Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

We hear women and society talk about this a lot. It has always seemed to me like too much of an easy answer to explain men away, and it doesn’t cut it for me. I think gender experts and the media feel like it’s the best explanation, and I do think such thought-processing has caused some damage but I really think there's more to it than that.

Men are no different about feelings and expression…

People say men don’t express themselves and don’t talk about their feelings or what’s wrong, when in truth men are actually more vocal and open about it than most of us really realize, or choose to realize. Men are no different with feelings and emotions. The difference is, however, who and when we show those feelings and emotions. That’s not the same thing as not having them, or having it less.

Men have actually been telling us what’s going on and how they feel for a long time now, the problem is that most people just prefer to write it off as non-issues to them. I am utterly flabbergasted when I see guys needing to get something out about what bothers them, and people are just telling them it shouldn’t bother them or that they’re being babies. And then I will see a woman talk about the same thing that bothers her, and everyone is supportive and trying to be understanding. I myself have been in situations where I told people how I felt about something that any woman could feel the same way about, and was treated pretty differently for it.

Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

Have we maybe just conditioned ourselves to not care about what guys are thinking or feeling because we think it seems weird for them to be vocal about it? I remember some time ago a girl here actually told me people don’t care about how men feel because they don’t want to deal with it, and that people feel better about dealing with women’s problems. She wasn’t saying that in a good way, she meant that she can understand why people don’t care. If this really is the case I gotta say it astounds me.

Women are hurting men too…

Although females like priding themselves on being good listeners and caring about people, or even building men up with the emotional support they say they give, that really is only true for who they choose to do it with and when, not as a general empathetic quality. Some women really are truly sensitive to men, but many others do have the attitude that a guy shouldn’t be bothered about pretty much anything. Too often what bothers many men is treated as something he should “get over” or not “take so seriously.” Men are supposed to “calm down,” “let it go,” or “grow up,” according to many women. Some have even told me it’s “gay” when their man really got emotional and needed to say something.

I think this is what probably bothers men more than anything about opening up, is getting the bad reception from women about it. People like thinking guys don’t talk and show feelings with each other, but they really don’t know a lot. While some of that is true, a lot of us men actually can be more open and emotional with each other than anyone else. I know I have before. This could be because guys know the things that can bother us, so we can confide in each other. But when women are acting like something shouldn’t be a big deal to us and minimizing it, that can be pretty disappointing.

Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

Awhile ago I had a bad disagreement with one of the females in my circle here. It takes a LOT for anyone or anything on GaG to really get to me, but that situation with her irked me, yeah. And I needed to tell her about it. I wanted to know why she did that, especially if she’s claimed to be a friend and is in my circle. Her answer to my question was just to tell me I never answered her initial question, even though I did, but it wasn’t enough for her. For some reason I wasn’t surprised when she didn’t think it was a big deal and that I should just drop it, nor was I surprised when she told me she called up one of her friends to ask their opinion on the situation so she could have someone on her side. Once she had that she was ready to brush it off. And yet a week before that she messaged me about a situation that really bothered her, going into lengthy detail about it. To me it didn’t seem that big a deal, but I still tried to listen to the details and understand why it might’ve been upsetting to her. I’ve now learned something important since that experience with her.

Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

One thing I’ve learned in life is that you have women who want men to be sensitive creatures but only if they can use the men as listeners and soothers, someone they can confide in and complain to, and even take their anger and stresses out on them. But when it’s the man with emotional needs and who even at times will have a need to address the way the woman is acting or treating him, his sensitivity then becomes an inconvenience for them. Once he really gets into to and gets it out, it seems to be that women just want it to be over. He is then “so sensitive” but meant in disdain, becomes a baby, and will sometimes she will tell him he has issues, and she will try to make herself the victim because he said what he felt and didn’t want to tolerate the way she was treating him.

