Being a man can hold a lot of fear and uncertainty on its own. While they are expected to not show emotion, and are forced into the cycle of toxic masculinity, they have to deal with a number of internal struggles. Here are some of them from the men of Reddit.
u/Gullsko asked: Men of reddit, what's a thing that can be scary about being a man?
Middle age is scary.
It is terrifying how lonely middle age is. I can absolutely understand why so many middle-aged men commit suicide. I'm actually trying hard to get out and meet people, but it's difficult. I'm an outgoing guy, and it is hard to form friendships with other guys. Then I imagine how all the socially awkward men just don't even bother any more.
Why is this even an expectation?Giphy
Being expected to make the first move always gets me super anxious. I hate the idea of misreading a situation, or making a woman uncomfortable, so I tend to "disregard" a lot of obvious hints when I first start seeing someone.
This is so sad.
When I was a teenage boy, my sister fell into a river. My dad put his hand on my back and pushed me in after her, saying "go get her". Her leg was stuck on something but I got it free and she swam back to shore. I, however, was pinned by branches under the water that had somehow gotten around me (there was a whole tree under the surface). I remember looking up to the water's surface and seeing the silhouettes of my family members walk away from the edge and thinking "no! wait!".
Long story short, my fight-or-flight system kicked in and I scrambled as hard as I could to free myself and eventually got free and came up to take the best breath ever. When I was crawling back on the sand, my dad, sister and brother were about 100 yards down the bank. He turned and said, "c'mon!" and I hurried after while gagging on water. That about sums up my experience so far.
People just expect you to be "okay" in obviously dangerous situations. I knew guys who drank themselves to death because liquor is easy but saying "I need help" is hard.
That's f*cking disgusting.
My last relationship I got cheated on. She (my ex) spread rumours that I was abusive and violent, to hide the fact she's an unloyal person.
I had to find out through her best friend messaging me asking me if it was true, because I seemed like "the nicest person", and she wanted to know the truth. I explained and she was shocked. I was shocked. I didn't think she'd stoop lower than she had done already.
I'm lucky no one took her serious enough to contact the authorities.
Such busy bodies.Giphy
I am pretty young, but somehow, this sh*t still happens. I was playing with my sisters at the park, and we were playing tag. At one point, this middle aged lady comes up to my sisters and asks if they know me, and how they know me and whatever. I come up to her and say, those are my sisters, and she just gives me the stink eye, ignores me, and turns back to my sisters and keeps interrogating them. It was only after my mom came to see what was going on, that the lady left.
BTW, I'm in middle school, and have been mistaken for being 11 years old, so I don't know what that lady thought I was doing.
Self-awareness is good.
I don't know if it is actually "scary" for me, but awkward and something I overthink.
I am over 6'5", can kind of come off as intimidating do to that alone, but am really just a teddy bear. At my job, I have to walk through a dark alley in a downtown area, to get to the parking lot.
Lots of times, there are women walking back to go to their cars as well, and then my lumbering loner self is walking behind them. I feel awkward and scared they are going to think I am going to hurt them or am going to rob them or something. I'm just trying to get home!
I follow farther behind, always act as inconspicuous as possible, which probably makes me more suspicious, get on my phone like I am texting or act like I am calling someone so they can here I am far behind them and not stalking up on them.
Maybe it's just my social awkwardness or the fact there is a lot of crime that happens in our town, but I don't want to be seen as a threat by people I would never hurt.
Everyone expect so much of you and feel they owe you nothing. You must provide, you must defend, you must be solid as a rock and yet know how to deal with people in the most respectful and submissive way otherwise you will be the jerk.
In all situations if you are a man you will never be the victim at first, and if you are shame on you because you were not strong enough. You are responsible for everyone but no one needs to worry about you. Two man fighting? Both stupid, violent man just doing toxic men things. The reason for the fight does not matter, there are no victims here.
