Why Do Guys Struggle To Talk About Their Feelings? Here’s The Real Truth

As a guy, I’m aware of the bad reputation we get when it comes to communication and talking about our feelings. Admittedly, a lot of it is true – for the most part, we suck at really opening up and getting deep. I can only imagine how frustrating that can be for you ladies, but if it helps, I can try to explain why guys struggle to talk about their feelings. Knowing this may not solve the problem but it should help you understand a bit more.

  1. We’d rather avoid being in a bad mood. Most guys think that if they talk about their negative feelings, it will put them in a bad mood. Why risk going on a downer when things are perfectly fine right now? I’ll admit that’s a somewhat convoluted way of thinking. However, most guys will try to avoid talking about topics if it’ll help them from feeling down and depressed. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
  2. It doesn’t accomplish anything. Honestly, a lot of guys look at feelings and emotions as being rather pointless. We’ve been trained to value our goals and achievements rather than wasting time talking about feelings. It just doesn’t get us anywhere. We’d rather focus our energy on trying to achieve something tangible. Talking about feelings doesn’t accomplish anything in our eyes so we’d rather skip it altogether.
  3. We lack good role models. It’s time to play the blame game a little. Most younger guys didn’t have a male role model growing up who was open about their feelings. While many women grow up around open, supportive women, many men are raised to believe we should just suck it up and get on with it rather than discussing anything. We never learned to talk about feelings when we were younger and so we simply don’t know how to do it when we become adults.
  4. We’re afraid of the truth. Talking about one’s feelings can lead to uncovering some harsh truths. Sub-consciously, a lot of guys worry about what they’ll learn about themselves. There could be something unpleasant just below the surface that we’d rather not know about. Obviously, in the long run, it’s best to be open about our true feelings, but that doesn’t make it any easier to do.
  5. We have a fear of judgment. Guys who don’t have experience talking about their feelings will always be afraid of being judged. They don’t know how the person they’re talking to will react to what they have to say. It may sound silly, but keep in mind that a lot of guys are more insecure than you realize. It takes a certain level of bravery that not all guys have. This is why some guys won’t open up to a woman until they know the relationship is serious and going to last.
  6. We prefer actions over words. As I mentioned, many men don’t think talking gets them anywhere. We prefer to let our actions speak for themselves. Any feelings we need to express, we can do so with our actions instead, no words needed. If you go back hundreds of years, men have always had to provide food and shelter with their actions rather than by having a deep and meaningful conversation. In that sense, men have spent generations worrying about their actions rather than their words.
  7. We prefer to solve problems rather than talk about them. Along those same lines, we have to keep in mind that most men are inherently problem solvers. If there’s an issue, we want to fix it with our hands rather than talk about it, which gets us nowhere. In reality, talking about emotions and problems usually makes a person feel better, but men don’t think in these terms. Until proven otherwise, we just don’t think that talking about our feelings is the way to solve a problem.
  8. It’s all about societal norms. It’s time to play the blame game again. This time, the blame falls on all of society. Far too many men have been conditioned not to show their emotions or talk about their feelings. It’s seen as being “unmanly.” Unfortunately, that’s something that guys actually think about. Most guys have been trained to embrace masculinity at all costs, which means not being open about our feelings. This means pushing our emotions to the side and repressing them rather than talking about how we feel.
  9. It’s not on our minds. Honestly, most men just don’t spend a lot of time processing their feelings. We’re not always aware of what we feel unless we’re forced to deal with it. As I mentioned, we skip ahead to the part where we act rather than talk. This is why when you ask a guy what he’s feeling, he says “I don’t know.” He’s not always lying or trying to avoid the conversation. A lot of times, we honestly haven’t thought about it and don’t know what to say. My only advice when a guy won’t talk about his feelings is to just give him a little time to process them. If he gets time and space to think about everything, he’ll start to feel more comfortable and might open up.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.