Although generalizations are difficult in the field of relationships, generally men try by all means to appear calm and even indifferent to the problems arising from a couple.

Unlike women, they tend to be very proud and almost never let it be known when they are offended or hurt by something we said or did, especially in aspects that deeply affect their ego.

Men: don’t they have feelings?

There is a social convention that indicates that men do not have feelings and that is how they are educated. The phrase “men don’t cry” is not something that is said like that because it does: it marks a way of behaving that man should have in front of the world and the emotions they feel.

It is convenient to make a distinction: emotions are a set of chemical and neural responses in response to external or internal stimuli, while feelings are the conscious evaluation we make when perceiving our bodily state at the time of an emotional response. In reality, the social convention that says that men “have no feelings” may not be correct: the most appropriate thing would be to affirm that they express them differently from women. They have emotions and experience feelings, only their expression is culturally repressed. Men are usually instructed, either with explicit or implicit regulations, to act in three ways. – Do not show certain emotions. – Do not cry. – Do not express your feelings with words.

Understanding that men do not have feelings, in general they are treated in a colder way and other people “surrender” to what they admit as “obvious”, not looking for a way to teach them emotional expression. As the culture does not deal with the teaching of emotions in boys, then they do not have the necessary tools to identify and channel them properly. Thus, when faced with situations that exceed their emotional adjustment capacity, they are overwhelmed and tend to act impulsively.

I feel one thing, but I do another

The social conviction that men do not have feelings, leads to consequences.

One is that since men are instructed not to show what they feel in a “feminine” way, they show it in a different way.

– Sadness or vulnerability appears as anger or pride. – A woman can show her sadness and frustration for having ended a relationship, but a man will be “indifferent”, angry and contemptuous towards her ex-partner. – The woman is freer to express her insecurity and fear, but a man usually shows outbursts of anger and anger when he is scared. – If a woman feels that she cannot solve something, she seeks help; The man tends to be rigid and intolerant towards things that he cannot resolve and sometimes he does things that do not make sense (if he gets lost because he cannot find a direction, he is capable of going around for many hours, but he hardly asks). – A woman accepts that she has made a mistake or feels ashamed, but a man will seek to externalize the guilt to avoid shame. According to therapists, this diversion of feelings and concealment of what they truly feel can cause them to appear in the form of physical ailments, which is known as somatization. This is how headaches and backaches manifest themselves, more frequently while on vacation or on weekends, because on weekdays work provides a containment structure.

The things that hurt them

If we recognize that due to cultural aspects man is limited in terms of the expression of his emotions, it is necessary to pay special care when expressing those things that can hurt him deeply.

The male ego, especially in relation to relationships, can be hurt by various comments. These are some aspects to take into account.

1 A man will hardly recognize that something affected him. You can say: “You offended me by saying in front of everyone that you did not like my dinner”, but you will never hear him say: “I am hurt because you did not comment on my project”. Men have a hard time acknowledging that sort of thing, so don’t expect him to.

2 If you flatter another man in front of him, it will affect him, but he won’t say it. They want to be the best (and the only) for their partner, he needs to feel that there is no one like him. His obsession with being “the most” in your life makes him annoyed by a comment that suggests that there is another man who is more handsome, intelligent, successful or talented. This is why most men are deeply uncomfortable if they are watching television and you compliment an actor in a movie or commercial.

3 Your previous sexual life and your experience with other men is a very thorny issue for most men and it affects them deeply. As much confidence as there is, this topic is something that bothers him. He does not want to think that there is another man with whom you may have enjoyed sexually more than him.

4 Don’t criticize him in public, do it in private. Any criticism will hurt him, but even more so if it is in front of other people. It can be something very simple, like telling him not to make noise when eating, or something as serious as commenting that you don’t like someone in his family.

5 Avoid any comments that suggest that he is not the ideal man. You know, he needs to know that he’s the one and the best.

How to act

The process of relearning the identification and management of emotions is obviously complex, difficult and requires great patience, but it is necessary to do it in a healthy relationship.

It is necessary to listen to what he tells you without judging or trying to correct him. Remember that they have not learned to recognize and manage their emotions, so it is difficult for them to cope with them. It is also necessary that he learns to recognize and cope with your feelings and take them into account. It is possible that when you encourage him to express his true feelings, you do not like them or they do not seem appropriate to you. Like everything in the couple, a clear, deep and sincere dialogue is the key to solving any problem.

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