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Jude's avatar

Did you have positive or negative male role models growing up. If negative, did that effect your life as an adult atall?

Asked by Jude (32126points) November 1st, 2011

If so, how?

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25 Answers

YoBob's avatar


My father was (and still is) an excellent role model.

My uncle OTOH, was pretty much the antithesis of a positive role model (but we loved him anyway).

They both had a positive impact on my life as an adult, although in very different ways.

lillycoyote's avatar

I was lucky, I pretty much only had positive male role models. My dad was good man, a wonderful man, my grandfather was a good man too and I had wonderful uncles, my older brother could be a real jerk sometimes though, but only in a big brotherish sort of way. :-) I mostly had very good male teachers in school growing up too. My other grandfather would have probably been a pretty bad role model, from what I’ve heard about him, but he died when I was two so he wasn’t a factor.

Blackberry's avatar

If you count my cousin that was a few years older than me…....I wasn’t around my grandpa enough for him to be an influence, but I did hear the rest of the family criticise him for his alcoholism. But apparently he was a “good” guy because he wasn’t a violent alcoholic, just a dumb and hopeless one. Not my words.

zensky's avatar

GQ – I had both – and yes, they most definitely had an influence on me.

marinelife's avatar

Both. In the body of the same person: my father.

He was an honest, forthright man who treated other people as equals.

But he had a horrible temper and sometimes acted out of it doing others (usually us) great wrongs.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Both of my grandfathers were good guys. They were generous and thoughtful, and incredibly hard workers. We were close. My paternal grandfather taught me how to draw and my maternal grandfather barely spoke any English at all, but we spent a lot of time together. He was kind of mean from a little kid’s perspective, but I loved him very much. All in all I’d say they were both a positive influence on my life.

My uncles are all alcoholics. They are a positive influence on my life because I am conscious of my drinking habits, because I dread becoming an alcoholic, myself. And they’re assholes. I also strive not to be an asshole.

My dad is pretty awesome. He is brilliant and funny and hard working and generous and sincere. He is very strict, as a parent, which means that we butted heads a lot when I was a teenager. I got over it, though, as most teens do. Without a doubt he has been a positive role model for me. I feel like I get most of my personality from my dad, but also that what I’ve adopted from my father are mostly good, positive traits. The only negative thing that I feel I’ve gotten from my father stems from his obsession with money and saving and never being poor. Except, somehow it seems to have translated to me as an obsession with avoiding most things that involve money. I’m borderline afraid of money.

All in all, lots of positive experiences. :)

picante's avatar

Sadly, I had very poor male role models. My father, who had very deep psychological issues of his own, was a sad man with a violent temper. Only now do I see how his life could have been so much better had it been “in vogue” to seek assistance. He was largely absent from my life, and I was always afraid of him. There was a time when I thought he was taking me and my sister away to kill us – my little 10-year old brain was plotting escape.

And then there was my pedophile uncle. It wasn’t so much the attempted sexual advances that anger me, it’s thinking of the power he held (or tried to hold) over the situation. He would have increasingly aggressive threats against me if I ever told anyone about him. I won’t bore you with the details of his actions, but I actually think my experience with him has made me a much stronger person. It was “outing” him that changed my life for the better.

While there are sad tales around these men, each played a positive role in shaping me. Each gave me understanding of the immense frailty of humankind. Each gave me opportunities to express myself in ways that might not have been possible in more “normal” circumstances. Each gave me strength.

smilingheart1's avatar

Negative definitely, however I really respected my Dad’s work ethic. One good grandpa but he was gone by the time I was 13. All the other males around uncles, neighbours, didn’t see much warmth coming from them. In those days it was all work, work, work and most of them didn’t find it too cool to give kids candy unless they could get a little “pinch” in as well.

Mariah's avatar

Pretty much the only male who’s been consistently present through my life is my dad, and he’s an awesome role model. He has some negative habits, but who doesn’t? I think he’s done a great job teaching by example honesty and a passion for learning. He is an enormous stickler though and doesn’t handle stress well. I’ve picked up the good and the bad habits. Overall I don’t think I could ask for a better dad.

muppetish's avatar

My father was a wonderful role model. My uncles were funny, positive people but they didn’t have a big influence on me one way or the other. My fourth grade teacher was also a kind person whom I am thankful to have met, but also did not have an overarching impact on who I am. Both of my parents had a profound impact on who I am and how I see the world.

tranquilsea's avatar

My father was my only male role model growing up and he very probably has Asperger’s. I perceived that growing up as him not caring on wit about any of us. We needed him to care.

I told myself as I stared dating that I was not going to saddle my boyfriends with my fears. I have had to battle those fears in my years of being married. Feelings are often not rational. There have been a couple of times where I’ve pleaded with my husband not to be my father. He didn’t appreciate that and I understand why so I apologized.

