Episode #2
Mental Health & Masculinity
In this episode:

Josh and Aaron discuss the importance of mental health for men and the ways to help be there for one another. Topics in this episode include toxic masculinity, society’s effects on men’s mental health and the stigmas behind it, nature vs. nurture’s correlation for being raised, reaching out to people around you, and how men deal with big events in their lives.

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Show Highlights
  • Toxic masculinity
  • Society's effects on men's mental health and the stigmas behind it
  • Nature vs. nurture's correlation for being raised
  • Reaching out to people around you


Aaron Tharp  0:00
The information provided in this episode is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you have questions regarding your health, please contact your medical provider.

Welcome back to Men Explained. I’m here with Josh.

Josh Simms  0:19
What’s up, man?

Aaron Tharp  0:21
Not much brother we’re gonna get into it today. We’re gonna talk about some good stuff.


Josh Simms  0:24
Yeah, what are we talking about? Today?


Aaron Tharp  0:26
We’re gonna get into men’s mental health. So today’s topic is going to be around toxic masculinity, society, nature versus nurture, and how we were raised. What it’s like to contend with some of the things that men contend with.


Josh Simms  0:42
Yeah, and how that how that affects our mental health as men? [Yes]. So I think I think a good preface to this is a couple of things. One is that, you know, we kind of come up with a topic to talk about, right. And one of the things I think we will talk about is that we didn’t want to have like this real rigid outline, and we’re going to discuss, we’re gonna go from depression to bipolar, blah, blah, blah, it’s not we’re doing right. It’s kind of, you know, we just, it’s gonna be a little bit free flowing, we want to stick to a structure. So we might kind of get off on side trails. So we don’t want to be, we’re not unaware of that. Right. So just so people know. And the number two thing with the mental health, if you’re experiencing depression, if you’re having thoughts about suicide, hurting yourself or hurting others, reach out to somebody. I think that’s super important for people to know that there’s a lot of resources for people with mental health issues. It’s a big problem. There’s still stigma behind it. I hate that I wish it weren’t that way. And I think we’ll pry will probably chime in with someone at the end with that with the numbers for for mental health and suicide prevention hotlines and stuff like that. So people can, if there’s anybody listening, who’s in that deep, dark hole, and they need help that they can call. So


Aaron Tharp  1:48

Yeah, so you mentioned kind of the, the stigmas, the hatred that was still around mental health specifically for men. [Yep]. Where does that come from? What does that mean to you?


Josh Simms  2:00

Where did the stigma come from? Like, where does that go?


Aaron Tharp  2:02

Yeah, just like the, you know, you mentioned that you didn’t like that it was still there. And it’s still a problem. And why is there such friction there? It’s the Well,


Josh Simms  2:13

I think that a lot of people who don’t have the issues, just kind of tell people like we’ll just, you know, and it’s not even the alternate pull yourself up by the bootstraps was just kind of like, Well, you know, we all know that, like, all these different things make us feel good. So once you go do it, and it’s like, well, there’s literally a, a mental health problem there. This is not a voluntary thing, like people don’t want to stay inside all day long, and they don’t want to just wallow in their depression. Nobody wants that. But but it’s an issue of whether it’s, again, the nature versus nurture. Is there something that’s happened to these people that’s driven them into this position? Or is there you know, chemical imbalances in the brain caused by other issues that have led to this right? It’s just not this simple, like, hey, just wake up and go outside and look at the sun and you’ll feel better, right? It’s not that’s not the way it works. So I think that a lot of people, I think, if you’ve never had depression, I’ve experienced depression in the past. I don’t know if you have. And it is like, unlike anything else, that it’s really hard. I


Aaron Tharp  3:04
Mean, we all go through grieving periods. And so the worst thing to hear when you’re when you’re going through little bouts of it, is to just get over it. Yeah. It’s the worst. It’s the absolute it’s a kick in the pills. Yep.


Josh Simms  3:17
And there’s a time for that, right? Yeah. Like if you gotta like if I got a buddy, and I’m, I’m pissing and moaning about something that happened six months ago, that was so little, I want somebody to grab him by the slap in the face. They grow up. Yeah, there’s a time and place for that. Right? Yeah. But if like, you know, somebody loses somebody who they love, like, there’s, I mean, there’s a time degree for that, right? And then, but that can really go sideways on people completely unintentionally. And then, you know, then you get into substance abuse. And then you get into like that self hate and all these different things. It just snowballs on people. And it’s not nobody wants that. It’s not intentional. So I think yeah, I mean, there’s always a time and place for some of that like, that tough love. Right? But rarely is it within a true situation of somebody feeling depressed.


Aaron Tharp  4:01
And as we as we’re growing up as a little boys, or before we’re even teenagers. What is it that we hear a lot? Don’t be a pussy. No, don’t cry like a girl. You know, don’t show your emotions. You got to suppress them got to be tough. You got to get over it. So we’re, we’re conditioned at a very young age. from a sociological standpoint, yep. To just kind of repress it.


Josh Simms  4:32
Yep. Just Just type in him. Yep.


Aaron Tharp  4:36

So we’d be we would be remiss not to bring up the topic of toxic masculinity in this conversation. So


Josh Simms  4:44

because that plays a lot into perpetuating the stigmas. Right, which I have an issue with that too.


