Time To Talk

Ed and I are recording this podcast on 2nd February which is international Time To Talk Day. I have no problem with the idea and the aim of the need to talk. What I wonder about is why do we need to have a day to encourage us to talk? Why aren’t we doing it anyway?

Everyday now seems be a nation or international day of …., something that we need to be doing for each other. It feeds back into my favourite phrase…

…If we all look after each other we will al be okay!

Time to talk is aimed mainly at men and we could probably accept that men talk about personal and emotional stuff a lot less than women and that even in the current climate males are still brought up in a ‘big boys don’t cry’ culture. There have been some movement. When we describe a male as being in touch with his feminine side we usually mean that he has a higher level of sensitivity and empathy. 

I think that, socially, we the victims of history and advances in technology. Historically we have had two world wars and a depression that put men in a situation where they had to be tough to survive and do what needed to be done. Men coming back from the frontline, even now, do not share or talk about their feelings about what they have just been through. It is true that the sisterhood has been more supportive and able to share than the brotherhood. The detached nature created by dealing with violence and hardship created a society where male violence towards partners and children was an accepted norm. As I write this the song Delilah, sung by Tom Jones, has been band from the rugby terraces because it describes domestic violence leading to a man murdering his partner. 

“Quick before they come to breakdown the door, forgive me Delilah 

I just couldn’t take any more”.  


The second big issue is culture change. We have moved from a social culture of extended families to small nuclear units. In the farming culture we lived in extended groups and families. Either extended families lived in the same house, so that there were different generation all under the same roof or, they lived in close proximity. What that meant was that there was always someone, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, parent or sibling, to talk to. This created an informal stress management system that offered support and did allow people to talk. In the industrial age we no longer live in extended units. Families can now be spread all over the country our all over the world and our natural support mechanisms have gone. Statistically there has been a correlation with the increase in mental illness.

The third issues is technilogicalisation, if such a word exists. Computers and digital technology rather than bringing us together has aa great potential for pushing us further apart. The image that people present on social media often bears little in common with what is taking place. The need that we have to be seen in certain ways can mean that we share even less ands when we do it has been airbrushed to look better than it really is.

So, while I am bemused at why we should need such days and not just talk to each other I so accept that raising the issues does create the opportunity for us to think about what we are and do something about it.

How about everyday we either share, or encourage others to share, something that is meaningful. By the way, it does note have to be a bad thing. There are plenty of good positive things that happen that are never shared.

Remember it is always time to talk. If you need to talk to me you know where I am.

Take care

Sean x 

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