Is anyone else out there sick and tired of how negative we are towards each other? Since when is it ok or even welcome to verbally or emotionally put down those around us, especially those we consider friends?
Is there any wonder that a prevalent stereotype out there is of the ‘bitchy gay’??
All too often we say things to each other that are just a bit too critical, demeaning, and could have negative connotations in the long run. Sure, it may just seem like a harmless joke or a bit of banter between friends, but is that truly being constructive and encouraging?
We truly do need to become more supportive of each other as people, regardless of sexuality, and use positive reinforcement to encourage each other to keep going.
Below is a list of things we should start saying more of to each other that I found over on Medium.com. Have a read through and let me know in the comments if there is anything you’d add to the list.
1. I’M PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE.
When was the last time someone said they were proud of you as a person? Or that you told someone that yourself? It’s rare, especially when most will focus on what you DO not who you ARE. Show appreciation for each other for how they live their lives, treat others, how they approach life itself, and even for attempting for something new, even if it doesn’t turn out the way you’d like it to.
2. COME JOIN US.
Who hasn’t been at a party, a pub or some other social event and totally felt excluded by those chatting away with their group of friends? Or noticed someone standing off to the side, looking lost or lonely. Well, invite that stranger to join your gaggle of mates and maybe they’ll turn out to be your new BFF or something.
3. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM LIFE?
Although never an easy question to answer, it’s definitely less lame than ‘What do you do?’ that people will try to start a conversation with. And it could potentially start a more interesting and in depth conversation in the long run, and may even help the other person realise their dreams a bit more.
4. HOW CAN I BE A BETTER FRIEND?
Without meaning to, we all tend to take advantage of our friends and their willingness to be there for us. But when was the last time you asked your friend what you can do for them? For all you know, maybe that friend has some deep down insecurities they’ve never been willing to open up about. It’s all about showing your friends that you’re there for them, regardless of what is going on.
5. I’M A STRONG PERSON, BUT I’M HURTING RIGHT NOW.
Let’s be honest, it’s not the easiest thing to ask for help or comfort when you’re feeling down or have gone through something personally devastating. We need to be able to lean on each other during the tough times, and part of that is being willing to ask for that support. It’ll also show you who’s truly there for you and who’s there just for the good times.
6. I’M AFRAID OF OPENING UP.
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is never an easy thing, especially in a society that looks down on ’emotional’ men as being weak or less masculine. And being a gay man doesn’t mean it’s easier to open up about yourself either, if anything it’s harder in some ways. It can be scary and seemingly risky to open yourself up to others, because you never know how they’ll react. But again, if they’re true friends then it’ll just strengthen your friendship.
7. CAN YOU GET OFF YOUR PHONE?!
Let’s be honest – we all tend to check our mobiles everywhere we go, regardless of what situation we’re in. If you’re out with friends, then leave your mobile in your pocket (unless it’s urgent, obviously). There’s nothing worse than hanging out in a pub with a mate and they can’t maintain a conversation because they’re too interested in checking out the guys online on Grindr, Growlr, or Scruff. *Sigh*
8. ANYTHING POSITIVE OR ENCOURAGING.
Let’s be genuinely more positive towards each other and encourage those reaching for their dreams, regardless of where we are. Too often as gay men we allow our inner insecurities come out in snarky comments and will be regularly negative towards each other. Positive energy is infectious – spread it around. 😀