The Men's CoachThe School for Men

I help Men create

Love, Power, and Freedom

in every area of their lives.

More sex, more money, more freedom.
Get free tips on creating the life you want:
← Previous Post Next Post →

Because Real Men Ask For Help

Real Men Ask For Help

I’m writing this post for a multitude of reasons.

For one, I need your help. I’m going to ask you at the end of this post.

Second, I’m thoroughly convinced that learning how to ask for help may be one of the most important skills that the modern man can have at his disposal. In fact, it might save his life.

Finally, I want to share my own personal story of what happens when you don’t ask for help. It’s pretty dark.

Why is this such an important topic and why have I been talking about it so much lately?

Take a look at these recent headlines:

In these articles and the dozens just like them, the same story keeps getting told.

Man loses job, goes through a divorce, or has some other big life event. Man feels overwhelmed from dealing with the stress of change. Man has no support structure and feels ashamed to ask for help. Man sees no way out. Man kills himself.

I’ve recently been having discussions with men all over the country about this subject and they keep sharing stories depression, isolation, and suffering. Men who on the surface look like they’ve never had a bad day in their lives.

In fact, as I was writing this blog post, a friend who I used to work with shared a personal story through Facebook chat and then said to me, “This is the first time I have talked with anyone about this.”

What’s causing these men to suffer in isolation?

Their inability to ask for help.

It’s not like they are physically unable to speak the words. There is just a world of social programming for them to overcome before they step into a life full of abundance.

In my coaching practice, I hear this seven word phrase all the time:

“I’ve never told that to anybody before.”

It gives me goosebumps almost every time because in that moment that man finally let go of an emotional burden that he’d been carrying for decades. But it didn’t have to take that long for him to let go.

As an infant there was no difference between that man’s internal state and his external state. He was able to express his emotions fluidly and in real time.

Needs got met immediately. He didn’t hold grudges. When he was hurt, he cried until he was over the pain.

So why does that man’s internal state and external state differ so much today?

Maybe it’s from when he was on the playground and got made fun of for crying when he skinned his knee.

Maybe it’s from when his father told him to “man up” and screamed at him in a drunken rage saying, “I’ll give you something to cry about!”

Maybe it’s from when he expressed displeasure to his friends about the way they talked about the girls in their class and they ridiculed him by saying, “Quit being such a pussy bro!”

Or maybe it’s from when his father sat him down and gave him the talk about being a man. The talk where he learned to never ask for help, never cry, and fight anytime he was disrespected.

If you don’t think men not asking for help is a big deal, then read the articles above. I’d say suicide rates 3-4 times higher than women is a damn good reason.

Which brings me to my own personal story of not asking for help. And if it weren’t for the dozens of stories I’ve heard over the past year just like it, I’d probably be more reluctant to share mine. So thanks to those men who’ve opened up their lives to me. You know who you are.

So here it goes.

I’ve been suicidal twice in my life.

I’ve never gone very far with the thoughts. But twice in my life I actually entertained the thought, “Hmm, I think dying would be better than this.”

Once was when I was a teenager. The second time, was… oh, about three months ago.

When I was a teenager I was struggling with the usual issues of transitioning into manhood, but I had no tools for dealing with my emotions. I’d regularly fly into a rage and throw things or punch inanimate objects. I was a cutter for a while because it was the only way that I could feel pain.

I couldn’t talk to my parents about anything because I would just lose their love. The stuff I was getting into wasn’t what good little Christian boys do.

And I felt so alone that I wanted to kill myself.

I actually forgot about these dark times until I recently found a journal of mine from then. It was like reading a stranger’s writing. I forgot how angry I was at the world and how isolated I was.

I forgot how, but I finally pulled out of it.

And for the past several years I’ve taken pride in not only wanting to live, but absolutely loving every aspect of my life. I went from striving to thriving in a short period of time and it felt great to finally have a fulfilling lifestyle that I knew I had consciously created.

Which is why this past winter was so hard.

Because that whole identity of “being a happy person” got destroyed. I wrote about it here last week, but I left out a pretty important detail.

Some days, I just wanted to die.

I thought about it constantly. I’d think about jumping in front of the subway every time before it hit the platform. Why?

Because I waited to ask for help until I was already drowning. Because I thought I had things under control. Because I felt so overwhelmed that it seemed like there was no way out.

You know how the story ends.

I finally reached out to my friends. I got back into a regular exercise routine. I got militant with my morning rituals and gratitude practice. And I got the hell out of the cold weather.

And what I learned from that incident and from the stories of men everywhere is that we need to do a much better job of asking for help.

So as a model, I’m going to ask you very specifically for help.

Even though a very small piece of me is afraid of appearing weak or not completely put together. But I’m pushing though for the sake of men everywhere, so here it goes.

The Conference For Men is my life’s greatest work and I need your help.

The world is desperate for men to play a bigger game.

I’ve never thrown a conference before, but I know with absolute certainty that I’m putting together something special.

This isn’t about me. This isn’t about the speakers. This is about men stepping into something greater.

This is about men speaking their truth, conquering their fears, opening their hearts, reclaiming their balls, and creating the lives they’ve always wanted.

Here’s exactly what I need help with.

