As a man, I know that men have a reputation for not talking openly about our “troubles”. When I ask other men why this is so, they say that we have a multitude of sayings that either go off in our heads or we actually hear others saying to us, when we admit to battling:
Toughen the hell up
Suck it up
Boys don’t cry
Don’t be a girl
Have another drink and get over it
Do you need your mommy?
Etc, etc, etc.
On the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride website they have this to say – “Too many men are toughing it out and struggling alone. There’s no shame in checking in your own mental well-being, and those close to around you. Our friends over at Movember have produced some handy guides, that might help take the sting out of broaching the subject.”
There are things we have been taught – like catching a ball, riding a bicycle, saying Bulawayo in a burp and drinking a beer while upside down. Really useful stuff when battling with a life issue or when another man in your circle of friends is.
The time has come to add a new type of skill into the mix – speaking out, touching base with, the awareness to notice worrying signs and most of all the ability to make it safe for people to open up.
See these new skills as a protective layer – like a helmet – should you fall a helmet can offer vital protection. Being open to the big conversations is the helmet – should things be getting particularly difficult to cope with, the openness required to talk will offer vital protection.
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator – The Ripple Effect
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