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>> No. 29401 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 3:47 am
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How comfortable do you feel opening up about your emotions?

I read something a little while back that has been playing on my mind ever since. In essence, it postulated that males generally aren't stunted emotionally as is often made out; women tend to be the 'gatekeepers' on the expression of feelings, in part because they tend to need a lot more emotional maintenence. The problem arises that men and women have different emotional needs, which means that male emotions can be largely alien to them and they can struggle to relate to it so they attribute little value to it. The end result is that men can feel very wary about exposing their true feelings and frailties around women, especially those they are romantically linked to.

The upshot of this is that men in long-term straight relationships are the ones who end up having to bottle up their emotions. They're likely to be spending less time with male friends (or even free time alone spent on hobbies) to simply let off steam and unwind; instead a lot of this time is dealing with the maintenance of dealing with their partner's emotional baggage, which I've seen dubbed as emotional labour, so tending to their own emotions constructively has to be packed away and put to one side. Sure, the woman might say that she wants her man to open up now and then but this often means in the narrow way that is acceptable to her, ideally so that it can be related to her own emotional needs and used to nourish them, whereby anything outside of this is at risk of being dismissed. Even worse, if you express the wrong emotions then she may start to think less of you and devalue your masculinity; you are expected to be her rock and for the family unit at all times.

I realise that this may come across as myopic, hopefully not like an MRA edgelord as I've feared as this isn't my intention whatsoever, but it has hit close to home ever since I read it. Perhaps that's just a reflection on the relationships I have been in more than anything else.
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>> No. 29405 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 5:34 am
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It's perhaps a controversial thing to say, but women don't seem to give a fuck about what blokes are feeling, it seems to actively put them off if you're going through some stuff and actually try to talk to them about it.

I have always talked to other men about my issues and they do the same to me. Maybe I'm just very lucky, but the modern campaigns that tell us men don't ever talk about their feelings has never rang true for me. Even the laddiest lads at my work have asked me how I am or told me about how tough it is that they don't get to see their kids all the time etc etc.

Nothing good has ever come from opening up to a woman, even one who was just a friend. When I was really struggling, my 'best' female friend actually told me to stop talking to her about it because it was bringing her down. I couldn't count the times she's leaned on me for emotional support. Girlfriends always seem put off by it too, though not as extreme as that example.

But you're right, try telling anyone outside of the internet this and you're a bastard. I also don't make this post to complain about women or anything like that - it is what it is, and that's fine, I just feel silly for being misled by 'you can talk to me' when you really, really can't.
>> No. 29406 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 5:48 am
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Men aren't emotionally stunted, we just express our emotions differently to women. It's a cultural divide, like the divide in national cultures. Men express themselves more obliquely, more subtly and more stoically - it's not worse, it's just different.

For me, the difference is crystallised in how we greet each other. The cheek kiss is ostensibly more intimate than a handshake, but it's essentially insincere and vacuous. It's a performative act, for the benefit of onlookers rather than the people greeting each other. At the precise moment you're supposed to be greeting someone, you're literally looking straight past them. A handshake might be a more formal and physically distant gesture, but it's more meaningful and more expressive. A handshake can say anything from "I am indescribably grateful and will be forever in your debt" to "I can see that you're in terrible pain, but know that I'll always be there for you" to "I'll forgive you this once, but try it again and I'll fucking kill you".

Pisstaking is a crucial aspect of male communication, but we don't recognise it as such. It's often seen by women as silly or pointlessly macho, but it's an incredibly subtle and nuanced way of testing and expressing the boundaries of intimacy in a relationship. Exactly the same snidey remark could mean "stop trying to chum up to me, you total dickhead" or "I understand and unconditionally accept your faults and insecurities because you're my mate", depending entirely on context.

