People Share The Best Examples Of 'Positive Masculinity'
Bermix Studio/Unsplash

We spend a lot of time talking about the toxic aspects of masculinity, but there's so much more to being "manly" than anger and weird smells.

Reddit user Acolyte_000 asked:

"We hear a lot about toxic masculinity, but what are your favourite examples of positive masculinity?"

There's stuff like figure skating, tea parties, and warm hugs - take a look at what we mean.

Gym Bros

"Gym bros randomly appearing to spot or encourage is hilarious and positive."


"I was trying to figure out a machine at the gym, when I was 19. I was chubby, female (still female, fyi) and wearing glasses. My gym clothes was just sweatpants."

"I did NOT look like I belonged, and I didn’t feel like it either."

"So yeah, I’m standing there looking all confused when this huge gym bro comes over and asks me if I need help. I say yes, and he proceeds to explain to me how the machine works. He is not condescending or anything, just real nice."

"Gyms still freak me out, but it meant a lot to me that this dude saw I looked confused and went out of his way to help me. Small things like that always make me feel like humanity is alright."

- simulatislacrimis

Working Out Lifting Weights GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy

"I feel like I owe it to the world."

"I was once an overweight 19 year old trying to figure how to gym. I've had so many random people help me along the way including professional strongmen, bodybuilders, elite powerlifters, and people with decades of experience."

"90% of the people I've interacted with at the gym have been extremely helpful and thankful."

"Over a decade of training and it's apparent to most that I can lift some big weight. I make it a point to help the younger lifters. Most of the time it really makes their day, they learn something new and are appreciative."

- OreoPunchDonky

"I’m a woman who usually lifts solo, and a good guy friend is a hardcore gym bro who texts fantastic advice (bonus - usually only when I ask for it!) and encouragement. That’s awesome by itself."

"But once I joined him and his friends for leg day and witnessed super positive masculinity that struck me as so cool - the way they hyped each other up, encouraged/spotted each other to 'give me one more, come on you got this!!!' and congratulated each other after was just so pure and cool to watch."

"It’s not that women don’t do something similar, I think what made me really notice this was just that it was the different masculine style of doing it? It was awesome."

- GonePlaid2

Buying Drinks

"My husband switching seats on an airline with a teenage girl being harassed by an old creep."

"He's very large, bearded, and wears metal t-shirts. He plopped down next to creeper and said 'you said you were buying drinks?' "

- sagegreenpaint78

"F*ck yeah! Metalheads might look scary, but you'd be hard pressed to find a more friendly and welcoming bunch!"

- vidarino

"As a mom of 2 daughters, I appreciate this so much. What a great guy!"

- Sleeplesshelley

Raising One

"I fell asleep on the sofa after a really hard day, but I was sort of dozing, not fully asleep."

"My 16 year old son came into the room, saw me sleeping, and started tiptoeing around, shut the blinds, turned the lights off and covered me in a blanket because he was going to use the backyard gym which required a window to be open for an extension lead and he didn't want me to get cold."

"It was just so thoughtful and did surprise me a bit because he normally has tunnel vision."

"He's also really stepped up the last few weeks, I've been on sick leave, I'm a nurse and got attacked by a patient so have my hand in a soft cast for ligament damage."

"He's cooked pretty much every evening. He has also been meal planning for the week. I am married, but it's turned into a bit of 'us time' and he's really enjoying learning to cook."

"I'm so proud of him and told him this the other day and we had a huge hug. I love him so much."

- teflonfairy

Figure Skating Fans

"I’m a figure skater."

"We share the ice with hockey players, and I cannot get over how nice it feels when hockey players get rowdy and bang on the glass and cheer when you’re doing something cool, the same way a hockey fan would at an exciting hockey game."

"It’s hilarious but it’s also confidence inducing."

"When it first happened, I thought they were trolling me. I just rolled my eyes and continued my practice. But when I got off the ice, I was swarmed with questions like:"





"It’s wholesome as f*ck. They’re genuinely intrigued by this sport."

