In the week that National Stress Awareness Day is held, it might be timely to highlight a difference between men and women in the way that they deal with Stress, and why women can sometimes be more Resilient than the guys... it's to do with the way that the sexes network with their own gender, and the way they discuss and share problems. (I should say from the outset that some would say that I've lived the life of a "man's man" - Royal Marines, Fire Service - 5 years with a dagger in my teeth, and 27 rescuing cats from trees, with the occasional REAL emergency thrown in).
A statistic: WOMEN ARE 3 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO REPORT A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE THAN MEN..... and here's the news, guys! That doesn't make them weaker than men, it makes them cleverer than us!
Whilst both men and women will have some intuition that they are struggling with the pressures of life, and that their Resilience is depleted, men will often process the resulting Stress differently. I know, I've done it! Unwilling to appear vulnerable, a man is less likely to admit that they can't cope, more likely to reach a point when they can't bottle it all up any longer, and LOSE IT - normally manifested by an outburst of anger, aggression, or self-enforced solitude. We still tend to think of ourselves as the 'hunter/gatherers', right? And as such, we're more likely to confide in our 'mates' regarding a DIY problem, or how we'd change Villa's defence, all the while clutching a pint of lager and being 'blokey'.
GUYS, SMELL THE COFFEE!! A genuinely supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues is one of the key ingredients to reinforcing our Resilience. Give in to the need to talk, and explain to someone how you're feeling. If you can't work up the courage to tell another man (!), find a woman.
Have I generalised? Guilty! Have I stereotyped genders? Again, Guilty! But while we're on the subject, here's a final (very final!) statistic:
MEN ARE 3 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT SUICIDE THAN WOMEN!
John Kemp MISMA
Head of Training