Aaron Tharp  4:50
So go on. Yeah. Well, I


Josh Simms  4:52
Think I think I think there’s this toxic masculinity is is either a completely true term for a certain group of people completely false for him for another group of people, right? I think there’s, there’s certain guys that I look up to and read and listen to, to, for myself help, right? There’s guys like like Jocko Willink and Andy Priscilla, there’s all these guys who are when you go around them, like you automatically know like you’re around a dude, right? sure you’re around a dude that like if you push them the wrong way, they’d snap in half like even like, they’re dudes, they train themselves to be a way that they are. But if you talk to them, they’re really, really good genuine human beings who want the best for people. And they see that and they deliver this kind of tough love in a way when they can recognize when somebody needs it. Right. But then they also understand the value of understanding when someone needs help with their mental health. Yeah. In some people see those guys as toxic because they do want men to stand up and kind of lead, right. And there is there’s plenty of women who are fantastic leaders, I work for women, and I’ve worked with women, I’ve been trained by women in my job, right? And it’s like, I communicate with women who are considered, you know, I don’t want say the higher up than me, but like where I refer to and talk to and get direction from right. And I have no problem with it whatsoever. Like it doesn’t it doesn’t bother me, I find value in that because there’s a lot of times where I would do something stupid romances. Maybe we just didn’t do it that way more on it when they don’t say that. But you know, I’m saying like, Well, I was pretty stupid of me to think that way. And they provide great perspective and outlets, right. But there is a there is a place in society where we need good men who will stand up and lead and lead others until people kind of what you need to do. Right. And people see that as a toxic masculinity thing. Like Don’t, don’t let someone cancel you or don’t let somebody kind of tell you the way that you need to be. Or that or that the things that you believe in, are wrong. Right? If those things are normal and healthy, like going to the gym every day and exercising and taking care of your body, taking care of your hormones, right, doing all these different medical things that we kind of talked about in our first episode. Some people see that as toxic because it perpetuates manly men. Right? Which I mean, I think if you talk to most women, they want a man. Like, that’s not i’m not saying that’s true for all women. Some women don’t want that right? But then they don’t they don’t look for that. But then there are other guys who are toxic, toxic, right? who are who are just dicks, right? who treat women like crap. They treat other people that crap. They try to walk on people, right? They take advantage of other people, they try to use their ego and insecurities as a masquerade for masculinity in order to think like, Oh, yeah, I’m the tall walking guy. So I’m going to stick and it’s like, usually those guys are the most insecure guys. Now that is truly toxic masculinity, right? There’s probably some mental, some mental health issues there something that happened that that turned them to be that way to cover those things up. So it’s, I think there’s a, there’s a pretty big divide between those two, I mean, that there’s a Grand Canyon sized gap between true toxic masculinity and then what, what, what some people want to label because they don’t want to, they don’t want to have those skills of being able to, to kind of stand up and again, plant that flag and be part of a community of men who strive for good things and better things. And it’s, it’s, it’s really interesting phenomena. I don’t I don’t quite understand it. But that’s what we’re gonna kind of figure out, right.


Aaron Tharp  8:1
We’re gonna Yeah, we’re gonna try. Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s a, we’re certainly living at a time we’re kind of planting your flag, and having having a, having a mission or having a statement and a self belief. Can can be too far and can almost be seen as like, okay, you need to tame it down. You’re, you’re standing out too much. Right? And that can make other people feel like, you know, that’s you making them feel small. Right. So, you’re kind of walking in there or you’re, you mentioned being around those guys. That that no one turned on Jocko. You know, they know what to do that to me. I associate that with with masculine energy. Yeah, it’s the energy. And when you mentioned that, that women prefer men, I think it’s it. I think it’s the energy. And that’s a very different energy than is the toxic energy that we see where it’s coming from a place of fear coming from a place of insecurity or a place of pain. Oh, yeah. I mean, if, if, if I grew up and my dad pack the bags and said, See, and I never saw him again. My trust and fellowship and tribe and brotherhood would be shit. Yeah, I mean, and who could blame me for it? So I’m gonna react to try and make myself feel better bigger, because at my depth at my core, I don’t feel enough. I don’t feel complete.


Josh Simms  9:52
Yeah, yeah, inadequacy. I mean, I think it’s the biggest thing that drives a lot of guys either the feeling or the fear of it. Right, they just don’t ever feel good enough, right? I see a therapist every week. And that’s the biggest thing that we talk about is this feeling of inadequacy. It comes from without my dad, my dad exactly what you said, my dad when I was three years old, he left.


Aaron Tharp  10:13
I didn’t know that


Josh Simms  10:14
left left. Our family was cheating on my mom. He was he was I’m sorry. Yeah, no, it is what it is, right? I mean, I think it’s, it’s a long time ago. And and over the years, you that feeling of inadequacy creeps up and rears its ugly head at certain times. Right? And that’s what we kind of talk about every week like, well, what happened this week? Let’s talk about ABC and D. And like, why did that make you feel it? Well, it made me feel inadequate, right? And she’s like, Well, why? And I’m like, which is like, what? Like, wow, like, what does that what age? does that remind you of? Like, when did you kind of start to feel that and then it’s like, we kind of dig into that. And you realize, like, holy shit, man, I’ve been feeling this way for my whole life. And I don’t want to be driven by that. Like, how do I how do I fix that? Right? In your communication, and, you know, going through therapy that helps, right? And it kind of helps finding the problem. So then you can fix the problem, right? And so, I mean, I think, I think if you talk to most guys, they at some point in their life, they were made to feel small and insignificant, whether it was by their dad, by their mom, or by a woman, those were kind of the three big ones, right? That really flipped guys in the wrong direction. And then they start to go off on their own and do do bad stuff. And so I think finding that sorry, finding that and getting that figured out is is huge. Because that you let that sit there and grow. Yeah, I mean, that just, that’s when you run into really kind of bad, bad situations, and you don’t you can’t form relationships, because you’re always looking out for yourself, like, well, I feel inadequate on these people. So I’m gonna avoid that, right? I’m not gonna face that challenge, because I’m too afraid I feel inadequate. So I’m not going to overcome that, right? Or you go down the toxic masculinity route, where you’re like, I’m going to overcompensate for everything. So everybody thinks that I can do anything, when you’re really just super insecure. And you’re just kind of broken inside.


