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  • Writer's pictureSue Landsberg

The cost is high

Big boys don't cry. Stop acting like a girl. These and many more phrases resonate all too well with many male adults. I speak from my own observations and experience when I say men of our generation were not encouraged to express their emotions. As a female I feel there was a notion that we are naturally more emotional and expressive. This generational norm, from what I hear, appears to be resonant pretty much globally. One can't but question the impact of this not just on men's mental health but on the whole of society.

Again my perception, men have been expected to be tough and stay strong not showing vulnerability as it may be judged as a weakness. Thankfully I see this unfair and damaging behaviour falling away but not before many of our great men have fallen victim to such unrealistic and unnatural expectations. They have carried such a burden for too long.

What does a man do with this pent up emotion he feels he cannot openly express? Society shows us clearly what happens. From turning to unhelpful coping mechanisms, domestic abuse, social disturbance, violance, self harm and worse. Again I reiterate that this is clearly not all men and hopefully not as widespread as I am led to believe.

Times are thankfully changing and I wish for all men to feel they have a safe space to explore their emotions and how to manage them in a healthy and positive way. Thankfully there are many men's groups, therapists, coaches etc who provide this space. I feel it is a vital link in supporting men in a way that they feel heard and understood.

Mental health and wellbeing are openly written and spoken about certainly here in Ireland but I feel we can always do more. As a woman I am blessed to have such amazing individuals both male and female who I can confide in, cry, laugh and express my emotions to. If I didn't have this I know I would struggle.

My wish is for men to seek out these impartial spaces to express their emotions and clarify their thoughts. It helps you make sense of the undeniable demands we face from a society that has no pause button. Coaching offers you this space. I encourage our fine men to openly support each other. You are not robots but loving human beings and we are here to listen to and support you.


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