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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?


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.


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.


That's tough.

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.


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.


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.


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.


Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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