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 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."
- simulatislacrimisWorking 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."
"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."
"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?' "
"F*ck yeah! Metalheads might look scary, but you'd be hard pressed to find a more friendly and welcoming bunch!"
"As a mom of 2 daughters, I appreciate this so much. What a great guy!"
"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."
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:"
“ 'HOW DO YOU DO ALL THAT WITHOUT PADDING OR A HELMET?!' ”
“ 'HOW DO YOU LAUNCH YOURSELF INTO THE AIR LIKE THAT?' ”
“ 'AREN’T YOU AFRAID OF FALLING?' ”
“ 'DON’T YOU GET DIZZY SPINNING THAT FAST?'"
"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."
"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."
- figaaroCelebrate 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.' "
"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."
"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."
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."
"That's not a boss dude, that's a leader."
"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."
"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."
"Manly dads who patiently sit on the floor and have a tea party with their toddler daughters."
"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."
"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."
- Sammsquanchhyou need to calm down queer eye GIF by Taylor SwiftGiphy
"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."
"Positive friendships between men are SO important. Men being able to share their feelings and navigate their experiences with other men is too rare."
"I got my homie a succulent for his birthday!"
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."
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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Some men seem to think they've got everything all figured out. Until their arrogance come back to slap them upside the head to prove they were never right about the things they claimed to have knowledge of.
Like women, for instance.
Curious to hear examples of what men have assumed about the opposite sex, Redditor Top_Run4841 asked:
"What is one thing, that a man would never understand about women?"
Period pain was a heavily discussed topic.
Here Comes The Flood
"For me it’s when I’m peacefully sleeping in bed and I wake up and feel the gush when I’m laying down. It means I have to get up real fast and run to the bathroom to try to not ruin my sheets and clothes."
"Laughing, coughing or sneezing - and promptly giving birth to a red jellyfish."
"That and clots are the worst about periods aside from cramps."
Nothing Pleasant About It
"What an absolute annoyance having your period is. Everything about it is horrible."
Women discuss the emotional aspects of menstruation.
"Feeling sad and tired for no reason, because my body is starting to produce less serotonin before my period. I get so sad and I can’t do anything to feel happy for like 2-3 days a month."
Deeper Than Depression
"The hormonal depression is the absolute worst. Somehow it's deeper than average depression. Just a horrible, lonely sinkhole. Even knowing why it's happening doesn't help."
"I face it by driving around, feeling somehow more than empty, trying to fight the urge to run away from my life and vanish into the dark like a dying cat."
The Mood Swings
"The worst part for me isn’t the physical aspect. It does suck, but I have a harder time with the hormone cycles/mood swings every month. I get incredibly depressed, insecure, and have a hard time being around others."
Redditors mentioned the vulnerability felt by women.
Always Being Vigilant
"How the safety of where we go is always there. Like, I would love to go camping alone somewhere… would I? Nope. Leaving a store at night, we have to be on guard. Walking the dog at night or through woods alone? Always on guard."
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"The constant checking and awareness of your surroundings because you just don’t know when you could find yourself in a bad situation. I’m constantly figuring out my exit strategy when I’m in a new or unfamiliar place."
"Also being mocked by men for taking reasonable safety precautions, like locking the doors when you are home alone, locking the car doors as soon as you get in the car, and looking around you to see who is nearby when you are walking from car to store, etc. Not all men do it, but some act as though you're paranoid and unreasonable."
Interpreting A Smile
"That even though we might be 'prettier if we smiled', we literally can't do that even if we want to, because smiling is interpreted by too many men as a sexual invitation. Men are drawn to smiling women like sharks to a bleeding baby seal."
"My male friends are always like 'everyone should travel solo across Europe at least once in their life'… like no thank you I don’t want to disappear."
"It's been drilled into me since I was a kid. 'Never go anywhere alone.' My mother would always tell me to take a friend with me even if just to go for the bathroom if we were "somewhere" (swimming pool, park, the mall, etc)."
