There are a lot of articles out there on what it means to be a 'real man' and what manhood really is in the times we're living right now. So many that it's a little overwhelming to think about all of the things we 'must do' to be a 'real man.'
Frankly, it's a little ridiculous.
However, there are a lot of cool, interesting facets of men in my life that I find to be inspiring that I tend to see lacking in the average guy I meet.
That's not to say that you have to have all of these qualities, but I've definitely noticed these as common threads throughout men I admire. Here we go:
They are perfectly OK with complete silence.
Nothing speaks more to a man's comfort in himself than his ability to relax and be with himself in complete silence. Especially in today's notification-ridden world, being able to sit somewhere and stew in silence is a rare trait that few men have grasped.
A guy on Reddit put it best:
SILENCE. I can sit on my front porch in total silence (usually with a cigar and scotch after a steak) for as long as it takes for that silence to be interrupted.
Don't need a damn thing to do.
Just need silence.
They know how to cook...well.
Real men don't shy away from the kitchen. This doesn't mean all they know how to do is grill, either.
It's not about being seen as a woman because the kitchen has historically been a woman's domain. It's about being creative and nurturing a skillset that every man needs in his life.
The key to being a man isn't avoiding being a woman.
The key to being a man is to not be a boy.
A man knows how to cook, clean, do laundry, and run their own household.
A boy has a mother figure do these things.
They never stop learning.
A man should always be actively working to better himself. Your academic pursuits should not end just because you're no longer in school.
Good men see opportunities to learn in every facet of their lives. Dealing with people, nurturing hobbies, and becoming a better partner to their significant other are all learning opportunities that all too many men ignore.
They aren't afraid to admit a man is attractive.
Being able to admit that another guy is handsome, or good looking is hard for most straight men to do. This doesn't mean you find him sexually attractive, but it does mean you can recognize his attractiveness from an objective standpoint.
Many guys give strange looks when a man describes another man as good looking. Don't be that guy. Recognize what's attractive in another guy and cultivate it in yourself.
They make reading a priority in their lives.
Too many men stop reading once they graduate high school or college. Good men don't.
They read literature, about manly men doing manly things. They might even sit in their armchair and read the Iliad aloud while stroking their beard, maybe wash it down with some Patrick O'Brien.
They've got a green thumb.
Good men understand where their food comes from. They might even have a vegetable and spice garden, but if they don't, they're working on starting one. Even if you have to start small, gardening ties very well into #1 (silence) and is a hobby you can fully throw yourself into and reap amazing rewards.
Resource: Epic Gardening
They shave the old fashioned way.
Throw away the cheap, wasteful razors and shave the old fashioned way. Not only are you saving the Earth's resources, but you're saving money and becoming more in touch with one of the manliest rituals in our history.
Resource: How to shave like a man
When they get mad, they get creative.
Good men aren't always good. They get angry just like the rest of us. But when they do, they find ways to express themselves in ways that are uniquely their own.
Just look at the king of creative vulgarity, Gordon Ramsay if you need proof:
They finish what they start.
One of the best qualities good men have is their ability to stick to what they start.
You want to write the next great American novel? You get that shit done.
You want to build a house? You build that house.
You want to raise a family? You raise that damn family so good that people have to bust ladders out to get them down off your roof.
Stick to your guns, don't be afraid of change, and do your best at what you put your mind to.
Photo courtesy of espatix