Men NEED To Show Emotion Too
Surveys from around the world show that men everywhere find it difficult to open up about mental health, even though they are significantly more at risk of attempting suicide than women.
Here are six ways to get him to talk about his feelings, advice from a man.
1. Pay attention to body language.
Guys do show how we feel, even if we don’t say it out loud. Most men tend to withdraw when under stress. When your man is moody and tense, no matter how badly you want to understand, no matter how tempting it may be, now is not the time to prod him. Be patient, give him space, and wait for the storm to pass. You are much more likely to get through to him when he is relaxed and at ease. And he will find it much easier to talk about what’s bothering him after he has put it behind him.
2. Show appreciation.
A man may show you how he feels for you by holding your hand, or touching the small of your back; he may bring you flowers or surprise gifts. He may show you he cares by working on your car, fixing things around the house, and just generally “taking care of business.” Tell him how much you appreciate these things, how much it means to you. Positive encouragement can be very effective.
3. Do something fun together.
If your guy has trouble talking about how he feels, then just sitting down and talking one-on-one is going to make him feel awkward, and make it even more difficult for him. Some men absolutely dread it when their woman says, “Let’s talk.” They go into complete lock-down. So instead, plan a fun, physical activity. Go to the bowling alley or the golf course, or just go out for a walk. This takes the pressure off, gives him something to focus on, and makes it so much easier for him to loosen up and talk freely.
4. Talk about things he cares about.
If you want your man to open up about his feelings, you may have to step out of your comfort zone a bit, too. Take the first step, and talk to him about things he’s into. Some men are silent about how they feel, but they love to talk about what they think. Get intellectual with him, talk about business, politics, philosophy, and you may have him chatting away happily for hours.
5. Don’t make assumptions.
When your guy does open up and start talking, listen without leaping to conclusions. Remember, a man’s mind just doesn’t work the same as yours. If you start reading into everything he says, it is bound to lead to misunderstanding. So listen. Just listen.
6. Be direct. Don’t insinuate.
Don’t drop hints. Don’t beat around the bush. Your man isn’t going to be able to read you like your girlfriends do. He doesn’t pick up on the same things. If you want something, ask for it. If you feel there is an issue that needs to be resolved, say so. If you ask, “Why don’t you ever tell me how you feel?” you’ll get nowhere. Instead say, “I want to get know you better. I want to understand how you feel about this. It’s important to me.
There is no “one way” to get a guy to talk about how he feels. Every man is unique, and every relationship too. But if you and your partner are committed to each other and your relationship, and you’re committed to learning and growing as individuals, then together you can learn to remove the barriers and communicate like grownups.
Getting men to talk about their feelings can help them stay in good mental health and deal with times when they feel troubled.