . Sure there are insecure men who bass their worth on approval from other men. But there’s the other part. The part is purely internal and not about other Mens approval. This is about the significance women have on mens mental health and happiness . The original post by the girl was about how much Women do for Mens approval. When I’m showing it’s Just as much. How much an impact a woman being attracted or not being attested to a man has on Mens efforts, emotional and mental well being .

      I say even more so for men, because a woman’s sexual attention to a man is so important to men and how much their energy and happiness revolves around that which women aren’t so governed by that. Men can desire sex and it have nothing to do with bragging or telling other men for approval believe it or not. It can be strictly womens bodies are sexualized And men are so lustful to women as a result. So a great desire to get laid. Getting laid or not can have a huge impact on a man being happy or satisfied, or unsatisfied and upset or depressed. Thus me exemplifying how women have more of an impact on Mens happiness than Mens impact on womens happiness or in different ways but just as strong for men. And men can want to get laid purely for internal reasons and not not for approval of men. But internal validation of one’s own ego. If a man feels he’s more attractive than other men but other men are getting sex, he may feel sad and upset that he’s not having those great satisfactions those guys have had. And if it’s because of getting in his own way but feeling he has better traits than the other Guys but squandered them.

      So he finally gets laid a bunch of times and now is internally Happy and validated because he’s not missing out on the satisfaction that other guys have had but he missed despite being more attractive. If you know you have better traits than other guys but don’t utilize them because of anxiety, that’s such a waste. To finally utilize those traits and do well, is very satisfying for a Mens pride and lust. As it confirms what he already knew and that he’s more attractive than a lot of guys on basis of various traits women commonly find sexually attractive. Such traits as confidence, sense of humor, kind, good personality, intelligent, witty, charming, good looks can definitely be a plus combo with personality. So think if you’re a guy with a bunch of these traits but just overthink to not take the chances so unmet desires. That’s like a tall athletic, strong armed, accurate qb, not showing up to football games. But average athletic , armed qbs showing up, taking losses but still getting some wins. So a womens “approval” or attention of Mens courting has a great impact on Mens happiness.

  4. But I’m wondering whether such a low viral load would help confer any immunity. If not I still might get it 😦 At least it seems to have peaked in the bay area.”

    That’;s the crazy thing and why it’s a mystery why I got it now compared to the spring when it was surging in my state and area. My area was actually the first area where it surged first in US. So right now it’s at it’s lowest infections it’s been since last early summer. It’s peaked and declined. I somehow didn’t get it when I went to florida in April and was a around a ton of people when went to universal studio etc. Yet I got it just before memorial weekened when cases were on the decline ha.

  5. A good point made from Bob’s post was that comparing yourself to others can be very harmful to your happiness. Although there can be something you’re good at, there’s always going to be someone better in a different aspect. As hard as it is, I think it’s just more important to focus on your own self and identify the things you’re good at and appreciate that. A sentence from the actual blog that also points out a good idea is the contradiction of society’s expectations for different genders, “women who have a lot of sex are often shamed and yet men get angry that they can’t easily get sex.” It’s crazy and unfortunate how true this is.

    • Yes, but how do you know what you’re good at without comparing? That’s why I and others compare. We like to be good at things and do well and accomplish things. It’s hard to know or feel you;re good at something without seeing how your compare or rank compared to others. Without seeing how you perform vs others, you;re only speculation on your own skills. But yes it;s true, but very difficult to not compare if you;re a competitive person

  6. Hope you had a nice Memorial Day btw

    • I was nice. The weather was in the mid 70s, which was pleasant. About half the time the weather is in the 60s so I’m always happy when it’s sunny and warm for Memorial Weekend. I hope you had a nice memorial weekend too!

      • That’s good you had a nice memorial day. Mine was less exciting. I had covid lol. I got it Thursday before memorial day. But the positive thing is it was very mild for me. I felt a little sick, so called out from work thursday morning and glad I did as I didn’t know I had it. But felt it’s best I don;t come in to work in case it was it, but I would have never thought I had it. I ended up testing with home kit later that day and was positive. I ended up getting a pcr test the next day to confirm it and I had it. But I guess my experience brings home the importance of being vaccinated. I ended up being boosted back in early January and I feel that had a lot to do with it being very mild and I think omicron is much more transmissible but not as strong as the previous variants. It’s not something to scoff about but from what I’ve read, it’s luckily not as pathogenic as previous. The first one, alpha was brutal.

