Address toxic masculinity within yourself

Practical suggestions on how to become a better person

Listen and learn 

Along with sharing your truth, ask others to share theirs, particularly people whose gender identities or gender expressions are  different from yours. How are they living their truth? How can you support them to do so? Do they have practical suggestions for how you can  shift your behaviour to avoid toxic masculinity? If so, consider them without being defensive. 

Acknowledge where you are and where you need to grow 

Instead of focusing on regrets for past behaviour, let the current moment be your new starting point for being more honest with yourself and  others. See if you can identify the triggers that make you feel insecure about your masculine identity and find healthy ways to respond to them  rather than defaulting to displays of toxic masculinity. 

Start opening up 

Start by having conversations with people you trust, who will be there for you no matter what. Knowing that even one or two people accept you as  your authentic self can give you the confidence to begin speaking your truth to others. 

Look within

The influence of toxic masculinity and male gender norms in our society is significant. Sometimes men have spent so much of their life hiding  their true selves that they aren’t sure who they are without these manufactured attitudes and behaviours. It may take some time and thought to  get back in touch with your real feelings, values, and life goals. 

Push past your resistance to asking for help 

For many, asking for assistance, whether from loved ones or a mental health professional, is the hardest thing. Understanding that men have  been conditioned this way can help reduce the stigma. So can self-compassion. Imagine what you would say to a friend struggling with  depression and who was afraid to talk about it. Surely you would encourage this friend to reach out and access the support they needed rather  than suffering alone. Give yourself the same encouragement. 

See also: 5 Ways Young Men Can Cultivate Healthy Masculinity  

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