And then the loneliness. No one wants to be friends with you. I mean, as far as we know any man is a potential rapist, robber or killer, right? It is OK to discriminate man because they can handle it like a man, can't they?
On your own.Giphy
You're pretty much on your own.
Less of your problems are taken seriously, you're seen as weak if you can't sort them out. You're expected to throw yourself in harm's way at a moments notice.
The courts look at you less favourably, so does a large portion of society. You're seen as a potential rapist and child molester. I love kids but God forbid I smile at one in public.
You're the one who has to be able to sort everything out, even if you sometimes feel like just curling up in a ball and crying.
This is too real.
Speaking on behalf of my husband: the sheer expectation that he can shoulder everyone's stress. If you are a man with emotional intelligence, people will simultaneously act like you are both a rare unicorn, and that you must take that emotional intelligence and merge it with the "MEN CAN SHOULDER IT ALL" mentality.
This means he's utilized way too often by too many family and friends who don't make any emotional effort. He's asked to manage everyone's drama.
He doesn't, but the sheer expectation that he won't burn out simply because he's a man is hard to watch.
Not a loser.
Your whole identity is wrapped up in your job. You weren't born to be a doctor, lawyer or entrepreneur? You must be some kind of loser.
Your industry is laying people off? You're definitely a loser. Your fault for choosing the wrong major twenty years ago.
A horrible expectation.Giphy
The expectation that you have to deal with violent or dangerous situations. When I was a teenager at school, a guy in our class took a girl hostage with a knife in an unoccupied room. Our teacher was a woman, and literally grabbed me by the collar and shoved me into the room telling me to get the knife off of him. He attacked me, and in the chaos the girl managed to get out of the room. I couldn't though. I was stuck in the room with him with a cut on my chest. But it was ok though! Don't worry, because the girl had gotten to safety. The teacher even got a reward from the cops for her "quick thinking".
Even now, as a doctor, when a dangerous patient comes in its automatically given to me (the other registrars in the unit I work in are mostly women) and I get judged for having to have security with me.
I'm allowed to be afraid of being assaulted too.
Reading through these responses it's pretty overwhelmingly clear that most of these issues are caused by toxic masculinity and our societies expectations of masculinity which are also toxic. Many women are afraid of men because so many guys are downright predatory. That causes them to suspect every man because sometimes you just can't tell.
Almost every woman has had experiences with guys like this and it's frickking terrifying. So guys, it's not your fault, and it's not girls' fault, it's the fault of those douchebags and the people who raised them.
It starts young.
Always having women being scared of you.
I may only be in 6th grade but I'm a pretty big guy, I'm 5'10 and I was walking to my brother's car (I go to a K-12 School and my brother goes here too) and there was this small-er chick walking in front of me and she looked scared out of her head, every time she looked back she had an even more scared look on her face until we finally got to the turn and she just turn around and started walking the opposite direction until I got to my brother's car.
This isn't even the first time this has happened, people in my grade are scared of me, you can tell by their facial expressions, we even have to wear uniforms at my school and they don't make them in my size so they can see how much of a fat*ss I am. I really feel that this is going to affect me a lot in my next stages of life too.
Getting rejected sucks.Giphy
Rejection, always rejection. You are always expected to put yourself out there, be "The Man" and eventually you take the initial risk, and the higher the risk the worse you feel once rejected.
It can happen to men too.
That we can basically be accused of rape or sexual assault with zero evidence & almost every time, people will side with the accuser. It's scary that some random stranger, or even someone you know, can get pissed off, accuse you of something you never did, but others will rally to their side in support while demonizing you before any facts or proof are even provided.
On the flip side, if you're raped or assaulted as a guy, nobody believes you or they have the mentality that you "wanted it" or are always horny 24/7 so you should feel blessed/fortunate someone wanted to f*ck you so bad. That shit's traumatizing & honestly makes me sick...coincidentally when things like that happen, people (especially women) wonder why guys shy away from dating or won't get physical/intimate with them.