        I never got it, but I know some who had it and said it knocked them out for 2 weeks so I’m glad I never got that back in 2020 especially since the vaccine wasn’t out yet and seeing I could have a chance of having an auto immune response. That’s why I got boosted, not because I have bad health. I’m relatively young in my 30s and my immune system is pretty good, it’s just a bit wacky. So my primary doctor though it would be best to take booster, so I did. My parents who are in late 60s, early 70 got it too because of their age, tho they are healthy for their age. My mom got it, and luckily it was mild for he too and probably because of her booster shot. Yeah all I had was some coughing, a sore throat early morning thursday. Had a lozenge and literally but noon my throat wasn’t sore anymore, coughing stopped. I didn’;t have a headache. I only had a very brief fever, low one late thursday night, but like just for an hour. Sweated it out Friday morning. And it was basically just mild congestion from mid friday through Tuesday which was my last day or quarantine. I had a mask one wherever I want 5 additional days which youre supposed to do. But yeah it was boring, but positive thing is if I was going to get it. I’d rather it be early summer so I got rest of summer to enjoy ha. Since I’m boosted and now have natural immunity. I got that so called “super immunity” now right? Turbo, super, nitro charged, immunity. I got the Fast and Furious immunity now 😉

      • Yeah, not so many people are dying anymore. I think between people getting the virus and getting the vaccine our bodies are learning to respond to it.

        Although I guess at the older ages they are dying at a higher rate actually. But I think it’s because with the first round everyone was so careful that older people were really isolated from the virus whereas now people are more casual, so the older people are more likely to get it and then die, even if it’s a milder form.

        I kind of lucked out in that my husband came home from out of town thinking he had a cold so I started staying away from him right away. His was like a bad cold.

        I’m not sure whether I ever got Covid.

        I started taking zinc as soon as he thought he had a cold — just the throat lozenges and I never had any symptoms in my throat.

        Two days after he got home I started having a hugely runny nose so I decided to swab my nose w/zinc and it went away. Came back five hours later. I swabbed again. It went away and never came back.

        Was that Covid? I don’t know. Maybe I had such a small viral load that I easily fought it off because I was taking zinc, venrtilating the house and staying away from my husband (he spent most his time in the master bedroom and the bonus room while I spent most my time in the guest room and the office. And then we both masked in common areas — where we avoided being together at the same time).

        But apparently the Covid test only shows whether your viral load is large enough to be contagious.

        But I’m wondering whether such a low viral load would help confer any immunity. If not I still might get it 😦 At least it seems to have peaked in the bay area.

  7. “I feel like you might beat yourself up a bit because you let opportunities pass. But that’s part of living, growing and learning, right? And I think part of it is forgiving yourself and looking to the past for lessons and to the future for opportunity.”

    Thanks. I can be tough on myself and part of that though is because I have high expectations of myself. So I feel I can do well and a lot so I not going ahead and doing what I hoped. I have learned a lot, and this probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I didn’t let so much time pass. What does the past lesson’s help when it feels like the future will be as exciting as the past? I try not to think that way, because things can still be fun. I want to feel there isn’t a big drop off in fun that I didn’t take advantage of more when I was younger back then. I mean I’ve pushed myself a lot, like doing co ed kickball, plan to play some more in summer too. Went out a few times, meeting some cool ppl on team I got picked up. There’s a bar nearby that has cover bands play live and nice outdoor venue and they are good as well as its fun. I’m initiating more with like making new friends and some guys from work I’m talking about coming out with.

    I look back, because I’m not even shy, but in past some reason just wasn’t always assertive enough with like initiating as far as setting up plans with ppl as far as making new friends and stuff. I joked with my best friend how one of the guys I worked with, great dude. Young guy only 23, but I miss working with him already, but we said we’ll catch up soon again. He left the company I work with because of a new career. So I set up a place to go out to, to celebrate his new career and like good bye for one’s he’s leaving. No one really planned it which I was surprised and that happens with managers who leave if ppl like them etc. But it was me asking him if he wanted to go to so and so next saturday and the other guy in our department I asked and such they’ll come too.

    On that last day I saw some of the ppl he knows and I know and like and told them,we’re going out to this place at 9 when we’re out and come out if they want. It was a good turn out. Actually not too big of a crowd but like 10 or 11 of us. At end of night, the friend from work I set it up for thanked me. I hope I can get him to join the kickball as he likes playing sports, I think he’ll be good too as I think he’s a fast runner ha. But I was joking with my best friend who didn’t do much but asked me what I did the other night. I joked with best friend who I was the initiator for a social situation for once, how about that lol. I was being funny about that, because my best friend I was telling this. I’ve referenced about him before I think. The extrovert, risk taker, sociable guy who in his young days slept with multiple women. That was a long time ago, he also had many relationships too and is basically married to the woman he’s been with for many years now. So he’s monogamous and committed. That was a long time ago. But I joked, because he’s always been the initiator with things, since I’ve been friends with him since 3rd grade. Hell, he’s the one that reached to me for the basketball league we were in. I was quite shy then and I didn’t even talk to him and surprised he noticed me, He one day was like, hey want to come over to my parents and play so and so game?” lol

    So like I’m taking more initiative after my later years which he did ever since he was a kid and no biggie for him ha. Shows what the opposite we are but maybe good because he’s helped me a lot come out of my shell. We have some similiarities with big egos and strong minded. We don’t do it now, but we used to fight like brothers growing up ha. I wish I went faster with somethings, but I guess it’s better late than never. So now I’m like ready to do more stuff and going out and stuff and anxious but excited to. It feels different before, I feel in a better state of mind to initiate and approach women than before.

    • It’s great to see how you are growing, and interesting to me and that I seem to be becoming an extrovert, too. So some parallels there between the two of us. I’ve got a dinner group going and a friend group where we get together on a regular basis and it’s all because of me. I’ve been nicknamed “the gatherer.”

      Another thing to consider is whether the goals you feel you pass by are possibly based more on fantasy than reality and whether they would actually make you happy.

      On that first part, I read a book called “Guyland” by Michael Kimmel who studies men and masculinity, and he talks about how guys bragging (and, frankly, making stuff up) and porn lead other men to think that they are missing out, when it’s actually all fantasy in the first place.

      On that second part, I have been putting off watching “secrets of playboy” A&E oh and was struck by how Hefner would seem to have it all and yet seemed unfulfilled and frustrated. When he got everything he wanted it all seems so blasé and then he had to go weirder and naughtier too get aroused, while hurting many people in the process. His life didn’t actually seem to be satisfying for him. So that’s something to think about.

      And all of this discussion is getting me thinking about another blog post. Stay tuned! And thanks for being my muse.

      • But in saying that, you;re right about what you showed about hefner saying he hurt ppl. I don’t think I’m always being true to myself as I probably am suppressing things because of my big ego. I’m very thoughtful and have a lot of feelings, which is like opposite for someone that can just bang a bunch of women without having a relationship. But I’ve realized I have to be careful,and maybe it’s good I haven’t been promiscious because I feel compared a lot of men, I could hurt womens feelings more than other men. I know that can be tough for women in general because of it being hard for women to have sex without feelings or connection and being hurt just from that and nothing more, But I feel it would add more hurt from me, because (it sounds like I’m bragging, but not trying to). From my experience girls in school and women later on that were attracted to me. They weren’t just simply attracted to me, that often really, really liked me. It sounds funny, because it seems like a word to mean like school girl as in crush.