"A bunch of dudes who make their own sport even more entertaining by beating the sh*t out of each other have no shame in getting rowdy to hype up their figure skating counterparts."

- Preskewl_Prostitewt

"I know how skating works and just jumping and spinning like you do is voodoo, at least to me."

"I get pucks shot at my head, but what you do seems a lot more dangerous! And you make it look good, it's really impressive."

- figaaro

Celebrate Ice Hockey GIF by NHLGiphy

5 Minutes To Get Some Pants On

"Using pickup trucks to help others out."

"Need help moving? In the Ditch? Stuck in the snow? 'Gimme 5 mins to throw some pants on and I'm there.' "

- Kate_be_my_GF

"A lot of guys around me just drive around in their pickups during snowstorms to pull out people who are stuck. Or they carry chainsaws with them to cut trees that are blocking the roadways."

- anoncop1

"That's my circle! I've had to leave in the middle of the night several times for random... 'dude I need help.' "

"My favorite to date was 'You're not going to believe this but I am stuck, bring your floor jack and chainsaw..' "

"He was literally stuck on top of a tree stump."

- cloudywater1

Lift Like A Leader

"I had a boss that was a real muscle head, but in a good way. Every time someone was having a bad/rough time he'd suggest we take a long lunch and go with him to the gym."

"He did this with multiple co-workers, taught a lot of us how to properly squat and deadlift."

"This was like 7 years ago, and I still squat and deadlift regularly, where as before I would simply just use the treadmill and maybe the circuit room at the gym."

"Not saying I'm in peak physical condition, but certainly in a better spot after him helping."

- Moots_point

"That's not a boss dude, that's a leader."

- Aguythatdidthething

"Exercise really is meditation."

"You get so focused on the movement, on the exertion, that it takes your focus, and your thoughts are no longer on what was previously stressing you."

- MarkToaster

"That is dope. Exercise is such a great stress reliever and there’s no reason that 'work' needs to only take place in the office."

"If a manager needs to talk something through with their worker, why not do it on the bench or at the rack?"

"Me and my former boss might have had better discussions if we’d done that rather than sitting 1:1 in his office with me uncomfortable as hell."

- juancake511

Manly Dads

"Manly dads who patiently sit on the floor and have a tea party with their toddler daughters."

- marcus_borealis

"Speaking from experience, it's relaxing as f*ck."

"Lets me forget that the world is on my shoulders while I just sip some tea with My daughter, Barbie, and the LOL dolls."

- BellEnd1980

"I’m 6’3 200lbs but I have a toddler niece that loves tea parties."

"If she puts a tiara on my head and tells me we’re having a tea party , you bet I’m going deep into character as Mrs. Nesbitt!"

"It'll be the best tea party of your life. Trust me."

"Also it helps when there’s young men around. I have little brothers and I think it’s important to show that you can do things not perceived as masculine. And vice versa for women."

- Sammsquanchh

you need to calm down queer eye GIF by Taylor SwiftGiphy

Bro Hug

"In high school one time, a guy gave his guy best friend a birthday gift. Guy 2 loved it so much he gave guy 1 the biggest hug in the middle of class."

"I think everyone’s hearts melted. All guys should be that confident / allowed to be that confident."

- 2curmudgeony

"Positive friendships between men are SO important. Men being able to share their feelings and navigate their experiences with other men is too rare."

- shandyism

"I got my homie a succulent for his birthday!"

- ThaDFunkee

Hairy Sweaty Guardian Angels

"A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I was a 13-year-old girl alone on a Greyhound bus from Florida to Georgia."

"I was on that stupid bus for 2 days. For the first 4 hours, the creepiest hobo in the universe sat next to me, randomly trying to grab me - who was 13 years old and alone on the bus."

"Then these two guys who were going all the way to Washington State and were going to be on that bus for 4 days to get to a logging job, boarded the bus. One was a 17-year-old kid and the other one was a 45 year old man."