Aaron Tharp  11:57
And you think that you’ve got a poker face on? Yeah. But everybody around you


Josh Simms  12:03
Is looking at you. There’s something


Aaron Tharp  12:05
there’s something off. Yeah. Because your iron my it’s my belief that it’s because your energy’s off. Yeah, you’re not open. Yep, you’re not receptive. Your walls are up. You mentioned that, that you went to therapy, which is a big admission. Yeah. And you lead with that I to go see a therapist. It’s only I have in the past. But I started to go about three or four months ago. And this time, I decided to go to a man, not because women therapists are not very trained, or they’re not skilled. They’re very talented. I needed somebody who could relate to what I went through or what I go through on a day to day basis. So I chose to go to a guy. I’d like to know what what you get most out of going to see a therapist, because it’s been very rewarding in the three or four months that I’ve gone. Sounds like you’ve been going for a while or you go more frequently. A little


Josh Simms  13:03

a little over a month. So I actually see a woman therapist. Oh, you do? Yeah. Okay. And it’s I mean, she’s great. Yeah. I mean, I think the thing that I get it mostly as you go, kind of openly talk to somebody about what was going on in my life. Yeah. And just the things that kind of have happened. And kind of have somebody will take an objective view and kind of pinpoint like, hey, we’ve talked about all this stuff in the past, like, you see how this kind of pattern is repeating. And how it like and kind of working through that, right. It’s not a, it’s not a one month process. I mean, it’s therapy’s a long time, and you get into some stuff that you don’t necessarily want to talk about. But if you don’t, none of your problems are going to get fixed. Yeah. So I just like being able to kind of go and kind of like, in an unemotional, like, non confrontational way, kind of just unload on somebody. Right now, I don’t want that that’s a bad term, but I can just kind of open up the book of like, crap that I’ve been dealing with and just put it out there and they say, Okay, let’s talk about it. Instead of being like, what’s wrong with you? Right, you got a first date? You do that? Yeah. Yeah. Even blocked my number, what’s going on? You know, like, so it’s like, you know, obviously, you know, we pay these people to go talk to him, but it’s, it’s, it’s worth the investment. Right. I think it is.


Aaron Tharp  14:12
Yeah, it’s funny that you mentioned de cuz the last the last session that I went in there, I was pissing and moaning about some girl that you are exactly right. Part of what I get from it, personally, is to shed light on on the dark sides of my psyche or my experience that I would otherwise have bouncing around cerebrally that doing no good. Yeah. single guy, no kids not married, working at home by himself for the past year. There’s, you know, things are things are great. I mean, I feel like my mental health is good.


Josh Simms  14:48
And it’s coming to me.

Aaron Tharp  14:50
I’d love to get what was the three whiskey you’re mentioning, bro? Okay. Okay,


Josh Simms  14:57
So three kids will do. I won’t. I won’t have any goals. Raise your mental health problems. Wait, let’s just get that out of the way. Right? Yeah, that’s,


Aaron Tharp  15:03

that’s absolutely fair. He got me off track here. But it’s, it’s, you know, having worked at home and spending so much time at my house by myself, I go to the gym and I come home when I work. That’s a lot of time at like by myself, where your thoughts are just with you. And you don’t get any like feedback. Yeah, not any unbiased feedback, like, did you want to like say that out loud? Do you hear how that sounds? Do you want to know how that sounds? Like you’re just getting an unbiased, unvarnished opinion about the things that I get rid of very cerebral? And I’m imagine that you’re kind of a guy that does like to split hairs? Oh, yeah. Yeah.


Josh Simms  15:47
I mean, it’s one of the things I always always wonder like, like working from home. Because I always see my home as like my place of rest, right? My place to come in and unwind. Is that hard for you to like, work from home? And then like, have your place of kind of like, Hey, I got my, all my stuff set up the way I want it. So I feel good. It’s my cozy spot. I’m comfortable here. Is it hard? Is it hard to separate those? Or do you lose kind of like, I mean, does that affect the way that you’ve like mentally feel just in your house?


Aaron Tharp  16:13
I would say more prominent is, is my inability to engage in be around people. Yeah. I don’t think you have to be an extrovert. And we’re social creatures as it is. I just think that you get you get some energy you you pick up off of people’s feed back a little bit. You kind of know, your place in the pecking order, you kind of know where you fit in. When you’re home alone all day. You just have no sense of that. So it kind of feels like you’re kind of drifting a little bit. Yeah. So then you start to question things, and then you start to doubt things. And then you fall into the hole. And then you know, you start asking yourself questions. And then that negative self talk just perpetuates and perpetuates, and you get no outlet for it. You get no coping skills around it unless you actually do something about it.


Josh Simms  17:02
So that’s I mean, that’s interesting, right? So this pandemic, yeah, I mean, that’s exactly what that’s done to 50 million people, right? Well, what did they turn to? Food and alcohol, man, I mean, it was just it just and the people who had like true issues, and there may be that kind of coming out of it. And they just dump them inside and make them sit inside all day long. And it’s like, right. Okay. Right. That’s a good way just to get people to dive into substance abuse and think about killing themselves. Because there’s, well, I would love to go out, hang out with their friends, because I would do that every Tuesday night. But I was told to stay inside the whole time. Right. Yeah. So I think that’s an interesting that that like, thrown into the wrench of everybody’s mental health as a society. I think people underestimate I think we talked about it a little bit, but we don’t want to open that whole Pandora’s box, because then everybody will know that that. Again, I’m not Coronavirus is real and all this stuff is terrible. But you open up this Pandora’s box of like, maybe the cure was better than or worse than the disease are locking everybody inside and saying, don’t go out to all the stuff that we know is really bad for human beings. We told people to do, right? Like, just don’t even go outside stream Netflix


Aaron Tharp  18:07
All day. Like Dude, I


Josh Simms  18:08
Live in Southern California. Why can’t I go outside and take a walk? Well, you got to wear a mask. And you guys chose a distance. I’m like, again, I’m out like I’m outside. But don’t go outside. You know, it’s just kind of crazy how it’s, you just put people in that and you almost make the problems worse.


