Reddit Is Stunned by This Man's Display of Toxic Masculinity Toward His Anxious Brother

The harsh, inflexible gender roles reinforced by our patriarchal society hurt everyone, including men. Just ask this Redditor, who was shamed by his brother for grabbing his male friend’s hand while experiencing anxiety on an airplane.

User @Poabplane took to the infamous /AmITheAsshole Subreddit for some unbiased insight into this very bumpy ride. For context, he (24M) was going on vacation with his friend Leon and his older brother, Paul. @Poabplane has “pretty bad” flight anxiety, which everyone knew about ahead of time.

“It’s usually at its worst during turbulence, take offs, and landings, and I tend to [breathe] faster and my muscles tense up so badly,” he explained. “And sometimes [when] I get too scared, I freak out. So I always find touch to be my comfort.”

Although both men were aware of @Poabplane’s anxiety, they take completely different approaches to supporting him, he wrote: “Paul is an unemotional person and believes that we shouldn’t show emotions because we’re [men], so he’s been teasing me about it since I was a kid. Leon is the complete opposite of Paul, as he is caring and a very kind person.”

Teasing someone who’s experiencing anxiety is… not cool, to say the least. But hopefully Paul has matured over time and recognized the validity of his brother’s mental health struggles?

Alas, that does not appear to be the case. Their flight got off to a bad start when @Poabplane started to spiral and asked Leon to hold his hand after the trio boarded. “Paul saw it and shot me a dirty look and was obviously annoyed,” he recalled. “After 10 mins passed, I felt better, and we let each other’s hands go.”

Related story

Reddit Has Big Feelings About This Dad Who Doesn't Want His 5-Year-Old Son Using the Women's Restroom