How should women share their feelings with men?

I've been reading over various questions about the different communication styles of men and women etc.

there are several questions where someone will ask if men prefer women to be honest about their feelings and most often men say yes they do.

then on the other hand there are questions about men talking about their feelings and men say that they dislike talking about their feelings.

this is confusing to me. if on the one hand men want women to be honest about their feelings then why on the other hand do they themselves not like to talk about their feelings in return? why do men not think it is important to be honest about their feelings to women, yet expect women to be honest with them?

I don't share my feelings with my boyfriend because he doesn't share his with me. I don't ask him about what he's thinking or feeling because he doesn't ask me, if he's not interested in what I think or feel then I assume he doesn't want to discuss what he is thinking or feeling with me.

I would very much like to talk to him about these things, but from what I've been reading it seems like men say they want women to be honest about their feelings but in reality they would rather that women shut up and deal with their feelings on their own. is there any validity to this idea?

what is a constructive way of discussing thoughts and feelings with men in a way that they can understand, is nonthreatening and won't make them stressed out?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Good question.

    Read this article to get some good answers:


    • Thank you for the link. the article is helpful but also a bit disheartening as these differences in communication styles seem very hard to overcome. it almost seems like a better idea to just avoid the topic of feelings altogether when speaking with men so as not to cause stress and conflict. I don't know that I could learn to communicate like a man since I've had so much time to learn to communicate like a woman that it has become instinctual.

    • Show All
    • That link is very helpful!

    • " I think women can cause themselves a lot of trouble by falsely believing that every feeling is worth discussing at length. Men can learn from opening up, but women can learn from sucking it up, too."


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 8

  • Men would like to hear what their girlfriend or any female friend of theirs is feeling or thinking. This question actually goes perfectly into what I'm learning in interpersonal communication skills and contexts at college we had a group discussion one group males and the other group females. From the MALES perspective the way women communicate (talking AND listening) is that they wear their hearts on their sleeves, when they shouldn't really take everything so personally, sometimes we're just kidding but females don't get that, because of different listening interpretations.

    This comes straight from my COMMUNICATIONS NOTEBOOK of what the guys came up with:

    [(keep in mind this was a group discussion so now all views are mine, please NO nasty messages I get enough of those already lol)]

    MEN: we only listen to important things. we only talk about important things. we shut off 80% of our surroundings when watching something on TV that grabs our attention. We like to solve problems straight out, and not "beat around the bush". We really read into body language (e.g: crossed arms, legs, postitions etc.) to see how you're feeling about us.

    WOMEN: Hear what they want to hear. they read WAAY too much into things (i.e. heart on your sleeves) they overanalyze conversations, create drama and/or make problems, they NEVER forget ANYTHING. they think they're always right about everything they talk about. they pry for answers until they get the one that they want to hear.

    p.s. we read these infront of the class including our female professor, and the girls and professor agreed with most of which we had to say, so everything can't be wrong on here.

    • Not** all views are mine -- sorry for the typo if you may have gotton confused.

    • Well said.

    • Thank you for your reply it is very helpful. I find it very interesting that the men in your class labeled over analyzing things as "heart on sleeve". I've always interpreted that saying as meaning a person was very emotional and open about their emotions not that they over analyzed, but I think that is also a nice demonstration of the differences in communication styles. men and women can be using the same words but mean totally different things.

  • Brevity works. I don't mind talking about feelings if I don't have to talk about them A LOT. (Note that this means nagging fails. If it's not happening, it's not happening. Deal.)

    Flattery and reassurance work. I don't mind talking about feelings as long as I'm hearing how wonderful I am.

    If you get this right, you'll notice him doing the same. Is he going to expose his rich, inner emotional life to you? No. Guys don't do that. But he will make a habit of giving you his general emotional temperature, which is about as good as it gets.

    • That is so true whenever my boyfriend talks down about himself like his weight gain, etc. I reassure him that he looks great. I am truthful when I compliment him and I can tell he really appreciates it.

