10 Men’s Mental Health Tips and a Conversation about “Incels”

June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and, in its observance, we want to bring attention to growing concerns that our young men are at the center of. Loneliness in men is at a constant high. In reaction to this feeling, there are communities of men venting their frustrations, assigning different parties within society to blame for it, and in turn being labeled as “incels.” The term “incel” is growing in popularity (largely due to the reach of the internet). It’s a fusion of the phrase “involuntarily celibate” that derives from a man’s inability to engage in a consensual sexual relationship with a woman.

 Men classified as incels are a ragtag collection that rallies around their shared experience of romantic rejection. Most of these interactions occur online, including (but not limited to) spaces such as social media, video gaming communities, online chatrooms, and the comment sections of digital articles. These interactions are often negative and could include the young men in your friend and family circles.

 Loneliness and men’s need for sex aren’t new societal concepts, due to the human need for healthy relationships, and sexual health being part of overall health. According to UC Davis Health, “Sexual health measures your emotional, mental, and physical ability to enjoy sexual activity. Good sexual health is important for your overall well-being and quality of life.” The incel community expresses an entitlement to sex and romantic relationships, widely spreading unhealthy ideas and attitudes that promote harassment, and committing violent or sexually-violent crimes against women who don’t accept their advances.

 In a study referenced in Forbes, conducted by the Pew Research Center, states that “women are more likely than men to report having been sexually harassed online (16% vs. 5%) or stalked (13% vs. 9%). Young women are particularly likely to have experienced sexual harassment online.

 In their journal entitled The Rage of Lonely Men: Loneliness and Misogyny in the Online Movement of “Involuntary Celibates (Incels)” Ruth Rebecca Tietjen and Sanna K. Tirkkonen analyze the ideology of this group, stating that “online groups of young men self-proclaimed as involuntary celibates incels have received much media attention due to the mass murders in Isla Vista (2014)… Elliot Rodger who committed the Isla Vista mass murder, killing six and injuring fourteen people before killing himself, left a 137-page manifesto that mentions the word “lonely” 49 times, “loneliness” 30 times, and “alone” 52 times (Rodger 2014). Blaming women, men who are sexually more successful than him, and society at large for his lonely existence, he finally decides to take revenge on the world that fails to give him what he so desperately needs, craves, and believes himself to be entitled to – attention, admiration, affection, love, sex, and recognition.”

 To reduce this negative influence, be proactive and start the conversation about incel groups with the young men in your friend and family circles. Ask them about their views on relationships to find out if they are being affected.

 We’ve provided 10 Tips for men’s self-improvement, fostering relationships, and maintaining a positive mental state.

  • Take time to get to know and understand who you are as an individual
  • Find a craft that interests you (preferably one that doesn’t involve the Internet) and devote time to practicing it
  • Spend time outdoors (sunlight helps you absorb Vitamin D)
  • Eat healthily and exercise for 30 minutes three times a week
  • Read authors like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis, and Jason Wilson
  • Steer clear of “Manosphere” Influencers such as Adin Ross, Tariq Nasheed, Joe Rogan, Kevin Samuels, Andrew Tate, The Fresh and Fit Podcast, pornography, or anyone who proclaims to be a “pickup artist”, as these influences project a distorted perception on how romantic relationships work
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend online
  • Find a successful mentor
  • Approach new relationships without expectations and seek to develop genuine connections
  • Learn to deal with romantic rejection positively (as it is an inevitable occurrence in life) and seek help from a mental health professional if needed

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Interdynamics Inc. is a mental and behavioral health firm in Landover, MD. It was founded by Mrs. Joan Branch in 2000 as a management consulting service, but grew later into a mental and behavioral health firm

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