Male Friendships: The Struggle to Make Friends

Studies Show Male Friendships Are Harder to Maintain

male friendships

The New York Times recently released an article discussing various studies that have shown the impact of friendship on the longevity and quality of life. The studies revealed that family relationships had little if any impact on life expectancy, but friendships increased life expectancy by as much as 22 percent. The article also discussed how men have a significantly harder time achieving these benefits—due to how male friendships are much harder to maintain than friendships between women.

A Lack of Cultural Support

Many men feel that male friendships are much harder to develop and maintain than it is for women. Many of stated that it isn’t a part of our culture for men to put emphasis on building male friendships. Our society provides more cultural support for friendships among women. The cultural support provided for men is more focused on them building careers and families. Men are often so busy with work and building careers, being involved in the home and with their children, that developing male friendships is often disregarded.

Research on Male Friendships

Research found that there is a current tendency for men—where in order for them to foster stronger, more intimate marriages, they have to eliminate or reduce nearly all other social connections. Ultimately leading to men developing social contacts via work and not psychological connections. Boys are taught from a young age that male friendships are built based on mutual activities like sports or work rather than emotional or psychological connections.

Gender Stereotypes

Our society has developed an understanding that men are not supposed to discuss personal matters with other men. Due to this, men have a harder time developing and maintaining intimate, casual male friendships. Building real friendships comes from being emotionally open—which is much harder for men to do.

Teaching youth at a young age to be emotionally open and honest can help them develop better skills at maintaining friendships. Boys shouldn’t feel restricted in their friendships due to gender stereotypes that say men don’t show emotions. We should be teaching youth the importance of communicating about emotions, not teaching them avoidance and isolation.

Elevations RTC Can Help!

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. As a residential treatment center for teens, we try to go above and beyond other RTC’s by having not only one on-site psychiatrist, but two practitioners who see each student weekly. We also have an academic component that uses an accredited curriculum and licensed/credentialed teachers. With all of this, we strive to give each student the most efficient and beneficial experience possible.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call today!