We've all said something stupid, let's not lie to ourselves.
It's okay to say something stupid. It showcases the real person on the inside, that we're all flawed, imperfect, and made of cooky combinations of words that don't necessarily line up to make sense. Sometimes we're nervous in a situation, other times we're just hitting 'Quick Reply' in our brains and what comes out doens't work, but whatever the reason, you for sure are going to remember it, late at night, for the rest of your life.
What is the stupidest thing that ever came out of your mouth?
You may not have to change your home address because of these moments, but you should probably reconsider how many public outings you go to afterwards.
Should Probably Never Shop At That Store Again
"When the cashier said "Have a nice day", and I replied with "No, thanks".
"Background: I wasnt thinking straight that day, and thought they said "Do you want a bag"
That's. How. Twins. Work?
"Her: the twins are 3 years old"
"Me: Both of them?"
"Oh no this unearthed a memory i had buried from kindergarten lmao"
"We had a set of twins in our classroom and once on their birthday party I said "your brother got such a cool party, i hope yours is nice like this too" to one of them and he was like "yeah, this one"
"4 year old me was not a very bright kid"
That's. How. Death. Works...
"Watching the documentary 'The Last Dance' when a Kobe interview pops up -"
"Me: "Wow, they must have filmed this before Kobe died."
"My wife: "Yeah, obviously…."
The cringe comes out of nowhere, and you're not even sure how you were able to ask something so incredibly stupid, but here you are. Lounging in the stupid air.
You Should Have Asked What "Nothing" Tastes Like Next
"In my head I was wondering what one pound of water would look like in terms of volume. What I said out loud however was "How much does a pound of water weigh?"
Keep Up With Me
"A couple of months ago, I got up and drove to work as usual. Later, my girlfriend texted me from home to ask me if she had left her sunglasses in my car. I told her I wasn't sure, but she could grab my spare key and go check."
"In my car."
"Which I had driven to work."
Black Is White, White Is Black
"I don't understand why people place bets on who wins, why not just place bets on who loses?"
"Yeah took me a minute to register what I said..."
And then there's these stories, where the person is probably better off cutting off any human contact henceforth going forward. These are rough to get through, folks.
Should Probably Have A Chat With HR After This
"I was about 4 months into my current job, feeling confident being fresh off the contract-to-hire period, now moved into a coveted full time role. While walking back to my office from the morning kanban I was stopped by my boss, head peeking out of the office:"
"Boss: "Hey TheMediator, do you have a sec?"
"Me: "For you, I've got lots of secs!"
"Boss: wide-eyes, mouth dropped"
"If you're curious why this was incredibly stupid/embarrassing, try saying the phrase "lots of secs" out loud. Preferably, not to your boss though."
You Don't Need College Anymore. Go Home. Bury Your Head In The Sand.
"In my freshman year of college I was dorming next door to a couple cute girls. About a week into the first semester one girl walked from the coed showers to her dorm room in her towel still wet. We were both unlocking our doors to get in our rooms when she looks at me and says…"
"I know I look stunning…(sarcastically)"
"To which I replied, "don't flatter yourself."
"I had to slid a note under her door explaining I was tongue tied as she was beautiful and I meant to say "don't be hard on yourself, you look great." (Or something to that nature). We became good friends."
It's In The Descriptor?
"Chatting to a homeless guy on the street and he told me he was feeling unwell. I told him he should be at home, resting."
"It's been 20 years and the memory of it still brings me out in a cold sweat."
Oh Good Lord...
"Asked my friend how his mom was doing at his moms funeral."
"Jesus Christ this is the worst one on this thread. What was his response?"
"He looked at me and then the casket and kind of smirked. I awkwardly started to try and explain and just said "I'm an idiot. You know I love you. Talk to you in a bit." He makes fun of me now and I can't stop laughing. It's a positive painful memory."