Men don’t express everything for a reason…

Being a grown man now, and having had experiences with a lot of people throughout my life, I can understand how guys can choose not to at times. I myself have learned to do the same thing at times. I’ve always been something of an open emotional, expressive guy, to the point that it’s even made other people feel awkward and criticize me for it in my life. So eventually I learned how to reserve my emotions - and even my tears at times - for certain people and certain situations. And I think this is probably the case for a lot of other guys. Sometimes it is necessary to appear tough or firm.

Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

It is true that this is what a lot of men do have to do. And it just may be a part of life for us that is neither good or bad, and I would say that guys shouldn't be emotional and expressive about just everything. People don't have a problem with women getting blubbery, and see it as normative for them to be dramatic. Guys doing the same thing just get their masculinity insulted. Women and the media can keep saying guys should show emotions all they want, but they’re not really ready to accept that. As I said early on, men have actually been showing us their feelings and what’s going on for quite some time, but others choose not to take it very seriously. Are there some things I think men can make too much of a big deal about? Sure, like some of the things some guys on GaG talk about, but I think the problems can go deeper than that.

The contradiction is funny to me. First we say that guys pretend everything is fine when it’s not, but then we say females tell us “I’m fine” when they're really not! So which one is it? Maybe men and women really aren’t so different? Another thing I’ve learned is that women are not always emotional either. As I was saying, they mostly reserve that for who they want, when they want, and on what conditions. Women feel they need to trust somebody before they open up to them no less than men do, so why is it okay if a woman doesn’t want to talk about everything that’s bothering her, but it’s an emotional dysfunction if guys don’t want to?

People are doing damage...

Society and the media have created double standards about gender, expression, and emotion. When a woman has a need to scream, shout, and be heard, it’s viewed as release and expression. When a man has the same need, it’s seen as abuse and aggression. Sometimes a woman is called a “bitch” for doing it, but overall we tend to regard it as normal emotional behavior for her as a woman. When a woman explodes on her kids or the important people in her life, it’s because she’s reached her limit, is overwhelmed or has emotional issues - especially if she is a single mother, and we’re supposed to try to understand this and recognize that this may be the reason for why she is the way she is. When a man does it, it’s because he has no self-control, won’t “ask for help,” bottling everything up and taking it out on others, or is just being an “asshole.” Any emotional issues he may have is brought into consideration from time to time, but still not seen as big as a cause for aggression as it’s said to be in women.

Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

Even down to violence we set the rules. When men snap from being under pressure and go on a rampage, it’s because he is emotionally weak and failed to form a “support group” for himself like women are said to do. But when women react in violence and fury, it’s because she has emotional hurt and inner issues from some trauma that should be understood, and because she “just couldn’t take it anymore.” So why didn’t she form a support group? We’ll come up with excuses left and right for why women react in aggressive emotion because there has to be a reason, because “by nature women are more gentle and not as violent as men.” It becomes understandable for a woman to, but for a man it’s because of “testosterone” and not controlling himself.

Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?

I think we do damage to men with all this. This is what frustrates many of us. Men want to be understood, and society would rather blame men than to blame itself for why/when men are silent. People would rather give men “tough love” because we think they can take it or are supposed to, than to actually want to hear men. Sometimes tough love is a good thing, and I’ve both given it and received it, and did learn from it, but it’s not the answer for everything. When men are hurting or angry they don’t want to be served up counter-perspectives, second guesses, or rebuttals, and the last thing they want is to be told they’re “whining” or to have their feelings minimized. These are the problems that make hurting men just lose it and give up. As a society we’re asking them to open up, seek help, go to friends, and to put away their “male pride,” yet we’re not exactly interested in listening at the same time.


Are Guys Really Less Emotional and Won't Talk?
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Most Helpful Girl

  • RJGraveyTrain
    Decent take, but I am going to nitpick here and say, well, the logic isn't as sound as I feel you could have made it.

    I’d like to point out that the gender-emotional issue has been going on with both sides for a long time, it isn’t inherently just a male issue. You say men are expected to be unemotional, and are “written off” as a result, but women have been chastised just the same for being TOO emotional. How many comedians in the media have you seen put on the crying woman act to describe how women handle difficult situations? (as a real world example) If we’re going to get into it about emotional repression, we have to look at it from both sides or at least ACKNOWLEDGE that is isn’t one sided.

