6 Reasons why Men Struggle with Emotions at Work


With suicide the biggest killer of men under 45, we know that men are struggling. We also know that work is the second biggest trigger point for men after relationship breakdown, so we know that businessmen are particularly struggling.


At Rising Vibe we talk about ‘functioning fakeaholics’ – men in business that appear to have it all yet underneath are drowning.


Yes, there’s a problem and yes, I wanted to do something about it. But my team and I needed insight.


If we were to create a truly pioneering programme that’s just for men, that speaks their language, that provides a safe space and the necessary tools to be able to deal with their issues in a way that engages and resonates with them, we had to do our research.


So, we invited businessmen of varying ages and backgrounds to The Castle pub in the East End of London.


Using our Rising Vibrational Scale as a way for them to communicate how they feel, we asked them to tell us why it’s so important to bring emotion back to business.


We wanted to get right to the heart of it. To listen to real businessmen with real life stories so that we can begin to understand what it is exactly, that is driving their low vibe emotions at work.

Join our growing network of employers
Receive Make A Difference News straight to your inbox


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every businessman that took part. We all know that men find it harder to talk openly about their feelings and this was a real ‘heart on the sleeve’ moment. And to make it even more uncomfortable, we filmed it.


We discovered 6 key pain points.


1. Struggling with emotional literacy.

Feeling unable to find the words that help explain how they feel, which can give rise to unhelpful and unhealthy coping strategies.

2. Needing permission.
No dedicated time or safe environment in business that gives them permission to share how they’re feeling.

3. Stuck in a masculine identity.
The fear of what people will think if they step away from the conditioned and ingrained ‘norms’ of masculinity.

4. Lack of role models.
Few male role models in business, that not only show up being real with their emotions but are OK with that.

5. Fear of asking for help.
Because men see asking for help as ‘weak’ and because they might appear on paper to ‘have it all’, they feel shame admitting they don’t feel good and might not believe they have the right to ask.

6. Emotions = Weakness.
Being emotional is seen by many men as being ‘weak.’ Weakness is one of the biggest shame triggers for men.

The Calling Out the Men corporate development programmes, launching at MAD World Summit 2019, will address each and every one of these pain points.


·       We’ve developed the Rising Vibrational Scale to give men the language to communicate their emotions and feelings in their own unique way.


·       We provide a safe space with permission for men to talk openly.


·       We get right under the skin of those ingrained myths of masculinity, so that men can be comfortable with just being themselves.


·       We’re helping to create those crucial role models, to go out into the corporate world as their honest and authentic selves.


·       We help men realise that asking for help is one of the bravest moves they will ever make and they have as much right to ask for it as anyone else, no matter what their individual circumstances are.


·       If we’re honest about our emotions, they can in fact be our greatest strength. We’re happier, healthier and much more productive when we’re ok with who we are and how we feel.


Are you brave enough and bold enough to bring emotion back to your business? We’re looking for organisations that are prepared to deliver this trailblazing approach with us.

Get in touch at [email protected] to find out more about the Calling Out the Men corporate development programmes.

About the Author

Lou Banks is the Founder and Director of Rising Vibe Ltd and brother brand Calling Out The Men. She’s passionate about helping organisations place wellbeing at the heart of their culture. She’ll show your business how to get to grips with emotion. Tackle thoughts. Address feelings. Because when this happens it can drive cultural change and have a huge impact on business performance. Lou specialises in making complex psychological theory simple and accessible. She takes the best and discards the rest. She knows what works and what gets results. But don’t take her word for it. Debate and discussion are actively encouraged. Challenge her. Be as skeptical as you need to be. She loves it as herein lies the learning. Lou comes from a place of empathy and experience. She’s been to ‘that difficult place’ and she’ll be right with you when she takes you there too. She knows the discomfort, the anxiety and the frustration, so she knows how important it is to be open and accessible, without being judgmental.


Sign up to receive Make A Difference's fortnightly round up of features, news, reports, case studies, practical tools and more for employers who want to make a difference to work culture, mental health and wellbeing.