Transformations: Joblessness And The Male Ego

It seems that U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in April for the second straight month, evidence of an economy still growing only sluggishly.  The Economy added 115, 000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, but only because more people gave up looking for work.  The breakdown is as follows:

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men
(7.5 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (24.9 percent), whites
(7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.3 percent) showed little or no change in
April, while the rate for blacks (13.0 percent) declined over the month.
The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in April (not seasonally
adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

This is telling because it shows the emotional effect that joblessness has had on the job-seeker.  Since unemployment rates fell to 8.1 percent because more people gave up looking for work, how men deal with job loss or search affects the  relationship with his spouse (Money is the number one issue that men and women fight about) his children, and how he may feel about himself. A woman’s joblessness will affect the way she feels about herself as well. The pressure to be “all things to all people” can be an overwhelming task that makes an already tough role even harder.

Close your eyes. Relax. Breathe. There is light at the end of the tunnel, maybe not fiscally but there are ways we can deal mentally and emotionally. Understand that you are not alone. A lot of us are going through this. No one piece of advice can make it all better but knowing that you have support from your spouse or significant other can be a real confidence booster.

If you are a Man and your woman isn’t working the best thing you can do to show your support is by listening, not hearing but LISTENING. Remember that she lives in a world where men make more than she does. Remember all the work she does to keep the family together, the time energy and pride she takes in managing her life, including the effort to take on the world and endure the onslaughts to her femininity. Knowing that you understand the conflicts of children and work, career and life passions will go a long way to strengthening your relationship with her.

If you are a woman and your man isn’t working, this is really when he needs you THE MOST. Traditional society and archaic gender roles have tied his ego to his paycheck. It’s the way it is. We could debate the “why’s and wherefores” of this issue back and forth but it’s safe to say that it has a profound effect on how he may feel about himself. Urge him to talk about it (I know this part is the hardest thing for him to do) and express how it may make him feel. Knowing that you still support him, believe him and love him will help to ease the self-doubt that may creep in his head.

We don’t know how long this economy may stay sluggish or tepid, let’s just make sure our relationships grow and last longer than this recession.

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About TheStyleGent

I blog about character, competency and clothing. Giving back, living well and looking sharp is how you live life with style. What good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten?

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