If a man displays these 10 behaviors, he knows what he wants in life

A lot of men think they know what they want in life.

And I’m sure some of them truly do. But usually what ends up happening is that they just know how to “have it all” based on societal expectations of men.

But knowing what you want seldom involves having it all. It’s more about how you treat yourself and others.

The way you view the bigger questions of life and those around you.

Care to know more? Here are 10 behaviors a man will display when he knows what he wants in life. 

1) He actively works through his toxic masculinity

This is the main thing that we will be discussing today because it’s what influences everything else on this list.

Toxic masculinity is taught the minute a man is born. It is in the way he is taught to be the “provider” and repress his emotions so he doesn’t appear weak.

It’s what makes him value the opinions of other men over his own and everyone else around him.

But as most non-men know, having feelings is what makes you strong. There is so much resilience that is required to be vulnerable.

The first step to that is understanding his privilege in a patriarchal society.

2) He understands his privilege

Though everyone is at risk of being attacked and mistreated, the idea of being victimized itself is fuelled by misogyny.

I believe this is important when it comes to knowing what you want because it’s equivalent to being aware of the subtle influences our society can have on us.

So a man who understands his privilege knows that when he stands up for genders other than his own, he is standing up for himself.

It’s also a sign that he has a lot of empathy if he is able to listen and process the pain of others. Leading him to deeper self-reflection and goals that reflect that.

3) His goals aren’t superficial

Men who gain their entire sense of self from their material accomplishments are more likely to fear emotional depth.

In other words, they have superficial goals as a means to compensate for their lack of growth since they were a child.

Despite the title suggesting that a man who knows what he wants will want that thing consistently, that’s simply not the case.

When your goals come from a place of experiencing life through the lens of emotional growth, there will be ups and downs to shape them.

The goals themselves will shift and evolve so that they match the person they belong to.

So not only will his goals be socially aware and responsible, but the way he achieves them will be in a way that grows his sense of compassion.

4) He shows himself compassion

We’ve all heard people say “don’t cry, be a man.”

But all that does is keep a man growing in a direction that drives him further and further away from his emotional growth.

That’s why we see so many men struggle with emotional intelligence and have a hard time meeting their partner’s expectations.

So in order to grow and learn from your mistakes, you have to be able to acknowledge your imperfections. That you aren’t an infallible force.

The great thing about self-compassion is that it evolves with you. The more you practice it, the more resilient you’ll become.

And what ends up happening is that when your inner world becomes a peaceful place, so does your outer world. 

Leading you to healthier relationships that help you overcome your challenges with grace.

5) He values genuine people and relationships

So many things to unpack here.

But first thing’s first, genuine relationships are so important because it’s being able to look at a person and say, “you don’t need to be anything but yourself to matter to me.”

In a world that is so driven to be materially successful and the word “clout” being a thing, if a man is able to see through all of those superficial things, he knows what he’s about.

Knowing who to gravitate towards also requires you to know what your values are. Which you discover through shared experiences, hardships and trust.

They say we are the average of all the people we surround ourselves with. 

So if you want to see how a man acts and what he values when he’s by himself, look at his social circle.

6) He is an independent thinker

high level thinker If a man displays these 10 behaviors, he knows what he wants in life

Another green flag that a man knows what he wants in life is if he’s able to think for himself. 

A major sign of that being if he’s able to match his actions to his words. 

Because a man who knows what he wants doesn’t just speak about his values, he lives by them. 

When he’s able to walk the talk, and he doesn’t compromise his beliefs for the sake of convenience or societal pressures.

For instance, if he values equality and inclusivity, he actively supports and promotes these ideals in both his personal and professional life. 

No lip service or pick me behaviors here. He understands that for real change to happen, he needs to make small but meaningful steps towards them. 

Like prioritizing self-care for example!

7) He prioritizes self-care

When you know what you want in life, self-care becomes a necessity not a luxury.

Because you understand that how you show up for yourself strongly influences the outcome of your goals!

Especially when there are so many stereotypes regarding men and self-care where he supposedly becomes less of a man for taking care of himself.

But there’s nothing effeminate or gendered about meditation, regular exercise, skincare, or quality time with your loved ones.

In fact, his commitment is what helps him pursue his goals with clarity and resilience. Keeping him consistent and grounded in his emotions.

8) He is able to healthily communicate his emotions and thoughts

The main sign a man is emotionally stable is if he’s able to communicate without being manipulative.

A lot of the times when men resort to aggression, it’s to take control of the outcome in a brute-force method.

Which just creates imbalances in power dynamics, and closes any opportunities in the future to have an open dialogue.

A part of communicating well is choosing your words with care. But it’s also about being an active listener

You’re not just reacting or talking at the other person, but responding based on what the other person is expressing as well. 

So a man who knows what he wants understands that getting what you want isn’t about taking them. 

More than anything it’s about receiving them.

9) He doesn’t take things personally

A healthy emotional detachment is necessary for you to have enough space for yourself and others.

And when you’re able to manage your emotions, what you’ve really mastered is an ability to detach from them.

So a man who knows what he wants isn’t so attached to these things that he feels personally attacked at every setback.

Even if he does have a few material goals in addition to his morals and values, he is able to recognize that these things add to his life. 

They don’t define it.

Getting offended by every little thing is also a form of distraction that deters you from your goals. Therefore if you want to stay focused, you must remain teachable.

10) He is teachable

These kinds of men are those who actively seek constructive feedback and new opportunities to grow as a person.

What happens to a lot of men is that their egos become unbearably huge because society doesn’t do much to keep them accountable.

Unfortunately it’s a systemic issue that requires an undoing of sorts. So a teachable man is a self-accountable man. 

He understands that making mistakes is the shortcut to the things he desires.

Understanding all of this is a sign he embraces change as well. That he views himself as the eye of the storm.

Almost like he sees all the external chaos happening, yet he doesn’t allow them to influence him. 

For the sake of his integrity, but also for the people he’s surrounded by that help ground him.

Men who know what they want understand what it takes to keep them

Whether it is a loving family or a stable job, he understands that he can’t keep them if he does not maintain consistent effort and dedication.

The path to knowing what you want from life isn’t always obvious. But keeping these things in mind can help clear the way of any possible distractions this world has built-in for men.

And if you ever feel stuck, always go back to empathy to serve as a mirror for you. 

Let it guide you to grow, connect and contribute to creating a better world. You are never truly lost – 

Just human.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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