Being a man is not easy. You’re supposed to lead, have direction, be integrated in terms of your emotions, be able to handle tests from feminine energy, balance priorities, find your direction in life, be strong, take care of your family…
Fuck, sound like a lot?
But women have to deal with similar stresses too, right? In fact “women suffer from depression at a much higher rate than men, [and] they would seem to be at higher risk for suicide. But women actually commit suicide about one-fourth as often as men” .
How does this seem plausible? The article continues: “Women process their experiences with friends. They discuss their feelings, seek feedback and take advice,” Murphy says. “They are much more likely to tell a physician how they feel and cooperate in the prescribed treatment. As a result, women get better treatment for their depression” .
Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the archaic belief that men “shouldn’t be pussies” and share their feelings with others. A social stigma against male depression and opening up exists in society. Men are supposed to be the immovable, unshakeable rocks. Yet as mentioned, examining the rates of suicide while comparing men and women displays extremely unsettling results:
Suicides Per 100,000 People Per Year .
Maybe men should keep locking everything inside and not talk about their issues.
With so many intense stresses being put on men, it is no surprise why male suicide rates have risen drastically over the past years. But, does this mean a man should go tell everyone about his problems, complain and whine constantly, and shut down? No. But a man does need a few other good men to support him through his struggles. Having people to talk to makes every struggle easier.
An example: This past week, a good friend of mine came over and was discussing his relationship. His girlfriend had to go back to school to complete her degree across the world, and he has been dealing with the feeling of separateness, not having his girlfriend in his room every night. He began to cry because of the strong emotions he felt in missing her, for all he shares with her. It is his first, long-term, committed relationship and they have shared much together.
This man crying in front of me did not seem weak at all in my mind… All it showed me is that he had powerful emotions towards his girl friend and that he was not afraid to show them to me… I can’t say I’d be able to do the same. And again, I repeat this MAN, not little wimp.
Does this mean a man has to cry to let things out? Again, no, not always. But a man needs people he can feel comfortable with expressing strong emotions such as depression and rage.
Why Not Open up to Women?
From my own personal experiences, the corroborations of others, and concepts like Ladder Theory (http://www.laddertheory.com), expressing emotions to someone carrying feminine energy will yield extremely different results compared to someone carrying masculine energy (to see a discussion of what exactly is meant by masculine and feminine energies, read David Deida’s Way of the Superior Man).
Let’s assume sexual attraction between the two parties is disregarded and they have no hidden interests in each other which would affect the exchange of information. (Here, men should ask themselves if they know females who they consider “friends” that they are not even the slightly sexually attracted to). Even so, the masculine and feminine energies take in information differently and provide different advice. i.e. Have you ever wonder why men will always try to suggest solutions to problems, while women tend to listen and empathize?
Perhaps it’s time for men to take two notes from women:
First and foremost, men need to talk out their issues and emotions.
Second, while I believe men need safe people who are men, these safe people need to learn from the way in which women listen to issues from other women. The safe people may offer solutions to the man expressing himself, but they should mostly listen, ask questions, and let him talk out his emotions. This way, the man is getting a bit of feminine energy listening, while also receiving strong masculine support, direction, and at times criticism.
If you do not think you have men you can open up to or your conversations with your friends just involve the game, perhaps you need to broaden your social circle. Or, perhaps you need to take the plunge and ask for them to listen to you.
If you are having trouble finding someone like this, get a therapist, a councillor, go to a religious figure you may trust, find a men’s support circle… But whatever you do, please find someone to talk to.
An important note here: If you are moving into extreme depression with suicidal thoughts, don’t fucking wait to find a guy to talk to. Talk to anyone.
What might you be discussing with your safe people?
– Issues with your relationship (respect and sex)
– Feelings of depression and loneliness
– Feeling lost or passionless in life
– Challenging life decisions
– Issues of self-esteem and self-worth
– Work-related stresses
– Asking for help or receiving feedback
And the list goes on to whatever is on your mind and you can’t shake off.
Currently, I have about three to five safe people. These are guys I know respect me, won’t judge me, and support me through all I do. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have them. They offer different view points and make me think and contemplate my feelings, and as well, get me out of my fucking head when I just can’t stop running around in there.
Find safe people. Vent. Talk about your emotions, how you felt when a woman rejected you, stagnation in life, not feeling like you are good enough… Let it out and get some support.
You’ll feel better.
Trust me. I know.
Guys: Do you have people you consider “safe”? How did you find them? What types of issues do you talk about? How have they helped you through challenging times?
Also: Light Way of Thinking now has a Facebook page and Twitter that will auto-update with new posts alerts for anyone who is subscribed. A mailing list is also coming in the future. Stay tuned :)!
Image credit: Jean Ann Fitzhugh
Good points, Noam. The ability to open up and share when issues are difficult and painful is hard to do. however it’s an important outlet. It gives comfort and support to the person in crisis. Keep up the good words!
Thanks for the encouragement, and glad you agree!
I think I need this. Thing is, I basically don’t have any friends, I am 35 and haven’t had anyone apart from my wife to open up to for a long time. Any recommendations on finding someone?
Hey Chuck, thanks for reading.
Finding safe people is hard enough, but first and foremost, friends! Everyone needs friends! Then, even if you have friends, you may not feel comfortable talking to them about deep issues. So here are some suggestions for finding friends, and then on finding safe people:
I don’t know if you have any hobbies or play any sports. But, these are prime way to find cool guys to hang out with. If you don’t have hobbies or play sports, start Google-ing and find things you’ve always wanted to do! Of course, being able to do them in groups is what we’re looking for.
For sports, you can join a gym (if you choose something like martial arts), or pick-up leagues at your local sports centre (something like the YCMA).
Also a GREAT thing to use is http://www.meetup.com. You can find guys who meet and do the same hobbies as you, or pick-up sport leagues!
Once you start meeting people through your hobbies and interests (which gives you an easy springboard for doing introductions and talking, in case you feel a bit nervous), you can start trying to go for a beer and getting to know them outside of the activities.
Obviously, the best thing would be if your friends become your safe people (see above). Otherwise some possible suggestions:
– A therapist
– A religious figure (Priest, Rabbi, etc.)
– Council through work (if applicable)
You should definitely reflect and be grateful you have a partner you can open up and talk to, but I think having some strong male support in your life will make you feel great.
Good luck Chuck, and keep me posted!
Hobbies is the go, better go back on that martial arts horse, thanks for the tips, will keep reading your site for sure.
Glad it helped, and thanks for the support, Chuck! Much appreciated 🙂