What makes men happy in 2019
The last few decades have been ones of major social shift and change for both men and women. Years of civil rights for minorities and women have led to large changes in expectations and behaviour of the masses. Many aspects of personality which were traditionally considered manly are now subject to question or derision: physical and mental dominance alongside a protective instinct for one's own.
Increasingly however, traits which were more usually assigned to women or the feminine aspect such as compassion, sensitivity and empathy are now expected of men too. While what society expects has changed in recent years has the male outlook changed to keep up with it?
A University in London carried out an extensive study this year and reviewed over 5000 men from adulthood all the way up to 95! Initially they were questioned on their personal contentment and level of happiness. Then they had to grade their external happiness, or how satisfied they are with all other factors influencing them like their job, finances, work-life balance and physical strength and appearance.
Despite all the changes in recent years that we have outlined men still have a very simple response when it comes to what makes them happy. Regardless of color, age or where you lived in the country the numbers showed that male satisfaction depends really on two things - being able to enjoy their daily work and also to be valued in that work.
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What people really want is a task to concentrate on and a feeling of value with responsibility. If this condition is met then men can feel that they are influencing the direction of their lives and are happier for it. Feeling that work is going well and your career is going in the right direction feeds into others areas of life resulting in a much brighter outlook all round.
Of course job satisfaction is not the only influence when it comes to happiness. The next top concern as it has been for centuries is mental and physical well being. If that aspect of your life is in order then both increasing age and increasing income seem to play the next most significant role.
All In The Family
As we all get older however social connections start to drop away and are concentrated to a smaller group. Finding a life partner to experience the everyday ups and downs gives a slight bump to your overall enjoyment of life, but only by 10%. Proponents of the institution of marriage may be shocked to find that enduring friendships give a support network almost as strong as a romantic one.
Zen over Power
The study really highlights that while stereotypes persist throughout the fabric of our society, basic research into these assumptions reveals a different picture. Instead of being some version of ‘manly’, what men actually seek in their own lives is steady fulfillment from hard work and strong social connections from family and friends around them. This perhaps is a reassuring note in our hypersensitive era of misinformation and reactionary feminism. Men may already be a lot more open to a fairer society than is currently thought.
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The findings may be banal to some and boring to others but the main result should be studied in some depth. If work really is the vital component of a man’s happiness the much greater strides should be made within the workplace to ensure that staff are acting in the right role and that the work environment is optimised as much as possible.
Concentrating on this would technically be the single most effective intervention that could be implemented to cause a positive sociological shift. In fact ongoing research is finding that more gender equal societies tend to have parents who experience better sleep patterns. This has the knock on effect of decreasing stress and creating happier households overall.
Societies which properly examine the socio-political interactions of their people highlight small changes that can be incredibly effective yet easy to implement. Changing the quality of sleep for a significant portion of people would create a constellation of benefits that would go beyond simply making men happier. In essence, we are all connected so happiness for one is eventually happiness for all.