You know you gotta read a story with a headline like “Why Modest Men Get the Brush-Off from Women.” And not only from women, says the Daily Mail: Employers, too.
The gist of it is that modest men are considered “too weak” by women and employers alike. They’re seen as “insufficiently confident and ambitious.” Says a study quoted by the Mail: “Men are still required to uphold masculine ideals that require chronic exhibitions of strength while avoiding signs of weakness.”
The story left me with unanswered questions. Though the headline invoked male-female relationships, the study itself focused on employment. And we never got a clear sense of how it defined “modesty”: You can be modest and strong or modest and weak. Big difference there.
But everyday experience says modest men do tend to get a raw deal. Plenty of people (both women and men) say they value modesty in men, and clearly, many if not most of them don’t mean it. In the workplace, they’re commonly passed over: In the romantic realm, they’re relegated to the role of “nice guys” and “just friends.” Not always, but all too often. If you’re a modest guy, you know what I mean. But you don’t have to be a modest guy to see it. You just need eyes.
The world tells men to be self-promoters. The Word has the opposite message. There’s no question which we should follow. But putting that into practice and living with the consequences brings all sorts of challenges and frustrations.
So let’s talk about it, guys. And you too, ladies: You can bless some guys with your support and encouragement.