It’s long been believed that 18 is the age when a boy turns into a man. A high school diploma, a driver’s license and moving out to go live in a college dorm all instill a new sense of freedom in young men. Unfortunately, an 18-year-old still knows very little about the real world.
Some feel that 21 is the real “coming of age” for boys, since the law recognizes them as adults of drinking and gambling age. This is also a misconception, since those two vices tend to regress the boys who can’t handle the fact that they’re suddenly able to do everything without parental consent.
So when does a young boy become a man? Becoming a man has nothing to do with surviving puberty or reaching a certain milestone in age. A boy becomes a man through his actions -- when he begins to take responsibility for his own behavior and carry himself in a certain way.
An adolescent evolves into an adult when he can handle the bulk of these 10 tasks that prove any boy is a man in the eyes of the world.
Embrace His Age
Every man grows old but not every man grows up. Some men attempt to stay young forever. This is evident by the way they talk, act and dress. In the end, all they are doing is attempting to cope with the fact that all of us will one day cease to exist. Unfortunately, acting younger doesn’t make a man live forever.
There is nothing wrong with getting older. In fact, some men get better with age. They look better, carry themselves in a more mature way, and even live their lives with less regulation and control. A real man embraces his age and lives his life like every day could be his last.
Treat Women Right
In youth, men spend a significant amount of time chasing the opposite gender. It becomes a game. For some men, the game gets old. It’s in that moment men realize it’s time to treat women with the same respect they expect. Sadly, some men never come to this realization, and spend their lives mistreating women and playing “the game.” A real man knows when to put the game pieces away and call it a tie. It takes men a long time to realize the key to a happy life is a happy romantic partnership, but eventually, a real man learns.
Control His Temper
Research shows that occasionally losing your temper might be good for men. The reaction can ease a man’s mind, improve athletic performance, boost his libido and even help facilitate business negotiations. The issue is some men don’t understand the word “occasionally” and instead lose their tempers “frequently.” It’s rare that losing your cool helps a situation, so it’s best to remain calm. A real man knows when it’s time to let off some steam and lets his words, and not his anger, do the talking.
Hold His Liquor
There is nothing wrong with enjoying a cocktail or two once in a while. In fact, a small amount of alcohol might even be good for a man’s health. The problem is some men don’t understand the concept of moderation. Look around the room at any bar and separating the men from the boys is a simple task. A real man can go out with friends, family or his significant other and have a few drinks and still carry himself in a manner that shows he’s a respectable man.
Forget A Grudge
Confucius said, “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” Everyone is wronged in life. It’s human nature to remember those moments and allow them to fester inside for years. It’s also incredibly unhealthy. There is never a reason to hold on to grudges. It’s fine to use those slights as motivation to succeed, but to harbor ill will against an individual isn’t a healthy reaction. A real man forgets the past and doesn’t allow past grievances to get in the way of future happiness.
Hold A Conversation
The art of conversation isn’t as hard a task as people believe. Some men can only carry on a conversation if the topics involved are of interest to them personally. A real man can carry on a conversation about any topic, as long as he keeps an open mind and leaves the flow of conversation open for questions. Even if he doesn’t have a wealth of knowledge, a real man will ask questions to get a better understanding about a topic -- which itself keeps a conversation going.
Constructively Express His Feelings
Men can show emotion, but they don’t always do it constructively -- some show it through anger, others completely shut down and a few will shed tears to express unhappiness about a given situation. A true man knows how to not only channel his emotions, but express them in a way that’s beneficial to both himself and those around him.
Mean The Words "I Love You"
Any man can utter the phrase “I love you” (get a few drinks into a guy and he’ll tell anyone in the room he feels this way about them), but it takes a true man to understand the concept of love. Once a guy understands what it means to be in love, or to love another human, only then can he really say the phrase “I love you” and genuinely mean what he says.
Own His Body
No one was built with the perfect body, and even though modern science has made it possible to sculpt the human physique into moving marble statues, every man will find flaws in himself. The danger lies in obsessing over those flaws instead of just accepting the fact that no human is perfect. A real man embraces his issues with his body and learns that true beauty comes from the inside and not the outside.
Drop Bad Influences
Justin Bieber is an example of what happens when a boy allows outside influences to run his everyday life. Sure, the Biebs is no saint, but allowing other juveniles to surround him and act as his yes men is a recipe for disaster. A real man knows when it’s time to ditch the sophomoric childhood friends or the guys dragging him down. It’s not easy breaking off friendships, especially those that have lasted decades, but life goes on -- and dumping those influences sooner rather than later is the best solution.