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Old 05-26-2024, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Southern MN
12,147 posts, read 8,535,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
People tend to forget that anger, rage, and frustration are also emotions. Men, on the whole, seem to have much less of a problem expressing those particular emotions than women both frequently and forcefully.
This statement, and the conversation that follows it, touches on an important point about feelings that we seem to intuit but perhaps don't have the emotional education to put into words. And that is the fact that anger, rage, frustration, slamming doors, stomping around, etc. are all "masking" emotions and behaviors.

Those are the culturally "safe" emotions we can share with others and that also signal others to back off. Because they are hiding, sometimes even from ourselves, the primary emotion underneath. That is the more vulnerable emotion, the emotion that we may fear to express.

Anger hides hurt or fear, grief, shame - a number of emotions that make people, not just men, feel vulnerable to those around them.

__________________________________________________ ___________________

A comment brought me back to this thread and as I typed I remembered a minor miracle I once saw regarding this subject. Fifty-seven men of various ages and inclinations in a substance abuse treatment center sitting in a lecture room. A few anticipating information, most indifferent or visibly defiant. It was the usual "nuthin' wrong with me" audience.

The staff's daily goal was finding a way into the true self, the listening self, that hid behind the mask of addiction. The something that would touch the feeling self and trigger a desire to empty out the hurt and start afresh.

The woman lecturing began talking about family conflicts in an interactive way and for fifteen/twenty minutes it was confirmed that many in the room had experienced troubled relationships with their fathers.

She closed her talk by playing this, then popular, song: https://www.bing.com/search?q=lyrics...DAF1=1&PC=HCTS

By the end many were silently crying and the general air of disinterest had left the room. It was really quite astonishing to see that large of a group of men, strangers to each other, express such a vulnerable and tender emotion.

It is in that genuine and vulnerable state that people are capable of making improvements in their lives. I think when someone has had that experience and realized that it was received with no judgment but actually encouraged, that they begin to see a path out guided by a genuine self.

Last edited by Lodestar; 05-26-2024 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 05-26-2024, 09:50 AM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,814 posts, read 3,969,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
OP's post seems to be way overthinking why men don't tend to express emotion. Mostly, is just our nature.

Women tend to be more emotional than men from the start. You can't express what you don't feel.

Next, men don't tend to be as talkative or as expressive or as introspective as women.'
While I agree we don’t tend to express emotion as much as women, I don’t think it’s our nature; family, friends, sports, relationships and so on have a huge influence. The ability to (appropriately) communicate how we feel (and with whom) is learned, and most men my age (50) and older were raised with at least some lingering (if unspoken) stereotypes and conditioning as to what it means to be a ‘strong man’. When I was in my twenties, I was more closed-off emotionally in my relationships with women; however, I wasn’t interested in commitment at that time, either. In other words, how much one wants to express emotion within the context of a relationship has a lot to do with it, as does maturity. That said, I’m willing to acknowledge women emotionally mature faster than we do, as a whole.
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Old 05-26-2024, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
7,112 posts, read 11,407,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes View Post
I've noticed that most of the time those who exhort men to "be more emotionally expressive" are women. They often blame men's struggle with expressing emotions in a healthy way on the stifling effect of patriarchal expectations of masculinity and a culture of rigid anti-emotionalism. They even go so far as to cite this struggle as a symptom of "toxic masculinity" itself. While there is some truth to this, one thing that seems to be overlooked is the way in which men are often ridiculed, mocked and derided by women for daring to express a sentiment that happens to go against what these women think he should believe.

For example, when I say that it hurts me to read that women are justified in automatically assuming the worst of me and other men they don't know in the interest of their safety, I am usually met with "suck it up, now you see what we have to deal with on a daily basis," or "go cry about it," or some other insensitive comeback. It basically comes down to this, men would be perfectly fine expressing their emotions with women if they felt "safe" enough to do so; that is, if they can do so without being put down and invalidated due to preconceived notions about how much "better" men have it and have always had it. It's tantamount to saying that men somehow don't deserve to express certain emotions in response to things that are believed to be caused to perpetuated by them, and that taking offense at something a woman tells him (usually about men in general) somehow signifies that he is "weak" and needs to "man up" and take responsibility for the way some (wayward) men are.

One thing that was truly heartbreaking to read recently were many of the responses (by women) to an article about male loneliness and suicide that were not only full of mockery, derision and inappropriate levity, but also implicative of the notion that the epidemic of male loneliness and emotional despair is somehow men's own fault, and that perhaps if men weren't so "toxic," they would be better off overall. It's no wonder why many men will unfortunately continue to struggle in silence.
Other guys DON'T want to hear it about 95% of the time and women will listen but it is not valued or seen as a positive.

Guys who are emotive are generally seen as "complainers" because, well let's be honest, when a guy talks about his emotions it doesn't generate sympathy in the same way it does when a woman does. It comes out differently and, yes, the natural reaction from woman and other men alike is "be a man and suck it up." I think women like to be around men because they DON'T pour out their emotions to each other, or to women all the time.

There are exceptions of course, but what women and men say they want in a partner is not always want they really want, it's want they are supposed to say they want or what society tells them they should say.
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Old 05-26-2024, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Canada
11,832 posts, read 12,097,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Other guys DON'T want to hear it about 95% of the time and women will listen but it is not valued or seen as a positive.

Guys who are emotive are generally seen as "complainers" because, well let's be honest, when a guy talks about his emotions it doesn't generate sympathy in the same way it does when a woman does. It comes out differently and, yes, the natural reaction from woman and other men alike is "be a man and suck it up." I think women like to be around men because they DON'T pour out their emotions to each other, or to women all the time.