    • I'm just glad to hear the men do have a "rich inner emotional life". :) after reading some of the articles about male communication sometimes it makes it seem like men don't feel, which I never believed but I was beginning to wonder. :) I do think that men and women are more alike than different we just learn to communicate differently from society. reading the articles I also have an appreciate for how difficult it can be for men because of conflicting expectations society places on them.

  • I'm sure you can think of a way to discuss this with your boyfriend, but from my perspective, guys don't want to share their feelings with people because it makes them (us) feel sensitive, and we're supposed to be strong, independent and not need help from anyone, when really, someitmes we do. I guess the way we think is: how can anyone expect us to help them in life (this could mean a million tthings, insert what you want) when we can't help ourselves. We just don;t want anyone to know we need help with certain things, and we're all different, so we all need help with different areas of our life.

  • I have to add that your reply to the anonymous girl shows that you have *tons* of insight:

    "I'm also learning that sometimes some things just really aren't that important and I don't have to listen to every feeling I have as being a "sign" of something being wrong or pointing to some other meaning. sometimes I'm just hormonal or in a bad mood and that's ok too :) and I can just let it pass."

    That is a very sharp observation. Don't be so hard on yourself about the communication between men and women being insurmountable. The fact that you have so much insight proves that you're miles ahead of most women your age when it comes to emotional maturity.

    • Ty very much :) I know I still have a lot to learn but it is very nice to know that I'm heading in the right direction, thank you.

  • Definately you are right. that if a man is not telling that it is sure that your boyfriend doesn't love you, but if you are thinking same, then what is difference between you and him, its mean that you don't know, you are in love, or not, if you really love him, then whatever he does or doesnt, you would like everything of him, and this is love... I don't think that You love your boyfriends, because knowing love, it is very difficuilt and easy too...

    If you doesn't know the love its mean that you are not in love... you are just passing your time, and he too. first you need to be sincere with your boyfriend and then you realise he loves you or not...

    I hope that you understand what I want to tell you...

  • I think guys feel like if they share their feelings and stuff, they won't be the guy in the relationship anymore. We feel like it might make us seem too sensitive. We just don't like to show weakness especially in front of our girls. I'm not saying this is how it should be but see some of us can share feelings well without coming off like a crybaby or a punk, you know anything excessive.

  • i like girls that are up front and don't play games... because I can say I am a very blunt person.. I like blunt girls.

  • guys show their feeling in physical way girls talk about their feelings.

    • Very true, I have noticed this with my boyfriend a lot and I have tried to up my physical showings of feelings to him to reciprocate so that instead of my saying I love you all the time I show him that I love him instead. the only problem with it is that being a woman I don't always feel secure that he's gotten the message because I haven't said it, but I should trust that since I am attempting to "speak his language" that he understands. but I do still tell him I love him every now and then.

    • Show All
    • He does tell me he loves me every now and then, he was actually the first one to say it. I would love to hear it more often but I know that when he does say it he really means it because he doesn't say it all the time. I think it's good that I hold back saying it to him because if I said it every time I wanted to I'd be saying it all the time and the meaning would get watered down. man language actually makes sense now that I'm learning about it, it's just hard to unlearn woman language lol!

    • Its not hard to learn but it takes time and effort to do so.

What Girls Said 2

  • In society men have always been thought of as the stronger and less emotional sex. And well allot of men grow up thinking this way, even if deep down they don't think its right. Plus many men feel that the woman should express her feelings because since she is the girl she should be more pushy and emotional, not them being the guy.

  • I'm very honest with mine. If I have an issue with something I have to get it out right then and there. If I am really upset I will wait a day or so so I can calm down and not flip out lol. If you don't talk about your feelings they just get bottled up and that's never good.

    • I agree that talking about feelings is a good way to work through them, but I'm also learning that sometimes some things just really aren't that important and I don't have to listen to every feeling I have as being a "sign" of something being wrong or pointing to some other meaning. sometimes I'm just hormonal or in a bad mood and that's ok too :) and I can just let it pass.