"Hey you. If you've got a problem, do something about it. Don't talk about it. Nobody cares."
As a man, I've heard this before. All the time actually, and in several different ways. After a girlfriend cheated on me, when I was shattered and expressed a need to discuss it, a friend told me:
"You need to stop talking and thinking about it right now. Nobody cares."
When I was having a particularly hard time while performing at a comedy festival a female friend said:
"Nobody likes the sad guy. Stop being the sad guy."
When I asked a family member for advice, he said:
"You've never asked before. So why ask now? Actually, the best advice I can give you is to figure it out for yourself."
When I wanted some career advice from a manager at work I was told:
"A man's job is to provide. You want a family? You won't have time for feelings or any of that shit."
I caught up with a friend to "talk". He said,
"You wanted to talk? So start talking. I'm watching the footy."
A study has just been released, which has found that "lonely men lose friends when life gets busy". Apparently as work, family and other commitments eat up their time, men have less time for friends.
Here's a survey question I'd like to ask:
"Where's the survey that doesn't just state the blindingly obvious while pretending it's actually important?"
Then here's a rule for newspapers:
"No more telling us common sense things as if they're news. Unless you also tell us something worth knowing."
According to this survey, one in four Australian men between 30 and 65 years of age have few or no social connections, and loneliness and isolation are common.
SO WHAT? BIG DEAL! NOBODY CARES.
Every one of my friends, male or female, has mostly or completely disappeared as they've settled into long-term relationships, started families, moved away, etc.
You only have so many hours in a day, and as your commitments increase, your time for friends whittles away to almost zero.
I don't understand how this is news.
I'm not sure if it's more a problem for men or women. I am a man, and I've noticed it happening to me. It's called life.
So apparently this is an epidemic. Yes, life is an epidemic. It affects every one of us. The only cure is death.
Look, I'm sure some men are depressed and could do with more friends. So go and find someone to hang out with.
You're sad and lonely? Go outside, go somewhere, do something, and keep trying until you stop feeling sad and lonely.
If you've got a problem, go and fix it. Stop whining about it. Seriously, there are so many bigger, harder and more challenging problems in the world than the combination of your loneliness and laziness that has led to you feeling sorry for yourself.
Go and talk to a professional if you want. No shame in it.
Simply put, refer to statement one, as above. It's been told to me for a reason –it's spot on. Here it is again:
If you've got a problem, do something about it. Don't talk about it. Nobody cares.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian