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Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden

By Harper's BAZAAR

Women are increasingly playing the role of best friend, lover, and on-call therapist to their male partnersRead full story

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  • Michelle Kennedy
    Michelle KennedyproCEO at Peanut

    We often hear at Peanut how women connecting and making friends helps their partner to connect also

  • This article is too emotionally driven for me... anyone want to get a beer?

  • Jeff Chau
    Jeff ChauFounder/CEO at gamegether, inc

    Resonates, loneliness is becoming a bigger epidemic, especially for millennials and Gen Z. There's a great TED talk Susan Pinker (The secret to living longer may be your social life https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_pinker_the_secret_to_living_longer_may_be_your_social_life) on this and the importance of a healthy social life on the human body and why the average women all over the world, in every developed country live several years longer than the average man.

  • Joe Munoz
    Joe MunozCTO at URWelcome Technologies

    Interesting article. I've definitely seen this issue with some of the older folks in my circle. I'll admit that I barely have friends these days myself - between work and family obligations, if you're not family or extended family we probably barely talk. Being a massive introvert though, the idea of being on an island isn't so terrifying - as long as the island has music, books, and games. I should be better friend though.

  • Salah Zalatimo
    Salah ZalatimoChief Digital Officer at Forbes

    Middle aged male loneliness is a thing. Unless you make a concerted effort and prioritize friendships, it's easy to end up there. I've seen it a lot and have experienced it to some extent. With work, marriage, kids, family and travel to balance, it's tough to keep focus on your friends.

  • Nicolás Rivero
    Nicolás RiveroNews Curator at Quartz

    I’ve found it much harder to open up and connect to male friends and relatives than to female friends, girlfriends, my mom, etc. Men tend not to ask as much about how you’re feeling, and to downplay their own emotions unless you really show you care and want to listen. That’s not to say (and the article does not say) that we’re all emotionless droids incapable of friendship—it just means we need to make more of an effort to stay connected. To the next dude about to get upset and leave an angry comment

    I’ve found it much harder to open up and connect to male friends and relatives than to female friends, girlfriends, my mom, etc. Men tend not to ask as much about how you’re feeling, and to downplay their own emotions unless you really show you care and want to listen. That’s not to say (and the article does not say) that we’re all emotionless droids incapable of friendship—it just means we need to make more of an effort to stay connected. To the next dude about to get upset and leave an angry comment on this story: Forget it. Go message a buddy and see how they’re doing.

  • John Gray
    John GrayFormer Banker Risk Management

    We've all had to deal with emotion draining friends and family relationships. In my experience there is not gender specific. To ascribe this behavior as a man thing is in itself sexist.

  • John Smith
    John Smith

    Have you ever known a needy woman that acts the same way?

  • Michael Bergman
    Michael Bergman

    How can I silence notifications for articles like this?

  • Soraya Darabi
    Soraya DarabiproGeneral Partner at Trail Mix Ventures

    I didn’t realize until recently how twisted my favorite story as a child - Beauty and the Beast - truly is. It’s the true origin of Stockholm syndrome. And, perhaps partially to blame for little girls feeling like they can “change” someone who is brutal and mean to them (later adult women feel cruel behavior is merely a shield for a hurt and vulnerable soul who hasn’t been able to properly express himself. As this article argues well). Bringing up vulnerability and teaching empathy in classrooms

    I didn’t realize until recently how twisted my favorite story as a child - Beauty and the Beast - truly is. It’s the true origin of Stockholm syndrome. And, perhaps partially to blame for little girls feeling like they can “change” someone who is brutal and mean to them (later adult women feel cruel behavior is merely a shield for a hurt and vulnerable soul who hasn’t been able to properly express himself. As this article argues well). Bringing up vulnerability and teaching empathy in classrooms is an important next step our evolving societal dialogue around gender equality. For children, removing “classic” children’s movies with bizarre messages, from Netflix and iTunes would be, in my opinion, a massive service to society.

  • Jari Martikainen
    Jari Martikainen

    Let's see here. My ex wife got her support from a Facebook moms group. I got no support from her. I also had no right to "go out with the guys" because she couldn't. She left me and wanted me back after 2 years.

    I got myself in to a happy place where I enjoyed helping other people regardless of time and place. My girlfriend after her got jealous and upset when she thought I was doing something else than helping somebody move for free.

