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Teen Furious At His Dad For Telling Him To ‘Man Up’ And Stop Crying After He Doesn’t Make Soccer Team

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We have all wanted something that we ultimately didn’t get.

It’s perfectly acceptable to feel disappointed during those moments, and it’s even healthy to express those feelings.

But for one young man on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, he wasn’t learning how to regulate his emotions during the tough times.

Quite the contrary, as Redditor imaginehavingIFunny was encouraged to do the exact opposite.

But after the latest incident, the Original Poster (OP) didn’t take it well.

He asked the sub: 

“AITA for ignoring my dad for a week for telling me to ‘man up’ after I was crying?”

The OP received support from friends after not making the soccer team.

“I (16 [Male]) was crying because I didn’t get into a soccer team.”

“I was pretty upset at the whole thing and I told my friends about it. Obviously, I didn’t cry in front of them because I didn’t want them to worry about me.”

“I told my GF (16 [Female]) about it and she was really sweet and comforted me about it.”

The OP’s family seemed to support him, too. 

“Later that night, I came home after hanging out with my friends and told my parents that I didn’t get into the soccer team.”

“I didn’t cry at that point.”

“I went to take a shower and began to cry because I was disappointed with myself. I don’t have much time left to play and it hurt really badly that I didn’t get in.”

“I got changed and I went to the room to set my alarm for the next day as I was going to begin to do more exercise.”

“I begin sobbing again and my sister hears me, so she comes into my room to hug me. She goes to my mom and tells her I’m crying and my mom comforts me as well.”

But the OP’s father wasn’t quite on board. 

“Then, my dad walks into the room.”

“My dad (37) asks what’s wrong and at first he’s making sure that I’m alright. I don’t usually cry much in front of them because I don’t feel comfortable.”

“After that, he talks to me for a bit and he starts scolding me for not doing enough.”

“He starts saying that I should’ve run more (even though I am the most athletic and have the most stamina in my family). Then he starts lecturing me about how I need to eat more and drink more water (even though I do that too).”

“Finally, he says that he finds it stupid that I’m crying over it and that I need to man up. He starts giving me that lecture about that back when he was young, he didn’t cry and all that.”

“Trying to sound like a ‘man’.”

“That just makes me mad and I start arguing back. Our argument started at around 10 and ended at 11.”

Things haven’t been the same since the OP and his dad argued. 

“After the whole ordeal, I haven’t talked to my dad as I’m still pretty upset at the whole thing.”

“It just makes me mad thinking about it and my mom thinks I’m being unreasonable and that I should talk to him. But my sisters are on my side, saying that he shouldn’t have said those things.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP didn’t need his dad’s toxic masculinity. 

“NTA. He’s trying to push his internalized toxic masculinity on you. Crying is healthy, expressing your feelings is healthy.”

“Sometimes you don’t get things you want, like making a team or getting your dream job, and it’s okay to be upset and even cry over it.”carpenoctoon

“A good man is first of all a whole human being, with all the emotions and abilities of a good human being. Anyone who demands you cut something out of yourself to be a ‘real man’ – is toxic and broken.”

“OP is NTA, and dad needs to be a better person.”Zhoenish

“NTA. His behavior is why we have so many men punching walls and screaming instead of sitting down with their wives and discussing their feelings. His attitude is toxic and unhealthy, and if he keeps it up, there will be a wedge between both of you that will be difficult, if even possible, to fix.”

“What’s more, I DOUBT your father is as athletic as you are. Is he eating and drinking enough? If you’re healthy, that’s ALL that should matter to him.”crystalls2000

Others pointed out crying is actually good for you, not a burden. 

“Crying is how the body relieves stress. It’s completely natural and valid to cry!”OneLastSmile

“Absolutely, it releases “feel good” chemicals in your body and also activates the nervous system. There’s a whole bunch of benefits to crying…”LeeLooPeePoo

“To add to the benefits, crying literally could save lives.”

“Males start killing themselves in higher numbers around the age that they are expected to ‘man up.’ We are killing our brothers, sons, fathers, by allowing those men before them and society in general to push toxic masculinity.”

“The ‘stuffing it down’ makes for all sorts of repressed rage and other issues. Crying is good. It makes us human. It means we can emote.” – marshmallow_spencer

A few also complimented the OP on his initial reaction to not making the team. 

“Ops reaction was insanely healthy, he cried and decided he was going to try harder and exercise more.”

“The dad sucks and that way of thinking is terrible, that’s why people have anger issues, they weren’t allowed to express their frustrations in a healthy way.”Mellow-Mallow

But some did point out the silent treatment wasn’t necessarily the way to go.

“NTA. The whole man up and don’t cry thing is so toxic and a major reason so many men cannot express their own emotions.”

“Giving your dad the silent treatment is basically what he asked for as if you don’t speak you can’t possibly express feelings.”timmyontools14

“The ‘mistake’ here is cold-shouldering his dad. As justified as the behavior is in this situation, it is still immature and isn’t really any less toxic than the father’s comments in the first place.”

“Two wrongs and all that. But it is MORE acceptable for OP, given his age.”PirateJazz

“Your choices aren’t let it go or give him the silent treatment. You should just tell him that you are upset that he shamed you for a healthy emotional response and criticized you when you just needed support.”

“If he starts to argue, refuse to engage and tell him that’s all you have to say on the matter.”ContesseCrumpet

Though it can be frustrating when kids aren’t handling the situation the way we expected or wanted, the subReddit was clear on this one—the OP’s father wasn’t right to shut his son’s disappointment down.

It’s best for the OP to know how to handle his feelings and figure out what the best next step is, like mourning the situation, expressing his disappointment and then hitting the gym again.

What isn’t healthy is bottling everything up to fit some harmful masculine stereotype.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.