STUFF from Hunter:
Tips on feeling all the feelings with List Cloggers Dyl and Dan
These legends jumped headfirst with me into the inaugural Real STUFF podcast – and our conversation blew me away. Before the cameras started rolling we all admitted we were a bit nervous, me in the hot seat as poddy interviewer, and the boys for once on the flipside, being interviewed.
The hilarity, vulnerability, and down to earth honesty of our chat was seriously inspiring … and we definitely unclogged some lists of untapped emotion during the session.
In terms of STUFF for your mind, I’m going to break it down to some of the best tips and tricks for reimagining masculinity right here. Because admitting we’re feeling the feelings is the first step. Doing something with them comes next.
- Learn how to hold space for your mates when they’re not okay.
- Be brave enough to tell your mates you love them.
- Know that your identity is not a solo ride, who you are also depends on who you’re with.
Learn how to hold space for your mates when they’re not okay.
(aka roll on some EQ when you’re feeling the pits)
As creators of their own powerful brands via established podcasts ’List Cloggers’ (together) and ‘Dyl and Friends’ (Dyl), these lads have refused to be products of masculine hypertypes and are role-modelling new alternatives across their 800,000 strong audience. As the boys say “We like feelings.”
Hunter asks “How did you you two meet?” and the boys launch into a story about an AIS tour in South Africa. Dan was the tall, quite kid from South Australia who never spoke, and Dyl was the loud-mouthed Victorian who never shut up. One day Dyl pulled Dan up to the front of the bus to beat box. Instead of being traumatised, Dan says that experience helped him grow in confidence both on the field and off.
Becoming fast friends over the next 10 years, how come Dan never told Dyl he was on a bit of downward spiral, trying to find his way through life post AFL? Dan admits that week-on-week, month-on-month, he kept on bottling up the building sense of grief inside himself while chugging down on party boy exuberance. He says he never properly reached out to Dyl… and wishes he had.
But it’s not that easy right? There are entire industries built up to prime us into being physically strong, what about our internal world? We go through 20 years of schooling and while most of us know the uselessness of an isosolies triangle, we can’t join the dots between feeling crap, knowing our mates are there for us, and asking them for help.
The Man Cave research captured in our recent report (Insights and Impact Report, 2021), shows that 89% of young men care about supporting their mates, and 95% want to check in on each other’s wellbeing. But despite their willingness to support each other and be a good friend, 73% of boys are still uncomfortable regularly taking off their mask and asking for support.
Upshot? As mates, when we feel something is not quite right, it’s worth asking digging deeper. And not just ‘Dude are you okay?’. But create the space and the time to ask the question in a few different ways. Let them know what you’re picking up on. Don’t expect them to answer you on the first go, or even the second. So make sure your mate is clear that even if they don’t feel like talking right now, you’re there for them whenever they do want to open up.
Learn how to tell your mates you love them.
(it’s called heart hygiene)
When Dyl hears what Dan went through, he is devastated that he didn’t reach out more. It’s extraordinary how much is bubbling away just below the surface within any of us at any one time. We can only work with the data we have, but what we need to remember is when it comes to understanding what our mates are going through, we don’t often have the full download. Sometimes, we won’t even know what’s going on until our mate hits a crisis point. So how do we get preventative with our friends? Building relationships of trust and creating the space for awkward conversations is the only way.
Know that your identity is not a solo ride.
(the dude in the mirror is reflecting his mates)
Both Dyl and Dan reflect that they peaked “way too early” in their AFL career and admit their stardom didn’t quite have the legs they expected. After being lauded in front of millions of fans, put in the spotlight from a young age, and getting so used to being a high performance athlete surrounded by coaches, teammates and routines, being delisted kind of sucks.
Dan says the moment that finally helped him come back to himself was when he told his Dad he was struggling. Now, let’s be clear, Dan’s Dad is bloke who is staunch and strong. Dan’s Dad rallies his mates, never backs down over a good bit of banter, and never breaks down over feelings. But you know what Dan’s Dad said when his son worked up the courage to admit he was struggling? He outright admitted that he was struggling too. Honesty is a powerful way to unlock the generational chains of manhood.
Ultimately, we’ve got nothing to lose by letting our mates know that we are here for them beyond the banter. But we’ve got everything to lose, including our mates, if we don’t show up authentically for the difficult conversations that follow. The world needs more men like Dyl and Dan, leading from their heart. Massive love and respect to these guys for this conversation.
We’re proud to partner with The Man Cave, a leading preventative mental health and emotional intelligence service for young men. For every $1000 in sales, STUFF sponsors one boy to experience one of The Man Cave's life-changing mental health programs.