It is a commonly known fact that in most situations, men have difficulty expressing emotions as compared to women. There may be many reasons for that, including the fact that societal norms reinforce such toxic behavior to the point where men bottle up their emotions only for them to explode one day, leading to irreparable damages.
They feel an inability to express emotions, because they’re afraid to feel vulnerable in front of anyone. Men are expected to be macho and to have it all together, but the truth is that we’re all a little broken in our own ways, and it’s unfair to expect everyone to be okay all the time because we don’t know what they’re going through.
Why Guys Don’t Express Their Feelings
This difficulty in expressing emotions and ultimately suppressing them, can be quite detrimental to one’s state of well-being and even one’s relationships. In fact, over 30% of men will experience a period of depression at some point or another during their lifetime, and about 9% of men report having feelings of depression or anxiety every day.
It’s time we do a better job at trying to understand how men express their feelings, because sometimes there is a cry for help, but no one to lend a hand or offer a shoulder, or to at least help identify the signs that someone may have anger issues or any other underlying mental illnesses. It’s time we become a little more vigilant.
Why Men Are Unable To Express Emotions
A few days ago I shared someone’s post on Facebook. The post talked about the jottings made by a lady and her husband in their respective diaries about a particular evening, mainly focusing on how men can’t express emotions.
The diary of the wife notes that when supposed to meet for dinner at a restaurant the lady arrived a bit late after a day’s shopping with her friends and found the husband lost in thought, sitting quietly at a table. All efforts by the lady to make him open up failed. The man kept saying that nothing has happened and everything is perfectly fine.
This had happened on several occasions- her husband would often keep things to himself and that would frustrate her. She had read about the proven benefits of counseling and even contemplated trying couple’s therapy a few times.
That led the lady on a thought trip about what her man is trying to hide. Is he angry on account of her late arrival? Was there anything else that she did that upset him? Even after returning home she found no change in the husband’s mood. She started thinking about why his thoughts were somewhere else, and went to bed wondering if the thoughts were about someone else.
The diary of the man just mentioned that his motorcycle isn’t starting and he couldn’t fathom why!
While, irrespective of gender, a handful of my friends liked the post, found it funny, or sad, one friend of mine had a point to make. She said, “Men need to learn to express themselves, a motorcycle not working is not the same as ‘nothing’, and women need to stop assuming and taking the onus of things that go wrong.”
While what women need to do is best left to women, her input led me to think what men need to do. And even as I wrote back saying that I was in no mood to argue about it, at least in that post of mine, it led me to reflect whether we cannot express ourselves and hence need to learn the act, or we simply don’t do so, seeing no point in it.
Maybe this trouble expressing emotions comes from being ignorant. What could be the other reasons men have difficulty expressing emotions? Continue reading to find out.
They are raised not be be sensitive
A man’s inability to express emotions comes from the fact that they are encouraged, since childhood not to be in touch with their feminine side. What society doesn’t understand is that all humans, despite their gender have a feminine and masculine side, and it is important to explore both sides. But men are told to stay away from things that are ‘girly’ or feminine.
Related Reading: The Key To Success Is Emotional Stability
They don’t talk about their feelings
One reason why guys don’t express their feelings is because they don’t know how to. In fact they are discouraged from sharing their fears and vulnerabilities because it will make them look weak. Boys are told not to cry, not to wear certain colors, and stay away from any activity or art form that isn’t considered manly. It’s this fact that keeps them from learning the ways to express love to someone– be it their partner, child, or even friend.
The impact of media
Media shows men in a certain light and reinforces stereotypes that are toxic and even slight degrading. Men are unable to express feelings because the men on television don’t. According to media, all men need to have perfect six pack abs and muscles, and work towards buying a fancy house and a car to impress women. Having difficulty expressing emotions isn’t cool. Hello, it’s the 21st century! When are we going to let go of these stereotypes?
Related Reading: Reasons why Indian men do not communicate their feelings
That’s why if you’re ever left wondering, “why can’t I express my feelings?” You know that it’s not just you, our society is pretty messed up too. But you can get out of this bubble- make the change by being the change. Being a real man is not being macho, rather it is being sensitive, considerate, and chivalrous. So how much longer are you going to bottle up your emotions and let them eat you up?
You have difficulty in opening up to people and talking about your emotions. This could also lead to self-esteem and trust issues.
Use positive self-talk and start having conversations with people who understand you well. To start off, you could even consider journaling.