And I don’t mean someone you game with or go out on the town or the ever classic “help you move bodies”. Having few intimate friends is quite literally dangerous to your health.How many of you have a friend – or several friends – who you can go to when you need help. Studies have found that people with fewer close friends tended to have a greater risk of death.In fact, people with more friends found their risk of death cut by seek out intimate friendships, the vast majority of the time they seek out women.
Weakness and vulnerability can only be shown to those who are not in a position to damage our status in the masculine hierarchy. And to be sure: to an outside observer (or a significant other, for that matter) many platonic male-female relationships can seem like an intensely romantic connection, even when they’re nothing of the sort. But even then, it’s transitory, even suspect at best, because straight men “inevitably” want to sleep with their female friends. complete with the same prohibitions against masculine affection).
As a result: we aren’t able to other men enough to open up to them.
In fact, social isolation is actually as bad for you as smoking. A lack of close friends – not people you chat with on Facebook or social media or the guys you hang out with at work, but close friends – correlates to increased levels of depression and increased levels of stress.
When you have fewer people to reach out to for emotional support when things go wrong, fewer people have your back in a crisis. Those feelings of isolation and helplessness contribute to a depressed immune system.
Yes, the myth of the rugged individual tells us that we should be able to handle everything on our own, but in reality, humans are pack animals. Moreover, people who have fewer friends have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and greater cardiovascular issues.
On the other hand, people with strong social support and close ties to friends and family have greater levels of emotional material support when things go wrong. Our friends, after all, tend to rally to our side in times of crisis.We don’t want to risk them mistaking our openness or affection for making a pass at them.Even in this day and age with greater acceptance of homosexuality, straight men , knawhuimmsayin?It takes a surprising amount of courage to open up and reach out to other men – after all, it requires fighting against years of social coding and gender expectations.By trying to foster a more intimate bond with somebody, you’re tacitly making yourself vulnerable and admitting to weaknesses, which is part of how men lose status amongst other men.And it doesn’t help that we have precious few societal models for male intimacy that isn’t overtly romantic or played for bad comedy Sure,you’re allowed to let your guard down if you’ve fought Nazis together or are part of a criminal organization. So, many times are going to have to be the example of how you want others to respond to you. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and be comfortable with letting yourself be vulnerable, with the expectation that there will be people who will misunderstand what you’re doing.