Tragically, it is not news that men are having a strong relationship with Suicide. I am not sure if it has always been like that, but I do know for a fact it is growing and it touches men of all ages. Why are they doing it? Why is there not large funding going into deep and meaningful research about it, as here in Australia the rate is approximately one man a day killing himself? Why do they keep to themselves and not look for help?
Well, this is not rocket science and I understand that to invest a significant amount of money it is necessary to have precise and reliable data to justify actions (that requires money). Again, it is not news that no man wants to be perceived as weak. No man wants to look like a fool. Therefore, vulnerability, feelings and emotions are not part of the masculine style (of course some men display these emotions, yet it is usually done with a lot of care, and it must be that way). These are perceived as feminine characteristics, and no man wants to feel embarrassed, even though, deep inside, we all know these emotions are real and deserve to be heard. However, we live in a system that doesn’t permit that to happen.
Inner Isolation & Weak Dialogue
This leads men to an inner isolation, where they develop a twisted and weak dialogue with themselves in which Suicide is dominating the outcome of it.
Man of Words X Man of Action
Couple of years ago a popular and famous Australian football player took this path. In the papers it said ‘He was a man of action, not a man of words’. Again: a man of action, not a man of words. Then, we ask ourselves: why don’t they talk? The answer comes in a scream: BECAUSE THE SOCIETY GIVES HONOUR TO MEN OF ACTION. MEN OF WORDS ARE WEAK. MEN OF WORDS ARE LOSERS. MEN OF WORDS ARE USELESS. That is the message is out there and it is very strong.
Now, what a great example that news story highlights, it keeps encouraging men to keep isolated. It tells men to keep an unhealthy silence that leads to a tragic relationship to Suicide. Why should a man talk, if the use of ‘words’ will make him look like a loser?!
I applaud the ABC Series called MAN UP - AND TALK. That would be awesome if the news joined this pro-life fight. Will they? - Something inside of me says “no”. I really hope I will be wrong. Time will tell.
In the last six years I have been on an Authentic Male Journey, and I was introduced by a men’s group where the first thing we learn to say is “I am” statements. It becomes a new kind of language for men. We men, normally struggle with talking about how ‘we are’. We rather talk about how ‘they are’, but never about how ‘I am’. On the top of that, you add ‘I am feeling’…, that’s it. It becomes one of the most difficult exercises to overcome. Within time the initial resistance and difficulty is broken, and slowly there is a breakthrough.
Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men seeking an Authentic Life™.
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