14 traditionally feminine traits most men could use more of

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Like it or not, there are some traits, that for whatever reason, are considered more masculine or feminine. Does that mean we shouldn’t rock the status quo? We don’t think so.

These 14 traditionally feminine traits could benefit many men who want to cultivate a more well-rounded approach to life.

1. Nurturing.

Although nurturing has traditionally been considered a feminine attribute, countless men would love to express that aspect of themselves more often. This may take the form of caregiving careers such as nursing or teaching, or simply being available, affectionate, and playful with their children.

Nurturing behavior is ideal for establishing strong bonds with loved ones. Men can be just as loving and caring as women, and having “permission” to show their nurturing side can be as beneficial to them as it is to those they’re doting on.

Men who are nurturing towards their young children often have a stronger relationship with them when they get older. Similarly, those who are caring and loving with their partners inevitably receive that kindness and gentleness in turn.

2. Intuition.

Men tend to use more of the left hemisphere of their brain when processing information and thus tend to be more analytical. In contrast, women are often more right-brained, drawing information from emotion, empathy, and intuition.

That said, intuition isn’t solely gender-based and can be developed over time. Listening to your body and honing your “gut instincts” can help avoid illness or injury, and offers a wealth of benefits when it comes to decision-making and social interactions.

3. Emotional expression.

It’s a sad truth that many men are conditioned from a young age to repress their emotions, with the idea that both experiencing and expressing what they’re feeling is a weakness.

In contrast, being emotionally open can cultivate trust and understanding between people. Being vulnerable about your feelings fosters authentic connections. It’s also a healthy way of releasing pent-up frustration or pain, instead of letting it build up and become overwhelming.

This doesn’t mean men should feel forced to express emotion if it isn’t authentic, but they need to know that it’s healthy and safe to do it if they choose to.

4. Careful observation.

Many men will take a cursory glance into the fridge or clothes drawer and immediately call for their partners to help them find what they need. In contrast, women often carefully observe their surroundings to pick out minutiae and then remember where a particular item was last seen.

This type of careful observation is also effective when it comes to determining whether everything is in order or not. Is a pet behaving differently than usual? Is that mole a slightly different shape? The key is to pay attention, observe, and try to retain what you’ve seen.

5. Foresight.

Many men focus on immediate solutions to problems, without considering the long-term ramifications of their choices. In contrast, women generally think about how the ripples of every action will affect the future.

Men can cultivate this traditionally feminine trait by stopping and considering how each of their actions will affect everyone around them. Certain choices may seem great in the moment, but just like chess moves, each decision influences everything that will unfold after it.

6. Taking stock (literally).

Men generally don’t think about items until they need them in the present moment, and then get frustrated when they aren’t available. In contrast, women will usually look ahead and anticipate all the things that could be needed within X amount of time.

It’s never pleasant to find yourself on the toilet, with no toilet paper in sight. Taking stock of and replenishing household (and other) items before they run out is definitely a skill worth honing.

7. Active listening.

Women tend to lean more towards harmonious interpersonal relationships and cooperation, and active listening is a huge part of this.

It encourages people to check in with one another to make sure they’re being understood, to respond thoughtfully and respectfully, and to establish a strong foundation for moving forward together.

This can be beneficial both in personal relationships and the workplace. It’s also beneficial in parenting, as it allows children to feel their struggles or concerns are actually being heard and truly listened to, rather than summarily dismissed.

8. Communication skills.

Communication takes different forms and includes both verbal and non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expression. Working on communication skills isn’t just helpful for our self-expression but also helps us to identify behaviors in others. This can lead to improved overall connection and understanding.

Another vital communication skill typically seen as feminine, is tact. While men often “Say it like it is”, women try to be diplomatic and tactful to prevent others from getting hurt. Whilst honesty is certainly important, softer approaches can be better for maintaining and preserving relationships.

9. Shared mental labor.

In any standard male-female partnership, it’s inevitably the woman’s job to shoulder most of the mental labor required to maintain the well-being of the household. This labor often includes:

  • Making and keeping track of health appointments and prescriptions.
  • Remembering birthdays and other important dates, as well as buying the relevant gifts or cards.
  • List-making for things like groceries.
  • Task delegation.
  • Regular communication with extended family.
  • Planning vacations or trips.

This can extend to the workplace too, with women being more likely to keep track of office supplies, plan for employee birthdays, schedule holiday events, and so on. When men take on more of this labor, it creates a more equitable and well-balanced dynamic.

10. Collaboration.

Seeking harmony in collaboration is a traditionally feminine trait, as women often work in teams for the good of the household or community. As such, they value respectful teamwork, peaceful interactions, and gentle conflict resolution.

This is quite different from the traditionally masculine approach, which often involves confrontation and competition. Whilst healthy competition can be a positive driving force, without some team spirit it’s unlikely to result in harmonious relationships and environments

11. Empathy.

Empathy, being able to imagine what’s like to be in another’s shoes and feel what they’re feeling, can be immensely beneficial when it comes to personal relationships. Not just when it comes to being understanding and supportive of your partner, but also in friendships and workplace dynamics.

For example, men who use empathy and intuition may clue into the fact that a close friend is struggling with mental health issues and can help them get the support they need.

12. Compassion.

Compassion is an often overlooked but exceptional leadership quality. Employees treasure employers who show compassion rather than cutthroat cold-heartedness. Compassionate people prove themselves to be leaders who have integrity and conscience. Who wouldn’t want to work for someone like that?

It’s also vital to personal relationships. Stepping up with childcare or cooking when your partner is wiped out will be appreciated more than you realize. And a man who shows compassion towards those in need will earn the admiration and respect of everyone around him.

13. Multitasking.

Studies have shown that women are naturally more efficient at multitasking than men, but this doesn’t mean men can’t master this skill. It just requires practice and diligence, and some fumbles along the way.

If you keep at it and don’t get discouraged, you’ll find that you’re far more efficient and productive in your various life pursuits.

14. Graciousness.

It’s understandable that someone might be less than gracious when they fail at something important to them, but how a person behaves when they’re frustrated or disappointed will directly influence how others see them, and behave towards them.

Showing grace and dignity in all endeavors—whether they’re successful or not—will earn you immense admiration and respect. You show yourself to be both stoic and humble, rather than prone to unruly, childish behavior.

A quick note.

It’s important to note that although these traditionally “feminine” traits can be beneficial for men to cultivate, this doesn’t mean they should repress their healthy masculinity to incorporate them. The key is to find a balance between the two polarities and use both to their greatest potential.

About The Author

Catherine Winter is an herbalist, INTJ empath, narcissistic abuse survivor, and PTSD warrior currently based in Quebec's Laurentian mountains. In an informal role as confidant and guide, Catherine has helped countless people work through difficult times in their lives and relationships, including divorce, ageing and death journeys, grief, abuse, and trauma recovery, as they navigate their individual paths towards healing and personal peace.