The Two Emotions Making Men Feel Lonelier & Sadder Than Ever

These feelings are so strong they drive men into movements and ideologies they would otherwise avoid.

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If you haven't noticed, we have a big problem. According to Roster Regional Health, a recent survey found that 27% of men have at least six close friends, which is half the number compared to three decades ago.

Dubbed the "male loneliness epidemic," men are beginning to feel the effects of social isolation. And just like anyone else, men are looking for a sense of belonging in this world.

On the Open Relationships podcast, host Andrea Miller and co-host Joanna Schroeder chat with Ed Latimore, a former red piller turned self-improvement enthusiast.


In the interview, we explore what men are doing to tackle male loneliness and what emotions are pushing them in this extreme direction.

What is the red pill movement?

The name "red pill" comes from the 1999 movie The Matrix, where taking the red pill represents waking up to reality, explains New America.




So, what truth are men waking up to?

They're realizing, according to this community, that women hold power and influence over men. They believe the idea that women are superficial and only care about looks and money.

Focusing on "self-improvement" these men chase riches hoping to become best. However, the unrealistic expectation of owning a Bugatti like Andrew Tate leaves men feeling unsatisfied and unfilled in life.


Through this, it can lead men down a darker path known as the Black Pill. The black pill has similar core values but believes that there is no point in self-improvement.

Instead, they believe the only answer is to change society through violent means. After trying everything they can, many of them resort to self-harm or suicide because they feel it's the only way to escape reality, explains New America.

So, what are these men trying to escape from, and how can we help them?

RELATED: What It Means To Be 'Red Pilled' — And How The Term Was Hijacked By Extremist Groups

The Two Emotions That Make Men Feel Lonelier Than Ever

Ed Latimore starts by discussing a book called The Cure of Hate by former white supremacist Tony McAleer.


In this book, McAleer talks about a mother's experience. She shared that her autistic son was getting drawn into the white supremacy movement because of the bullying he was enduring from his classmates.

So, what causes men such as this one to turn to such hate? As Latimore and Miller point out, there's no one more eager to fight than someone who has been shamed and rejected.

According to the National Institutes of Health, "Anger arises during rejection episodes when people interpret the rejection as unjustified harm."

And understanding where this anger stems from is the number one cure to helping men, says Latimore.

RELATED: 5 Ways Men Can Get Comfortable With Their Emotions — & Build Way Deeper Relationships


How are red pill men recruited?

We're familiar with the red pill movement and what leads men to join it. However, a perhaps scarier aspect is how men are recruited into this movement in the first place.

Schroer mentions former white supremacist Christian Picciolini's story to explain recruitment. Picciolini was fifteen when he was recruited into the Skinheads. He describes that he was recruited in the back of an ally at three o'clock in the morning.

As Schroer says perfectly, If they knew a guy was out at three in the morning, they knew he was a vulnerable kid, easy to take advantage of.

Latimore says, "This playbook is no different than the playbook gangs use.”




Targeting vulnerable men these red pillers purposely go to chat rooms to recruit men to join their movement. Wanting to feel like they belong, these men are more than willing to perpetuate the toxic behaviors they learn from this group.

Breaking free from this cycle isn't easy, as it can feel like you're letting go of the only support you've ever known.


Luckily, groups such as Starts With Us are making it their life's mission to overcome political and cultural divides in America.



In the end, figuring out how to help men is just one of the many issues we're dealing with now. Alongside supporting men, we also need to protect vulnerable men from being manipulated by these extremist groups.

Through educating men and creating healthier, safer spaces for them, we can reduce the negative effects we're seeing today.


RELATED: Why Men Are Misunderstood And Don't Show Emotion

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.