giving masculine man

A Masculine Man Gives First

In Advocate by El Sicario3 Comments

The Subtle Art of Being a Good Dude, Part 4

This is the fourth installment in a series covering several tenets of masculinity and manhood. Our fourth topic is being a giver.

Don’t Be a Taker

Nobody likes an ungenerous miser (e.g., the guy who doesn’t tip the server). Though “X-Sta-Face-Tok” might suggest otherwise, being a giving masculine man is an admirable quality. His willingness to be a giver is one of many characteristics that defines a good dude.

Key Takeaways

  • A Good Dude Gives First: A modern masculine man is someone that seeks to give of himself.
  • Set Healthy Boundaries: It’s ok to have limits on what you’re able to give to others.
  • What You Can Give Is Enough: Being generous looks different for everyone. As long as you know you’re giving your best, it’s OK.
  • Generosity Is The Reward: Being acknowledged feels good but the real prize is knowing you did it for the right reason.
  • Nobody Is Perfect: Do what you can, when you can. The effort is what makes it count.
Jose Mejia giving masculine man

Giving as a Masculine Man

What does it mean to give of yourself? Everyone may think of giving in their own way.

As men we instinctively seek to provide—and providing is a form of giving. We can provide financial security, protection, food, shelter.

There is giving of gifts like money or goods. It feels good to give someone a token of our appreciation, or affection.

Then there are the intangibles. Sure you can provide money; but what about joy? The giving of intangibles, such as love or joy requires giving your time, attention, intellectual engagement, and patience.

All of these are versions of giving, yet at its core, whatever the form, being a giver starts with a willingness to give.

Sean Horton showing his willingness to give

Willingness To Give

Sometimes men are deterred from being generous with their tangible and intangible resources because they fear being taken advantage of, or even perceived as “weak.” Is it possible to be a giving masculine man without your generosity being abused?


The way we achieve that is by setting boundaries. Think about the difference between giving people what you can versus letting them take what they want.

Setting healthy boundaries is how we let others know what we can and are willing to offer them. It’s ok to say no when you need to! Boundaries also prevent overextending yourself to the point that you are negatively affected. That never works out well and in the end you might be less willing to help others.

Lindsay Barto donating his hair at The Great Cut

What You Can Give Is Enough

Everyone’s life situation is different. Whatever you’re able to give is enough. If you feel like you have more, give more.

Maybe you can spend more time with your kids. Perhaps you can give that homeless person on the corner something to eat. There’s always another level.

Good dudes lead by example. As we are giving masculine men, we should leave a place better than we found it.

To Give Is The Reward

Good dudes help people without needing a reward. In part 1 of this series we said integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody will ever know. Being a giver falls right in line with that.

The real reward comes from within.

“Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give."
- Ben Carson

A perfect example is all the incredibly generous donors that contributed to The Great Cut 2024. Over 1,200 people donated their hair to provide free hair replacements for children they will never know.

These amazing human beings knew there would be no individual recognition. All that mattered is they had an opportunity to give and they did. That’s being a giver.

El Rubio donating his hair at The Great Cut

Give Good, Give Often

In this series we constantly reiterate that you don’t need to be perfect. A perfect person would give effortlessly. If we unpack that theory, can’t we agree it’s the effort that makes anything count?

Being an imperfect man who gives of himself is a far greater feat than perfection, we’d say.


What does it mean to be a giving masculine man?
It means prioritizing generosity in both tangible and intangible ways, such as giving time, attention, or resources, and doing so with a genuine spirit of helping others.

How can setting boundaries enhance generosity?
Setting healthy boundaries ensures that you can give without overextending yourself or feeling exploited, allowing for sustainable and meaningful generosity.

What is the difference between being a giver and a taker?
A giver freely offers help and resources without expecting anything in return, while a taker often seeks to benefit without reciprocating or appreciating the help received.

Can you be perceived as weak for being generous?
While some may mistakenly view generosity as a weakness, true giving reflects strength, confidence, and a deep understanding of one's values and capabilities.

What are some practical ways to demonstrate generosity?
Practical expressions of generosity include volunteering, mentoring others, donating to causes, and simply being available and present for people in your life.

The Subtle Art of Being a Good Dude

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