"I think it's the case for most girls. We're told to do that since such a young age, we never really question it because it became a habit."
The Effect Of Strangers
"Why we are f'king terrified of y’all as strangers whenever we go out alone. I’ve tried to explain it to some and always get 'well all guys aren’t the same' THATS NOT THE POINT."
Other discomforts were discussed.
When The Wire Snaps
"Bras hurt. Sometimes the wire breaks free and attempts to impale the boob."
"High quality toilet paper is deeply important to women because we use it every single time we pee or poop and extra when we’re on our period."
"Holding my b00b means nothing s*xual. Sometimes I do it instinctively. It's comfortable and warm."
What Guys See
"Having guys assume that smiling, talking, or otherwise showing basic human decency to them means we're flirting."
"How your brain gets re-wired by pregnancy. And I don’t just mean the 'I’ll kill anyone who tries to hurt my little bologna loaf.'”
"I mean how some foods you loved now taste like crap. And others you only tolerated taste like heaven. How some smells are now more intense or slightly off from before pregnancy. That you can’t remember how to drive a stick shift (true story, ground the gears for at least a month) but can put together some complicated as sh*t storage unit with no instructions and nothing but a pair of pliers and a nail file, while 8 1/2 mos pregnant."
"That you can spy a poisonous plant from 50 yards away but can’t find the orange behind your water glass. And that if/when you get pregnant again everything will get re/wired in a different way."
For men who claimed to know a lot about women, it turns out they have much to learn, and the women of Reddit had no problems spelling things out for them about their gender-specific issues.
So gentlemen, think twice before you start mansplaining how the fairer sex might feel in any given situation. You may be gravely mistaken.
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Irrespective of men's sexual identity or preference, there are men who hate sports, and there are men who love musical theater. Do participating in either activity make men straight or gay?
"Straight men of Reddit, what is the strangest thing you have been told not to do because 'that's gay?'"
The following behavior just screams, "gay," fellas. Watch out.
"Sing a Lily Allen song during karaoke."
"Advice I received in high school from other students:"
"Don't cross your legs with one knee over the other. Put one ankle over the other knee."
"When carrying books, palm them and carry them at your side. Don't rest one edge of the books near your waist."
"Never button the top button of your shirt."
Look, But Don't Look
"This one time, at summer camp, this guy who'd just been swimming in the lake told me you could tell how cold the water was by how hard his nipples were. 'But don't stare too long,' he said, 'because that's gay.'"
"You were the one who told me to look in the first place!"
Sandwich For Sissies
"When I was a kid, my dad called me a sissy because I cut a sandwich diagonally."
"I played the clarinet. I got called Faginet a lot."
"I Was told that the word assumption made me gay. This guy thought big words (?) made me an intellectual, and in his mind, intellectual - gay."
Living In Narnia
"Hot tea is gay?"
"Well f'k me, my entire country must actually be Narnia, seeing as we all must be deep in the closet without knowing it over this hot tea situation."
The Singing Competition
"Watch the Eurovision Song Contest."
"I don't care, it can be as gay as it likes I still want to hear the music. (Although seriously the uk needs to up its game but that's another story)"
"But that's what women do," one might argue.
"Changing my daughter's diaper. Mentioned it in the office one day. Called gay."
People Break Down The Nicest Celebrities They've Ever Met | George Takei’s Oh MyyyThey always say, "don't meet your heroes." But here's the thing, sometimes your celebrities are actually just chill, normal people who are overjoyed to meet ...
A Lighter Shade
"Buying a white IPhone."
"Added my husband (then boyfriend) to my phone plan. Went to the store on my own to upgrade both our phones. We both just wanted the next gen Samsung. It was only available in purplish-pink in store."
"I shrugged and said it didn't matter, he's putting a case on it anyways. Guys working at the store kept trying to talk me out of it, actively pushing me to go to another store, making them lose commission, just so my partner wouldn't have a feminine phone. He used his pink phone for 3 years."
