Why Won't He Talk About His Feelings With You? 3 REASONS
By: Carlos Cavallo
Why won't he talk about his feelings with you? You want him to open up and express his emotions to you...
But he doesn't seem to want to go there with you.
Why do men hide their feelings?
And why do guys have such a tough time talking about emotional topics?
The answer will probably surprise you, so hang on for a bumpy ride as we take on that emotional subject that we all love so much -- Emotions!
Guys have their own way of dealing with this - read on...
First of all - is it true that men are taught and conditioned to not discuss their feelings?
And, uh, kind of true.
You see, men are naturally wired to not feel as many emotional cycles - and nowhere near as extreme as their female counterparts. We just don't derive pleasure from the verbal processing of emotions. We tend to internalize the feelings and figure them out on our own.
A woman, on the other hand, needs to bring her emotions and feelings to the surface where she can see them and work on them. She also has a much more dynamic level of ups and downs.
The best analogy I can come up with is that a woman's emotions are like jazz, while a man's emotions are more like easy listening. One is more dynamic, with tempo changes and frequent dissonance.
One is more dynamic, with tempo changes and frequent dissonance. Where the guys just keep a very low-key and even keel.
Keep in mind that we've been told that sharing emotions is a healthy and normal practice, but this emotional release has been oversold. Many times, when you share certain feelings, you actually make things worse.
Sharing isn't always the best option...
So it's not a case of "men are wrong to hold emotions in" - and it's not wrong for women to let them out.
It's just... different.
So I'm going to share three reasons men don't talk about their feelings with you, but first I want to show you a man's emotional reality...
A MAN'S EMOTIONAL REALITY 1: He's in a double-bind when it comes to sharing his feelings
Society encourages men to share their feelings. But when we do, our partners often aren't prepared for it. They are shocked and weirded out by it.
Women believe they want men to express their feelings - but it's actually only CERTAIN feelings.
And only in an amount they find they can handle. (Strangely, not unlike men handling women's feelings...)
Men who go "off road" and start talking about their deep emotional life are often judged as being unstable and erratic.
There are many men who are very cold and "robotic" when it comes to emotions. But they are not the norm.
Most of the "average guys" you'll run into are very emotive and live a rich and vibrant palette of emotions.
But even the most emotive of guys will not even come close to the emotional expression you might get from a woman.
A MAN'S EMOTIONAL REALITY 2: Men often feel their emotions in their physical bodies
This habit can become destructive if a man doesn't know how to vent and manage these emotions. Very often, they can manifest themselves as a disease - and sometimes even cancer.
Again, it's not necessary for a man to express all of his emotions, if he can manage them in a healthy way.
He just needs a chance to sort out stuff on his own for a little while...
Some guys don’t express feelings well with their words, but they express them through actions.
Guys show up. We take responsibility - and take action. Our way of expressing feelings and showing love is to sometimes ask you ... how your car is running.
We speak a slightly different language, but it's not too far away that we can't learn to understand each other.
A MAN'S EMOTIONAL REALITY 3: Men will shift their emotions to a place where it is deemed acceptable
Have you ever seen a bunch of guys at a sporting event? You'd think you were on an alien planet. All the yelling, cheering, tears, anger... it's almost a men's emotional party!
Men will often use a different medium to communicate their emotions. Or they'll find another way to purge all that steam.
Give you man the chance to use that safety valve - trust me, he'll be grateful you did...
It just so happens that sports is a common - and accepted - way for men to do this.
So now that you understand his emotional reality a little better, let's talk about the three REAL reasons a man won't talk about his feelings for you...
REASON 1: He's 'emotionally unavailable...'
Being "unavailable" can be a reason for some men, yes.
But not nearly as much as all the magazines and daytime talk shows make it out to be. And it doesn't mean men are "broken."
If you compare a man's emotional expressiveness to a woman's, you'll always come away with the idea that "he must be emotionally unavailable!"
Which is kind of like comparing a woman's desire to pull the engine out of her 1974 Firebird and rebuild it to a MAN, and then saying that women are "mechanically challenged."
The fact is that it has nothing really to do with ability. It's DESIRE to do it that makes us take the action.
And just as most women have no real desire to rebuild engines (GENERALLY speaking), men lack the desire to go into deep emotional explorations.
Whole books have been written on this topic, mostly blaming men for being "shut down" or "unavailable", when it's really a matter of perspective.
REASON 2: He's not attached to his emotions...
Men simply aren't as connected to their emotional state on a day-to-day basis as women are.
It's not a "denial" or anything like that. We just don't have a deep synthesis with our feelings. A man evolved to be able to disconnect from his emotions so that he could get the job done, and save the day.
Today, a lot of "feminine literature" (AKA magazines for women) call men out and label them as "pushing their emotions away." You might even think that your man has done this when he 'yeah-yeahs' you or changes the subject away from something emotional.
Let me share some of the "advice" that a popular site gives when it comes to why men don't show their feelings:
"He'd rather bottle up his emotions so that he never has to think about them."
"He's basically running from his problems for as long as he possibly can."
"This [talking about feelings] is exactly what men are intimidated with..."
Do you hear the tone in that? It's basically saying: "You are right, ladies! And men are all broken and wrong. Let's look down on them for being inferior to us."
Men aren't running from their feelings, ladies. They simply don't have the same kind of tolerance and acceptance for emotional expression that women do.
"Once you label me you negate me." - Soren Kierkegaard
And trust me when I tell you that if you adopt an attitude of scorn for a man's experience, you'll always feel yourself separated from men, instead of connected. You'll never understand someone you view as your enemy.
I see this Men vs. Women attitude come up, and it never helps a relationship.
REASON 3: He doesn't want to say something wrong...
This one is HUGE for guys.
Allow me to explain how guys think about dating women:
- Women are a mystery, with changing rules and criteria...
- And dealing with all this uncertainty makes me anxious and nervous...
- And this undermines the confidence I'm supposed to have to show her I'm attractive...
- Therefore, I will just keep a safe distance and try to NOT mess things up...
This is very much how most men feel when it comes to emotional expression. We're not particularly good at it, so we don't pretend to play in that space. And we want to save ourselves from having to go through the pain of fixing a mistake.
So we stay quiet.
In some cases, we'd feel safer walking into a lion's den than open up...
You may have heard this saying attributed to Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain:
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt..."
Frankly, whoever said it was right on the money.
And most men live by this creed.
The reality is that you will actually experience many more men opening up and expressing their feelings in our new age of open expression. But that doesn't make it good.
In fact, I hear a lot of emotions from men these days - Most of it is whining.
Look, it's good for us to talk about our deeper emotional experience.
However, it is said that the major emotion of masculinity is ANXIETY.
Why? Because men must constantly prove their manhood and masculinity. Whereas a woman only needs to look her part.
For men, it's an active role, with no intermissions.
Often times you will do better if you look at his ACTIONS first. Take note of the things he DOES that says he's committed, or he's happy, or he cares.
When a man contributes, he's taking action that demonstrates his feelings.
Just because he doesn't talk in your verbal language doesn't mean he isn't communicating emotions to you!
Now that you know the truth, all we ask is a little understanding...
And if you'd like to understand more about how men communicate, you have to start with knowing what KIND of man you're dealing with.
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