Men who are emotionally wounded but never open up about it usually display these 7 subtle behaviors

by Ethan Sterling | April 4, 2024, 4:56 am

I remember something my father told me once, “Men don’t cry.”

It’s a phrase that many men, myself included, have grown up hearing.

But what happens when emotions become too much to bear?

Many men often choose silence.

They choose not to open up about their hurt feelings but they could display some subtle behaviors.

These behaviors might be hard to pick up on if you’re not looking carefully. 

So, if you’ve been wondering what these signs might be then stick around.

We’ll be diving into 7 subtle behaviors that might just give you some insight.

This isn’t about labeling or pointing fingers, it’s about understanding and empathy.

And who knows? The person you help might be closer than you think.

1) They avoid emotional conversations

It’s not uncommon.

When you try to engage them in a conversation that might touch upon their feelings, they tend to dodge or deflect.

They might even steer the conversation back to you or something superficial.

Why, you ask?

Well, for these men, discussions around emotions feel like stepping into a minefield.

They’d rather avoid it than risk unearthing their buried pain.

But remember.

This isn’t about them being secretive or evasive.

It’s more about self-preservation, a protective shield they’ve built around their emotional selves.

So, if you notice this behavior, tread carefully.

It might just be a sign of an emotional wound that’s yet to heal.

2) They’re overly focused on work or hobbies

I’ve seen this firsthand.

One of my closest friends, let’s call him Jake, was always the life of the party.

But then he went through a rough patch in his life. After that, I started to notice something.

Jake began pouring himself into his work. He’d stay late at the office and take on extra projects.

His free time? Spent absorbed in hobbies that he used to enjoy in moderation.

At first, I thought he was just really dedicated or was trying to keep busy. But over time, it dawned on me.

This wasn’t about ambition or distraction. It was Jake’s way of avoiding his pain and keeping his mind off what he was feeling.

So, if you see someone suddenly immersing themselves in work or hobbies and distancing from their normal life, it might be more than just a newfound passion or dedication.

It could be an attempt to escape from emotional distress they’re not ready to confront.

3) Always insisting that everything is fine

We’ve all been there.

You ask a friend how they’re doing. They respond with a hasty, “I’m fine,” but their eyes tell a different story.

You push a little more, and they insist, “Really, I’m okay.”

Sound familiar?

This mantra is often the go-to response for emotionally wounded men who aren’t ready to share their feelings.

You see, admitting to not being okay is like opening Pandora’s box. Once it’s open, all those bottled-up emotions might come pouring out.

And that’s a vulnerability many men aren’t comfortable with.

Beneath this front might be a battle they’re fighting alone. Your understanding and patience could make all the difference.

4) They become overly critical or defensive

Some men, when dealing with emotional pain they’re not ready to express, become unusually critical or defensive.

It’s like they’re always on edge, ready for a fight even when there’s none to be fought.

You might wonder why a harmless joke or a simple comment suddenly turns into a heated argument.

It’s not you, it’s the pain they’re carrying. It makes their emotional skin thin and sensitive to even the slightest hint of criticism.

Remember, it’s not about justifying their behavior.

It’s about recognizing it as a possible sign of an emotional wound.

5) They have trouble sleeping

Sleep, it’s our body’s natural way of recharging and healing. But did you know that emotional pain can often disrupt this vital process?

Men who are emotionally wounded but don’t talk about it might find themselves wrestling with insomnia or other sleep disturbances.

They may spend long nights tossing and turning or wake up feeling just as tired as when they went to bed.

If you notice someone consistently complaining about poor sleep, it might be more than just a bad mattress or late-night caffeine.

A listening ear or a comforting word might just help them find some peace.

6) They tend to isolate themselves

We all need some alone time now and then. But there’s a difference between enjoying solitude and seeking isolation.

They might start withdrawing from social activities they once enjoyed.

They might decline invitations, avoid gatherings, and prefer the quiet of their own company.

It’s not that they don’t value your company or friendship anymore.

Far from it. They’re just trying to navigate a storm within, one they can’t quite put into words yet.

So, if you notice someone pulling away, don’t take it personally.

Instead, let them know you’re there for them, no pressure, no judgment.

7) They show a strong shift in behavior or personality

Men dealing with hidden emotional pain can sometimes exhibit a noticeable shift in behavior or personality.

The energetic extrovert might turn quiet, the constant joker might lose his sense of humor, or the laid-back guy might become anxious.

These are significant changes that reflect the internal turmoil they’re grappling with.

It’s their silent cry for help, their way of saying ‘I’m not okay’ without uttering a word.

If you notice such changes, don’t ignore them.

Reach out, show you care. Your simple act of kindness could help light their path towards healing and opening up about their emotions.

Final thoughts

If you’ve recognized some of these behaviors in those around you, or even in yourself, it’s important to remember that admitting emotional pain is not a sign of weakness.

Quite the contrary.

It takes tremendous courage to face our inner demons and even more to share them.

Here’s the silver lining – this doesn’t have to be a solitary journey.

Start by opening up a dialogue, even if it feels uncomfortable. Encourage honesty and vulnerability.

Let them know it’s okay to not be okay. And remember, patience is key – healing takes time.

For those who see themselves in these lines, know that reaching out for help is a strength, not a flaw.

You’re not alone. Many have walked this path before and many will walk it with you.

Each step towards emotional honesty is a victory, each shared tear a sign of resilience.

You’re more than your pain, more than your past.

As you navigate this journey, remember to be kind to yourself.

Healing isn’t linear and it doesn’t have a set timeline.

But with every day that passes, you’re one step closer towards finding your strength.

So take heart and keep going.

Your emotions are part of what makes you human and sharing them can be the first step towards healing.

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