    I do find it odd though that this is so personally related, so I can’t help but feel this entire work is … well, biased. You’re going largely based off of a personal argument you had with a woman in your friend circle, and it translates in your writing as: “She did this to me, because she’s a woman!” Whether that was your intention or not.

    I agree, men do face their repressions but for this take, I think more references to society and real world examples would have actually made it hit home. For example, at a time colleges in Ontario offered help to the victims, and related friends or family of the victims of rape, from counseling to setting them up with resources. They DO NOT, offer these services to men. Why? That would be a great way to expand and hit your point home, better than an argument you had with a friend. But that's just me.
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I’d also like to point out this statement: “Even down to violence we set the rules. When men snap from being under pressure and go on a rampage, it’s because he is emotionally weak and failed to form a “support group” for himself like women are said to do.”

      This statement alone, I’d like to point out, contradicts the concept of “men are taught to handle things like men and women are taught to handle things like women.” Which seems to be your point here, yet you implied men are expected to handle rage the same way women do. It doesn’t add up, are men taught to handle issues differently than women or not?

      You’re playing it off like women’s rage is socially acceptable. I don’t know about where you are from, but where I live, assault and rage is not treated as a light or acceptable issue. If we’re going to rely so largely on personal experience here, I have personally witnessed a greater level of shame against women for displaying anger because it is “out of their nature”

    • cont - which you even pointed out. With men, they have their “testosterone” excuse, to paraphrase.

      Now, this isn’t me belittling the fact that men are taught to be repressed, I agree that they are, but I feel like you could have done it better justice. Otherwise this was well written and it does address a very real issue.

    • ManOnFire

      Did you read the whole Take? This thing wasn't written based off just one situation I had with somebody here! LOL! That was an inclusion in the details, not the whole point.

      And this DOESN'T need to be about both sides because it IS about men. Something written doesn't have to be about both sides just for one side to be understood. Obviously that's the point of this. Women do get picked at about being emotional, yeah, but it's a hell of a lot worse when it comes down to guys, that's what the point of this was.

      "yet you implied men are expected to handle rage the same way women do. It doesn’t add up, are men taught to handle issues differently than women or not?"
      - Wrong. I'm saying that when both men and women react to rage in the same way, men are vilified for it much more often while excuses are made for women. Their rage isn't socially acceptable, it's often written off as there-was-some-kind-of-reason-for-it, and we're supposed to understand why. In the US, it is like this.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Spiorad_Aisce
    Great take - Well thought out and full of good points - Men not expressing themselves or not being allowed to express themselves by whoever or society itself is doing a lot of damage when the stats about young male suicide are looked at - As I got older, I find myself using labels less and less, I am no particular gender, colour, faith, sexuality etc, I am just an individual and this is the way I respond - The world is full of individuals responding in different ways - I think that is why a lot of the tension here in GaG and maybe in society itself passes me by unless it is really blatant then maybe I would go "Oh maybe that is wrong", I tend to look at each situation on a case by case basis - Back to your take, as I said I see the world as a group of individuals so my opinion would be if you want to let rip, do so, if you want to hold it in, do so, I don't care (probably wrong term but you know what I mean) who you are and if I can, I will help you. As for myself, I suppose through experience I have learnt who to trust, some female and some male when it comes to opening up to people.
    Like 1 Person
    Is this still revelant?
    • ManOnFire

      Yeah, I get what you mean. I don't really care what other people do either, it's just not right to try to make it right for one and wrong for the other.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • TokyoGhoulLover
    Dang man, you're right. Personally with me growing up with my dad and older brother I understand society's double standards and believe you/ agree with you when you say it's not fair. I think that any person should open up and not suppress their emotions because it is not healthy for your stress levels or mental state. I understand how some women would not believe a guy when they try to express their feelings because she assumes that he is just manipulating her to get, for lack of a better word, "Pity sex". But we are all human and we all need empathy from other human beings in times of need. I understand both perspectives of both genders, so I am completely honest with you in saying I support you, Please keep expressing yourself, Please keep fighting these unfair societal norms, and I hope that there are other dudes out there in the world like you, because I would be more than willing to do anything I can to help be it a shoulder, an ear or some advice on how to fix the problem. This also leads to a question I have though. Women prefer to rant about the problem and solve it after the stress is released. But guys are problem solvers. do you seek an ear to rant sometimes or a solution to the problem at hand all the time? Does it depend on the situation?


