Men’s Issues: Asking for Help
Men don’t ask for directions. Men don’t read the instructions. Men don’t ask for help. Have you ever heard these garbage stereotypes before? To put it mildly, wrong-headed ideas about what makes a “real” man are killing real men. These and many other harmful socio-cultural lies are poisoning the minds of men every day, preventing them from living their best lives and giving their best to others.
What real men do is ask for help and direction, and then help and support others. Real men know it takes courage, strength, and faith to ask for help. So, what kind of thinking propagates these twisted ideas of manhood? Where does it come from? And what can we do about it? Let’s take a hard look at asking for help from men’s perspective, and how we can help ourselves overcome the incorrect programming that’s keeping us from getting the help we need.
Don’t Believe the Hype
First off, there are a lot of incorrect ideas about manhood that corrupt our minds and keep us from living our best lives. We’ve all heard them — things like “men don’t talk about their feelings” and “men don’t cry” and “men don’t ask for help.” Cultural projections like this may seem harmless on the surface, but they have dire real-world consequences. Studies show that suicide rates are higher among men than women, and researchers speculate that part of the reason is because men are conditioned to not talk about their feelings or seek help. These seemingly silly stereotypes can actually program our minds to believe things that may end up costing us our lives. This is no joke.
There is nothing unmanly about asking for help or talking about our feelings. In fact, it takes real strength, real trust, and real bravery to be vulnerable and to admit when we need help. Our society and culture have so many incorrect ideas about manhood. It’s up to us to dispel these dangerous myths whenever we can.
Think about how silly some of them are. “Men don’t ask for directions when they’re lost.” This one is not only outdated but ridiculous. Of course men ask for directions. What else are you supposed to do when you’re lost? Of course, nowadays when we get lost, we just whip out our phone and pull up the maps app. Sorry, but that’s still asking for directions, even if we’re asking a robot and a GPS satellite. And this is just one example — there are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of these poisonous ideas about manliness floating around our world every day.
This makes it our responsibility to tackle these myths and bust them for good. We must be the ones to make it known that men can ask for directions, men do talk about their feelings, and men can and should ask for help. The onus is on us, truly. We must also take care not to feed into these stereotypes ourselves. When a male friend of ours talks about how he feels and we tease him about his normal human emotions, we may be encouraging him to keep quiet next time. And for too many men already, silence has meant death. We have to play our part in the war against toxic masculinity because it’s killing us.
Real Men Ask For Help
The truth is that all people need help at one time or another: men, women, alcoholics, addicts, everyone. We can’t escape our humanness simply because of our gender — that’s absolute nonsense. Men need help just like anybody else, especially men like us in recovery for alcoholism and addiction. The reality is that we cannot recover alone. We need one another on a daily basis to achieve and maintain our recovery. We need each other at meetings, for fellowship, and to be of service to. Most importantly, we need each other to work the Twelve Steps.
When we are new to the program of recovery, we may indeed find that we have a hard time asking strangers for help. But quickly, we realize that this is life or death for us. Suddenly, asking for help doesn’t seem unmanly or taboo. It’s what we need to do to stay alive! Especially once we’ve asked for help in recovery and find that all the help we need is freely given, as long as we do our best to try to help others as well. In fact, one of the major ways that we ensure our recovery is by rendering service to others. Imagine if nobody ever asked for help. We’d have a heck of a time working the program! Imagine if we never asked for help — we’d hardly have any recovery to speak of.
Help is a vital function of human interaction. It’s how we grow closer to people, it’s part of how we maintain our recovery, and it’s a necessary ingredient for a full and happy life. The idea that men can’t or shouldn’t ask for help is as wrong as it is dangerous. We need to feel no shame in admitting that real men ask for help, real men ask for guidance and direction, and real men share how they feel because real men are brave enough to be vulnerable, strong enough to know when they can’t do it alone, and healthy enough to interact lovingly with other human beings.
At Jaywalker Lodge, we firmly believe that honesty, community, and intimacy among men save countless lives in recovery. We do our very best to facilitate an environment where men are safe to be themselves, encouraged to share their feelings, and shown how to ask for help. These efforts have resulted in a thriving recovery community of sober men springing up around Jaywalker Lodge. Our men are heavily involved in the recovery community and highly active in the 12-Step program. What goes on here every day is that men learn how to ask each other for help, how to open up to one another, and how to live full, joyous, and wonderful lives in recovery every single day. If you are a man who is struggling to achieve or maintain recovery, Jaywalker Lodge is the place for you. If you’re ready and willing to begin your life in recovery, call us now at (866) 529-9255.