Many women don't understand why men are so obsessed with sport, which betrays a profound ignorance of the emotional lives of men. We might not say "you're my best mate and you mean the world to me", but we do this:

I feel slightly snide mentioning it, but women experience about twice the rate of mental illness compared to men. If male ways of communicating and coping are so phlegmatic, why are we psychologically healthier overall than women? Why do we uncritically accept the idea that men should communicate more like women, while the inverse suggestion would be completely taboo?
>> No. 29407 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 1:22 pm
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> How comfortable do you feel opening up about your emotions?
With people I know personally it's very difficult for me. I'm already clearly a bit of an oddball, but peeling back to lid and showing everyone the wasp's nest that I call a brain just seems a little much. I wonder if there's a problem among men where we let it all build up so that when we do express out feelings it's like a bloody tsunami of five years worth of anxieties and regrets and you wind up sounding like Are Moaty because Chris from your old work made fun of you for wearing big headphones once, that's just conjecture and a little projection though. I have a friend I've known since primary school and we're both clearly depressed and we've talked about it together for about the last ten years almost, but it's always in slightly opaque terms and never for an extended amount of time.

Even with professionals I make sure the properly horrible stuff like sending paragraphs long emails about how I'm going set myself on fire or trying to start fights by walking in front of moving cars is talked around, I just feel guilty putting that kind of nonsense into another person's headspace.
>> No. 29408 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 2:50 pm
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Fucking hell. Are you me?
>> No. 29409 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 6:22 pm
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Thank you for posting this OP, you've actually articulated something that I've felt myself at times very succinctly. I went through an emotional break-up the year before last, shortly followed by the suicide of one of my best m8s. The break-up itself was in a large part due to my depression and the way my partner at that time was absolutely unable to interface with it in any meaningful or helpful way, even if she thought she was trying.

Throughout that experience I have to admit, I did build up a bit of resentment at the way a man's emotions are often viewed by others, and especially with a lot of today's rhetoric about how men need to open up more, poisonous manliness, and #talkingsaveslives etc.

I think one of the things is a great deal of the time, people simply don't practice what they preach. They talk a big game about being there for anyone to talk to, but they're really relying on nobody taking them up on the offer. The other thing is, most people simply lack the tact to deal with those situations when they find themselves there, and it's not their fault. We're not all therapists. There were two separate girls who thought it would be a good idea to give me the whole "See, that IS toxic masculinity!" thing when I was trying to get my feelings out about losing a close friend (it was within a couple of weeks of that Gillette commercial too). Rightly or wrongly, I thought that was just incredibly insensitive, and simply not the time or place for it.

Overall the impression I've come away with is that this drive to get men to open up more is not so much about getting men to address phlegmatic emotions, as it is to get them to do it in a way which is more socially acceptable in today's more progressive climate. Much like OP, I don't want it to come off like I'm a bitter MRA type, and the fact we find ourselves worried about such accusations is a problem in itself really; and I want to emphasise that I'm sure the people behind this movement have their hearts in the right place. Where I think the problem lies is that it's a one size fits all approach, for something where really it's a very deeply personal and individual issue.

Let's take the #talkingsaveslives thing for example. It's not even a gendered issue in that case so we can avoid thorny potentially controversial opinions. While I think it's true that bottling your problems up is almost universally unhealthy, I think the way people approach and spread this message comes from a very neurotypical perspective, and will only really work on neurotypical people. People's issues can be very deep and complex, and to be honest I don't think anyone who is genuinely suicidal just needs to get it off their chest. There's a much deeper level of understanding and empathy we need to develop as a whole society towards invisible illnesses like depression, and I think lots of people are getting the wrong end of the stick that it's as simple as just talking about it. It's only any good to talk about things if what you're saying actually gets heard, and sinks in, which all too often simply isn't the case.

The few times I've been open and honest about my depression, I'm greeted with dumbfounded blank stares by people completely unable to process how someone who's usually so jovial can be suffering.

Anyway, I've sorted wandered off and forgotten where I was going with it. I also understand that the goal is to create a broader culture of acceptance and understanding that will eventually move things towards what I mentioned. But like I said, I think it's very one size fits all, without acknowledging that perhaps some people need different things. My mate had all the people in the world to talk to, and he wasn't shy of doing so, his problems ran much deeper and we were all powerless to fight them for him, in the face of a society that ostracises and punishes men in his position (the stereotypical "deadbeat dad") for having allowed themselves to get there.

