Being a guy

What does “being a guy” actually mean? There are as many different answers to that question as there are ways of being a guy. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different reply. But there are some made-up rules about what young men “should be like” that many of us recognise. We call these made-up rules “guy norms”: they make us believe young men should behave in a certain way, look and dress a certain way, like certain things and treat others in a certain way. Have you ever felt like you needed to be a certain way just to fit in? Chat about it with us. You can talk to us anonymously, we’re here to support you.

What are guy norms?

Do you feel like you need to be a certain way just because you’re a guy? Do you often get angry instead of crying when you’re actually feeling sad? Have you ever wanted to talk to others about your feelings, but felt afraid to? Do people say you should be interested in girls just because you’re a guy? These are assumptions many guys have to deal with – but they’re actually based on made-up rules. We call those rules guy norms. They try to tell us what young men should be like, think, feel and how they should behave around others. But that is up to us to decide!

Peer pressure and pretend fighting

Guy norms can tell you that you need to put up with the occasional violence (or even get violent yourself), especially around your male friends. Like “pretend fighting”, shoving or thumping each other on the back. Or talking and joking about each other in a mean way. Sometimes, guy norms can be really strong in groups of friends who all egg each other on.
Being forced to do stuff you don’t really want to do because of peer pressure can be really hard. But you can always say no: you can choose to be kinder and act in a way that, deep down, feels better. Maybe you once said something hurtful to someone else without really knowing why you did so? We talk about things like that in our chat!

Am I a young man?

Even though there are many different genders and gender identities, people often only mention two choices: guy or girl. Just like there are made-up rules about what young men should be into, there are made-up rules that say all young men should have a penis, for example. But your gender is whatever you feel you are – or, as we like to say, the gender you identify as.
Some people are both male and female, some people feel like they’re neither or a gender in between, and some people don’t want to identify themselves based on gender. Only you can decide what gender you identify as. Chat with us anonymously if you have a question or want to talk about gender.

Being sad

Unfortunately, it’s common for guys to feel like they can’t talk about certain feelings. Many young men feel like they’re not allowed to show the world when they’re sad, or to talk about things they struggle with. If society says anger is better than sadness, it’s no wonder you bottle up some of your feelings. We know everyone needs someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on sometimes. That’s why we created Chat with us anonymously!