        But not just school but like even as an adult though my 20s and such, I’ve had a decent number of women having crushes on me ha. Yes there are others who were attracted but not like that. I feel you can be attracted without having strong feelings of attraction toward someone. I can be attracted to women, without too much feelings whereas others I feel more. I must be lovable or something lol, but yeah I’ve had plenty that were attracted to me but just adored me too to go with that. So it feels like I have to be careful, because it feels like compared to other guys as a result I could hurt women’s feelings even more than other guys because of how manage to spur women to really like me when attracted to me. I had one that was kind of obsessed who I worked with, She was funny and I had fun talking with her, but I wasn’t into her. We were friends, though she didn’t hide that she liked me a lot and attracted to me. I was kind of messed up what she did though.

        I used to walk with her from my previous work place when working and talking and I noticed for a few weeks. The other women that I knew, that I worked there would be looking at us, smiling and talking, like they are trying to figure something out between me and the other woman. Well one day I was working and the other woman was off that day. The two women who were looking at us, who I knew. They came up to me with this smirk on their face, which made me curious what the heck was on their mind or what they seemingly wanted to ask me. They both smiled and laughed, and said they didn;t believe it, but had to ask. They asked if I had sex with that woman. I was shocked, and said no. They laughed and didn’t believe I did, but that woman told them and others I had sex with her. I think my expression was “wtf”. It was pretty messed up to do that tho. I wasn’t mad because they didn’t believe it, and even tho I don’t like false rumors, in a way it was a little flattering. It was amusing because it was like a role reverse.

        If that’s done, that’s normally dudes making up such stuff to other dudes. I remember amusingly question to myself…” so does that mean, I’m the hot guy from work?” lol for a woman to tell others that? That’s a “peer” thing to do. You don’t say that unless you’re feeling others around you find such person attractive or atleast find person physically attractive. I would never lie about something like that. But If I found a girl cute from work and said to the guy’s “yo, you see what’s her name, isn’t she hot”” But the dudes were like “meh”. Even if I wanted to make up something, I wouldn’t, because there would be nothing for me to brag about considering the other guys feelings about same girl. It’s only if they are also like “yeah she’s cute too”, that I would feel compelled to lie about something to boost myself. Tho it was still pretty messed up she did that. Like I only went to applebees or whatever here and there. I never even kissed her or anything. I wasn’t attracted to her, but she was fun to be around.

      • Well, I think it’s cool to have friends of the opposite sex. You can learn a lot from each other too.

        And yeah, maybe in some ways it’s best how things turned out — even if in surprising ways.

      • I also wanted to add. I appreciate you not judging me with my posts. I realize or felt, you might say or thing I’m full of myself with my positive, non humble views of my positive traits lol. I don’t say such stuff to brag, but it’s how I feel based on my abilities and potential. I point it out to show how much I felt I’ve underutilized myself as a result and why its bothered me so much.

      • Hey, everyone’s human. I just see you as being very human. So I can appreciate that.

  8. “So it sounds like the general population needs healthy ways to build their self-esteem. And that is more matter of psychology than sociology, and could be interesting to explore.”

    If you think about it, our culture is set for people to be competitive though. I mean isn’t capitalism kind of “dog eat dog”. The top dog or the best performer is the one who gets the top promotion, the top position, the top career, the most wealth and success in whatever they are going for right? You have to beat out and leap frog the many others vying for that spot? So much is “ranked” right? Grades. You get A’s you’re very smart right, smarter than rest right? You get C’s are you smart or just simply average intelligence? What about gps, or SATs? How about IQ test to measure one’s intelligence. I don’t believe in participation trophies, but first place, second place, third place? Every since you grow up as a kid, you internalize this. You aim to be the top position, because that’s an accomplishment so in a way out performing or being better than others is the accomplishment because it means you’re very good at something and doing well in that area.

    • I think you nailed it on the head. It is cultural. So it’s seeps in unconsciously. The only way out is to become conscious of it and to consider whether you might take a different track.

      I think back to an Eagles song, “so often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.”

      Ah, another blog post idea.

  9. I think that it’s frightening how the patriarchy influences such strict gender binaries and gender performances that can lead us to dark and scary places. I do agree with Bob about the ways we are socialized into gender, we do learn early on how to perform our gender however men and women both receive really harmful messages about their gender throughout their life. I think on one end, because of how mainstream feminism has become with movements like body positivity, we’ve seen a shift in these messages. However, I feel like the attitude about this conversation for men is completely different! I hope that it changes soon and we can create gender equity for everyone.