1. Tell A Friend – There are thousands of people who will read this sentence. Can each of you tell just one friend about the conference? Do you know a man who’s already on the path of growth, a man who’s wants more from his life? Please let him know we would love to have him join our community for a weekend he’ll never forget.
2. Become An Affiliate – Do you write a blog? Do you run a podcast or a website? If you’d like to be an affiliate then contact me and I’ll send you our affiliate guide.
3. Spread The Word – Do you have a connection at a major media publication who would be interested in doing a story on the conference? Do you have a large audience of men that you’d like me to share our message with? Contact me and let me know how we can get the word out.

1. Volunteer – We need 8-10 volunteers to help with registration, security, and general operations. If you live in San Diego and are free the entire weekend of April 25-27, email Sam Hershberger at sam [at] hershberger [dot] co — (yes, .co not .com). Please use Subject: TCFM: I want to volunteer

Finally, share this story with every man you know.

Men, you don’t need to suffer all alone.

There is an abundance of resources available to you if you just take off that mask, let down those walls, and say, “Hey, I need a little help here.”

I know it’s scary, but how is anybody supposed to help you if you’re not letting them know what you need?

The worst thing that might happen is that some people will think you’re weak. But those aren’t the people you want in your corner anyway.

  • Sam

    Very powerful article. “world of social programming for them to overcome ” Truth. That damn inner critic!

  • Jeremy DeWeese

    Wow, while I don’t remember feeling suicidal in my teens, I do always tell people, “I don’t know how I survived my teens.” I say that because my actions were kind of suicidal-like. There were many times that I drank myself into black-out, and I did things that were based out of desperation. There was a time when I was living in Germany, and my father had just gone off to the first Gulf War. I had no idea what to expect or whether I would see him again. I was 16, and I lost count at 25 wine coolers (wine coolers-funny, 25 is not). It was 2am and I went from door to door ringing door bells, yelling out…then I did the unspeakable. During war time, I went to the gates of our military base that was on full alert. I shouted out to the Military Police that were guarding the base that they were traitors because they weren’t at war like my dad. Then something really crazy happened…I grabbed their under-car bomb mirror and flung it as far as I could, breaking it into a million pieces. That’s when I blacked out and was arrested moments later. This is just one of many similar stories. I tell this because it is so aligned with this post. I couldn’t see it then because I wasn’t aware, but I clearly see now that I was desperate for a real conversation about what was happening in my life. This was some heavy shit I was dealing with. The repression went on into my twenties and early part of my thirties. That’s when I met my wife. Ever met someone that you just feel in your gut will change your world? That’s Angelina for me. Early on in the relationship, she began to challenge me. She would never say it directly, but she was unconsciously challenging me to be greater. I fought it at first, but eventually took on the challenge because I knew deep down that a life with her would be worth whatever risk I had to endure by uncomfortably growing myself. The last 8 years have been marked with a ton of growth and development courses that have rocked me, and changed the very fiber of my being for the better. I am now exposed, and it feels good at the core. I’m never alone because I am fundamentally related to every person I meet. That connection paints my world in vivid color and is a pathway to full expression. I am so grateful for my amazing wife.
    That pathway has led me to meet some pretty incredible people who have taken on similar challenges to be their greatest self. Yesterday, I went to a memorial for a friend, John Lee. He was 62 and had spent most of his adult life challenging himself in growth and development courses. His context was one of “how am I responsible for my life right now?” When it came to making a difference for people, he was robustly committed and could really get in your face. He was a warrior on a mission to expose small-life behaviors and he would love you into submission. Many great people spoke about him. I heard things like, “John stood tall, John had the greatest smile and you just knew he loved you.” I also heard, “John was intimidating at first, John annoyed me at times (by challenging me), and John was committed that I knew our friendship was important to him.” All of these things painted a picture for those in attendance. But the greatest thing I heard was from his son who paid him a huge compliment. His son Evan said, “My father, he was a man.” He went on to say that, while his teenage rebellious self didn’t always agree with this dad, when he got older he realized that his dad was a true man who could walk tall, speak from his commitments, and allow himself to be fully exposed and vulnerable in the name of his commitments. He was a man.”
    Real men are strong and allow themselves to be vulnerable. There is no greater or more courageous act. Vulnerability will set you free. Thanks for the post Mike and for being vulnerable in the name of making a difference, and for allowing me to remember my friend John in this way. I love him, and will miss him. But more importantly, I am inspired to continue making a difference for others, the way that he did. I aspire to always be a man in the way that he was. Perfectly imperfect.

  • Christy L. Miller

    I love this post. You’ve got to live it to give it. Lead by example. Mike, you light the way for other men. I’ve posted your conference link to both my facebook pages. Hopefully my life coaching page () will attract men and women to the conference. Hold on. You’re moving a mountain. xox

  • Kevin Diamond

    Lots of love around you brother. Really powerful post. We all got your back– Thanks for letting us help. We love you and love your mission. It coincides with a lot of your reader’s missions as well so you are doing us a favor by letting us contribute to this cause (movement). Thanks for opening up as always


  • Michele Musselwhite

    Love this and you for posting it. Thanks for giving and for being an example of vulnerability. I’m sharing with my male friends…may I also re-blog it??

    • Mike Hrostoski

      Sure, you can reblog it. Thanks for asking. :)

  • TJ Nelson

    I already signed up for the conference, can I still volunteer and help out or will those volunteers be performing tasks during the speeches and activities?

    • Mike Hrostoski

      The volunteers will be performing tasks. You’ll want to focus on just being present for your experience. Thanks for the initiative though!

  • Pingback: Asking for help – for MEN | camel karma()

← Previous Post Next Post →