Aaron Tharp  18:23
Yeah. So not only are you are you at home with your own thoughts, but you also don’t have like the freedom. You know, you really appreciate that just Oh, yeah, I maybe bitched about going into the office once or twice a week, but like, at least I could go Yep. Now I don’t have that outlet. And you just, you know, I’m not the type of guy and this is me personally, I’m not the type of guy I work in sales. I’m not the type of guy that enjoys working all week in sweats. Yeah, that affects how I that affects my energy that affects when I’m talking with my prospects. If I’m in sweats sitting in I’ve been doing that all week. I bet my numbers reflect that. Nope, I need to be engaged. I need to have social feedback. I could just you know, so. It wasn’t an easy decision. And it may not imagine going to treatment wasn’t an easy decision for you.


Josh Simms  19:15
No, I mean, it wasn’t it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I delayed it. You know, I just found every excuse not to go within my schedule and the money and this that and the other thing and it was just you kind of just going right well, yeah, I don’t really have any excuses anymore. I got time in this day and she’s got time on that day and yeah, the only reason I wouldn’t do it is because I’m being prideful, right I don’t want to I don’t want to face that music even though that’s gonna help me be better be a better man be a better husband be a better dad be a better friend. Yeah. Right. So


Aaron Tharp  19:45
Are you kind of put the words in my mouth. I was gonna ask. I’m just by myself and I could I don’t know if it’s just you’re more paying attention to because yes, I’m, I actively know that I’m going to treatment. So I think you just pick up on things in your environment. And then maybe you would have overlooked before if you’re just in your own shit all the time. Yeah. So I noticed this is key. Yeah, I noticed that personally. How does it show up in terms of, you know, be being a better be a more present father, a more present husband? Where do you see those things manifesting? And how has it benefited you in that way?


Josh Simms  20:25
Yeah. So I think growing up without a dad, do you have no model of how to be a dad or how to be a husband, right. And if those were things you aspire to be or want in your life, and you have nothing to operate off of your chances of success are very little unless you’ve had, like a stepdad or a good mentor, or like, you know, like, if you had a buddy, who you were really close with, and his dad, like, understood what you’re going through. So he kind of tried to model that to you a little bit. But I didn’t really have that either. So for me going to therapy, and kind of like pinpointing this inadequacy issue. It allowed me it kind of allowed me to say, Okay, so I’ve got two options, right? I can use this as an excuse to to, to let it kind of drive things and be like, well, I am the one because you make me feel inadequate, you know, say that to my wife, or like, my kids aren’t listening to me. So that makes me feel inadequate as a dad, it’s their fault. Right? That’s, that’s an easy thing to fall into. But I approached it from from a standpoint of like, the truth is, is that I’m probably not inadequate, I mess up and everybody messes up. We’re not perfect, right? But if I just treat my wife like I am an adequate husband, and I just am transparent with her about the way I feel about her. Or what I’m feeling, right again, that feelings word, right? We shouldn’t operate 100% of all so tough word for God,


Aaron Tharp  21:41
It is a really tough one


Josh Simms  21:43
it is. But we shouldn’t operate 100% off of our emotions and feelings, right? We should have some intellectual processing of things. But there’s some times where like, you do need to like, just go to a lab until Okay, I appreciate you. You’re a great mom. You’re an awesome wife. I love you. Yeah, it’s eight seconds of pure raw emotion to her. And it lights up her day. Yeah. Right. How hard is that? And the equity that earns you is huge. Yeah. And then I feel I’m inadequate husband. Right, I did what I was supposed to do. And I could visibly see her change. And now I feel good about it. Right? And then we just kind of build that right? And then if I my kids mess up or don’t listen, if I sit down and kind of talk to him and try to dad him through situations, and it’s like, Okay, well, I’m trying to be adequate. Right? My if I just try hard not to screw my kids up. Just needs to do it. That’s, that’s the long play. Right? Like, that’s you I’ve got if I don’t die, like you know, I’ve got a lot of time to dad, my kids, right. And that’s an ongoing process. It should be called practicing parents should be called practicing, because we learn more about it. So. But I think just being there for them being present for them is adequate. Because I didn’t even have that. Right. So I’m already way ahead of the game on where I was. Yeah. You know, in doing small things, I put my kids to bed every night at home. I love them. Tell them proud of them. Right? Give them teachable moments, those type of things like I try to think about the things right here my friends who did have dads in their group like I really I’m like really lucky I can call my dad now bounce ABC off from I remember playing soccer baseball with my dad in the yard. And but I’m like, I don’t have that. And my two brothers, right? And then it’s like, okay, so I’m doing the right things. I just need to, you know, fine tune things here and there and see stuff in not focused on the inadequacy, but focus on how I am being adequate and build on that. Right. Right. So I think pinpointing the problem and then taking action, on on that is is big, and I’ve seen just in the month that’s been huge improvement, and just the way my wife and I communicate and our relationship and it’s worth every penny just from that standpoint alone.


Aaron Tharp  23:41
Would it be fair to say that once you’ve you’ve dealt with your own shit that you mentioned awareness? Would it be fair to say that once you’ve kind of cleared that out or the process he purged it? I always feel like when I go into my sessions, I purge Oh, yeah. And I, you know, then that’s must be why they get paid the big bucks because, I mean, I’m one of probably eight that day. I don’t know how they contend with it. They probably have therapists too. Let’s be fair. Yeah. But why would it be fair to say that because you dealt with your shit that makes you not only more aware but more attentive more present. More true. I always feel like I’m turned inside out in a good way more transparent. You’re not trying to hide secrets. I’m like I’m shedding light on the dark sides of me that like I’m not like super prideful but they are they are me. Yep. Right. What what what do you think about that?