  10. It’s so disheartening to hear about rape and how terrible schools can handle it, especially all the Trumpian Title XI changes (I believe they have been repealed but I’m not sure). I am always so in awe of the bravery of survivors who share their stories, it’s people like that who really open doors and create safer spaces for people who’ve survived the assault. I often wonder what it means to protect victims but also what does it means to create justice? How do we ensure that we create a culture of consent?

    • Raising women’s equality helps a lot. When women are seen as people and not objects they are treated much better. And hopefully raising awareness will also help. It looks like there is much work still to do.

  11. I think that it’s so interesting the ways that patriarchy functions to both harm men and women. While women are often bombarded with various harmful messages about their body, sexuality, and age–there have been loud, productive movements in response. For example, the body-positive movement focuses on self-acceptance and was championed by fat women of color, the repercussions of this radical movement are seen in the changes in the way we now talk about bodies and even size inclusion in department stores. However, there is still a lack of this type of discussion or action for men who face the same issues surrounding sexuality and body image as women.

  12. I really appreciated this point of view. It’s not often we get to see the male perspective on self esteem issues. I find it unfair how women get the negativity from the competition between men. The double standards formed by the pressures on either gender. I also agree it’s a set up because you can’t ever win when comparing to others. Plus what one person considers to be sufficient can be different to another so the winning choice might not even be the same.

  13. I really appreciated this point of view. It’s not often we get to see the male perspective on self esteem issues. I find it unfair how women get the negativity from the competition between men. The double standards formed by the pressures on either gender. I also agree it’s a set up because you can’t ever win when comparing to others. Plus what one person considers to be sufficient can be different to another so the winning choice might not even be the same.

  14. This article headline caught my attention immediately. I think it is 100% true how “much joy, pride and anger, for boys, is actually based on female desire or lack of desire for them.” By being in my early 20s and thinking back to high school and even boys my age, they obsess over the attractiveness of the women they are involved with. There are some men that do not care but for most of the ones I’ve encountered/ seen in society, they do care. They are competitive and they like to feel like winners amongst their friends, the win being how attractive their partner is. I really enjoyed reading this post because it is true that validation leads to men feeling happy or depressed and then it leads to women being used as pawns of men’s egos competing with each other.

  15. Before reading this blog posting about men, I didn’t know that they seek so much validation from us women. I knew they wanted validation from us women, but I didn’t know the extent to which it affects them. Most men I’ve met make it seem like they don’t care about women’s validation and that women aren’t important to them. Personally, I’ve seen a lot of men in my life treat the women like an option and like they aren’t important. However, now that I’ve read this post, I think that could be due to those men having low self-esteem. This post has opened my eyes to how men really feel about women’s opinions. I feel like it’s true that men who are unhappy use women as pawns to boost their egos. I agree that society does shape people to be competitive with each other causing people to compare themselves to others often which can lead them to becoming unhappy with themselves. Society needs to stop encouraging people to be competitive with each other and teach people to be kind and supportive instead. There is enough room for everyone. I hope that people will stop comparing themselves to others and realize that being different from everyone else is a blessing. If we were all the same life would be so boring.

    • Were those men getting laid tho who weren’t treating women as important tho? It’s easier to have that off your mind when you’re content. If you’re horny and not getting laid, you’ll more likely not be content and be very focused on sex thus women’s desires. Plus a man that doesn’t feel women aren’t important to him, may be a bit self absorbed. It seems almost overly or over confident to not care about the opposite sex. It seems one would be too consumed in themselves as well. Like in life, it’s a balance. You don’t want to be too consumed with others, but you still want to care about the ppl around you and how your relation to them is. You also don’t want to be overly consumed in yourself either as your thoughts may be more selfish and less selfless, because you are the top of your concerns and thoughts. But it’s good to think of yourself. Moderation. Plus men aren’t often going to want to make it seem women mean too much, it’s often something guys will do to try to look cool or show they got the power to not care, but still get women. They may care, but they will hide it.

