The Emotional Isolation of Being a Man
The strong, silent male — it’s an archetype that’s etched deep into societal consciousness.
In years past, men were seldom allowed to express emotions. The stoic soldier, the unwavering leader, the emotionless father — these roles were thrust upon them, leaving little room for emotional transparency.
Even in our modern, supposedly enlightened age, men continue to grapple with acceptance of their feelings.
The ‘real man’ myth persists, suggesting that ‘real’ men are invincible, unemotional, stoic. This skewed perception is not without repercussions.
In a recent study of men, a staggering 55% of respondents reported feeling lonely, with around 50% indicating a high level of distress concealment, meaning they hide how they feel.
This silent struggle is a call to action — for men to break free from the emotional shackles, and for society to provide the necessary support. Just like a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step, the undertaking of tackling male mental health must begin with a single truth that must be accepted:
The men in your life may not be as emotionally transparent as you believe them to be.
The Privilege of Emotional Supremacy
If you believe the men in your life are an open book, sharing all their feelings with you, it may be time for a reality check. Unfortunately, the odds are against this optimistic perception. Many men continue to grapple with emotional vulnerability, even within their closest relationships.
The sobering reality is underlined by the findings of the study cited above. It revealed that nearly half of the male respondents admitted to never seeking help when struggling. More worryingly, 35% shared experiences of suicidal thoughts or self-injury, recurring on a weekly basis. Even the refuge of companionship was marred, with 42% confessing to hazardous drinking or active alcohol use disorders.
One might wonder, why are these alarming figures so persistent? The answer isn’t straightforward. These issues are deeply entwined with societal conditioning, where boys are urged from a tender age…