"I've been criticized for knowing how to sew and cook. Those are essential life skills!"
"My father was a Marine drill instructor in the 50's. Guess who did all the sewing in my house growing up?"
"Yeah, no one dared to call him gay for it."
Lots Of Colors
"When I was 10 or so, I brought an umbrella to school on a rainy day with the colors red, yellow, green, and blue. My dad of all people told me to never use that umbrella again because the colors were too closely resembled to a rainbow which stood for homosexuality."
"I was f'king 10, I was far from puberty and had no idea. I just wanted to stay dry and grabbed the only umbrella available at the time."
"Now that I think about it, why did we even own that umbrella then? HUH, DAD?"
"My dad told me 'rainbow sherbet is for p**sies' when I was like eight. I stopped eating my favorite flavor for 10 years until I had that flashback and asked him about it".
"He said 'Oh, I didn’t like rainbow sherbet and always had to finish the parts you didn’t eat so I wanted you to get mint chocolate chip instead.' It makes me wonder what things I might say to my kids that will scar them for life without even thinking about it."
Girls And Gays Apparently Have This In Common
"i'm a teenager, not quite a man, but here's a story."
"a kid asked me if i liked crunch or creamy peanuty butter, i said creamy, and they told me since i like creamy peanut butter and not crunchy, it was 'gay,' because 'only girls or gay guys like creamy peanut butter.'"
"i was so confused."
Here are examples of guidelines for being a manly man, according to manly men.
"Not a straight man but... back in my bartending days I asked a man if he wanted to see a dessert menu. He said 'if I wanted dessert I'd order wings like a real man.'"
"Weird flex but okay."
When I'm In The Mood, I Masticate
"When I'm feeling extra manly, I just take a bite out of a cow and then chew on some raw wheat."
"Like a man."
No Appointments Necessary For Straight Men
"I left a pick-up basketball game because I had an appointment to get a haircut. Evidently, the only straight way to get a haircut is as a walk in."
Abiding By The Law Is So Gay
"Using turn signals. And not as some sort of euphemism, but literally using them while driving to turn or change lanes."
In grade school, some fellow classmates asked me to check for gum on my shoe because they saw me step in some.
When I lifted my leg to take a gander, the boys were howling hysterically as if my actions confirmed something.
Well, it sure did. Apparently, if I l looked at the bottom of my shoe from in front of me, I was "normal," but since I bent my leg back and looked at the bottom of my shoe from behind, that made me "so gay."
Although, I didn't come out 'til years later, maybe those goons were onto something. Thanks for the heads up, guys.
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Unfortunately, toxic masculinity is still passed down from generation to generation. Things are deemed too “girly" for a man to do when they really have no reason to be so gendered. A lot of men out there do want to break these societal norms--but they may not know how to go about it.
These guys might have a few ideas. Reddit user Eicaker asked:
Boys, if it was considered more universally acceptable, what is a "girly" thing you would like to do?
Weirdly enough, a lot of these so-called “girly” things are just basic human decency.
Be the change, dudes!
“Hug people more/compliment people more, I'm a guy and whenever I do any of those things people think I'm being weird and it's so annoying.”
“In a weird way I wish I was a girl, but not because of any girl thing except for how supportive and friendly they are, particularly with other girls. It sounds like an easy way to make a lot of friends.”
This is so sweet.Music Video Singing GIF by FaouziaGiphy
“I brush my friends hair and she taught me how to braid it. We keep it quiet.”
“I taught my son to french braid hair when he was a young teen because I remember being impressed as hell with a guy who could do this. My son practiced and got really good at it.
He's reported back that girls have responded very positively to this skill.”
More guys need to do this.
“Talk more openly about feelings, some sh*t really just needs to be worked out.
Edit: This is just a general suggestion, I personally have a support structure in my life that allows for this. However thank you for the concern(s), comments, and the awards (which I never expected).”
