100 men a week commit suicide in the UK. Suicide is the biggest killer in the UK of men under the age of 50 years old. Women commit suicide at a quarter of the rate. Is this because men are more successful at killing themselves?
Are they more violent towards themselves so there is no chance of failing to die?Apparently it’s because men are men and are not able to speak about their problems particularly to other men. They have to be men. They are meant to be able to cope: be strong: manage their feelings. To communicate – men work in groups with an end goal that distracts from relating directly to each other. Like a car or a sport like a football team.The craic is about humour, being top dog by putting each other down. Men are criticised for not being able to speak about their feelings. But they are not taught to and no have no opportunity to practice. They are seen by being simply motivated: physicality, sex, food, and sport. They mostly can come back after an argument or being angry, and carry on with the task. 100 men a week.
Men can sometimes bypass not being able to communicate to other men by choosing to speak to women about their feelings. Boundaries have to be clear: how many affairs are started with emotional intimacy? Far more potent than physical chemistry, emotional intimacy is at the heart of us. Equal to the early potency of sexual intimacy, on-going emotional intimacy is the foundation of long term relationships.
Are women at an advantage? They operate in networks, being able to get support from their colleagues. In fact they don’t have to ask for support: women in groups that like each other are generally supportive.
It is a way of being and communicating – not something that has to be requested. Women in contrast to men can just chat. The expectation is that there are not any topics or rigid boundaries to the conversation. It is just chatting. Women in groups are criticised for being petty, and falling out – their motivations are seen as complex and unfathomable.
Is this stereotyping? There are always exceptions. But generally women seem to find it easier to illicit support from each other in a natural with no effort or permission. This talent increases physical mental health and well being.
Perhaps women are the stronger sex.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2015
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