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Don't Pressure Me, Man - A Male Mental Health Perspective: Part 1

Society places many pressures and points of stress on the male gender all of the time. Everywhere we look, the men have incredible amounts of pressure to “live up” to what society expects or thinks the male gender should act, feel, or do. One might be surprised that there are just as many societal and personal pressures on the male gender role, as there are female. It is often overlooked for the simple reason that the male gender is not supposed to feel pressure and perform up to a perceived standard every single day, every single time. This is simply not true. 

If you are a caregiver, your peace of mind needs to be first and foremost. If you are unable to perform your daily tasks, you are neither helping the person you are giving care to, nor helping yourself become a stable caregiver. Mentally, there are many avenues to explore on how to maintain peace of mind; these can be done in a group or solitary, but I have found that a mix of both can provide great positive benefits. 

Spending time with anyone is about sharing common bonds. What are some of the things that you or your friend likes to do or is interested in? Focus on what makes that person happiest when in the “zone”. The zone, so to speak, is that place where the brain feels it is elated and makes the body feel awesome. When the mind feels good, the body will feel good. 

Like sports? Watch a game! Sometimes it’s the comfortability of inside the home, or perhaps you might feel some social anxiety. In this case, go to the store and pick up some snacks, or order some take-out. But invite someone to join you. If you are a caregiver, you have the potential to help someone take that step forward. Sports bars can often bring out some social aspects of comradery, which can be fun. Any of these can be done in a small group or even one-on-one. It’s about what feels safe and fun, not over-whelming.

Play some video games! Watch some movies at home or go to a movie! Either of these offer great escapism. A short while to escape to something fantastical is a good and easy and often positive way to bring peace of mind.

The best part about all of these social scenarios is that there is room for conversation. The opportunity to talk in a relaxed environment should be open and inviting in any situation.

Ever wanted to learn something more about a hobby or a general interest? Take an online class! I took an online class once and it led me to an eventual certificate in creative writing. I took another online class several years later and I eventually became certified in Irish History. Perhaps someday I’ll learn what to do with either of them, but for now, I can say that I am proud to have accomplished something in an environment set by my own parameters; parameters I can fall back on if I start to feel stressed.

Anything, point blank, that is said to be for one gender and not the other, is pure and simple gender shaming. There’s no place for it. It’s going to happen, but like Jay-Z says sometimes you just have to brush your shoulder off. Do not be afraid to show or share your feelings, guys. Human is human; that will never change. Feelings are shared by all genders, this is a biological fact. You are not weak if you show them, and you will not be emasculated. It hurts more to you and those around you if you do not express feelings, because harboring them on the inside will bring about the negative feelings we are trying to avoid or clear up.

The following article has some great points: 
http://www.alternet.org/story/147779/5_things_society_unfairly_expects_of_men

This website also attempts to bridge many gaps in the male societal pressures:  http://www.psychologyofmen.org/male-psychology-basics/

Read Part 2 of this post here and read the rest of Greg’s posts for IBPF here. 

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