Counselling, support and information for all relationships 
That is the question we need to be focusing on as a species. On International Men’s Day I am calling out bloke’s specifically. 
You know how it goes; 
 
“You ok?” 
 
“Yeah, you?” 
 
“All Good” 
 
[Insert specific generic comments based on mutual interest here] 
 
Hang Up 
 
With the world as it is what is the likelihood that anyone is “All Good” right now? 
 
“There is value in mental health promotion strategies which encourage and support men to openly resist, and challenge, the confines of masculinity in relation to their social connections with others, such as demonstrating how men can change their practice in terms of social relationships, by actively crossing unwritten boundaries and reaching out to other men to pursue emotionally supportive relationships” * 
 
Studies have shown, as a collective gender, we really struggle to talk to other men about anything meaningful, especially our own emotions. 
 
A harrowing fact: 
 
Women are twice as likely to be on antidepressants compared to men ** 
 
Men are THREE times more likely to die by suicide *** 
 
Now that’s enough of that. What can we do about it?! That’s where “No, Really?” comes in. When you get the usual “All good” or “Living the dream” ask “No, Really?” and mean it. It is time we opened up and removed the stigma that we can’t talk about our emotions. No one is going to do it for us, so it is up to us. And this is all ages. 
 
Boys don’t Cry – Yes they do, it’s a healthy response to being upset, grieving or pain 
 
Be a Real Man – What does that even mean? 
 
Man Up – Normally meaning stop being emotional and shut off your emotions. That leads to anger and aggression as to some, that is the only acceptable emotion to display 
 
That’s Gay – A personal hated phrase of mine as its both homophobic and ridiculous. This needs to stop. Asking how someone is or giving a friend a hug is not gay and alienates those that are or think they may be 
 
Men are stronger than women – This again is just wrong, there may be some anthropological basis to saying men are by default stronger than women ON AVERAGE. But we don’t just mean physical strength do we? Again it sets that expectation that men HAVE to be stronger. So are less likely to open up. 
 
We need to stop with these stereotypes – and that stops with every single man out there. 
 
We can’t go to the pub or go for a kickabout right now so just give someone a call and ask the follow up question. 
 
Almost everyone has Smart phones or laptops or some other device. Have a drink over Zoom, have some games over discord, share a meal with mates over Teams. 
 
It’s only weird if we make it weird right? 
 
*National Center for Biotechnology Information (US) 
** NHS Business Services Authority 
*** Samaritans 
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