Perhaps a lot of people are familiar with the term sadboi. In fact, it has been widely circulating around social media lately. So what exactly is a sadboi? If one were to look it up on the internet, they might find several definitions of the term. However, in the Philippines, sadboi refers to those who manipulate others by presenting a facade of sadness or otherwise faking their emotions in order to take advantage of other people to achieve their hidden agenda.
Usually, the term “sadboi” is used out of context. It somehow becomes problematic because, although there are genuinely emotionally sensitive people, others may automatically label them as sadbois whenever they express their emotions. Since the term is used irresponsibly, many people opt not to talk about their feelings simply because they don’t want to be labeled as such.
In psychology, we learned that bottling up emotions can have a diverse impact on a person’s overall well-being. This is supported by countless academic articles, wherein suppression of emotions is widely discussed. Along with it are the detrimental consequences of emotional suppression. For instance, constant bottling up of emotions could put your body under a great deal of stress, which results in your body releasing stress hormones (otherwise known as “cortisol”) to counteract the release of adrenaline. However, this process may have an adverse effect on your weight as it includes a side effect that suppresses your appetite.
Another issue is that it could also lead to stress and anxiety. Imagine yourself as a river dam, with the water symbolizing your emotions. Let’s say for the past 3 days, it has been continuously raining, and you decided to restrict the flow of water until such time that it has exceeded the maximum water level. At some point, you need to release your emotions, or else it will overflow. It will not only affect you negatively, but it could also endanger the people around you.
Sometimes it happens to us, sometimes we observe it from other people. If we keep suppressing our negative emotions, they get buried deep within our subconscious and pile up. Because of this, we tend to lash out at others when it becomes too much for us to handle by projecting them towards innocent people, either verbally or physically.
The problem with this new term is that it discourages people from seeking help and engaging in proper communication, especially for men. For years, mental health advocates have been fighting for men to speak up and embrace their emotions. Mental health experts have observed that emotion suppression is one of the main contributing factors as to why the suicide rate among men is alarmingly high based on statistics. This is why we need to be aware of our actions and behavior towards vulnerable people. Labeling people as “sadbois” when, in fact, they are just emotionally cold and less confident is quite degrading. It’s as if saying that timid and unconfident people are only asking for pity rather than genuine care and attention. People also need to realize that not all of us grew up in the same environment and grew up to have as much confidence and self-esteem as others may have. Additionally, it doesn’t make you less of a person if you’re still building up your confidence.
The term “sadboi” seems to be harmless on the surface, but in reality, the way people use it ends up promoting an unhealthy way of coping with emotions for men. People should realize that using this term irresponsibly contributes to the ever-existing stigmatization of how men should deal with their emotions.
Arora, D. (2018, July 09). Suicides: Why men are more prone to commit suicide than women. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.thehealthsite.com/news/why-men-are-more-prone-to-commit-suicide-than-women-d0718-581380/
Davies, J. (2020, August 31). 10 Signs You Have Bottled Up Emotions (and How They Secretly Affect You). Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.learning-mind.com/bottled-up-emotions/
Jerry Kennard, P. (2020, December 10). Why More Men Are Taking Their Own Lives. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/men-and-suicide-2328492
Parvez, H., & ParvezHi, H. (2020, September 01). Emotional suppression: Causes and consequences. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.psychmechanics.com/effects-of-suppressing-your-emotions/