Boys CAN Cry: What Daniel Lissing Teaches about the Power of Emotional Men
We live in a world that just doesn’t value emotions. Our culture views cutting off from feelings as a sign of strength- especially for men. Boys who are in touch with their feelings are ridiculed, teased, and ostracised by their peers.
I had the pleasure of talking with Hollywood actor Daniel Lissing on this topic the other day (he has played in numerous roles in the US and internationally, and is best known for his roles as Constable Jack Thornton in the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart and as James King in Last Resort).
Daniel was a boy who was always in touch with his emotions. He sang and danced and was really drawn to what might be considered more ‘feminine’ ways of expressing himself. Daniel went to a topical Australian school where “boys played sport, and girls danced” and because he didn’t fit into this mould, he was bullied.
He was called “ballet boy” and was consistently picked on for showing his emotional side.
At first he responded with anger and self-doubt and tried to change himself to fit in, as many people would. And even as an adult he kept up this pattern of holding himself back by closing off to his feelings so that he wouldn’t be hurt again.
But somewhere along the way he figured out that he could see things differently and that’s when he found a whole different kind of power. He realised that he was living from a place of fear, and he found the strength to embrace his emotional side and open himself up to the world.
Now he has a phrase he lives by: “What comes from the heart goes to the heart”.
He actively practices exposing himself every day to the possibility of being hurt, and in so doing, he’s taking huge chances in his career and his relationships….He’s expressing his inner feelings, going all in for what he cares about, and opening himself up to let people see his soft and gentle side. And here’s the great part: Living this way is bringing SO much joy and success to his life, he’s WAY better off than when he was “being a man and holding it all together”.
So the message we are giving boys and men really is a lie. Opening up to emotions is actually the strongest and most rewarding thing a man can ever do!
In order to change the paradigm we are living in where men perpetrate so much violence, we need to start showing them this other way by celebrating the soft side of men. We need role models like Daniel to showcase the strength of being vulnerable and being in touch with their emotions. This change is coming, and brave men like Daniel are leading the way!
Here it directly from him here
Please share widely to get this message out to all the boys and men out there who need to hear it!