I needed to experience good connected men. I have now so many of those fears have been put to bed.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Both. My grandparents raised me for my first 5yrs and were the positive influence whereas my parents raised me from 5–17 and were the negative role models. It could have so much worse but at least having comparison, I knew I wasn’t the problem and was able to have more understanding of my parents, less taking the bad stuff to heart.

The greatest lessons were to see examples of how I didn’t want to be and specific things I could adopt for myself to not end up like that.

snowberry's avatar

No, but since then I have learned what integrity looks like, and the men in my life are definitely men of integrity.

stardust's avatar

A bit of both I suppose. My father was absent for the most part. My eldest brother was incredible. I looked up to him hugely. As time has gone on, I’ve had wonderful male role models come into my life, for which I feel truly blessed.
While my father was a negative influence, I believe that doesn’t need to creep its way into my adult life. Of course it had a bad effect on me while growing up but therapy and looking inwards has taught me that my past experiences don’t have to influence my present life.

gasman's avatar

I grew up with both a father and a 9-years-older brother. When I started 4th grade my brother was off to college. So I kinda had two male role models, and (to echo a common sentiment above) each was both positive and negative in their own way.

There’s no question my brother served as an intellectual role model more than my father—he liked to teach and I was a willing and captive young pupil. I learned how to use a slide rule (yeah, that long ago!), some chemistry theory, I saw living creatures with a microscope, etc. Mostly positive stuff. My father was not well-educated so my brother stood in. Too bad big brother was also cruel and abusive to me quite often, a tendency that continued into his adulthood. Can’t win ‘em all. My father was not well-educated but by and large benign. Overall I’d say both were positive character role models, with some huge flaws to go around.

As for the negative behaviors, I always had the ability to imitate them; it took longer to learn to avoid them.

At what point do you guys start billing for group therapy?

Facade's avatar

It depends on what you view as positive or negative. My Dad’s a good guy, but he has many, many problems. Both his positive and negative sides have affected me in my adulthood. I’d say he was my only male “role model” growing up.

Sher_King's avatar

My brother is my role model. He is so respectful towards women. Understanding. Highly intellectual, super classy. The friend who i grew up with. He taught me so much, and it was always super great since he is highly inventive and imaginative. He made my childhood unforgettable :) Basically, if I didnt have him as a brother, my opinion on men would have been at its ultimate low.

boxer3's avatar

My dad is the best male that I know…


All the men in my life have been great role models, from my Dad to my brothers, to my uncles, and even my sports heroes. I’ve been fortunate.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I had mostly positive ones but a couple of bad ones which affected me negatively for a long time. Because of those two people, I was scared to be on my own around men even my own dad (which pains me now because my dad one of the good guys). As I came out of my teenage years and into my 20’s I started to trust men more and more and can now enjoy the company of men without thinking they have an ulterior motive.

zensky's avatar

Hey Jude – this has been voted Zen’s fave question of the day!

lillycoyote's avatar

@snowberry Yes, integrity, and men of integrity; once you know what that looks like you don’t settle for anything less. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family where all the men were men of integrity.

lonelydragon's avatar

My grandpa is my male role model. He was always one of the biggest sources of positive encouragement in my life. He is a good mentor, a good husband, and just an all around good man. He is very positive and even-tempered, even in adversity. When he makes a mistake, he can laugh at himself. I hope to emulate these traits in my life.

Bart19's avatar

I think my father tried to be a good rolemodel in my early years. I got my enthusiasm for reading from him, along with swimming, games and fishing. He has been a constant factor in my life until a couple of years ago.

The moment I started a life of my own, my mother went ballistic and pulled him with her. These past years he has been very authorative, grumpy, meddlesome and downright offensive. He idolizes my mother so much that he is blind to everything else. Over the course of the years, she alienated him from his sister, his niece and nephew, his parents and now me, his only son. It’s sad.

His role has affected me slightly in my adult life. I am not a dominant and it takes me a lot of trouble to assume authority.Luckily I found a great wife that doesn’t take advantage of this.

My grandad however is a brilliant man. He has his flaws but he is a brilliant cook, very honest, loyal and he has great orientation skills. His marriage with my grandmother is a great form of inspiration. After fifty years of married life they are still in love and in great shape.

ftp901's avatar

I had some irresponsible male role models in my life. It made me grow up and not want to get into relationships very deep – I don’t want to rely on and trust a husband or father to the point that it could hurt me. However, I’m open to these things – I’m just wary and probably don’t love as hard as other people.

It made me able to assess people accurately from a very young age – it takes a lot to earn my trust and I don’t fall for anything.

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