  16. This post truly conveys the validation we all seek as humans. While many over-sexualized women classify hypersexuality as daddy issues men have similar emotions that go unnoticed. The high standard society has on physical appreciation is toxic. The competitive environment it creates is harmful to all gender who base their self-esteem on the thought of others, which is a majority of people since that is what they grow up believing. It’s important to remember that we are all struggling and self-validation is just sensible.

  17. I really like what was said here and I agree with everything being said here because this is our reality. Social media builds this standard on how men and women should look like dress etc. and the reality of this is that it affects everyone and creates insecurity and depression. Friends are a big part of this as well, in high school, it was just a big thing basically something to celebrate that a boy slept with the “hottest girl” and I would see and hear about how other boys at school felt insecure and did not like how they looked or dressed or acted because girls wouldn’t look at them it was that girls looked for the “perfect boy” and paid attention to whoever it was and this is nowhere the women’s fault but social media and the people around us is what affect this a lot. We seem to ignore that men/boys also go through this and it isn’t talked about as much but this is the reality and I’ve seen it a lot all my high school and how much it affected my friends. I have seen where social media and the people around us put everything like a competition, about looks, what clothes you wear and what brand you have, what car you drive, what phone you have, and where you live. I have seen when people don’t meet the standard or what is expected from the things I’ve listed then there is so much backlash and people talking bad about you.

  18. This is the predatory nature of sexual capitalism, leaving it to each person to manage their place in the sexual marketplace. Just as in the rest of life, capitalism creates alienation, insecurity and eventual chaos. Sexual socialism is the answer. Let those lacking sexual capital get government sponsored upgrades to be better equipped to compete in the sexual marketplace.

    • I don’t understand this. Socialism involves the state owning the means of production. So you want the state to own and control prostitution and pornography? And how is that helpful?

  19. Btw, I have a feeling I might have a journey self reflection post based on if things go I hope this summer..

  20. After just having read the negative effects that come from seeking validation in men for self-esteem, it was interesting to notice the way that they are similar in severity but in different ways. By this I mean, in regard to women, it seems the main source of which women seek validation from men for self esteem stems from the gendered, societal norm that women are lesser than men and that men and masculinity are valued over women and femininity. One of the main differences I notice comes from the fact that women’s need for validation of men for self esteem stems from physical features while it seems, based on this article, that, for men, validation from women for self-esteem comes in the form of materiality. What is more detrimental is the lengths they will go to, to achieve these materialistic things in order to impress a woman. Similarly detrimental is the competitive aspect of men’s gendered, societal role as not only must they worry about the approval and validation of women, they have the additional stressor of needing to be better than other men. And finally, I found great joy in reading your analogical comparison to rich and poor to describe the detrimental effects that such stressors to impress women and compete with men as a result of gendered, societal norms, can have on an individual and agree that there is no need to base our happiness on the other gender’s validation.

    • Thanks for adding to the conversation by teasing some of the differences and similarities out.

      • I’m writing to you but it’s also based on the poster your responding to as well and his take. I tell this because it’s something that’s weighed on my mind. Not the perspective of guys who feel they aren’t desirable or lacking something and envious of others. The truth is some of that issue can be because of dudes being creepy or having toxic traits that just shine right through. They think they are hiding it well or can fake it, but women see right through it. But there are also guys who struggle because they are very shy, maybe not physically attractive, were akward, or eccentric, not much personality, but decent guys.

        Maybe were bullied in school and left their self esteem in shambles. Who knows. But I do feel some guys blame women, when it’s their fault especially if toxic traits. I do agree their is a lot of insecurity with men wanting sex with women to show off to men and get validation through women that way. I don’t feel mine is societal compared to men the poster was saying as far as “men feeling the need to be better than men”. That sounds it’s societal to me. Because my question about that part that I quoted is. Why would men in general feel the need to be better than men? I get it if you are naturally good at something or have potential, but to me, it feels like men feel they should get with many women, just because. Like a blind self bias. So does “Jake” feel he should be better than other men with women just because he’s jake?……Like what traits do you have? More often than not, some of these guys I don’t feel have stand apart traits to feel such away other than a blind self bias. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you’re not athletic and don’t have good eye hand coordination, you shouldn’t have high expectations of doing well in sports. That sounds mean, but it’s true. However, same person could be very smart in mathematics and succeed in that area that the athletic person doesn’t.

