Home Featured What Man Boobs Taught Me: Healing Our Insecurities

What Man Boobs Taught Me: Healing Our Insecurities



The Story Behind It All

When I was just a chubby little kid, I used to get picked-on a lot. The kids in my neighborhood would say stupid jokes at my expense, try to push me around, and give me “titty twisters.” I hated it.

I’ve had man boobs for a long time, but ever since I started working out, it has somewhat reduced my self-consciousness about it because they are not as visible.

Some months ago, my girlfriend, out of the blue, reached for my chest and she squeezed on my man boobs. I felt a hint of consciousness boiling up, but I didn’t let it get to me because I was aware that I was bringing up past memories. Anyways, she was just making an observation that my chest was getting tighter because of the weight lifting I was doing.

If I had not been conscious of my inner workings I might have gone upset over something like this. I asked her if she was grabbing my man-boobs and she said, “What man boobs? You don’t have man boobs.”
Was it that I saw more than what was there? Or was she being nice?

The Truth Behind Insecurities

The thing about insecurities is that sometimes we think that other people notice it as much as we do. Surprisingly, the things that make you self-conscious are not a big deal to anyone else, ONLY TO YOU. Something minor, like what I explained, could have caused an argument between the both of us, but I decided to believe her and not let my past experiences affect me emotionally.

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While this might sound totally ridiculous, most of your insecurities are also silly to other people. These insecurities we have are very real to us and they usually come with a long history that people are not aware of.

How this Applies to You

Beverly Engel, author of Healing Your Emotional Self, explains that many of the things that we are ashamed of take root in our childhood. The inner critic we have inside is responsible for the emotional pain that we create in our lives. Past traumas still have a hold on us as adults because our minds become hypersensitive to anything that might possibly bring about this pain again.

If you want to quiet your inner critic, you must first be aware of the things that hurt your self-esteem as a child. For example, if you were neglected as a kid, you might get really angry any time your girlfriend turns her back on you because it activates painful memories about your childhood. You might react by becoming verbally aggressive or just shutting down completely because this is the only way you know to react.

Becoming aware of these memories is the first step in healing yourself so that you are better able to cope with the issues when they comes up. Instead of unconsciously reacting to the situation, you can notice how it makes you feel so that you don’t do something crazy that further propagates the argument.

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As for me, the reason I got upset when my girlfriend reached for my chest was because it was more than a “titty twister” that I was recollecting. It was all that childhood bullying and humiliation that I had to go through that damaged my whole outlook on life. Heck, I think that’s the main reason I started working out in the first place. But you see I am aware of these things, which allow me to better cope with them.

Realistic Expectations

I hope you can take something from this and start looking at the things that make you very upset. Next time you experience deep anger, resentment, or any fear, you should take the time to examine where these emotions are coming from.

Write it down in a piece of paper what you are experiencing and let it all out. This is how you will start to become aware of these past traumas.

Becoming aware does not mean that it will get rid of that insecurity. Chances are these thought patterns are so rooted in your identity that the best you can hope for is to just stop yourself from being reactive. If you can stop yourself from acting unconsciously, that is enough to bring about a change in your relationship.

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Do you have insecurities that affect your relationship? How do you deal with these insecurities?

Relationship thinker, writer, and founder of the How to Stop Arguing blog- Marcos Rocha helps men get a handle on their troubled relationship. Follow him via twitter @how2stoparguing


  1. This was a great post, and I appreciate you sharing what are undoubtedly painful memories. You’re very correct; a lot of what we consider to be a big deal, other people hardly notice. I’m guilty of this myself, and it manifests itself sometimes when people compliment me. Its difficult to see what they see because we are our own biggest critics. Like you mentioned, though, something that has helped me greatly is improving nutrition and hitting the gym consistently. Now when I receive compliments, I feel proud because I feel like I’ve worked to deserve them. Doesn’t completely erase the self-consciousness, but it helps.

    1. I once heard that if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself; you probably wouldn’t have any friends. You are right, noticing that negative self-talk is very important. The fact that you hit the gym tells me you appreciate yourself… I am glad you doing something to make yourself feel good.

  2. I used to be so self-conscious about the scare on my face. Kids used to call me scarface, etc etc etc. It definitely made me feel unattractive. That was until someone told me that they didn’t even recognize it. It was an “A-Ha!” moment for me. I got it. Just like you stated, our insecurity is a big deal ONLY TO US. That’s so true. From that point on I embraced my scar and really forgot it was even there. Now no one even notices it, unless I bring attention to it myself. In addition to be confident about who I am, my life completely changed. Thanks for sharing. Great post indeed!

    1. Thanks for sharing that. I bet you that once you became okay with it, people were more likely to ignore it. When you don’t have a hang-up on your physical appearance it shows in the way you carry yourself.

  3. “The inner critic we have inside is responsible for the emotional pain that we create in our lives.”

    This is a beautiful line that needs to be posted on billboards everywhere.

    We often feel alone with our insecurities and the reality is everyone has them. Some have more than others, and can definitely vary from mild to extreme. Your post has great points in self awareness that we all need. That alone will help stop the excuses and blaming. Unlike you, I feel most acts are conscious. We may have a quick reflex/flashback but we have the ability to choose our recourse. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed.


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