“My best friend is a guy and whenever he needs to call me to talk he apologizes? After. Like "Sorry that was like two hours, I'm just really frustrated." And I always have to remind him that that's why I'm here. Like we're friends dude, don't feel like you're bothering me because you want to talk about how someone did you dirty. I end up just sitting in my car talking so we're not constantly interrupted by my kids trying to talk, it's not like I had to do anything.”
Society has really weird rules for what men can consume or wear. If these things became more socially acceptable, I think the world would be a better place.
Fruity cocktails are the best way to get drunk.
“Drink a rainbow colored cocktail at a bar and watch more romcom sh*t.”
“"Real men drink beer!"
OK sasquatch. You drink your beer-flavored seltzer water and I'll continue to throw back these exceptional 1-800-f*ck-me-ups.”
Dollhouses are the best.episode 8 designer GIFGiphy
“Not a guy, but one time I went to a famous toy store with a guy friend and they had a HUGE dollhouse section. I was freaking out because I love dollhouses, and my friend's eyes got really big and he confessed that he had always loved dollhouses but never felt like he was allowed to play with them as a kid.
So we hung out looking at tiny furniture for like an hour.”
Why are scents gendered?
“I want to smell like a coconut or a summer breeze, not BATTLESHARK or TIMBERKNIFE.
Also please make more conditioner for guys. I don't want to buy a bottle that works as shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, lotion, and siracha sauce all in one.”
People Share The 'Dirty Secrets' That Their Bosses Don't Want Customers To Know
Anyone can bake!
“I used to think baking was girly, but I've been doing it since a kid and I absolutely love it.”
“I find this stereotype so funny. Hmm, yes, you know what's manly? Having to rely on others for food because you can't be bothered to touch a stove or oven. I cook for myself and I love doing it.”
If we stopped assigning gender to the most random things, the world would be a better place.
This guy gets it.skin care pain GIF by iOne DigitalGiphy
“Guy in his 40s married with two kids. My hobbies include playing drums / woodworking / hiking. I take baths and put bubbles in because I like nice smells and it relaxes aches after working. I use moisturiser that includes sunblock because I'm in my 40s and my skin looks f*cking great.
I use conditioner on my hair because it's no extra effort and makes a massive difference. I drink whatever cocktails sound appealing / I haven't tried before because you only live once. I prefer mixed company because guy chat can be tedious.
I take care of what I eat but I'm not obsessive about exercise. I enjoy gardening and my home is full of houseplants which I tend religiously. I have a huge interest in design / art and music of all types with a special interest in jewellery design.
If somebody tells you sh*t is girly its pure ignorance and at my age I have zero f*cks for that kind of limited mindset.”
Everyone needs a plant or two.
“I don't know if this counts, since it's not generally girly thing but I'd love to have a lot of houseplants.
But not the typical ones no no no, I want to focus on various herbs. Be it conventional ones like mint and its types or more wild ones like cowslick or firegrass. Essentially I want to get as close to a witch as possible while still keeping my logical worldview.”
Leggings are the best.
“So, uh, don't judge but -
Leggings are pretty great.
Seriously, there's a reason they've become so popular with women, they're just really d*mn comfortable. And I know they've gained popularity in men for athletic purposes but not just casual wear, maybe they will someday.”
Men, just be yourselves. Even if it means embracing your feminine side.
Cat dads are the best.Always Sunny Eyes GIFGiphy
“I love kittens and hate dogs. Don't get me wrong, I would never harm a dog and I get sad if I see a dog in a bad situation. I just don't want to live with them.
Anyways, the taboo of a guy with cats held me back for quite awhile. And I wish I could have shown more of myself in my twenties.”
Wear that skirt, boy.
“Wear a skirt. Well, people do not complain if I do. Wear long nails. Well, most people do not complain if I do. Wear nail polish. Most people do not care. Waste tons of money on fancy shoes, bags and stuff.”
Flowers for everyone.
“Flowers. Fresh ones all over the house. Roses on the piano and tulips on my organ. Buying flowers at the store I feel like I have to pretend they are for my wife but secretly they are for me!”