      • I broke this up to try to help. For me, I don’t want to be a manwhore, but I wasn’t happy with what I felt was a lacking amount of sex. It’s not because of others, but because I knew I let things pass me by because of anxiety and regrets suck, let me tell you. It’s because it’s what I actually desired, but the amount was so low imo just based on a not so attractive guy let alone me. Yes I’m not humble, but I’m not cocky either. You’ll rarely hear me brag, that feels like insecurity and trying to prove something to others. So It really stung, and I think of how much time I wasted and I’d be probably married by now if I sowed oats long time ago or ready to get serious. As a result this eats away at me and I’m not happy. I know it’s not a sign of me not being desirable. My best friend is brutally honest so when he says something positive, it’s how he actually feels. He told me I can get any woman I want, so I shouldn’t let this bother my ego. But I said that’s true but then that only causes regret for me. Here comes my humility btw, I already knew that lol. The one good thing is I have taken much more initiate in social things with making friends and trying different things that will help me meet ppl. I did dating apps last year when things weren’t opened as much.

        I took it positive for dating experience, as I went on 4 dates through the summer last year. But I’m over that and going out and stuff. It sucks tho because I have a lot of feelings. I have like two sides to me. The romantic, emotional loving side, and the big ego where I might suppress those feelings to feed my pride. Not because I aim for other’s approval, but because I feel strongly about myself and hate, I hate what I call underutilizing myself. If I feel I have good potential in an area and I fail to take the chances, I know it’s my fault, but I think ppl don’t realize how difficult anxiety can be for ppl to overcome when you know it’s not a big deal. But you still some reason freeze approaching women at a bar even if It’s not you lacking believe in yourself, but I think not having control in how things go down if that makes sense. But anyway I’ve done a lot of positive things now with pushing myself, but sometimes I look back thinking “I should’ve done this,

        I should’ve done that” “I wasted so much time”. It sucks because I’m stressed out in meeting a woman that’s great, because whether I should committ or not. I feel it’s a waste, because if a relationship goes a year or 2, this stuff eats at me and won’t go away. It will just go dormant, but pop up and I just feel I’ll end up being irritable and it would just ruin the relationship. I know I have attractive traits and the question might be how do you know? Because when I’m comfortable, I for whatever reason have an ability to draw women’s attention toward me even when guys are around at work or class. Some, yes it just simply liking, and friendship but other’s were crushes or signs of attraction that I didn’t always jump on or didn’t want to because of other reasons. It’s not an act, but it seems like women like playfulness or like witty quips and all that stuff. I don’t do it to be liked, that happens genuinely when things pop up in my head. When I’m comfortable, I can work a room. But yet I squandered it from not taking enough shots “sigh”.

      • re: “But I do feel some guys blame women, when it’s their fault especially if toxic traits.”

        Here are a couple of my thoughts. I do think that a women can be at fault is she is cruel in the way she rejects. And because we are still more accustomed to men asking women out, women can also feel rejected by not being asked out. And then these women can’t blame men, just as some men blame women.

        But as you suggest there is also something for both women and men who feel rejected to learn. Maybe it has to do with gaining confidence through things other than self-esteem through gaining approval of the opposite sex. Give me also involve how you see others. Some of the happiest couples I know are not very attractive by conventional standards. And they just let that go and love each other. I’m sure there are many other things to learn from these trials. I even wrote a post about how if you believe you are beautiful others seem to see you that way, too. https://broadblogs.com/2012/06/04/believe-youre-beautiful-others-will-too/

        Another problem is that we shame women sexuality which represses it. And then women lose interest in sex. More here: https://broadblogs.com/2016/04/18/women-are-more-responsive-to-repression/ And that makes it more difficult for men to get sex. And some think that women’s sexuality is deliberately shamed so that men can have their game about who can “conquer” women, with some men winning and gaining self-esteem that way. Of course all of this reeks of insecurity. If men felt more secure in the first place they wouldn’t feel any need to play that game.

