Why Men Find It Difficult to Talk About Their Problems
Published On: February 4, 2023
Many men struggle to express and discuss their problems or feelings. Relationship experts and counsellors often seek to answer the question, “Why do guys avoid talking about problems?” to understand men’s emotional needs and communication.
Exploring this question can allow the counsellor to understand and address the mental blocks preventing men from discussing their emotions. Examining why men don’t talk about their problems and how they affect their lives and relationships can help understand the importance of expressing emotions and processing feelings.
The exact reasons can vary from person to person, but some factors occur more often. Working to identify the most common causes can help provide solutions for men who want to improve their relationships and mental health.
Why Don’t Guys Talk About Their Problems?
Many people notice that the men in their lives may go silent or change the subject when asked about their problems or negative emotions. This silent treatment makes others feel hurt, rejected, confused, or angry.
Most men find it difficult to express their emotions or discuss their problems openly, but why do guys avoid discussing them?
Part of the reason men withhold and keep things to themselves has to do with their perceptions of societal norms.
Society often stresses that men need to be the strong, central role model everyone can turn to in times of need and support. Expressing one’s feelings in the company of other men is often perceived as a sign of weakness or results in being picked on and teased by friends and peers because it is not considered “masculine.”
In this case, the social constructs suggest that men who cry or openly express emotions display weakness, and this causes men to avoid sharing their problems with others and instead attempt to handle their feelings on their own.
Another reason men have struggled with expressing themselves can extend to their childhood. During these formative years, parents, siblings, guardians, or role models instill the idea that men should not express themselves emotionally and should suppress feelings that will make them appear frail and weak.
Young boys or teens who experience resistance or scolding when they express their emotions may continue to avoid issues throughout adulthood to prevent confrontation and feelings of rejection.
Fear of Failure
Some men feel they don’t have the tools to accurately describe, express, and solve their problems in a relationship. The fear of failing to convey their emotions properly causes them to avoid the subject altogether to avoid feelings of humiliation or defeat.
Speaking with a counsellor or relationship expert can work to address and reframe these ideas and feelings. Once the counsellor identifies the underlying issues, they can provide men with coping mechanisms and resources to resolve conflicts in their lives and relationships.
The Effects of Avoiding Talking About Issues
These reasons can lead to men suppressing their true feelings and emotions so much that they start losing touch with themselves.
Unfortunately, when men find it difficult to talk about their problems, they often seek alternative outlets and solutions that can become counterproductive and even harmful to themselves and others.
In turn, this can lead to other types of unfavourable responses to compensate due to their inability to really identify what is bothering them. The effects of neglecting their emotional needs can lead a man to experience the following problems or tendencies:
Alcohol or Drug Addiction
Some men turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs to provide positive feelings and compensate for their inability to address and feel their emotions and problems. While one or two drinks a week is nothing to be concerned about, escalating dependence on alcohol can cause further relationship issues and increase the chance of health problems or severe drug addiction.
When men withhold all their negative emotions, the stress and frustrations can eventually cause irrational and emotional outbursts. These behaviours often take the form of aggressive actions and angry responses and can make the conflict more serious or harmful to others.
Two partners in a relationship may take on “pusher” and “withdrawer” roles. The pusher may encourage the man to say how he feels and talk about his problems, but if the man (in this case, the “withdrawer”) does not want to, he can lash out in anger, damaging therelationship dynamic further.
Men may show anger, but anger often masks other emotions, like:
Along with anger, abusive issues can be an unfortunate side effect of the inability to discuss emotions and problems. When men (or anyone) cannot express their emotions and work through them, bottled-up feelings can become difficult to control, leading to verbal or physical abuse.
Loss of Relationships
Relationship experts and counsellors have found that a man’s refusal to communicate about problems often leads to losing relationships, as the lack of understanding negatively impacts his partner or friend. Many men avoid addressing problems for too long and fail to realize the effects until their partner leaves or withdraws from them.
Extensive scientific research proves that a person’s emotional state can directly affect their physical health. The additional stress and anxiety of internalizing and hiding emotions can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Inability to Seek Help
Another common “side effect” of bottling up emotions and problems is for some men to scoff at talking to a counsellor. The mere thought of openly sharing every aspect of what bothers them with a complete stranger can be a major obstacle. There are even men who find the notion of talk therapy ridiculous because they do not truly understand the benefits a professional counsellor can provide.
This challenge can be difficult to overcome; once men convince themselves that counselling cannot help, they cut off a potential avenue for treatment that could improve their happiness, health, and relationships.
How Counselling Can Help Men Talk About Feelings and Problems
Men who feel reluctant to talk to a counsellor due to societal norms or stigmas often find that counselling is not what they expected and is actually beneficial. Counselling is a judgement-free and supportive environment. Trained counsellors work to provide a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment where men can feel open to talking about their problems.
Many counselling centres specialize in men’s issues, relationship matters, life coaching, spiritual topics, conflict resolution, depression, addiction, and anger management. During the first consultation appointment, you can ask any questions and address any concerns you may have about attending counselling so that you feel comfortable and have a safe and private space to express feelings.
Why do guys avoid talking about problems? There are many reasons why guys don’t talk about their feelings, including experiences from their childhood, societal stigmas, and thought processes. This unwillingness to address issues can negatively impact their relationships, mental health, and physical well-being. Leaving problems unaddressed can cause men to seek unproductive emotional outlets and can harm the people around them.
Speaking with a experienced counsellor can provide a private and productive way for men to get more comfortable discussing and solving problems to reduce stress and improve relationships.
Services at Bayridge Counselling Centres
The primary thing to remember is counselling is confidential. You do not have to tell anyone you are seeing a counsellor. Nor is it a sign you are weak simply because you want to seek help and learn how to develop the skills needed to address and resolve issues in a positive and enlightened manner.
Even if you are “on the fence” and not sure whether counselling will help, it does not hurt to schedule an initial consultation appointment, where you are able to ask questions about counselling, how counselling sessions can help, and share your expectations of what it is you want to accomplish or overcome.
At Bayridge Counselling Centre we offer professional online counselling solutions for various men’s’ issues, relationship issues, life coaching, spiritual issues, anger management, and more.
If you’re wondering, “Why do guys avoid talking about problems?” and want to change how you feel, please call 905-319-1488 to arrange an initial consultation appointment today. Take the first step in discussing your feelings and problems for better health and relationships.