"Men don't cry" – a phrase that has echoed through generations, perpetuating the notion that emotional vulnerability is a sign of weakness in the domain of masculinity. However, this deeply ingrained societal conditioning is now under scrutiny, as critics and mental health advocates urge us to reevaluate our understanding of emotions in men.
Acclaimed actor Gulshan Devaiah recently shed light on the harmful impact of this stereotype on Indian men's mental well-being. In a candid interview focusing on self-care and mental health, Gulshan Devaiah passionately challenges the age-old belief that men should suppress their emotions, leading to pent-up frustration and anguish.
"This is an utterly rubbish concept because it leads to a lot of pent-up frustration, pain, and anguish that men store inside themselves just because they think they shouldn't cry. I've noticed this in some of my elders too, especially when they experience the loss of a loved one. They tend to pretend to be more stoic, but deep down, they are affected. It's all because they grew up with the notion that 'we are men,'" asserts Gulshan.
He recognizes that the expectation for men to restrain their tears can have detrimental effects on their mental health. Gulshan continues, "It is also important to release a lot of negativity from within. So, every once in a while, have a good cry. It's not embarrassing at all, and people won't judge you. In reality, we often suffer more in our imagination than we do when we allow ourselves to express our emotions."
Gulshan Devaiah encourages men to embrace their emotions fully and acknowledges that crying can be a therapeutic release. With these powerful insights, Gulshan Devaiah advocates for emotional liberation and encourages men to break free from the constraints of societal norms.