Asian man pointing at camera

You’re probably already familiar with the concept of toxic masculinity, and you also understand why we need to put a stop to it.

But if you aren’t sure what you can do to help, or if you think that huge societal change is the only way to put this mindset to rest for good, you can rest assured that you can challenge it in small ways that can make a big impact.

Refuse to Take Part in Toxic Masculinity

As the saying goes, every little bit counts. You might think that just not being part of the problem doesn’t do jack to solve it, but it helps by reducing the number of people affected by toxic masculinity(meaning, yourself and those around you).

Habits do not form overnight; the more you consciously stop and evaluate before you say or do certain things that may be toxic, the quicker you’ll get used to making the right choice without having to think about it beforehand.

It won’t be an easy task, at least not at the start. It can be tiring trying to break years of behavior and perception that culture has drilled into your system. Still, the effort will be worth it because, in the end, you’ll be a  and a better human being.

Pro tip: This can be easier if you spend the time to take a long, hard, and honest look at yourself. See if any of your beliefs about yourself or others are grounded in toxic masculinity, then figure out what you need to do to change them.

Call Out Toxic Masculinity When You See It

If you hear or see something stemming from toxic masculinity, don’t hesitate to speak out and let that person know that what they said or did isn’t good. Doing that can make a big difference for the victim of the toxicity, even if it’s the same person that did it.

But, when you call them out, remember that sometimes the person responsible doesn’t even realize that what they’re saying or doing is bad. That’s why you shouldn’t be aggressive when you point out the issue. After all, you’re not after starting a fight. You’re looking to inform and educate so that their behavior can change for the better. You also want to show support for the people affected by this toxicity.

If you find that the guilty party is yourself, acknowledge the wrongness of what you’ve said or done and make a simple but meaningful apology to anyone who you may have hurt with your words or actions. You don’t have to beat yourself up about making a mistake, but you do need to recognize that you’ve done something wrong in the first place.

Support Other People Who Fight Toxic Masculinity

Taking a stand can be lonely, especially if it seems like you’re the only one willing to do it. Supporting other people who speak out against toxic masculinity is crucial. It affirms their actions, and you add another voice speaking out against this mindset.

You don’t need to go as far as joining rallies or advocacy groups if you don’t want to or aren’t ready to do so. Support could be as simple as expressing your agreement with the person calling out the toxic behavior and adding your insights and opinion.

Similar to calling it out yourself, communication is the key here. Helping change the people responsible for the toxicity should be your collective aim, and so you should avoid any chance of it looking like you’re ganging up on or bullying them.

You can also offer support online, even if you haven’t met the person you want to help. It can be as simple as retweeting a message, sharing a post on your page, or just replying to the original entry.

Showing someone they aren’t alone and you understand and sympathize with what they are trying to do can have a significant impact on their drive to keep doing the right thing. The battle is uphill, but the struggle is worth it.

Don’t Let Toxic Masculinity Stop You From Loving Yourself

Some aspects of this toxic mindset reject the idea of giving much care to yourself because “Men are supposed to be tough” or “Real men aren’t fragile.” The reality is that all men are strong at times and weak at others, so there isn’t anything at all wrong with a little self-love.

Like any form of love, it doesn’t just have to be in the form of grand gestures. You could do little things here too, like taking mental health breaks and telling friends or family .

You could even choose to immerse yourself in , like taking a long and slow shower. Do that with Dove Men+Care Extra Fresh Body and Face Wash, and you’ll revel in healthier and smoother skin thanks to its plant-based cleansers and skin-strengthening nutrients.

Top it off with CLEAR Deep Cleanse Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men which has activated charcoal and citrus to deeply clean and purify your scalp and hair, and you’ll come out of the shower ready to face all the challenges that the world has for you.

Oh, and don’t forget to smile to help you get in the right mood. For best results, use a great toothpaste like closeup Menthol Fresh Toothpaste, which has an anti-bacterial formula and micro-shine crystals, and also prevents cavities and refreshes your mouth.

These are some of the many small ways you can challenge toxic masculinity. Once you’ve mastered and internalized them, you’ll be well on your way to being a man who rejects harmful behavior and stands up for what’s right.