Leadership Coaching & Inspirational Speaking

Why men should open up about major life issues

Major life issues are more likely to affect men in almost every Western country in the world.

Do you know any men who are struggling with major life issues?

The statistics suggest you do, as men make up roughly 75 per cent of all suicides - indeed, the most recent research from the Samaritans shows that the male suicide rate in the UK and Republic of Ireland is actually at the highest it has been since 2001.

But that is merely the tip of the iceberg, as 75 per cent of the homeless population and 75 per cent of alcoholics are also men. While the struggles facing women should not be discounted or rendered less important, it's clear that as a society we are failing to protect our most vulnerable men.

Nine in ten people who go to prison are also male, and as we know going to prison can have a huge effect on a person's employment and family situation, as well as their future life prospects. Most worryingly of all, however, is that eight in ten pupils with behavioural/learning problems are boys. If we do not give young men the right start in life, what chance do they have of succeeding?

It's good to talk

For Steve Core, inspirational speaker and founder of Core Business, the reason the situation has become so perilous is simple - too many men are afraid to talk about how they feel. Too often they think the 'missing piece' in their life is simply the way that life is, leading many to mistakenly think there's nothing that can be done to address this problem.

"The statistics really are shocking, but in another way they are not too surprising. If you walk around London, it's mostly men who will be sleeping on the streets. So although it is shocking, it matches the reality of the world we live in," he says.

"People are not aware of what a massive problem this - a lot of men are lonely and isolated. There's an almost unwritten rule that men don't talk about important issues with their friends and we need to change that."

He has personal experience of dealing with these types of issues, and he eventually realised that mending his relationship with his father was key to helping him achieve real happiness in his life.

Taking control of the situation

As Steve points out, the solution to major life issues cannot be found in activities such as drinking. "You can't get enough of what you don't need," he adds.

So whether you are facing major life issues such as homelessness or alcoholism, or feel mentally and physically burnt out by the rat race, the first step to dealing with these problems is to sit down and have a conversation with someone.

Be honest about your fears, open about about your emotions and try to get to the root of your unhappiness. As Steve Biddulph says in his critically-acclaimed book Manhood, "most men are not fully alive". But by speaking to someone and coming up with a plan to deal with your problems, you can be.

So while you think the men around you might be fine, maybe you should take a minute to ask them if this is actually the case? It could be the push they've been waiting for.

Click the image below to watch Steve’s ‘A Story About Fatherhood’ TEDx talk

A story about fatherhood  |  Steve Core

TEDxHult London

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by Steve Biddulph

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