"They ousted the hobo and sat with me the rest of the way, the 17-year-old sharing stories about growing up in Miami in a very intolerant Latino household, and the 45-year-old Man spent that time showing me pictures of his daughters and telling me all about them and how hard he was working to make sure they had everything they needed."

"They made sure I got dinner that night, they made sure I got breakfast the next morning, and they made sure that I safely made it from the bus to the main campus of Georgia tech University, for the stupid 'Future Engineering' teen conference I had to go to."

"That trip could have been a horror story for me at the tender age of 13. I do not know how in the world my mother thought this was safe in any way, to send me to Georgia by myself on a Greyhound bus at 13."

"Those two dudes were, to put it simply, my hairy and sweaty guardian angels."

"Norwegian blonde dude and Latino kid, it has been decades since this went down, but I still remember you both and always will."

- FlamingJuneinPonce

Reddit loves a good man and now we have examples of just what that means.

You've heard their stories, now it's your turn. Tell us about your brush with positive masculinity in the comments!

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But we also need to pay attention to all that follows.

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Redditor Xanax_Sprite wanted everyone to open up about what things people can do that immediately change one's opinion of a person's character, not for the better.

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Bad Behavior

rude bon qui qui GIFGiphy

"Intentional embarrassment. When someone brings something up in front of a group to humiliate someone else."


Man Up

"Not taking responsibility for their actions."


"Even worse. people who make excuses for their mistakes, no matter how bluntly you point it out to them that this is their shortcoming. Man up and admit you make a mistake. Stop telling me A happened then B happened so C happened. we are here to work, not tell each other make believe stories."


Be Quiet

"Someone who interrupts a serious conversation to make it about them."


"Being subject to that infuriating s**t was what eventually inspired me to listen to people more, especially regarding heavier topics. Sometimes people just need to be heard and held, and it isn't fair for them to expose their vulnerabilities only to have you dismiss them by trying to make their suffering about you."


Where are they?

"How they speak about a person who is not present in the conversation."


"One of the most important lessons my father taught me..."

"Don't speak about a person if they're not in the room."

"They don't have a representative in the room and especially if your words get back to them and they can't say 'I know, he already had that convo with me.' I've earned a rep for not speaking behind people's backs to the point where when someone claimed I did, that person called them a liar. Pops sucked but I thank him for that lesson."


Be Consistent

Jennifer Lawrence Reaction GIFGiphy



"100. People can change their opinions, but not flip flop regularly."


I can't with hypocrites. My life's biggest pet peeve.

Be clean

Season 4 Episode 22 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy



"Yep, had a coworker once who spit on the floor inside."

"It was a warehouse-type building, but still. This particular guy also left cigarette butts on the floor inside and dumped a dog on the business property. Needless to say, he didn't last long here. Some people are just really rude and stupid."


Say Sorry

"Had a friend who never, ever apologized for anything or really took any responsibility. Even in situations which were funny and non-serious, he’d always talk his a** out of it (in a jokey matter). But when some s**t hit the fan, that guy turned into one of the scariest, manipulative and aggressive people I’ve met that would rather die than take accountability for the things he’s done."

"And for which there were many witnesses and evidence against him. Moral of the story, if you know someone who won’t say sorry or admit they did something wrong for even the least serious things, run, because when they actually do something seriously bad it’s just gonna get real ugly."


Face 2 Face

"Lying to my face. There’s no going back in my eyes because I will never trust you. Secrets are fine and dandy. That’s not quite the same as straight up lying. A direct example is people lying about their family dying to get out of work or when this older woman in her 40’s tried to lie about cleaning up her work station when she left it for me to clean."


“as a joke”

"Being mean to animals."


"Even when people joke about being mean to animals. I have a cat I love dearly and the number of comments I get about harming cats because people don’t like them 'as a joke' is infuriating and not funny, Ken."


"I include poorly training their pets in this. It’s neglect/negligence and it’s abuse."


Eyes Up

Call Me Lol GIF by Black PrezGiphy

"When they’re looking at their phones, not paying any attention to you when you’re trying to have a conversation with them."


It doesn't take much to change an impression. Let's do better.