Growing up, most boys are taught to keep their feelings private or to bottle them up entirely. However, men are now starting to realize the detrimental effects this way of thinking can have on their mental health.
Sadly, due to this outdated way of thinking, male suicide is on the rise all over the globe. According to reports made by the BBC, the male suicide rate is 3.5-5 times higher than it is for women. This is mostly down to men being unable to speak out about how they feel for fear of looking weak.
And that’s exactly what urged one teenage boy to recently stop talking to his father for an entire week after he told him to “man up.”
Recently, teen Redditor, imaginehavingIFunny, shared a similar situation he had with his father.
He explained that after not making the soccer team he went home, and despite trying his best to cover up his emotions, his parents eventually realized something was wrong.
He tried to talk to his father about how he was feeling, but instead of comforting his son, he got irritated with him.
This led to the father criticizing the boy for not making the soccer team, after which he lectured him about his diet, while the boy became increasingly more upset.
“Finally, he says that he finds it stupid that I’m crying over it and that I need to man up,” the teen said. He then mentioned that when he was a boy he wasn’t allowed to cry.
Understandably, the argument hit deep for the boy, as he chose not to speak to his father for a full week.
The boy’s mother tried to get him to break his silence, but he was adamant to teach his father a lesson. And Reddit users were full of support for the boy, and his stance against toxic masculinity…
One Reddit user wrote: “He’s trying to push his internalized toxic masculinity on you. Crying is healthy, expressing your feelings is healthy. Sometimes you don’t get things you want, like making a team or getting your dream job, and it’s okay to be upset and even cry over it.”
Another commented: “His behavior is why we have so many men punching walls and screaming instead of sitting down with their wives and discussing their feelings. His attitude is toxic and unhealthy, and if he keeps it up, there will be a wedge between both of you that will be difficult, if even possible, to fix.”
Fathers should actually be encouraging their sons to express emotions according to expert Emma Morton at the University of British Columbia: “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 explained to Bored Panda.
It’s about time men were able to express their emotions without the fear of being chastised for it.