Being a man apparently isn’t enough on its own to make someone manly. While it certainly helps, there are many men who are definitely male and yet wouldn’t be described as manly by most of their peers. If you are one such male, or if you have been one, then you’ll know how frustrating it can be to have people calling you cute, laughing when they hear that you watched football, or failing to even consider you when looking for someone to open a jam jar. Some guys it seems just don’t exude manliness in the way that they’d probably like to, and as such it can be difficult for them to be taken seriously by their peers or members of the opposite sex.
If you fall into that category, then you may well wish there was something you could do about it and you might be searching for methods to increase your manliness as much as possible. Read on to see what you can do about it…
What Is Manliness?
Before we begin, we should first probably look at what manliness means. Unfortunately this is a rather complex question though – among other things it depends on the historical context and your culture. What’s considered manly today is not necessarily the same as what was considered manly years ago when men wore wigs and makeup and flounced around in tights and high heels.
What you should take away from this is that manliness is subjective and arbitrary. You shouldn’t let your lack of perceived manliness hit you too hard, because it’s only based on the current trends and you’re the perceptions of your peer group. To the right people and in the right situation, you probably are already pretty manly.
That said though, if you’re interested in appearing more manly right now to the people in your immediate circle of friends, then you need to think about the common and contemporary views regarding manliness.
As a general rule then, the commonly agreed upon traits of a ‘manly’ man include:
• A ‘gruff’ appearance (stubble, hairy chest, rough hands, built physique)
• A deep voice
• A dominant presence
• A liking of ‘manly’ things: beer, sports, women, cars
• Tendency to spend time with other men
• A certain amount of ‘toughness’ (no crying when you stub your toe)
• General lack of emotion/eloquence
• Willingness to take action
How to Obtain Manly Qualities
Whether or not you think that these traits should describe manliness, and whether or not you consider them all desirable, they nevertheless do describe what most people tend to think of as a ‘manly’ man. If you tick all those boxes, you will almost certainly find that people consider you manly for the most part.
Still, if you want the majority of people to think of you as manly, then these are the kinds of traits you’ll want to develop. So how do you go about adopting them as a part of your persona?
The trick is actually not to simply cherry pick traits like this and then try to adopt them. If you do that then you will end up coming across as false and you won’t fool anyone. Grow a beard when you don’t have quite the hair follicles you need or the masculine appearance to pull it off, and you’ll end up looking like a pubescent school kid. Try to act tough all of a sudden and no one will think you’re manly – they’ll just think you’re in a bad mood or again trying too hard.
So what do you do instead?
Instead then what you need to do is to look at these traits as symptoms of a greater overall attitude change. You can’t become manly by simply deciding you like beer – and it’s perfectly possible to be manly without ever touching a pint (just look at James Bond). Instead you need to possess the qualities that make all your other actions appear manlier and that enable you to be genuinely more that way inclined.
The Secret Ingredient
So what is the secret ingredient that will make your actions manlier? Simple: it’s being relaxed about things. Think about it: men who let their stubble grow and who don’t spend long on their appearance probably act that way not because they ‘want to look manly’, but because they simply don’t care enough to put a lot of time and effort into their appearance. They have stubble and rough hands because they rarely shave or moisturise.
Likewise, they probably enjoy kicking back and watching TV with a beer because they like to relax and unwind. Men are more assertive because they’re less worried about losing friends or hurting feelings.
Along with this you should also try to increase your confidence. This will further help you to speak your mind and to worry less about the little things.
Finally you should try to be a bit more ‘physical’. Think about your body in terms of what it can do more than what it looks like – spend some time in the gym, and check out some of the more visceral pleasures such as eating and drinking. Try to live in the now and worry less about the ‘what if’.
If you can accomplish all this then you’ll find you achieve a more grounded presence, that you appear to ‘fuss’ less, and that you have a calming and authoritative aura. All this will help you to better fulfil the qualities that we really read as manliness – even if you don’t drink beer and watch football. Achieving that is the difficult part.
But you know something that goes against all of that and that isn’t manly at all? Worrying about being manly! Stop thinking about how others perceive you and start being who you want to be and you’ll already be one step closer.