Preach.Pool Party Lol GIF by SA CompanyGiphy
“Considering I grew up with only women and I'm comfortable with myself and my sexuality I literally just do whatever I want....
Hugs, flamboyant exaggerations when I'm excited, hand movements when I talk, gasping and putting my hand to my chest etc.
Anyone who is uncomfortable behaving like themselves needs to get over how other people view them and just be themselves.
I get that the question is a generalization, but I think it is utterly pathetic that most guys feel like they have to put on this "manly man" persona for anyone to take them seriously.
I'm more of a "man" than any of the guys I grew up with and I'm 1000% more feminine than all of them.”
They’re the best.
“I'd like a lightweight robe. Can't really find a decent one as a dude without looking/feeling like Hugh Hefner or looking too feminine to feel comfortable.”
I personally love a man who embraces the not-traditionally masculine parts of life. My husband is the best cook I know and does almost all of the cooking in our house (I help sometimes). There are still a lot of men out there who would consider that a "woman's job", but talent in the kitchen supersedes gender.
In short, toxic masculinity makes no sense, and it needs to be stopped. Let men enjoy things
Toxic masculinity is justifiably villainized. It is so often the cause of physical abuse against women, problematic behavior in the workplace, powerful men refusing to listen, and a general culture of patriarchal aggression.
Less commonly discussed--but also extremely troublesome--is the way that toxic masculinity actually victimizes the men who perpetrate it.
Too many men do not feel they can safely discuss their internal feelings without losing power, standing, or reputation.
A recent Reddit post aimed to change that in its own small way. Men, empowered by the mask of internet anonymity, were asked to share their biggest difficulties.
"Only one of my friends ever contacts me unprompted, whether it is via text or a quick drop by. I would never hear from the others again if I didn't message or call them first."
"This isn't as bad as some of the others here but it has been bothering me for a long while."
An Unsustainable Act
"I'm tired of pretending everything is going well. I lost all motivation and drive to do well in life. I keep telling myself it will get better but nothing is going right."
"I just want a hug from someone who really cares about me and tell me everything will be okay. I want to drop out of school so badly to recover but that's not possible. :("
Physical Affection that Feels Inaccessible
"I really want a hug. I haven't been hugged in so long. It would be nice I think." -- Saaacy-K
"i actually sat and thought about it yesterday and i haven't had physical contact with another human (other than perhaps brushing a hand from someone handing me change or rubbing shoulders in the street) for around 3 years" -- Goibhniu_
"I act indifferent and have things under control but in reality I'm terrified of the future. I think about 100 what-if scenario a day. I don't like to talk about myself Cuz I feel like I'm not interesting or people don't care about what I have to say about my life."
"Thank God I have good friends but those things not even them I can share with."
A Delicate Ordeal
"My wife is currently having an emotional affair with a coworker, and shows no remorse. Her family and friends seem to support her. I had some serious anxiety about a year ago for a handful of months, and my wife found someone else during that time."
"My whole world is destroyed. I feel like a loser, I'm too embarrassed to admit it to my friends, and I don't know how I can continue on."
"She starts individual counseling tomorrow, and all I can hope is that she at least realizes how hurtful she has been."
"I can't imagine being with anyone else, but having your wife tell you that she thinks she may be happier with another man just sucks all of your self worth out of you."
"I distance myself from everyone in my life emotionally because the feeling of being vulnerable and truly opening up to people scares the sh** out of me."
"It always seems to come back to bite me in the a** when I leak a little bit too much information because I just want to be alone and forget about everything."
"I wish I could live alone and have very little interactions with everyone, it's always so draining to be around people day in day out with little alone time."
