“Man up.” That’s the ‘advice’ that some guys end up hearing from their family and friends when they’re not acting ‘manly’ enough because they’re showing ‘too many’ emotions. And, frankly, it’s the kind of advice that ends up doing more harm than good. Unconditional love and support are what strengthens a person; toxic masculinity is what leads to real problems in the future.
A teenager who goes by the name imaginehavingIFunny on Reddit shared his story about how he cried after not getting into a soccer team. It was a pretty big blow to him and, naturally, he was upset. And while his mom and his sisters comforted him, his dad had a different attitude to the entire situation. A big fight followed full of accusations of the teen supposedly not being enough of a man.
You can read through the 16-year-old’s full story below, dear Pandas, and be sure to share your thoughts and opinions about what happened. Toxic masculinity can have a whole host of negative effects on mental health, including leading to depression. Be sure to read on for Bored Panda’s interview about how to tackle cases of extreme depression and feelings of isolation below.
A dad told his son to “man up” and stop crying because he didn’t get into a soccer team
Image credits: kate_sept2004 (not the actual photo)
The teenager’s dad scolded him for “not doing enough” to get on the soccer team. He then went on to give the teen advice on how to be more athletic and take care of his diet more, even though he was already following that advice.
What’s more, the dad then went on to say that he never cried like his son when he was young, that it was “stupid” to cry over a thing like this, and that it was time that he ‘manned up.’ What followed was a long argument and afterward, the teen ignored his dad for a week straight. Reddit overwhelmingly supported the teen, saying that he did nothing wrong for showing his dad that he was upset with how he reacted.
There are some very dangerous mental health concerns linked to toxic masculinity. HealthLine states that men adhering to toxic masculinity tend to harm their physical and mental health, which contributes to poor sleep and depression.
Men, just like women, experience depression, anxiety, and mental illness. However, men are traditionally told to keep their emotions in check and to not share their problems with others, as it’s seen as being ‘weak.’ As a result of the stigma around addressing mental health, men are much more likely to die by suicide than women, according to VeryWellMind.
Taking care of your mental health is incredibly important
Bored Panda spoke about depression, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of isolation with Emma Morton from the University of British Columbia. Emma told Bored Panda that it’s vital that you seek professional support if you’re not certain that you can keep yourself safe when experiencing suicidal thoughts.
“Like any other health crisis, there may be times when you need the support of a doctor or health professional to navigate the situation safely. However, it can be hard to know what to do when you are in the middle of overwhelming and distressing thoughts, so coming up with a safety plan ahead of time with important phone numbers (such as a crisis hotline or trusted friend), ways to keep the environment safe (e.g., removing means of suicide or substances that can increase your risk like alcohol), and strategies that can help distract or soothe you is important,” Emma explained how people ought to act in times of crisis.
According to Emma, something like making a physical ‘hope box’ full of things that are soothing or distracting can help. Something that you could add inside are notes with reasons to keep living. What’s more, thinking about how you would help your friends through depression and difficult patches in life can give you yourself reasons to keep going despite how difficult life might be at the moment.
“In the long run, working with a psychologist or other mental health professionals to identify healthy ways to cope with stress and develop more flexible and self-compassionate thought patterns is key to maintaining good mental health,” Emma said that working through mental health issues, whatever their source, is a long-term project.