Men’s Issues: “Manning up” Can Lead to Stressing Out
Men traditionally take pride extremely seriously. Historically, this behavior has been beneficial in many ways but, unfortunately, it can sometimes also be harmful. Whatever you call it — saving face, manning up, protecting your honor, retaining prestige or just being proud, there are instances when making this a first priority can have adverse effects on self-esteem, health and relationships.
There is no doubt that respect is something men crave and rightfully so. It is quite important to be seen as the protector and breadwinner, the “man of the house.” This creates a feeling of safety for the individual and the family. However, in many instances, the extent to which men will go to achieve this state can be extreme. Many men feel it’s necessary to work so that others don’t have to and if they become overworked, it is taxing on mind and body, creating stress. Some men like to buy gifts. However, although this is a great way to show love, when it redirects funds needed to pay bills or steals from rainy day savings, it creates even more pressure. Men and the ones they love often have unrealistic expectations and these and other typical male prideful behaviors cause anxiety and resentment to build up if they are not kept in check and practiced sensibly.
Other problems associated with male pride that often prevent them from seeing the real issue, are peer pressure, guilt and fear of failure. Society has historically demanded that a man support himself and his family and, if he cannot do that without help, as stated above, it is a great blow to his self-esteem. If he has to back down from a fight or concede loss, this will cause feelings of shame and guilt because of not living up to other’s expectations of him. Many cultures deem men who seek help, especially psychological or pharmacological help, as “less than.” Probably the most significant fear men have is failure in the bedroom.
Consequently, men are reluctant or unable to see problems, to get the help they need, and even to admit they need it. They will often try and fix things themselves by retreating, acting out in unhealthy ways, self-medicating, starting reckless behaviors like gambling or even infidelity. The issues then become exacerbated, leading to further anxiety, depression and sometimes more dangerous health problems.
When it comes to men’s issues, pride resulting in stress is very tough to acknowledge. It is extremely important to let men know there is no shame in admitting limitations and accepting help when pushed beyond limits. More and more men are reaching out for help these days and are finding counseling to be very beneficial.
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