Josh Simms  24:35

Yeah, I mean, I think I think once you again once you find awareness of what’s going on inside you, right and whatever that may be. I mean, there’s there’s like so many different like backgrounds and issues of people why they go to therapy or why they need therapy, right. Mine is one that’s big to me, but may seem inadequate, like may seem stupid to somebody else, right. But I think it allows you to feel comforted pulling your own skin when discussing that, or being like, Hey, man, like I go to therapy like, right like some people, like what you’re telling me that it’s like, yeah, yeah, it helps me helps me a lot. I mean, everybody I mean, he really talked to anybody, nobody is like perfectly well adjusted and normal. I used to people, she would receive them like once a week or once a month or somebody just again just to sit down and kind of talk to you and unload on it. And the way that you know, some people kind of, you know, life coaches and executive coaches and business coaches, right? I mean, what are they doing, really, when they’re giving people therapy about their issues, either at work or something right to help them kind of process and get through things that they’re running into mentally. It’s just, they’re really clever about the way they brand themselves. And I’m all about that, like, I 100% think that that’s great. Like, if you can see a therapist and many avenues in your life, that’s good, right. So you can focus on your personal life, your business life and improve from those different standpoints. So learning to circle to circle back to what your question is, is, if I think I’m understanding you correctly, yeah, it does, it does make that discussion way easier and makes it’s way easier to be transparent. Again, because if you just turn the light on, and you find the awareness, and you kind of say, okay, all the problems are here, and then you are able to discuss those problems with somebody, then you feel more comfortable, like, Okay, I’m dealing with this. Yeah. Now I can relate to other people and kind of be more transparent and help them kind of understand like, hey, like, these are issues that not just you have, but I had them to where I have them. Yeah, I’ll never get rid of that issue. that’ll probably something to do with my whole life. But again, that’s why you build tools if you get a tool set to deal with that stuff.


Aaron Tharp  26:30
Yeah, one, one of the things that my dad was very, very big on. And he went to, he went to therapy, and he was open about it. To deal with issues that he had with his father, my grandfather, he noticed that we all did. I mean, it was a significant change in our family. I mean, he he made the conscious decision that said, this shit stops with me. And I’m not gonna let it continue on. And he is generational things, man. Yeah, for many other reasons. But specifically that one, he’s he’s definitely my hero for that. What is it about growing up? From a boy turning into a man that it causes us to kind of keep these secrets? Keep our, our shield up? Keep our guard our armor on what what is the what is the fight, in your opinion that we’re always resisting against?


Josh Simms  27:29
Like when it comes to like mental health and treatment and kind of facing those demons? So it’s just being


Aaron Tharp  27:34
that open? And why why do why do we get to 37? To understand that going in and talking to a therapist, and being transparent and open, and being vulnerable, and doing all this shit that like we just we don’t we don’t like to do it? Yeah. But why do we have what is it about growing up? As a man that we feel like we have to, like, hide those things?


Josh Simms  27:58
Well, I think I think men, nobody, I mean, those are like, I mean, like, I think what you kicked it off with is like, we’re kind of we’re kind of taught to suppress things and shut things down and don’t get emotional about things. And that requires you to do the complete opposite of that. Yeah, we’re trained to kind of react that way. And then you’re going into someplace that’s going to make you do the complete opposite in open stuff up. And you’re gonna I mean, there’s stuff that like, I don’t remember that I started remembering, because it’s just just in the splinters of the recesses of my mind, right? You start talking about these things kind of blossom and open up and you’re like, Oh, my God, this is really not normal, right? These things are really, really abnormal in my life. And it hurts man. That’s not fun. There’s nothing fun about that. It’s It’s tough. But and I think I think it’s two things, I think, I think it’s a fake pride issue. But the root of it is just fear. I mean, I think I think people are just I think men are super afraid of opening that door, and getting and just letting all that stuff out. Because they’re afraid of how they’re going to respond. Because most guys, you know, I mean, we come from a generation that’s hugely from like broken homes and messed up grandparents and messed up dads and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And if you really start to like, and if your life is screwed up because of that, and you open that door, man, you’re going to be a sob and you’re going to be crying like you’re a little girl. And I hate that term. Because it’s not true, as most women uprights out in the news, but like, you’re probably going to be crying slobbering and, you know, facedown on the floor using the whole tissue box. And like, you know, even though you don’t have to tell anybody that and that’s therapist isn’t going to tell anybody you know, you still went through that with someone in front of you. Yeah. And it’s, that’s some people don’t want to, they don’t want to go through that. You know, when you get that, like, you talk to somebody about oh my god, I gotta do that stuff. instantly. You’re like, what are you really afraid of? Right? That’s not for me. That’s always a great last one. My favorites. That’s not for me. Yeah. Okay.


Aaron Tharp  29:43
The funny thing is, is that it’s not even funny. It’s when you when you go in and you purge those things or you go through a box of tissues, what we fail to understand or what we what we really need to recognize is that, that that emotion was locked somewhere you That we held on to a could have been from when we were two 320 to 42. Whenever it was locked, so in essence, it became a limiting belief or became a restriction or a negative experience. And we don’t really realize how it affects how we navigate how we show up, but it totally does.