Own up to your mistakes. You'll garner more respect by acknowledging the awkward things you say, however, it's perfectly fine to laugh about it in the moment. That's probably the easiest way to escape the deep, deep shame.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
The advice "fake it til you make it," though often said with at least a hint of sarcasm, does carry quite a bit of wisdom.
By simply putting one foot in front of the other, weathering the chaos of not knowing what's happening as you learn as fast as possible, we can find ourselves further than we expected.
Once we're there, reaping the fruits of all our "faking," we somehow begin to take on a new identity in people's eyes They assume we've always been in control and known what was going on. They defer to us for advice.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. So we keep on faking it.
Redditor espectro11 asked:
"What's your 'I don't know, I didn't think I'd get this far' moment?"
Many Redditors discussed their experiences navigating the intimidating environment of job applications, interviews, and offers.
Oh Right, Getting Paid
"I gave my resume to fancy private school (I'm a teacher, but new to the field) and I didn't expect a call back. But they called me today to ask my expected salary and I said 'I don't know what the average is. Let me Google it.' "
"Ya girl was not prepared."
"When I went for a walk-in interview looking like crap and they hired me on the spot. I get they were hiring for a new store, but they up and said 'if you want the job it's yours, when can you start?' "
"Deada** didn't think I'd make it that far."
Outside the Box
"Years ago I was applying to a bunch of copywriting jobs and feeling frustrated because I wasnt hearing back from any of the places I was applying to."
"It was especially frustrating because I was putting in all this time on cover letters and I felt like nobody was even reading them, so I said, 'Fu** it, I'm gonna write one that is more me.' I thought it was a dumb idea and never imagined that it would work, but somehow it did."
"I applied with this cover letter and the subject line "Copywriter: Will Work for Beer" to a job that I was very underqualified for. It managed to catch the eye of the headhunter for the ad agency and was enough to get me an interview. Shortly after that I was hired and ended up working there for a few years, but I remember thinking on my first day, 'I can't believe that actually worked.' "
Just Not the Right Fit
"An interview at Google. The 20 years younger than me was describing the peer review system."
"I responded with 'Jesus, that sounds awful.' "
"I did not get the job."
Others also shared experiences that centered on their working lives. But these stories weren't about being hired or interviewed.
These were accounts of long-developing success stories that they never would have predicted.
A Winding Road
"My entire legal career"
"I have four degrees and a 10 year career in commerical litigation. I just wrapped up a $200mil trusts lawsuit."
"I started at uni doing theatre and stand up comedy. I have no fu**ing idea where I turned to get here."
"Started at a very small company doing sales straight out of college. I went about messaging big corporate players (who obviously would never do business with us since our size) and was laughed at by my new colleagues for even trying."
"2 weeks later My boss was asking me what we (a team of 6) should say on the conference call with Toshiba Buyers."
Putting Fires Out
"Me at work. I feel like every issue that comes up has me unprepared. But I am always praised for my good work."
"So, I assume I have imposter syndrome and keep doing what I am doing."
So next time you find yourself ruling a possibility out completely, maybe take just a few seconds to imagine it actually occurred and prepare.
You just never know.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
I'm going to be perfectly honest––I'm a city boy. I'm not a huge fan of hiking or camping. I happen to be a huge fan of running water. Have you heard of it? It's great. Highly recommended.
I've also, on a more humorous note, watched far too many horror films over the years and don't particularly like idea of running off into the woods only to piss off some demon that was perfectly fine until I arrived. I also have immense respect for our friendly neighborhood serial killers and demonstrate this regularly by staying out of their territory.
Those who love the great outdoors had plenty to share after Redditor Your_Normal_Loser asked the online community, "
Hikers of Reddit, what is the weirdest or creepiest thing you've come across while hiking?"
"The only reason..."
"When we were exploring the Australian Outback as university students, my friend and I found an old, tightly wrapped plastic bag with five or six damaged wallets along shrubbery at the base of a cliff.
