It takes a courageous man to talk about his emotions
The idea of masculinity is beginning to change for the better. This idea that a ‘real man’ is one that does not show any signs of emotion is incredibly dated and thankfully is becoming increasingly less accepted. However, whilst society is slowly moving towards being more accepting, it still takes a lot of courage and bravery for a man to strip away the tough guy façade and reveal how they are really feeling to their friends and family, let alone strangers.
It is OK not to be OK though. The world over, male suicide rates are on the rise and here in Australia roughly 45 men take their own life each week, with the highest proportion falling into the 30-39 years old age bracket. Whilst there are a number of contributing factors in each of these cases, nine times out of ten it is a lack of emotional support that serves as one of the leading causes.
True masculinity is not about bottling your emotions after a setback though. Showing how you are really feeling is not a sign of weakness – if you want to scream, shout and cry then go for it! They are natural emotions that every single person living on planet earth right now has experienced at some point in their life. Men should not be afraid to show their true feelings to the outside world.
But why do we feel the need to bottle everything up? Well growing up men are constantly told to “man up” or “take it like a man” – completely nonsense phrases that have no basis on anything other than encouraging us to hide our feelings. For some reason, showing a true emotion is a sign of weakness but keeping something bottled up (and damaging your long-term mental health in the process) is encouraged and what a ‘man’ should do.
Unfortunately this dangerous idea that men should simply bury their emotions is one that is instilled in us from a young age, and after a while it no longer requires any thought and just happens naturally. Many men believe that society will shun them if they dare to show public emotion, and with that in mind it is no wonder that depression and suicide rates are highest amongst the male population.
This belief is beginning to change though and it is no longer seen as a weak thing to show an emotion. If you are feeling upset, do not hide it away – talk to your friends and you will be amazed at just how much weight can be lifted from your shoulders by sharing how you are feeling with them. If you are not quite comfortable enough to do that, then take advantage of the many different outlets and professionals available for you to talk to.
Of course it is not just the people who are suffering who should be taking action. With so many men struggling with their mental health, chances are one of your friends might not be feeling as great as the front they are putting on suggests. Collectively, if we were more open about talking to our friends and sharing our own emotions with them, you’ll find they feel more comfortable enough to share what they are going through too.
A true man is one that is not afraid to express their emotions and ask for help. Sharing your emotions takes a great deal of courage and bravery, not weakness, so don’t be afraid of being brave!
If you are feeling lost and not sure how to turn your life around, then using the skills of a professional coach can help you to make small adjustments in your life and increase your happiness. Get in touch with me today to find out how I can help you achieve a happier and more fulfilled lifestyle.