        So it sounds like the general population needs healthy ways to build their self-esteem. And that is more matter of psychology than sociology, and could be interesting to explore. Interestingly, despite the fact that blacks are put down by society, as individuals they have among the highest self-esteem because their parents teach them to get their self-esteem from inside, not based on others judgments. And like you said, different people have different strengths, so they can focus on the strengths they have and build on those. Interestingly, body posture seems to build our self-esteem. https://blog.ted.com/10-examples-of-how-power-posing-can-work-to-boost-your-confidence/

        I feel like you might beat yourself up a bit because you let opportunities pass. But that’s part of living, growing and learning, right? And I think part of it is forgiving yourself and looking to the past for lessons and to the future for opportunity.

        And research suggests that the main thing that separates men who get a lot of sex partners from those who don’t is that the former don’t seem to mind rejection, and they get rejected a lot! And there are different ways to look at that. Maybe it’s not entirely a bad thing if rejection bothers you. At least you can read some social cues. But when it stops you from doing things that important to you, well, they say the way to get over fear is to face it. When I first started teaching I realized that public speaking made me a bit nervous, but I had no choice but to keep facing my fears over and over again, and then I became comfortable with it. I so maybe grow with it but stay tune to how others feel, social cues?

        By the way, you’re becoming a much better writer overtime. And I always appreciate your thoughts because they make me think hard about things, too.

  21. I really enjoyed this post because it highlighted a struggle for men that is not normally acknowledged. It is so prevalent in society that individuals base their self worth on how successful they can be in a certain aspects of their life. This can be through partying, sex, or other proclaimed fulfilling things. As society has progressed issues that seemed to be issues just for women are not exclusively gendered issues. Raising awareness of these issues and how prevalent they are for all people can help people be aware of their actions and motives. Being confident will lead to people being happier and treating others better. Women have long dealt with self-esteem issue but our competitive nature is destroying the possibility of being content. Hopefully more awareness can be brought to this topic.

  22. Beautiful article yes you are right we often see women are the losers and of course we should not compare with others. Well shared thanks 👍👍

  23. Women get blamed because yes… it’s

    • I edited to where I stopped reading.

      If you want me to post your comments you need to read and adhere to the comment policy:
      https://broadblogs.com/comment-policy/

      You often sound like troll, just trying to create more heat than light. You actually can make some interesting points from time to time. And I respond to those.

      If you say something snarky or insulting I stop reading. And if you have a long post and I know you’re likely to eventually say something snarky or insulting I’m not going to read it at all.

      I will post comments that disagree with me but they need to be short, sweet (or at least neutral) and cogent.

  24. People who are envious of what other people are, or what they are getting, will never find contentment, no matter what they have.

      • Yeah that’s true. But it can be understandable to some extent. If someone is doing better or getting what you desire. Even if you are doing ok, it’s good to not get wrapped up about them doing better or else you’ll never be happy. But, if someone hasn’t enjoyed anything, I don’t see how they could be happy. We’re talking about basic human enjoyments that are unmet. Let’s go with a food analogy, if someone is starving and super hungry and just having bread crumbs. You know that’s hardly any eating pleasure and then knowing and seeing others are satisfying there’s.

        Steaks, pizza etc just indulging in such enjoyments. So then think of a boy whose a virgin, horny AF, maybe still one out of highschool while other boys have had “satisfaction “ and still. I don’t know how you could spin it for a male to be happy or emotionally fine being unsatisfied especially if he hasn’t been before. The mental anguish and emotional toll that would be on his mental health would be huge if he’s an ordinary man with a health sex drive.

      • What I appreciate about your piece is that you bring up both sides of it. On the one hand it’s pretty common, pretty human, to feel like you’re missing out on things. But you also bring awareness to how that may not be the best approach, that there is a wise path — as you raise in your last paragraph.

  25. theburningheart

    Nice post, it’s always good to talk about gender issues, to bring understanding.

  26. Please note that this was written as a comment by one of my readers, “Bob” and edited by me.

    Thanks Bob!

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