5 Steps for Men to Build A Healthy Support System

Learn 5 steps for men to build a healthy support system: identify needs, start small, be authentic, try new things, and pay it forward.

Topic Of Discussion

The tough male persona our modern society portrays does a disservice to men. We become convinced that men are all resilient, able to “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps,” and need no help from anyone, ever. Sadly, this is far more Hollywood than real life. 

There’s perhaps no better way to feel confident about the importance of support than by surrounding yourself with a healthy support system. Often, for men, this may be a group of other men who can validate shared experiences and interests. 

Ready to find your support system? It might be easier than you think with these easy steps.

1. Identify the areas where you most need support:

What’s leading you to seek support? Are you just tired of shooting hoops alone? Looking to share your faith with others? Wanting some board game buddies? Support can come from all different places in many different ways. The more you can identify what you need and want in life, the more likely you are to find others who can offer that specific support.

2. Start where you are:

At the same time, the first steps to building a support system can be very small. Sure, maybe you want to join a softball team to meet people and get in shape…but if you’ve never played softball before – you can either totally go for it – or you can also start where you are. Maybe instead of eating lunch at your desk, join some co-workers in the cafeteria. The more you talk to people you already have things in common with, the more likely you are to find ways to naturally grow your support system.

3. Embrace your authenticity:

A support system you build when you’re not being yourself might not actually be much of a support system at all. As men, it can be especially hard to be vulnerable and embrace authenticity, but doing so is the ticket to finding authentic support. So be yourself! It will help you to find the people who can support you the most.

4. Try something new:

If embracing your authenticity and vulnerability is newer for you, it might be all the more important for you to try something new as you build your support system. If you’ve been discouraged from being your authentic self, being honest about your interests and needs might feel uncomfortable at first as you try new things and introduce yourself to different kinds of people. Keep in mind: unprecedented discomfort often leads to unprecedented comfort and support! Your courage will pay off here.

5. Pay it forward:

The best thing about support systems? Once you’ve started building one courageously and authentically…it tends to feed itself! Integrating yourself into a strong support system puts you in the position to help others the way your support system helped you! So pay it forward! Offer others support once you’re feeling supported, and your support system can only keep growing!

Wrapping it up:

Sometimes, the first step in building a support system might be seeking support from a mental health professional who can help to guide you through the process. Our friendly, funny therapists at Tri-Star Counseling are here to help you get started!


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