Josh Simms  30:21
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think one of the interesting things is like the Hulk, men don’t cry issue, right. And I always think about it, like, there’s like, I’m not a crier. I don’t cry. And I don’t get super emotional about stuff. But I always wonder, like, if you feel like you’re going to, like, what’s your body trying to do with that? You know, like, if you get missed out, and you start to fill in, and you go, you just push it down, like, Okay, so what’s the what’s the goal of the physiological response of that? And then what’s the negative side effect of not doing it? Like, nobody really knows? Like, what’s the outlet of? I don’t know. That’s, that’s probably something that’s easily researchable. But like, I don’t you always wonder like Ashley push that down is like you’re the bad hormones stripped was like your adrenaline always things such as your blood pressure go up, like, you know, as your heart rate go up these things that if you cry, that stuff kind of explodes out, and then everything gets better. And it’s an interesting,


Aaron Tharp  31:09
I’ll tell you what, it’s always been my belief that when you when you suppress that stuff for long enough, those dogs have to get out. Oh, and it’s usually in a really bad way. Yeah, they’re gonna find their way out. And that could be addiction. It could be gambling, it could be sex, it could be alcohol. I mean, it could be any number of things, those dogs will get out. If if, you know, left unattended.


Josh Simms  31:31
Yeah. So yeah. And that’s why like, you know, we live in this culture right now. That is the very much of do what makes you happy, right? Do what makes you happy? Do you do you? What makes you happy? Right. And when you just let people do that, there is never a time in the history of the world where it just devolves into a world of shit.


Aaron Tharp  31:49
Right, right. I


Josh Simms  31:50
mean, it’s, it’s, it’s never good. Yeah. Like, you’re gonna let the inmates run the prison. Have fun with that. Yeah, right. And then when you got when you find people who stand up against that, right, again, the toxic quote unquote, air quoting toxic masculinity, let’s say no, you know, somebody stands up and tries to be the adults in the room. There. Again, the mob tries to shut them down. And that’s where it’s like, no, like, as men, you know, if you’re going to recognize that and say something about it, you’re better players, like, first of all, you ready ready for the charge? And second of all, don’t back down. Because the biggest thing that those people are afraid of, is somebody who will not budge. And that’s, I mean, it’s huge. Right? And I kind of segwayed on out of that. But I think I think it does kind of tie the tie in like kind of why we’re hearing what we’re talking about. I think if you get groups of guys who want to say like, No, you cannot go out and have sex with eight girls, in two weeks, you’re my son, or you’re my friend or something like that’s a bad thing. Right? You may feel good. But I’ll tell you what, it’s a bad thing. Like you can’t do that to people. You can’t do it to yourself. That’s unhealthy practices. We know that. Yeah. Like I can find you many journals with psychology that tell you that that is a that is a mental health problem. You were burying something else and pouring it out and other people in a bad way projecting. But then people say like, well, you’re going to try to control people and tell them what to do. No, I’m telling you, it’s bad and stupid, and you shouldn’t do it. And if you don’t like it, at some point, it’s like, either, either. Don’t come to me about it, or just deal with me being able to have that belief. And so I think I, that’s a hard thing to do, right, as a person to kind of stand against those types of things. Because that just I mean, that’s rampid and the society that we live in now, and it’s ugly, and it gets it’s getting pretty nasty. So


Aaron Tharp  33:30
yeah, it is and I you know, that whole, that whole idea that you can, that you can take what you’re feeling bad about and you can sort of project it onto other people without even being aware of without even realizing it. I mean, I’m guilty of it. You know, days when I felt like shit, when I wasn’t feeling great about myself, I’d go and be a little bit more malicious, either. Even if I was just on the road, a little bit of road rage. You know, getting those dogs are trying to get out and I’m just No, no, no. Yep. So bad way to go. So I always felt like, you got to feel it to heal it. It’s locked somewhere. And if I don’t deal with it, if I don’t contend with it, it’s not going to be fun. But if I don’t feel it, I’m never going to heal it. Yep.


Josh Simms  34:18
I like that. I like that.


Aaron Tharp  34:19
Yeah, it’s uh, but we don’t. We just don’t do well with feels though. We


Josh Simms  34:25
have a hard time with our told not to write. Yeah, I think it creates a huge, huge vulnerability, right? And I think at some point, right as boys, we were very kind of innocent within that. And then you felt felt that somebody took advantage of that vulnerability. Yeah, usually happens in our formative years, right? You got that long term High School girlfriend and like she cheats on you breaks up with your lead or something bad happens, right? And then you’re like, nope, that is not happening again to me. I’m not going to be that guy. I’m not going to be made to feel like the fool. I’m not going to be additional inadequate blah, blah, blah. And then we kind of start, here’s that wall. Yep. And then that wall, I can Oh, we were really good at building that thing. And shoving rebar in it and making sure that nobody can break that thing down. Then, eventually that just affects every area of your life where do you whether you want to believe it or not, yeah, so


Aaron Tharp  35:06
And anybody who ever doubted the and we’re gonna, this is gonna be related. But anybody who ever doubted that vulnerability and being open and receptive to even your weaknesses, your fault was the wrong way to go. I get that it’s a movie but I always point to the final scene in 8 Mile.


Josh Simms  35:25
I’ve actually never seen that movie people’s eyes roll back in their head when I say it.


Aaron Tharp  35:29
it’s a little surprising. I have to say


Josh Simms  35:31
I think we talked about this so yeah, go lay that out.


Aaron Tharp  35:34
It’s well, it’s it’s the it’s the loosely loose biopic on on Eminem, the rapper, and his sort of coming up through Detroit and basically, you know, they go to these rap battles. And throughout the movie, he’s he’d have his personal life, but he’s going on these rap battles. And it culminates at the end with the guy who’s who’s kind of his rival, or who’s one of the better MCs in the Detroit area. And Mmm, gets to go first. And before the other guy who’s got a laundry list of shit that he’s about ready to go off on him about his weaknesses and about how you know, his girlfriend slept with a guy in their crew and grew up in a trailer park and like, all the shit, that would just hurt. Yeah, he displays that all out there. Yeah, he’s like, I know what he’s gonna say about me. There’s 12345. And the guy’s got nothing left. It’s like, how can you hurt somebody who’s just admitted? Everything that he was insecure or feel bad about?