The only reason we opened it up was because we were so remote - hundreds of kilometres from any town or tourist attraction - that it was strange to see garbage out there. All the cards were in female names and birthdates placed them in their late teens to early 20s. Some lived in the Northern Territory but one was in Sydney and another from Queensland. At the time we figured rock climbers must have stored their valuables in the bag and then lost track of it. I'll never forget the strange look the police officer gave us when we handed them in."
You see... this is why I wouldn't go mess around in the Australian Outback.
I also may or may not have watched Wolf Creek one too many times.
"A recliner on a small hill with a hole dug out in the middle and water bottles all over the place."
"A trashed campsite..."
"A trashed campsite complete with the tent cut open...
...do you report these things, or what?"
Or maybe not... you might want to turn back.
"The walls were completely plastered..."
"I was walking in a thick forest and came across an opening. In the center there was a shack made of lumber, with a bench built into it that was slightly leaned back.
The walls were completely plastered in porn."
Well... that's one way to get off.
"The man stopped talking..."
"I was backpacking with a few friends. A few days in the middle of nowhere, a man approached our camp as we were cooking dinner to say hi. We talked about our routes for a few minutes. Out of nowhere, he told us that he had had a vasectomy in his 30s after his 2nd child. Then somehow his wife had gotten pregnant with his 3rd child. He didn't believe this was possible, so he demanded a DNA test to see if he was actually the father. He was. Still, he explained that he had his doubts and thought that his wife must have fixed the DNA test.
My friends and I were in our 20s and had no idea why this guy was telling us this. We all just nodded and smiled.
The man stopped talking and then just walked away into the night."
"I stepped in..."
"I stepped in and fell over a cow carcass on a night hike. It was a bright moonlit night but I didn't see it in the shadows. Thankfully it was mostly dry."
"We still have no idea..."
"I was in the woods with three friends at night. A friend's house was nearby and I was getting hungry so I went inside to find some food. Another friend came inside with me. Two friends were still outside.
Later on, one of the two who outside came in and sees the indoor friend on the couch next to me. They panic and immediately run back outside.
I poke my head out the door asking what's going on, only to hear them yell as loudly as they can, "THAT'S NOT KEVIN"
Everyone comes inside and calms down a bit, and the story comes out. They thought the friend who was indoors with me (Kevin) had been outside with them this entire time. Why? Because in the darkness of the woods they saw a silhouette about the same height walking alongside them silently, then at some point it ran away and they were chasing it thinking Kevin was running off for some reason. The reason my friend yelled, "That's not Kevin" was to stop the last outdoor friend from chasing whoever was out there deeper into the woods.
We still have no idea who that was or why they didn't even speak."
This story sent a chill running down my spine.
Who was that?!
Perhaps figuring it out would be even scarier.
"Went hiking with my dad..."
"Went hiking with my dad one day over a ridge. A girl from the group in front of us tripped and slid down one side and was just able to hold on to the tiniest branch from the only tree around. Had she slid down all the way she certainly would be dead or massively injured!"
"I was trying to make my way across..."
"I was hiking in Washington sometime in December. I was trying to make my way across a river but the bridge was out. I was walking along the shore looking for a shallow spot but couldn't find one. I saw some footprints leading down the bank, my thought was that someone was trying to do what I was doing and decided to track the prints to see if they crossed. It was not easy but I followed the prints for about a mile. As I approached what looked like a crossing I heard a loud BANG like a stick hitting a tree. I froze for a few seconds and heard no other noises. I just slowly back up keeping my eyes on the other side of the river. Could not shake the feeling that I was being watched. Got the hell out of there quick as I could."
There are few feelings creepier than the feeling of being watched. It makes you feel like you've been violated in some way.
Thankfully you got out of there!
"I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment..."
"I was hiking with some friends, and I saw a cluster of butterflies on the ground. I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment until I realized they were congregating on a pool of blood. It turns out that someone had been hiking on the bluffs above earlier that day, and had fallen off and died."