Struggling With Step One
"I don't want to accept the fact that I'm depressed because if I do then it'll be harder for me to overcome it" -- plocjohn
Just To Be Affirmed
"Give us a pat on the back and ask us how we're doing every now and then, as small as it may seem it can mean the world to some." -- JustLeeGuy
"I think society has just accepted the archetype of the silent unsharing male. It doesn't occur to them that we have feelings until we share. It's a vicious cycle." -- TheRealXiaphas
Don't Know Where to Start
"It's one of those things where you don't know what is wrong with you" -- completeuttera**face
"I'm really hoping therapy will help with this." -- plsacceptmythrowaway
"As a woman, I can't tell you how much it helps to talk things out. Even when you have no idea what to say, just talking about your feelings and having them heard is half the therapy."
"I feel sorry that men have been conditioned to keep their emotions hidden. It's such a sad and lonely way to be. I hope more men feel comfortable talking about their feelings every day." -- KetordinaryDay
Slipping Out of View
"I'm super lonely. I work 50-60 hour weeks because I can't stand to be alone in my empty house."
"Every attempt I've made at a relationship has failed and I'm starting to think I will never find love that goes both ways. My last 'relationship' ended when I found out I was the side guy."
"I don't have any close friends because I can't trust anyone anymore. Every person I try to open up to ends up using it against me in some way. I'm emotionally broken and don't know how to make connections anymore."
Sometimes Awkwardness is Truly Painful
"That I love my parents but I feel super shy telling them "I love you". That's all." -- umotex12
"I'm not a man but I feel the same way. I'm 21 and my parents are getting on a little bit now. I want them to know how much I love them, but I can't bear the awkwardness of actually saying it because we're not an affectionate family."
"They would think I was dying or something if I just said it out of the blue." -- lizdogga
Mourning At Your Own Pace
"I cry every morning and every night because I miss my step dad so much."
"I cry because I took him for granted and never realized how much I loved him and how happy he made me and how I'll never be able to tell him all these things."
"My mother and sister don't understand my feelings and my brothers make fun of me and bully me saying that at least I had a dad. My friends don't get it either as they've never had this kinda of hurt."
"I feel nothing in life, I'm just drifting through each day at the moment - my biggest downfall is that I'm able to convince everyone that I'm fine and act like one of those people everyone assumes is happy, because I'm afraid to talk and feel like a downer to everyone around me."
"I have kids that are amazing and genuinely keep me going, but I hate everything else, I hate my job but it enables me to not do very much and stay at home, and I know I'd hate any job so I have no idea what to do..."
"...I feel like even if I won the lottery I'd just go 'oh cool' because who even cares"
Trouble Accessing the Internal
"I don't even know how to reach out to my emotions except in extreme cases. I refuse to be vulnerable even in front of my partners and I'm unable to understand why."
"This was partly why my relationships have all been utter failures."
"I don't think I'll ever be able feel love."
"I thought I made a good friend. He said he was a hugger and touched me a bunch of times. I touched his back some. He thanked me."
"Then two days later said it was creepy and I couldn't come over anymore."
"Then I made a new xbox friend. Super clingy. Then he got mad at me for some small thing said to a friend and said rude stuff and blocked me on everything."
"I need hugs, touch, loyal guy friends, and not to act like I'm trying to get with you for wanting it."
The Rule of Sixes
"... I feel invisible, because I don't have the 6 figure job, 6 pack, I'm not 6 feet tall, and I don't have a phallus longer than 6 inches."
"I haven't contributed anything significant to society and probably never will. I'm one of the ones that will be forgotten. No legacy."
"My eating disorder has gotten bad again. I'm extremely lonely and isolated. I've lost friends just by being 'independent and confident' and not texting and call first so now I'm nearly alone."
"I'm petrified about the future with a million paths and no direction, and I'm so stressed that I can't get a good pathway started."
"I'm terrified of dating because I still feel extremely insecure about my body. Tonight my first day off in while I woke up jerked off, binge ate junk food threw it up and started drinking and now I'm on reddit so yeah."
"I'm so depressed and anxious I don't know why."
The Desire to Dissolve
"I want to be free. I want to be free from nations, systems, norms, and ages. I hate feeling and thinking."
"This is a really beautiful planet but a really sad world."
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 https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/