One of the things that you might have learned from culture is that to suffer shows how strong and manly you are. If you can bear pain you are a tough solider, or whatever you want to think of yourself.

This is false. There is no nobility in suffering. There is nothing that makes you stronger or more worthwhile as a person that suffering is required for. Anyone who tells you different is lying or ignorant.

Wait a second. I can hear you saying. What about the saying “No pain, no gain.” The idea is when you exercise you should be in pain and then you get stronger because of your pain. It is true that getting stronger requires discomfort in some ways. It is also true that you can get strong by doing things that don’t require discomfort. My doctor told me that walking is a great form of exercise and low impact. I have never felt pain walking, but there are plenty of gains of just walking. For example when I had dogs in the past I walked them everyday and I felt great. It was a nice experience to be with them even if we were just going around the neighborhood.

Many times men think they need to be strong and not show anything to show how tough they are. They don’t show their feelings, and they don’t show that they are human. For this, it causes men increased risk of disability and death. I realized long ago that if someone couldn’t accept that I had feelings and didn’t do what was “manly” it was ok. They were not ready to be an adult yet.

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Last year I went to the dentist and she asked if I felt any pain as the reason I came in. I didn’t and I joked back that I am the type of man who doesn’t embrace pain as proof of being manly. It sounded funny at the moment and she laughed. She said that real men don’t have to face pain and that men who act stoic don’t help themselves or others. Many men feel they can just bear pain and not visit the doctor. That isn’t my attitude. I am going to take care of my health, and if the doctor thinks I am less of a man, then I will find another doctor.

Suffering and pain indicate a problem, and I am going to find a solution to that problem before it becomes larger. Facing your problems head on, seems like a manly thing to do doesn’t it?