Sooo... still want to go hiking or camping? None of this changed your mind? None of it?
It was nice knowing you. I'll stick with my running water.
Have some creepy stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Have some experiences of your own? Have you also survived the hospitality industry? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!
Time is of the essence. And time is not definable. Those are lessons we learn as we get older; as times passes and fluctuates in front of us.
Time is always fleeting yet always catches up to us. I find myself shocked when I wake up on certain days and realize I'm a particular age of my parent that sticks out for me.
Like, how did that happen? I guess I should just be thankful I'm still here to witness it all.
Redditor u/TW1103 wanted to discuss the meaning... of time and all of its affects by asking:
What fact really puts the scale of time into an insane perspective?
Ok, who is watching the clock? Those seconds aren't going to count themselves. The only way to understand time is to be its witness. Although that can get depressing. Let's focus on the light and cool.
History...Calculate Figure It Out GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"If you are an 80-year-old American, you have lived through approximately 1/3 of our nation's entire history."
"The 80s were 40 years ago."
"This is what messes me up because I was born in 82 and graduated high school in 2000 so for some reason my brain is stuck on the 80's being twenty years ago. The 70's thirty years ago etc etc. I have to stop and realize sometimes that my concept of how long ago things happened is way off."
Time goes by...
"We observe that light travels at 186,000 miles a second, but given the vast size of the observable universe, that's a snail's pace. But from the point of view of a particle of light, time doesn't even exist."
"Time slows down as you approach the speed of light, and theoretically stops completely when you reach the speed of light."
Years Gone By...
"MLK Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year."
"Betty White was born in 1922. Automatically pre-sliced packaged bread loaves became commercially available in 1928. Betty White is six years older than sliced bread."
Long Live the Queen!queen elizabeth images GIFGiphy
"The queen and Marilyn Monroe would've been the same age."
I swear Liz is going to outlive dirt. Wait, I believe she already has. Well she won't be alone, she'll have Betty White. At least she better have Betty. Time is nothing without Queen Betty.
TV TimeSeason 2 Omg GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Happy Days was a TV show made in the 1970s-80s about teenagers in the 1950s. Similarly, That 70s Show was made in the 90s-00s about teenagers in the 70s. If a similar show were to be made today, it would be about teenagers in the 2000s."
"If a T-Rex imagined a creature as ancient as the T-Rex is to us, it would be a Stegosaurus. If that Stegosaurus imagined a creature as ancient as the Stegosaurus is to us, it would be a Crocodile. If that Crocodile imagined a creature as ancient as that Crocodile is to us, it would be a Shark."
On the Clock
"On a twenty four hour clock the amount of time that humans have been on the earth would total around five seconds."
"How about this one: If Homo Habilus first appeared at midnight, 24 hours ago, that means the first Homo Sapiens appeared at 9:25 PM, or about 2 and a half hours ago. The first human civilization, in lower Mesopotamia, appeared at 11:57 PM, or about 3 minutes ago."
"The Western Roman Empire fell at 11:59 PM, or 1 minute ago. Everything that has happened since - the Crusades, the Plague, the discovery of the New World, the world wars, all of it - has happened in the last minute of human existence."
And that's just OUR Sun...
"The span of our lives are so insignificantly small that our Sun will last another 5 billion years. That's 9 zeros people. Our eldest live to around 100 in the best places. That's 50,000,000 (50 million) times longer than any person can reasonably expect to live. And that's just OUR Sun. The universe as a whole has probably existed for magnitudes longer than that already and will continue to exist until the end of time as we know it."
Tell Me a Storywilliam shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"We know what a good storyteller Shakespeare was but there were Greek playwrights who wrote shows nearly 2,000 years earlier that are pretty good, too."
I hate time. Only because I'm petty and irritated of the amount I squandered. That's neither here nor there though. Time marches on and continues to amaze. I'll keep watching.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.