Social Perfectionism

While most of us associate suicide with depression, less than 5% of men with depression actually kill themselves. So what other elements are at play when a man decides to take his own life?

Some interesting answers can be found in Will Storr’s Mosaic Science article, which explores the concept of “social perfectionism” and its role in suicidality.

If you’re a social perfectionist you are overly concerned with meeting standards you think others’ expect of you, standards they don’t actually expect in reality. And if you believe you’re failing to meet these perceived, unrealistic expectations it can be the cause of great distress.

Bondi, muscles, men, Man Up, beach

Men today are bombarded by the many roles society tells them to play – work hard to provide, but also be an involved father. Be strong, but also sensitive. Look rugged, but also be fashion-conscious.

Expectations come as fast as the social media posts that give rise to them. So how do we combat social perfectionism? And how can we get men talking about their problems before they find themselves in dire straits?

This article first appeared on Mosaic and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence.