Thanks to some parts of society, men have a certain stigma of being emotionally “tough.” This forms toxic masculinity that can make social situations harder to deal with and carries other adverse effects on the individuals themselves. Men are more likely to feel lonelier than women and are less likely to discuss their mental health. This was always an issue; however, it has been increasingly difficult for men to deal with their mental health during the pandemic.
Men usually hang out in large groups, either playing team sports (such as football or basketball) or going out to a bar to catch a game. The majority of these activities are almost impossible to do during a pandemic, which has forced men to seek alternative routes to manage their mental health. New hanging out methods with the boys allowed them to have small talk without being personal, and not seeing some of these friends for a while opened up new conversations. Some men have reported that they have begun to talk to their friends about how they feel, how their families are doing, and ask more emotionally provoking questions.
Many men have reported friendship and mental health improvement by having emotional conversations, even during the midst of a pandemic! This is not groundbreaking psychological research; however, it helps break the stigma that men are emotionally “tough.” As more men become open to discussing their feeling with their male friends, other men will feel safe and inclined to do the same. Normalize saying “I love you” to your boys. We all live in a world that can be difficult sometimes; let your friends find comfort in you.