There are exceptions of course, but what women and men say they want in a partner is not always want they really want, it's want they are supposed to say they want or what society tells them they should say.
Yay for mansplaining what women want

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Old 05-27-2024, 12:06 AM
 
317 posts, read 174,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Other guys DON'T want to hear it about 95% of the time and women will listen but it is not valued or seen as a positive.

Guys who are emotive are generally seen as "complainers" because, well let's be honest, when a guy talks about his emotions it doesn't generate sympathy in the same way it does when a woman does. It comes out differently and, yes, the natural reaction from woman and other men alike is "be a man and suck it up." I think women like to be around men because they DON'T pour out their emotions to each other, or to women all the time.

There are exceptions of course, but what women and men say they want in a partner is not always want they really want, it's want they are supposed to say they want or what society tells them they should say.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katnan View Post
Yay for mansplaining what women want

Katnan , I generally enjoy reading your posts. Usually you are thoughtful,and not rash in judgement, but I think you missed that mark with this comment.

Westside boy was trying to explain why he and so many men are reluctant to be more emotionally open (ie often women aren't receptive to men when they are being emotionally vulnerable) and instead of acknowledging his perspective, you just mocked him for it with a major contempt display.

Which also proves his larger point. Women regularly don't seem to want to hear guys being emotionally vulnerable. Instead the unspoken subtext is guys should shut up and not complain.

Society rushes to respond to women's tears. No one wants to hear a man complain -even very normally thoughtful women like yourself. A guy who complains just seems weak. That is the message society repeatedly gives men. Is there any surprise that men don't ever want to be emotionally vulnerable?

Last edited by OscarNiemeyer; 05-27-2024 at 12:44 AM..
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Old 05-27-2024, 05:45 AM
 
7,639 posts, read 4,199,551 times
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There is only so much a woman can complain about. It does get tiring after a while. It might help to figure out what those women are doing wrong because there are probably similarities with men who get it wrong.

When my married friends complain about something, they usually take care of it right after or their spouse does something about it out of respect.
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Old 05-27-2024, 07:22 AM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,814 posts, read 3,969,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Other guys DON'T want to hear it about 95% of the time and women will listen but it is not valued or seen as a positive. Guys who are emotive are generally seen as "complainers" because, well let's be honest, when a guy talks about his emotions it doesn't generate sympathy in the same way it does when a woman does. It comes out differently and, yes, the natural reaction from woman and other men alike is "be a man and suck it up."
This is true relative to other men, of course, although I think it’s changed somewhat. However, regarding women it’s a different ballgame. In my (dating and relationship) experience, most women have asked how I’m feeling relative to certain conversations or situations (and appreciate I’m willing to share such). That said, dude, you’re in the wrong relationship if she is telling you ‘to be a man and suck it up’, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
There are exceptions of course, but what women and men say they want in a partner is not always want they really want, it's want they are supposed to say they want or what society tells them they should say.
That you apparently don’t express what you want in a forthcoming manner doesn’t mean others do not. There is a difference between environmental influences vs. societal control (or dishonesty, for that matter).

Last edited by CorporateCowboy; 05-27-2024 at 08:05 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-27-2024, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
7,112 posts, read 11,407,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
This is true relative to other men, of course, although I think it’s changed somewhat. However, regarding women it’s a different ballgame. In my (dating and relationship) experience, most women have asked how I’m feeling relative to certain conversations or situations (and appreciate I’m willing to share such). That said, dude, you’re in the wrong relationship if she is telling you ‘to be a man and suck it up’, lol.



That you apparently don’t express what you want in a forthcoming manner doesn’t mean others do not. There is a difference between environmental influences vs. societal control (or dishonesty, for that matter).
I just have to suck it up sometimes It is the cultural and family expectation. Call it good, call it bad, it goes with the territory. I just wanted to point out that plenty of women don't want whiny guys, not saying I am that whiny, but on the "feeling" vs "doing" scale, guys that lean towards "doing" are normally better received by society, YMMV of course.

The second comment isn't directed towards any individual, but in group setting, or group conversations, people do tend to be loathe to break with societal, or at least group, consensus. It's human nature, be the one that vocally bucks the trend and be seen as the outlier. In relationships people tend to go do what they want to do, but that doesn't mean they are going to be forthright (maybe a better word than honest) about it when talking to others.
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Old 05-27-2024, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Huntersville/Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC
26,709 posts, read 41,870,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Life is full of emotions and people aren't robots. Of course I'm going to share emotions with the people around me, it is part of communication. I am more likely to distrust people who are less open in this way.
Sharing EVERY emotion with whomever is around would be like sharing your underwear with someone standing next to you. It’s unneeded and very little good can come from it.
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Old 05-27-2024, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Southern MN
12,147 posts, read 8,535,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dissenter View Post
Sharing EVERY emotion with whomever is around would be like sharing your underwear with someone standing next to you. It’s unneeded and very little good can come from it.
You are correct and so is tamajane. I think it takes time and practice to learn how to express your vulnerabilities and also, maybe more important, protect yourself from false interpretation.

What I don't like to see people do is acting out their more uncomfortable feelings which are also usually misinterpreted to disadvantage and intimidating to others. It produces discord for all and no one's needs get met.

Sometimes just saying, "I am angry (or hurt)" is enough to get yourself heard and produce a constructive dialogue. And it doesn't sound whiny or violent. It sounds human.
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