Why don’t men ask for help? Why do men find it hard to ask for help? Is asking for help a sign of weakness in men? How can men be better at asking for help? Can asking for help prevent mental illness amongst men? This article is for you if you are looking for answers to these and other related questions.
Hi. My name is Sean Galla, and I am a men’s group facilitator with 10 years of experience. Part of our tasks in men’s groups and forums is creating a space where men who don’t ask for help feel comfortable enough to ask for help. In my line of work, I have seen firsthand how difficult it is for men to ask for help and how this affects men’s mental health and well-being.
In this article, I take a deep dive to deconstruct why men find it hard to ask for help and offer an easy solution to overcome this fear. If you are a man interested in becoming better at expressing yourself and asking for help from your family members or loved ones, this article is for you.
Table of Contents:
Why Don’t Men Ask For Help – Introduction
Even in today’s developed world, men still find it hard to ask for emotional support to meet their needs, whether physical, mental, emotional, parental, educational, or social.
It is common for men to downplay their need for assistance for emotional problems and avoid engaging in help-seeking behavior. Most men do not know that this avoidance is often seen as a sign of underlying mental health issues. These mental health problems can worsen over time if not addressed.
Why don’t men ask for help? The most common explanation is that most men associate seeking assistance in any capacity, even from their male friends, with weakness and shame. Historically, men have been made to carry the societal burden of being the strong ones, the ones people go to for help and who handle their issues manly, which often does not involve seeking assistance.
To most men and society, a man asking for help means that he is weak and needs to man up. On the flip side, ignoring pain, avoiding issues, and downplaying the severity of an issue in life is seen as macho and tough, manly.
From a young age, most males are taught about an invisible ‘boy code’ they are expected to live by. Failing to live by this code comes with clear consequences. This code puts males in a gender straightjacket that constrains them and others.
As boys evolve into young men, the code becomes what is commonly referred to as the ‘guy code’ and you’ll hear most men say that ‘I have no friends.’ This code dictates that asking for help in whatever form as a man is weak and chips away at a man’s sense of masculinity, while also believing that they do not have any close friends they can open up to. Since most men want a sense of belonging, they live by this code and hide their true feelings or issues from the world.
Reasons Why men don’t ask for help
They don’t want to appear needy
One of the biggest reasons men don’t know how to open up to people is the fear of appearing needy or burdensome to the people they want to seek help from. Most men imagine that whatever issues they are going through are too burdensome to others. Since they believe they are self-reliant, they choose to keep the matter to themselves to avoid putting it on someone else.
Some men don’t know they need help
Some men have blind spots in their own lives. Most men go through life not realizing that they live with an issue that affects the people around them or them. Convincing this kind of person that they have an issue that needs professional help can often seem like an uphill battle for their friends and family.
While most men walk around oblivious to their need for help, others are not so oblivious. Some men know they have issues they need to address but choose not to seek help because they do not want to be held accountable. Most men ignore their issues because it allows them to do whatever they want without accountability. However, deep down, they wish they could free themselves from the issue.
Throughout generations, men generally do not talk about their feelings or emotions. Society believes that a ‘real man’ does not whine about their feelings or problems. They are expected to ‘suck it up’ and figure it out themselves. This pressure to be ‘the man’ has made it increasingly difficult for men to speak up when they feel emotionally burdened by an issue.
Most men prefer to reduce their emotional issues to nuisances they can work through independently.
Leaving these issues unresolved often leads to more severe emotional challenges, such as depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Fear of looking broken
As mentioned earlier, part of society considers it weak for a man to ask for help. For this reason, more and more men imagine that sharing their struggles makes them look weak and broken. They imagine that as adults, they should be able to handle any emotional, mental, or physical challenges they encounter.
Why should men ask for help?
Contrary to popular opinion, asking for help as a man is far from a sign of weakness or brokenness. Seeking help speaks highly of a man’s confidence, masculinity, and strength. Every man should understand that all issues, especially mental, physical, and emotional, do not need to be handled alone.
Not asking for help is slowly killing you
Men’s need to be the strongest in relationships is slowly killing them. Taking everything on without asking for help runs the risk of developing some severe physical and mental health issues.
Not being able to seek help as a man leads them to negative coping mechanisms that include unhealthy lifestyles and chronic stress, both leading causes of death and morbidity.
All the depression, stress, anxiety, poor eating habits, and drug and alcohol abuse eventually affect a man’s cardiovascular health, which is the leading cause of death among men globally.
Cardiovascular health issues account for more than 17.3 million deaths annually, and the numbers are projected to rise to more than 23 million by 2030. Other stress-related medical issues include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Where Can Men ask for help?
Part of the reason men avoid asking for help is the feeling that their closest friends and loved ones may not understand.
If you are a man interested in seeking assistance in whatever capacity, one of the safest places you can do this is in a men’s group.
More about men’s groups
Men’s groups are support groups and healing circles specifically for men. They are a form of talking support groups available for men in different parts of the United States. This form of assistance can be accessed from mental health clinics, therapeutic practices, hospitals, and community centers.
A men’s group is also a self-improvement group where men come to share about a specific issue and discuss different men’s group topics. It is a safe place for men to vent, learn, and adopt coping skills.
If you prefer to avoid joining a therapy group, joining a healing circle can be the next best choice.
Men’s groups exist for general issues, mental health issues, chronic conditions, trauma, and other topics relatable to men. These groups are for men going through similar issues, as they offer a safe space to share and learn without fear of ridicule or shame.
Depending on the issue you are facing as a man, or the kind of assistance you need, joining a mensgroup platform like mensgroup can be one of the best choices you make when trying to address and overcome these issues and lead a better life.
Information About Mensgroup
MensGroup is an online men’s support forum that strives to offer peer support group sessions, guidance and help for men’s personal growth and life issues.
Mensgroup meetings offer the information you need to overcome different men’s issues and lead a better life, even as you make new life-long meaningful friendships. As the best men’s sharing group, mensgroup subscribers meet virtually over zoom video or men’s group chat, making it a safer experience for busy men who prefer not to attend physical meetings or are attending talking groups for the first time.
Just because you are a man does not mean you must go through life alone. As it is often said, no man is an island. If you are a man in need of assistance and cannot find anyone in your life to confide in, joining a mensgroup is a sure way of finding the help and assistance you need. Through shared group activities, you will be able to understand the group process while connecting with the members and getting the help you need in a judgment-free space.
If you are interested in joining a men’s group, mensgroup.com is perfect for meeting like-minded men who will listen and offer advice in a safe space.