    Much easier to be without friends than make the love of your

    Let's see here. My ex wife got her support from a Facebook moms group. I got no support from her. I also had no right to "go out with the guys" because she couldn't. She left me and wanted me back after 2 years.

    I got myself in to a happy place where I enjoyed helping other people regardless of time and place. My girlfriend after her got jealous and upset when she thought I was doing something else than helping somebody move for free.

    Much easier to be without friends than make the love of your life jealous over stupid matters like that, but do tell us more about your life experience or how women like you do not actually promote the domestic life where a husband and a wife are actually supposed to be eachother's supporters.

    Melanie is what I believe 41 years old kidless feminist who should not have anything to say about men in general. Ignorance is a bliss.

  • Catchy and judgmental headline, but still a relevant read about the ways in which traditional gender roles weigh heavily on both men and women. I think men do have friends, they just don’t know how to talk to them in a way that is emotionally fulfilling.

    On the other hand, I don’t think women have learned the language to talk to each other about work, careers, and finances. I find myself leaning on my male friends and colleagues for professional and financial support and advice. I don’t know if

    Catchy and judgmental headline, but still a relevant read about the ways in which traditional gender roles weigh heavily on both men and women. I think men do have friends, they just don’t know how to talk to them in a way that is emotionally fulfilling.

    On the other hand, I don’t think women have learned the language to talk to each other about work, careers, and finances. I find myself leaning on my male friends and colleagues for professional and financial support and advice. I don’t know if this is a burden for them or not, I never stopped to think about that!

  • Susan Nagy
    Susan Nagy

    I think we need a new paradigm for how we talk about ourselves. When we self-segregate or isolate or divide we fail to recognize that both men and women struggle to communicate in the face of rampant inability to contact the deeper layers of our soul. We too often overlook our spiritual centers and fail to see them and identify them in others.

  • Weiyee IN
    Weiyee INChief Strategy Officer

    Having many needy friends, drowning in their sorrows, wallowing about their relationships, children, finances, and whatever other angst that they are facing. I would sincerely hope that they are not going home and burdening their wives, especially as their issues with their wives are central to most conversations and the most common complaint is that their wives don't listen and don't understand.

  • Sumeet Shah
    Sumeet ShahBacking brands at Swiftarc Ventures

    This powerful read spoke deeply to me, especially also seeing how many of my friends are sharing this article.

    Toxic masculinity doesn't even just look to prove that "feelings" and "being vulnerable" is "a female thing." It looks to prove that both are signs of weakness. The fact that these are both related is absolutely disturbing because it hurts everyone in the process, and this:

    "Only five percent of men seek outpatient mental health services, despite feeling lonelier than ever before (in a

    This powerful read spoke deeply to me, especially also seeing how many of my friends are sharing this article.

    Toxic masculinity doesn't even just look to prove that "feelings" and "being vulnerable" is "a female thing." It looks to prove that both are signs of weakness. The fact that these are both related is absolutely disturbing because it hurts everyone in the process, and this:

    "Only five percent of men seek outpatient mental health services, despite feeling lonelier than ever before (in a recent British study, 2.5 million men admitted to having no close friends). What's more, men conceal pain and illness at much higher rates than women, and are three times more likely than women to die from suicide. Black men face an added set of barriers, including systemic discrimination, racial stereotypes, and cultural stigma against mental illness."

    The rise of men's support groups is a fantastic first step, and I hope it becomes bigger and gets more mainstream appreciation. Until then, we're still facing a downward spiral effect that men are going through.

  • Adrian Delgado
    Adrian DelgadoEconomist at FIU

    ““I talked him through his aspirations, validated his opinions, and supported his career. I had to be his emotional guru because he was too afraid to admit he had any emotions at all,””

    This is the problem. People confuse sympathy, or empathy for what is clearly unhealthy co-dependency. Sometimes you need to kick your partner’s arse to get them to react to something, and not always cuddle them.

  • Jeffrey Deeble
    Jeffrey Deeble

    So, correct me if I'm wrong here:

    The way men have historically been? Bad.

    The way men should be? More like women have historically and naturally been.

    So the message of the article is that when we ask the experts for guidance on some of the characters "they" would like us to incorporate, and that makes us a burden on them?

    Makes me better appreciate the appeal of the LGBTQ community.

  • Tim Sweeney
    Tim Sweeney

    I don't know because I'm older but my buddy's and I try to get together a few times a month for a few beers without the women and talk and not at the bar. Always a good time vent a little and it's all good have to make time for your friends.

