Refusing to ask for help isn't tough, and it isn't smart.
Men with traditional beliefs about masculinity engage in 3 counterproductive behaviors to look tough which delays their ability to receive help and recover.
These include refusing to ask for help, denying pain, and believing they are invincible.
Men that hold traditional beliefs about masculinity—that men should be tough, self-reliant, brave, and emotionally restrained—are more likely to ignore their medical problems. When reading these three behaviors ask yourself if you engage in them yourself? Thinking back, do you feel like it has gotten in the way of your physical and mental health? Do you think any of your problems could have been solved if you did not engage in these behaviors?
1. Refusing to ask for help: Asking for any kind of help is not a sign of weakness, rather acknowledging your need for help is a sign of strength. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you don’t have all the answers or to say that you aren’t able to do something on your own. But with the advice, knowledge, and support of others, including your doctor, you can become a stronger person.
2. Denying pain: Ignoring discomfort will not make it go away. Whether you’re suffering from a terrible back ache or you’re feeling overwhelmed by depression, there’s no need to hide your pain. Once you acknowledge your pain, you can create a plan to get better.
3. Believing they’re invincible: Trying to convince yourself—and those around you—that nothing bad will ever happen to you isn’t helpful. The truth is, you’re not too tough to get sick. Physical illness and mental health problems can happen to anyone, at any time. And the longer you ignore problems, the more difficult they can be to treat.