Men have feelings too, however they often refuse to acknowledge them, much less talk about them. Emotions, negative thoughts and weaknesses may be expressed as anger but if feelings are not dealt with they can have a long term damaging effects.
Some people have the preconceived notion that men simply do not have feelings. This is far from the case. The problem maybe in the fact that women believe men should feel things the way they do. The truth is that men have a much harder time processing these feelings.
“Underlying brain differences may explain why men and women process their emotions so differently. On the surface it may seem like they have very different takes on the situation but they are really feeling quite similarly. Understanding how men and women differ when it comes to talking will give everyone a little more empathy when it comes to discussing emotional issues. And understanding one another is a big step when it comes to creating and maintaining emotionally fit and loving relationships.”
Societal expectations mean that men are taught from an early age that they need to be strong and confident. They begin to equate emotions with weakness and it is not! It is a sign of strength and of courage.
For the most part, men have not been brought up to express their feelings at all, much less in a constructive way. Generally speaking, you can trace this back to “big boys don’t cry!” but feelings must be expressed. To stuff your most intimate feelings is to stay stuck with the feeling.
What is the solution? How can you find a way to communicate your feelings in a way that feels safe and where you can always be assured of being heard? One highly effective solution is Counselling. To be heard is to be healed. You learn to talk openly and honestly in a confidential environment where there are no rules about what or how you say, what you need to say.
“Men have emotional needs in exactly the same way as women: they feel things such as anger, grief, shame, sadness and anxiety in the same way. The difference is that women have traditionally been ‘allowed’ to name these feelings and to seek support for them, while men have been silenced through male gender roles and have felt the need to keep their emotions secret, adding feelings of shame and isolation to the emotional mix.”
With the number of men seeking counselling increasing, and a similar upturn in the number of male-friendly services, it is perhaps surprising that of BACP’s membership of just over 40,000 practicing counsellors and psychotherapists, less than 20% are male (BACP, 2014). The number of men seeking therapy is increasing, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for men to ask for help, let alone talk about their difficulties.