  • Daniel Mozarowski
    Daniel MozarowskiZesty Neuro Specialist at Governmint

    Paranoia, isolation, delusion, and other symptoms of alien thought within the social body.

    Perhaps these men seek to cloister themselves from the perceived evil of the World.

    Perhaps this leads to the pervasive powerlessness which impels men to seek refuge away from those political solutions which may lead to salvation and toward disorderly and unbecoming behaviour

    A timely article

  • Anthony Duignan-Cabrera
    Anthony Duignan-CabreraCEO at ADC Strategy

    This is an interesting story; in recent years I've seen and met a large number of men, mostly widowed or divorced, adopt the gay lifestyle. Men who until their late 50s or 60s could be considered the epitome of the American straight white male stereotype. In reading this story I wonder if there is a cross section of isolated men who are basically heterosexual, and closeted men, who have repressed their orientation, gravitating towards if not each other, but the comraderie of a mature gay lifestyle

    This is an interesting story; in recent years I've seen and met a large number of men, mostly widowed or divorced, adopt the gay lifestyle. Men who until their late 50s or 60s could be considered the epitome of the American straight white male stereotype. In reading this story I wonder if there is a cross section of isolated men who are basically heterosexual, and closeted men, who have repressed their orientation, gravitating towards if not each other, but the comraderie of a mature gay lifestyle (widowed or divorced, children grown and moved out, etc.). I first noticed this in South Florida (God's Waiting Room) at the clubs and bars and again in New York when meeting members of the LGBT community in professional or social settings.

  • I let a lot of friendships lapse in the past 10-20 years. Social media allows me to reconnect with some, but our interactions are a veneer, a glossy faux finish over something that once had depth and meaning. While my personal experience was compounded by clinical depression and anxiety, it is also not surprising to see this is a systemic problem.

  • Behind every successful man...

    A powerful piece that is worth everyone's attention and reflection.

  • Gregory Owen
    Gregory Owen
  • Kirt Fickel
    Kirt Fickel

    Really? We're still on men are incapable to live without a woman, and women are the saviors of us all?

  • Louise Sumrell
    Louise Sumrell

    My 12 step group has a women's meeting that is well attended. The men's meeting is on the schedule, but no one is ever there.

    All negative emotions have their root in fear. Many people,(more men than women), are taught, from birth, by family and society, that to appear vulnerable is to show weakness and invite abuse. In our struggle to not show fear, we end up lying, denying our fears, even to our selves. Having a person, or better yet, people, with whom we can let down our emotional barriers, be

    My 12 step group has a women's meeting that is well attended. The men's meeting is on the schedule, but no one is ever there.

    All negative emotions have their root in fear. Many people,(more men than women), are taught, from birth, by family and society, that to appear vulnerable is to show weakness and invite abuse. In our struggle to not show fear, we end up lying, denying our fears, even to our selves. Having a person, or better yet, people, with whom we can let down our emotional barriers, be vulnerable and honest, both with them, and more importantly, ourselves, about our fears, our insecurities, is the 'gold-standard' of mental health. If you can't achieve that with family or friends, see a therapist. Talking to your therapist on a regular basis will ultimately be the best thing that you will ever do for yourself. After all, don't we all really want to be at peace with ourselves and the world! 😍😘😇

  • Patricia Lynne
    Patricia Lynne

    Must every improvement be correcting something *toxic*? Over it.

  • Nasirr M
    Nasirr MGraphic Designer

    this a great read. for all men. young, old. as a male in this world, this article will open eyes & minds to what’s really going on & hopefully better us as a whole

  • Jamie Sue
    Jamie Sue

    I won't lie, this was a factor in my last divorce.

  • Jesse Hawks
    Jesse HawksOwner at Hawk.Haus and Vitaimaging

    Currently experiencing this to some degree

  • John Redmond
    John Redmond

    What do you all think?

  • Harry Bear
    Harry Bear

    Strikes me as protesting a bit much. Spend any significant time as a fly in the wall around a group of women, and highly-detailed, impassioned relationship and anxiety stories from multiple members of the pack are hyper-analyzed into oblivion, coincident with formal plan-making for the next round, sure to take place as early as the very next evening.

  • Sergio Lugo
    Sergio Lugo

    No wonder: Melanie Hamlett is a comedian, writer, and storyteller who’s been performing in New York City and Los Angeles for the last 12 years and now in Europe, where she currently lives.

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