Josh Simms  36:38
Yeah, yeah.


Aaron Tharp  36:39
I get that. It’s a movie, but it’s a pretty poignant statement about that being like, a pretty big turning point for like, that’s where it’s at.


Josh Simms  36:49
Yeah. Yeah, cuz, I mean, I think I think there’s, there’s, you could, I could go the wrong direction. But I think it is true. Like, if you put that stuff out there, right. Like, then how can people hurt you with it? Right? Right. If you’ve, if you understand it, you know what it is? And you’re dealing with it in a healthy way, then then, then you can’t be hurt by it. I mean, some people can, some people can hurt you. I don’t, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say that we’re not, you know, if you’re open, if you’re lying, then like your spouse has an affair. And you right, that’s gonna hurt anybody. Right? That’s but you know, if you get into a little tussle, like if you get into an argument, and they say something that normally would have hurt you in the past, you can, you can, you know, I’ve processed that like, Hey, you know, we always use the I statements, I feel like this, when someone says that to me, don’t blame it on the other person. So, and that dispels that stuff easily, right? If you recognize it, you see it, you can process it, you can do it really quickly. And then you can explain to somebody like, Hey, I feel this way. When someone says that to me. You don’t say You make me feel this way. Because then you put their feet and your feelings on them and makes them responsible, which is unfair to people who shouldn’t be true. It allows them to kind of see like, oh, like that person that I was just talking to just told me that they feel a certain way when something is said to them in this way. And maybe that wasn’t right, and then automatically that all that kind of tension dissipates. And then you can talk about it. Right? Right. And so you just but you got to know that but you have to know those things about yourself before you can get to that point, because then it just turns into the You make me feel this way. It’s your fault that this is going on in my life. And they start pointing fingers and then egomaniacs are perfect at that. Great. Yeah, there’s no corner deep enough where you can back them and they will always find a way out. Yeah, yeah. And we will we’re gonna get into that at some point in the future. But I’m sure yeah, yeah. Cuz I mean, the ego is, it’s, I mean, we’re taught to to have big egos. Right. And I think again, the society we live in and the internet have and always having to be right. The ego is massive. You take someone’s ego away from them. But sometimes it’s all they have, man, especially if you don’t have to talk to them face to face, right? It’s if you if you can dispel somebody’s ego, then you realize that then then everything gets really quiet. You know, sounds really interesting. He goes very powerful. And it’s very, in most times stupid.


Aaron Tharp  39:00
I remember, I remember who told me this. But it stood out to me and I’ve always kind of carried it with me is that people with big egos? People with really big egos tend to be small. Oh, yeah. In every other area of their life.


Josh Simms  39:15
They’re making up for some inadequacy. So yeah, right. Something that’s unaddressed in their life. [Right]. Something that happened to them that’s leading to this kind of ego is not really meant them, it can be construed as a mental health issue, because it can really kind of waylay people around.


Aaron Tharp  39:27
It’s good to have some [Yeah], you need some Yeah. But that inflated sense of self self importance. They tend to be very small in other areas, they major minor things and they’re just, you know, it’s just a facade. So it’s,


Josh Simms  39:42
I mean, have you read the book? by Ryan Holiday? Ego is the enemy.


Aaron Tharp  39:46
No, but I have read Stillness is the Key.


Josh Simms  39:48
Yes. Stillness is key it’s about stoicism.


Aaron Tharp  39:50
Yeah. And 365 days of Stoic Philosophy with-he wrote, it’s a three.


Josh Simms  39:57
It’s like a daily stoic. Yeah, yeah.


Aaron Tharp  39:59
I usually fall off about May. So I don’t know if it’s the warm temperatures Yeah, the stoics lose but yeah, his books are phenomenal.


Josh Simms  40:08
Yeah, you should read go read Ego is the Enemy. It’s-it’s got some crazy stuff that you just shake your head like I cannot believe person a or b did that like I cannot believe you would be that like ego maniacal to just dig in in such an unhealthy way that you are willing to crush people’s lives around you [oh yeah] like people who own businesses who are like I’m not wavering from this even though it’s headed on a road to hell with no reverse and just bury the people around them yep it’s crazy it’s pretty unbelievable man how far pride and ego will take somebody and how again like you said there’s something that’s driving that it’s not just like the will to win right because the will to win people who have the will to win will find ways to win right when you’re just like well I came up with this idea this is mine and I’m gonna’ see this even if it goes straight into the ground that’s like not normal right that’s not healthy that’s not normal there’s something else there that’s causing that problem


Aaron Tharp 41:35
Yeah there’s a there’s a there’s a fixation on what you want yeah so if you if I’ll be the ego enemy so if Aaron is the um if I’m the one with the big ego I’m only focused on what I want getting what I want I care nothing of anybody else’s experiences they’re feeling where they come from what they prefer if they like mayonnaise or mustard I don’t give a shit about that I care about what I want and I you are either on my team to help me get me what I want or you’re in my way


Josh Simms 41:33
Yep, you were there with us or you were again


Aaron Tharp 41:35
Yeah, and that and if you’re if you’re my blood brother I will throw you underneath the bus because you’re again in my way or you’re on my team yep so, I’m happy to throw you underneath the bus it’s really that it’s really that um severe


Josh Simms 41:50
Yep and that’s where you then that’s where you do see a lot of that toxic masculinity that’s rooted in a mental health issue that’s unaddressed but that you will drag other people with you and make them that same exact way and that’s when you have like reached a level of problems that are big time [yeah] right and how you come back from that first I mean I don’t know how you get around that pride in that ego issue again like we’re not the experts here we’re just talking about this stuff and kind of throwing stuff out but the way we feel about things and what we see but like that’s one of those issues that’s really tough like how like who’s gonna’ get through to that person right I mean usually those people have to bury themselves and get to the absolute bottom of the barrel and then look up and go wow like I really-something really bad happened along the way you know and then then you got to go got to figure that stuff out so


Aaron Tharp 42: 40
It’s a personality disorder just like borderline just like [yep] I mean this you know there’s a lot of there’s-I think there’s like seven or eight different personality disorders but that is one of them



Josh Simms 42:50
Yeah, the narcissism one is really I mean those are those are the toughest things because there’s nothing you can really do to treat them right medications don’t help therapy can kind of help sometimes but they’re those are like dangerous


Aaron Tharp 42: 58
What are the other ones? So, the narcissism.


