Toxic masculinity is still prevalent in today’s society, and the biggest barrier to making societal progress in this regard is often a lack of resources and education. If men are taught by their fathers or their peers to behave a certain way, these beliefs as to what makes a man are something that they may carry with them for their entire lives.
The good news? Bad habits can be broken and people can always change for the better. To raise up your fellow men and help them recover from negative masculine behaviors, take a look at these five things men can do to end toxic masculinity.
1. Understand and define for others what toxic masculinity means.
The problem for some men may not be the fact that they don’t wish to break free of certain habits but that they don’t understand toxic masculinity or the role it plays in their lives. Toxic masculinity is defined by certain cultural beliefs that are handed down to us either by society or by male role models in our lives.
Some examples of how toxic masculinity manifests include believing that it’s not okay to cry or express emotions, thinking that being aggressive and dominant is the only way to express masculinity, and expressing misogyny or homophobia towards feminine aspects of society. Once toxic masculinity is defined, the negative cycles can be broken.
2. Look for resources that can help men learn what it means to be a man.
Having the resources you need to dive into what being a man truly means for the first time can make all the difference in your journey. Whether it’s style, life choices, or items you need to navigate day-to-day life, turning to a resource like The Quintessential Man can be a great way to start cultivating better habits.
Although there’s plenty of advice out there on social media, strong publications like this one offer the most comprehensive support when you’re looking for consistent resources on the topic. You can then pick some of your favorite articles and begin sending these resources to those who need them most.
3. Seek out a mentor that talks about men’s issues.
The problem for men with toxic masculinity is that breaking out of negative cycles can be difficult to do on their own. Guidance is a must if they wish to see just how damaging it can be and what can be done about their current way of thinking.
Look for mentors such as Connor Beaton to provide others with examples of men who have evaluated their own toxic masculinity and found ways to develop greater self-awareness and control. Remember, the key to making any change is to recognize if an issue exists and take the first steps to change it!
4. Give other men the resources they need to heal from trauma or toxic beliefs.
One of the most negative aspects of toxic masculinity is the belief that men should be silent about their struggles. Over the years, this unspoken trauma can continue to build up inside someone, resulting in mood disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, and other behavioral issues.
Before real progress can be made, it’s important that men speak to someone about this trauma and begin their path to healing. Help men connect with mental health services and professionals that they need to unpack and deal with this unresolved trauma to make their journey easier.
5. Share your personal journey with other men online.
Knowing that you’re not alone and having someone who you can relate to means the difference between seeing and ending negative patterns and falling right back into old habits. If you’re someone who has made progress in your journey, consider sharing your experiences online and reaching out to anyone who may need your help. Although it feels like we may be powerless on our own, extending a helping hand can do more good than we often believe.
The perception of what masculinity is will vary from person to person. Some believe that masculinity is emotional awareness, maturity, and kindness. Others see masculinity as aggressiveness, rejection of feminine qualities, and emotional suppression. To help eliminate the latter way of thinking, use the guide above to help other men achieve greater self-awareness and growth as they explore masculinity for themselves.