I think part of the male psyche is most definitely ego. Culturally we've become rather ashamed of the concept of bravado and egotism, but I think unless you're a zen master able to absolve yourself of all worldy concerns, a comfortable, proud ego is actually a crucial part of a healthy man's psychological composition. We live in a world where any man can identify as a woman and any woman can identify as a man, and any of the infinite combinations inbetween, and that's a beautiful thing. I'm glad we're becoming more tolerant of those kinds of things. But I think amongst that, we're sort of forgetting a lot of men still identify as men, and they're fine with that, and what they need differs a little bit from what a woman or a trans or a non-binary person might need. We can't just treat everybody as the same uniform grey blob of human shaped matter.

I'll definitely stop now. Sorry to anyone who reads this confused mess.
>> No. 29410 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 7:01 pm
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>I feel slightly snide mentioning it, but women experience about twice the rate of mental illness compared to men. If male ways of communicating and coping are so phlegmatic, why are we psychologically healthier overall than women? Why do we uncritically accept the idea that men should communicate more like women, while the inverse suggestion would be completely taboo?

The issue here is that the figure of women experiencing twice the rate of mental illness is hard to verify objectively. It's heavily influenced by differences in the self-reporting of symptoms between men and women, as well as societies pre-conceptions about mental illnesses in the genders (for example the 100-year-old prejudiced trope of diagnosing any women with the slightest nervous cough with hysteria still hasn't entirely gone away.)

If you look at the drastically higher suicide rates in men than in women, that's a good hint that diagnosed or self-reported rates of mental illness aren't the whole picture.
>> No. 29411 Anonymous
7th February 2020
Friday 7:17 pm
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>toxic masculinity

In my opinion the topic of so-called toxic masculinity shouldn't be anywhere near the discussion of male mental health. The phrase "man up" is gravely misunderstood, in my eyes; it isn't used to punish men for showing emotional fragility and is meant more as a prompt for action.

There's certainly aspects of lad culture in particular which are negative but I wouldn't say that it is significantly worse for male mental health than the way women actually treat male expressions of emotion, which itself differs from the way women have been conditioned to think they want to respond to male expressions of emotion. For example, I've had no issue with opening up about my feelings with my male mates, even if we'd never explicitly state that's what we're doing, but I've certainly been in relationships where I've had to be guarded about how I'm feeling or had to expend a fair amount of brain power contorting my emotions into a form that she'll be receptive to even if it doesn't accurately reflect what's going on in my mind, with the impression that my emotional needs are secondary to hers.
>> No. 29412 Anonymous
8th February 2020
Saturday 1:58 am
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>If you look at the drastically higher suicide rates in men than in women, that's a good hint that diagnosed or self-reported rates of mental illness aren't the whole picture.

Women are four times more likely to attempt suicide, but they're far less likely to die as a result. Make your own joke.

>> No. 29430 Anonymous
16th February 2020
Sunday 7:37 am
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I tried talking to my girlfriend last night about how I'm feeling like I have anhedonia and am just going through the motions with things, which could be a sign of depression. However, before I'd really got anywhere she immediately turned it around into "so what have I done wrong?" and made it all about her so I never had the chance to say anything of what I wanted to talk about.
>> No. 29431 Anonymous
17th February 2020
Monday 5:24 pm
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>I have anhedonia

I am of the opinion as someone who has had this, that if this isn't a result of some sort of drug withdrawl, you probably have lost sight of your own needs and wants somewhere along the way. you need a way of cutting loose, what that is for you personally I don't know, but you need to find your indulgence.

One of the things that surpised me, when I finally found the thing that I needed for me to be me and happy how profoundly unsupportive my now ex was of it.

I hate to go full MGTOW but I've found that the women I know do a lot of choosing about what they want in life, be it carears or partners (this part to an absurd degree now thanks to online dating), and men I know get by taking what they can get to survive, and just doing the things that makes their situation 'not worse'. I bring up the comparison only because men are broad brush stroke painted as having the power in society and honestly everything I've seen suggests the oppersite, they get by on what they can get.

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