    • ManOnFire

      Guys are definitely seeking ears to rant, that's partly what I was saying in this Take. Guys are actually making their problems known a lot more than most people care to realize.

    • Oh okay this helps a lot! Thank you :)

  • VictoriousSausage
    i'm like you, i used to be way to emotional when i was little, and decided to start bottling it in, i'm a bit more calm and controlled now, but i still feel passionate about things and want to express myself whenever i can, and i agree on a lot of your points, there are some really damaging things in our society, and i think we need to sort them out.
    Like 1 Person
  • rdneckczy05
    God my take. I can say I'm one of those guys that never talks about my feelings. Part of it is I've never found a girl I trusted enough to talk to about them. But also the fear of looking weak. There's been times I've come home from work and needed someone to talk to about something I experienced, or handled that sat heavy on my mind but wasn't able to talk about it. Eventually I'll find the one I can talk too, and I'll be able to ease my mind.
    Like 1 Person
  • Mustachekitteh
    OMG I can't stand men that don't open up and express if something is bothering them. It makes me want to shake them and tell them to tell me what's fucking wrong and to let it all out damn it!

    I've tried really hard to understand when my boyfriend doesn't tell me what's wrong. That it's just due to him not thinking it's important since he can't do anything about it. Still I keep reminding him when he does have something he needs to get off of his mind to please tell me it.
    • ManOnFire

      Just keep in mind that your interest in wanting him to open up should be just as strong as when he does and needs you to understand. The two can be different.

    • The not asking questions part is hard since it peaks my curiosity which is at an extreme level. Though I've worked on trying not to let that get to me and not bug him about it.

  • fueledbythc
    As an emotional man, I know how much men bottle up their emotions. I used to do it and one day i felt like I was so disconnected with human emotions. I felt like I wasn't who I really am. It's ok to be expressive.
    Like 1 Person
  • Blonde401
    Good points. I am very supportive of the men in my life as I'm the middle child between two lads and I feel very easily connected with guys. But guys just don't wanna be as open with those of us who ask them to be. It's sad really.
    • ManOnFire

      Sometimes wanting us to be isn't the same as how will it go if I am. I think that's probably something some guys keep in mind too.

    • Blonde401

      Yeah but then you guys complain nobody listens to you. You just put stock in the wrong women.

    • ManOnFire

      Mmmmmm, maybe with some guys. But often it's the women already in our lives who treat us badly for telling them how we feel. I know my sister is gone and I loved her, but hell, even she could be the same way with me sometimes

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  • jjesica346
    I'd like if my man could say what's on his mind as how you easily have. I must say that unfortunately you are in the minority. He sits back and lets it build up, which turns into a fight down the road. As a result of this, life for us is a vicious circle w no hope of authentic communication.
    • ManOnFire

      Maybe he doesn't feel like he can trust you.

    • jjesica346

      I just don't think he is capable of communicating. I have tried/given up for 20 years.

  • SovereignessofVamps
    I only skimmed but... guys can think really differently. They've told me tons of times they like being brutal and teasing each other. Apparently because you get tougher!
    • And they make jokes about past abuse too... I thought that was so odd.

    • ManOnFire

      I know you must've skimmed to reply so soon. I would prefer my readers to really take the time however, lol.

    • I did read way more but, how will you get other guys to listen about being able to express more?

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  • YourFutureEx
    YourFutureEx supports this.
    Like 1 Person
  • Anonymous
    "Women are hurting men too…"
    Yeah you're not supposed to say that... women don't like to imagine us i this way, prepare to receive a bunch of snide comments.
    LikeDisagree 2 People