Josh Simms 43:00
So, there’s narcissism there’s uh there’s anti-social there is


Aaron Tharp 43:05
Uh there’s one about looks and to be fair I read it and I’m like this is this is I I have this


Josh Simms 43:10
Like narcissism or like histrionic personality


Aaron Tharp 43:14
Histrionic yeah when I read it I was like yeah this is [yep] I’m going to be I’m moving straight up like this is this is me for sure


Josh Simms 43:27
Yeah no I mean I think I think the histrionic thing is it’s one thing if you care about the way you look it’s another thing if you’re willing to make everything your life super dramatic and manipulate people and like this is the end of the world and no one else could ever know [oh for sure yeah] it’s a whole yeah you know those people when you see them so yeah that’s a whole


Aaron Tharp 43:38
Yeah another episode for sure


Josh Simms 43:40
But I think I think some of the big you know we kind of covered a lot of ground and kind of kind of flew around on that one I think uh some of the big takeaways would be that you know kind of process what you’re going through like find the moments that you do feel like those kind of stings of inadequacy or this kind of things that like why is that why is that bothering me right I think I think you have to be introspective and honest with yourself uh and I tell you what like I nobody has the answers to that I mean therapy is great for that that’s where you do say hey I need to get someone else who’s I don’t really know this person but they’re trained in this and they’re objective and they’re not going to judge me and you know they’re going to do everything they can to help me and then seeking that out I think that’s super important [yeah] now can you get can you do that how easy is that for some people versus other again it took us it took me 25 years to do that right


Aaron Tharp 44:32
So we don’t people should question where some of that sting or where some of that emotion comes from if I’m in the passing lane and somebody’s in front of me and I’m pissed yeah I’m just raging mad do I do I get pissed at the driver or shouldn’t I question where it’s coming from yeah we just don’t you know that takes a little bit of inquisition


Josh Simms  44:58
Because it’s never our fault right it’s always somebody else’s fault yeah and that’s where that’s where you have to you have to really look at yourself and say like that can’t be true right that’s hard right I mean if that were I mean again if all this stuff were easy we wouldn’t be talking about it [sure] so I don’t want to minimize it but I think it takes time and in those moments or like self-reflective like reflecting on like your day and going like yeah like did I really need to flip that guy up and screaming in the car like was him going five miles under understanding was it really that big of a deal [right] like why is that making me mad well I can’t figure it out well like how can I figure that out how can I get to the root of that problem because I don’t I don’t want to be that way I don’t want to lose my mind on somebody in the car like in my car like there’s I mean I think you gotta’ be uncomfortable with the way you feel like kind of think about that and say like is that the way I want to be the answer is no then you need to then you need to address that issue right if the answer is yes I want to be that way then there’s bigger problems


Aaron Tharp 45:54
Yeah no that’s a that’s a very good point um to end on and I will uh I’ll say that the last the last session I had with my own therapist I went in and I was pissing and moaning about particular subject and I burned up a whole hour on it and I tried to you know justify it that it was actually a positive scenario but I spent an entire hour real negative real piss and vinegar about it and when I left that I’m like yeah I feel better it was cathartic for me and I it needed to happen but the further and more days away that I got from the session I was actually ashamed in how I showed up to that session yeah because I’m like I was a baby for like an hour I’m 37 year old man like I don’t I don’t want to take that to work but I would if I didn’t deal with it in there you just don’t realize it until you have that like perspective or that awareness that you wouldn’t otherwise get if you went is that fair to say


Josh Simms 46:50
No, I think it’s perfectly fine I think that’s huge that one thing you did it was another thing to think about like that was not super productive wow it got some stuff out yeah it wasn’t productive and for your mental health just to go in and bitch and whine and that’s not what we want for people

Aaron Tharp 47:05
Oh such a baby whiny baby this is horrible


Josh Simms 47:08
And that’s not the goal of therapy right it’s not your goal just to go in there I mean if that’s the case just find a wall to scream at for an hour right that’s not that’s not the point of therapy right it’s a time it takes time to go through that yes it’s a lot of talking and it’s a lot of digging so I think it’s uh but it’s so beneficial I don’t I don’t know anybody that’s gone to therapy that turned around the other end so that was not for me that was a waste of time that was a waste of money I didn’t get anything out of that who didn’t actually give it a go.


Aaron Tharp 47:33
Freud was right man he had it


Josh Simms 47:37
A long time ago too man


Aaron Tharp 47:39
Yeah, he did all right that’s gonna wrap it up for episode two at Men Explained thank you so much. We are gonna display some numbers here um at the end of the episode if you are having issues with um you talk to somebody about uh maybe you’re feeling suicidal or if you need an outlet you’re trying to you won’t feel like you want to hurt yourself or other hurt other people um there’s outlets there’s places to go there are people to talk to we want to make sure that you guys have that information so we’re going to display that at the end but uh thanks again for joining us here we will uh catch you on the next episode here at Man Explained. Cheers!