The “Broken Man” Epidemic We Need To Talk About
Ossiana talks about a trend they noticed in men, and the warning signs of it.
At first, they just keep working at their 9 to 5, then go to sleep. They don’t try to fit in a yoga session, hit the gym, or go out for drinks anymore. If they do drink, it’s over video games or while they read updates in their latest forums. Once in a while, they’ll hit up Tinder.
Then, after a while, they stop doing Tinder. They start getting angry towards women for just existing. At times, they start to post angrily on forums. The chorus they sing involves women being hypergamous, talking about sexual market value, and more.
Soon, they lose interest in their job. They see no reason to keep working. If they do keep working, they often get let go because people can tell that something is wrong.
Welcome to the world of what I call Broken Man Syndrome.
What is Broken Man Syndrome?
Honestly? It’s a term I made up for a behavioral trend I’ve noticed in men. The best way to describe this trend is the outcome of a mix of depression, paired with a certain amount of angst that comes when life doesn’t work out the way you want it to.
Yes, this is a form of depression. However, it’s more of a social impact-derived way of reacting to things. Long story short, Broken Man Syndrome happens when men lose all motivation to improve their lives.
It’s followed by a general feeling of being bitter at the world for not being rewarded for any actions they may or may have not taken. In other words, this is the phenomenon that led us to a lot of angry couch creatures telling women they ain’t shit on the net.
How can you tell if someone is has Broken Man Syndrome?
Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash
From what I’ve noticed, Broken Man Syndrome has several stages and it can come from a multitude of different sources. I’ll try to break it down stage by stage…
This is the point where most men and women can pull a friend with BMS out of their funk with an invite to the bar. The signs are small but get more noticeable with time:
He’s started to drop out of social events he liked. Yes, this includes the weekly D&D game you guys ran.
In many cases, he might also make some comments about how bad his love life is going. In some cases, this might be right after a breakup. Or, about him striking out on online dates. Or a real bad sexual encounter.
He may also mention new websites he’s been on. Forums on Reddit and certain online sites catering to “red pill” pickup are commonly mentioned.
Some men will withdraw into gaming or start hitting the gym with a passion. The gym part rarely ever lasts with BMS. They’ll do it a bit, then hole themselves up at home.
Many also start mentioning that they feel like nothing is working out like it’s “supposed to.” They might also feel shortchanged with their career efforts or dating efforts — as if nothing is working.
At this point, things get problematic and people often notice it more strongly. You might want to have a serious talk with them about depression and the media they’re consuming if you notice these issues below:
They double down when people mention that their attitudes are starting to grow unhealthy. It becomes apparent to people that something isn’t right. When they talk to him, he will double down.
Women start to back away from them. Many men start getting hateful and aggressive by stage two. They may also have “Nice Guy” tendencies.
They start talking about how people are only after their money or what they can do for them. A lot of guys almost seem paranoid. They are looking for someone to blame.
The guy in question also started to look grody. Their diet might have gotten worse. They don’t exercise as much, and they may not pay attention to their outfits as much.
Most men who get to this point often end up in some form of escapism. They may start believing they’ll be millionaires (without working) or go nuts in gaming.
Their bosses may have written them up about their behavior or appearance. For some reason, I notice that work issues often start to happen with these guys around here. In some cases, they may even be fired.
Stage Three of this is what I call the “final form.” This is marked by a complete and utter lack of will to do anything, for anyone. They’re basically glued to the couch until there is no couch. They refuse to work, do little but rage, and push away everyone that isn’t behind a screen.
In most cases, they become very angry, very entitled, and very bitter about their lot in life. The vast majority of their friends and family will have bailed on them, simply because their behavior started to make them uncomfortable.
Getting them to do anything is not going to happen. They are, at this point, totally broken inside. They won’t see any point in trying to improve their lives.
What is causing Broken Man Syndrome?
Honestly? I think it’s a mix of how society trains men and what men were told when they were boys. In the 90s, boys were told that if they work hard, get a degree, and just be nice, they’ll get a girl. If they were bullied, they were also told they’d be rich and famous.
No one told them the truth — that nothing is guaranteed. This is a problem, since men are often socialized to be transactional. This is especially troubling when they go into relationships. To make matters worse, we had a whole generation of men on a diet of rom-com writing.
In rom-coms, the underdog gets the girl. Somehow, the girl is nice enough to “save” him. Or, he complains in just the right way to unlock some magical empathy thing where she realizes that he is, in fact, the guy for her. In real life, this doesn’t happen.
Reality is not easy for guys who were raised this way and who view dating success or career success as the primary measuring stick of their lives. In short, they feel cheated and often feel like they no longer have a reason to bother putting in effort with society.
When you pair that with toxic influences from the net (like incel culture), you end up with an angry, bitter man who feels entitled to everything for minimal effort. They were told they already earned it, and that it’s not their fault it didn’t work out.
Obviously, I’m not a psychologist. But yes, I think that having unrealistic expectations and entitlements are the main causes here. The depression they already struggled with probably doesn’t help.
Is there a cure for Broken Man Syndrome?
As I said, I’m not a psychologist. However, this is one of the few times I think that professional help and a very wide net of people could snap guys out of it. In most cases, they will have to have an intervention — or even an eviction from their current living situation — to snap them out of it.
As someone who has been in a somewhat similar situation, I realized that having reality hit you hard tends to help you grow out of it. When you hit rock bottom, you have no choice but to do something to improve your lot.
They also need to hear the truth about life from other people and see positive leaders around them. Unfortunately, this is something men have to help other men with. Women and female-presenting people (like me) can’t do this.
Guys who feel broken by an admittedly difficult system and a bunch of lies they were sold are not going to listen to women. They might see us as the enemy.
Oh, and if you see a guy with Broken Man Syndrome working to get better? Do him a favor. Keep encouraging him. He needs it now more than ever.