How to be a man

Old ideas of manliness make us miserable. Being labelled ‘toxic’ doesn’t help. A reimagined masculinity is the way forward

Given all the stress and distractions in modern life, it’s hard enough to maintain a dialogue with our inner selves about who we are and want to be. For men, the war over our identity makes it all the more tempting to table deep, explorative thoughts about our own masculinity. But if there was ever a time that we needed to think about, reassess and reimagine what it means to be a man, it’s now.

Why now? Guys: a lot of us are struggling. Even if we no longer buy into many of the traditional and dangerous masculine behaviours – such as hiding our real feelings and reacting aggressively anytime our masculinity feels threatened – many men still unwittingly cling to vestiges of the old scripts that no longer serve us. We might still buy into the beliefs that we’re supposed to avoid asking for help and that we should not talk about our fears, sadness or emotional isolation. After all, competent men – the buffed, cocksure heroes of pop culture – don’t do these things, right?

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