How to “MAN UP!”

(A Guide for Teens and Adults)

Frederick C. Hatfield


Does “macho” come to mind? How about dad? How about husband? Provider? OK, how about tough, smart, productive or responsible? What about strong or athletic? Have you thought about this at all? What is a man? And, how do you man up?

These are not questions that you should blithely pass off as physical or carnal in nature. Neither are they social. Neither are they personal. They are questions that ALL should ponder, and one which ALL should both know the answer to and then embrace! This is why I felt compelled to address the issue. It’s too important to ignore.

You gals had better learn the answers to these important questions too. They directly affect you, so you do have a say in how it all happens. Just look around you. How many men in your lives were incapable of manning up? And, in case you didn’t know it, you too must learn how to “man up”! And, you teens? If you learn this stuff, it’s very possible that you could experience happiness and joy for the rest of your lives! You’ll learn why throughout this short booklet.

I love the phrase, “MAN UP!” But, just how does one man up? How do boys become men? How does a fully-grown man “man up”? Believe me, to man up goes far beyond the traditional definition of accepting responsibility for one’s actions. Why? Because, after accepting responsibility for you actions, what then? Who’s going to tell you what then? What will be your guide? Your conscience? Your learning? School? Your church? Peer pressure?

Now, to some folks, “man up” means to “suck it up”. Put your feelings (or lack thereof) aside for the greater good of those around you. This is called conformity pressure. You’re being pressured into conforming to a social standard of fatherhood, machismo, responsibility or what have you. Let me tell you up front that you can conform in one of two ways. You can “play the role” of a man, structuring your behavior on what you perceive to be the will of significant others in your life. Or, you can accept and internalize a new set of socially acceptable behavioral standards by which you act out your life.

Either way, you’ve pleased others around you, and life has become a bit more tolerable to both you and those with whom you interact. That’s good. But neither of these two responses really cut to the core of your being as a man, because you’re just “sucking it up” in deference to the will of others. Not for your real “man” self. Of course, this begs the question, “What is man?”

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