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  • Writer's pictureOwen Spencer

Break the Silence: Why Men Don't Engage with Their Feelings and the Benefits of Seeking Counselling

finger pointing at a paper cut out of a man

This blog post was inspired by a good friend of mine that is working hard to support men's health in their local town,

check out the conversation and support they are giving to people who need it in these hard times, Mr.-Men's Room Hastings & St Leonards.

In a world where societal expectations often demand stoicism and emotional restraint from men, many find it challenging to open up about their feelings. The suppression of emotions can lead to a myriad of issues, both mental and physical, which is why it is crucial to address the reasons behind this common behaviour and emphasise the significant benefits that come with seeking counselling and talking about their feelings.

The Silence Surrounding Men's Feelings

In society, masculinity has long dictated that men should be tough, strong, and impervious to emotional turmoil. From an early age, boys are often told, "Boys don't cry" or "Man up," reinforcing the idea that expressing emotions is a sign of weakness. Consequently, many men grow up believing that to be a "real man," they must suppress their feelings.

Here are some reasons why men tend to avoid engaging with their emotions:

A man thinking what is manly

  • Social Stigma: Men may fear ridicule or judgment from peers if they express vulnerability, which can hinder their willingness to talk about their feelings openly.

  • Misconceptions: Men may believe that addressing emotional issues is unnecessary, thinking they should handle their problems on their own.

  • Fear of Weakness: Society's perception of emotional expression as a sign of weakness can deter men from seeking help, as they aim to maintain a façade of strength.

The Benefits of Seeking Counselling and Talking About Feelings

  • Improved Mental Health: Addressing emotional issues through counselling can lead to better mental health outcomes. When men confront their feelings and seek support, they often experience reduced anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

  • Strengthened Relationships: Open communication about emotions can help men build deeper, more meaningful relationships with their partners, friends, and family members. Healthy emotional expression fosters trust and understanding.

two mem talking, one man is smiling
  • Enhanced Self-awareness: Counselling encourages men to become more self-aware, allowing them to understand their emotions, triggers, and patterns of behaviour. This self-awareness can lead to personal growth and positive change.

  • Reduced Stress: Bottling up emotions can lead to chronic stress, which can have detrimental effects on physical health. Seeking counselling can help men manage stress more effectively.

  • Conflict Resolution: Counselling equips men with the tools to manage conflicts in a healthier way. It teaches them effective communication and problem-solving skills, reducing the negative impact of unresolved issues.

  • Empowerment: Seeking help for emotional issues is a sign of strength, not weakness. Men who break free from the constraints of societal expectations often feel empowered, as they regain control over their lives and emotions.

How to Encourage Men to Seek Counselling and Open Up

A road sign that says encouragement
  • Promote Awareness: The first step in breaking the silence is to raise awareness about the importance of emotional well-being for men. Encourage open

conversations and challenge societal norms.

  • Remove Stigma: Redefine masculinity to include emotional intelligence and vulnerability. Support men in feeling safe to express their feelings without judgment.

  • Be Supportive: Offer your support to the men in your life, whether it's a friend, family member, or partner. Let them know that it's okay to talk about their feelings and seek professional help when needed.

Breaking the silence surrounding men's feelings is essential for the mental and emotional well-being of individuals and society as a whole. Encouraging men to seek counselling and express their emotions can lead to healthier, happier lives, better relationships, and a more inclusive definition of masculinity. It's time to let go of the outdated stereotypes that have held men back for so long and support them in embracing their emotions and seeking the help they need to thrive.


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