When Men Say “You Don’t Get My Emotions” They’re Usually Right. So Fix That Shit
Ladies, you and men don’t live in the same emotional world. Let me explain.
First, they play hide and seek with their feelings.
They’ve been conditioned to not only cover them up, but then cover up how much they’re covering up their feelings. All this leads to a profoundly sad statistic – that men will suffer more depression, alcohol and drug addiction, and suicide rates than women because they don’t feel comfortable opening up and letting it all out. Sad.
Second, they don’t feel all emotions at the same depth as we do.
Research at Mind Lab in the UK has shown that men and women experience similar depths when faced with blissful, excited, and funny feelings, but that men actually feel heartwarming emotions at twice the intensity women do. Why? Because it’s the emotion that bonds them to the little baby they make, driving them to work harder to ensure it’s well cared for through infancy and supported into adulthood. Men are also more likely to report crying because of love. Women on the other hand own guilt and empathy, and have multitasking brains equipped with better communication skills. This is why they’re more likely to seek therapy and talk about the feelings that make them cry.
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Our emotional differences has everything to do with being human puzzle pieces, able to fit together to create a stronger whole. While a man’s deeper heartwarming feelings makes him want to contribute his strengths to his family’s well-being, a woman’s sense of guilt makes her a fair distributor of the household gains. Both of these feelings, like all our other feelings, are highly functional when we realize their roots and express them in a functional manner. But all feelings can become dysfunctional when we’re afraid to face them. This is why women yearn to see more men cry – they understand at a fundamental level how healthy that really is, even those choosing to be stoic themselves when faced with their own sad emotions.
But there’s our culture has taught us something that hurts men by lowering women’s insights into their emotional worlds. All this comes from a lethal combination, taking men’s natural instincts to shelve anything that doesn’t serve being hard working and functional, while being influenced by a culture that says strong people don’t cry. “There’s no crying in baseball!” right?
Many men who work hard to be the providers of their households will shelve their emotions in order to “get the job done”. Their number one focus is ensuring their family has security, and anything that gets in the way of functioning at a high level on a daily basis is put aside until “it’s more convenient”. This means emotions can go years without being addressed, because too often men have a fear that opening the doors to their feelings could leave them emotionally and physically spent. They see withholding emotions as a form of self-preservation, wanting to put forth their strengths before anything else.
Despite the fact that young boys cry more than young girls, boys are the ones told to “stop crying, suck it up, and be a man.” This cultural suppression of boy’s emotions from such a young age has a huge impact on their perceived ability to let themselves show emotions later in life. Super sad.
But let’s face it, both men and women have an unhealthy level of stoicism in their lives, bleeding into relationships and causing miscommunications that end up having eroding effects on their love for each other. I mostly work with women and actually have to teach them how to cry, because society has taught us shedding tears around each other is a sign of weakness. We even manage to ridicule it, calling the sort of crying session necessary for a full release an “ugly cry”. Suuuuuuper sad.
Generally speaking, neither men nor women fully understand that crying in front of each other is a display of trust, not weakness. Because of that we’re not fully opening up our feelings and as a consequence, not fully delving into what it means to love and support one another. We end up with relationships that feel emotionally incomplete, with both partners fighting for more intimacy while simultaneously withholding it from each other. Lose lose, and totally saddest of all.
Emotions that are supressed have damaging effects on our mental and physical health. And too may supressed negative emotions can lead to depression. Real, loving, and intimate relationships are those that take place in real life, meaning we journey together through ups and downs. But this is almost impossible if long repressed negative emotions are interfering with today’s exchange of feelings. Couples who can’t share their feelings stay stuck, unable to move beyond situations that deeply affected them even when they happened years ago.
Men need to be taught how to talk about their feelings, and often couples don’t know how to go about gaining that kind of honest exchange. This is why I teach women how to listen and wait until a man has said everything that’s on his mind, even if she was the one to initiate a conversation for the purpose of getting out what’s on her mind. The fact is men often withhold their emotional honesty until they see an opening, and usually it’s the moment she chose to address her own feelings. Recognizing this as an equal opportunity gives her the power to help him clear his mind, and will give them both the emotional honesty they need to heal within the relationship.
In a functional relationship, when men are honest about what they think and feel it opens the door for women to be engaged in their needs. But I suspect some men think this level of emotional caring should be more directed towards children than towards themselves, which is why a part of them maybe shy away from seeking this out. And in many cases, they’ve hit brick walls so often they eventually give up trying to communicate their needs at all, resigning themselves with putting their heads down and doing their best regardless of the lack of emotional support.
I think every woman should read my book Fix That Shit. It teaches them about the depths of their men’s emotions and how to help them clear their minds and psyches. Men who feel understood, appreciated, and cared for work hard to ensure their women feel the same way. The key to unlocking deep, functional love in a relationship lies in a woman’s healing hands. Her objective ears, open heart, and willingness to make love a verb while taking care to ensure her own needs are met creates the kind of loving environment that stays present focused while generating optimism for a future filled with free-flowing love together. Win win!
My belief is we come together to heal our pasts. With the rare exceptions, most of us will pick up emotional hurt throughout our histories and bring that baggage into our relationships. There, we’ll either heal, or continuously vomit our pasts onto each other in the form of anger and insecurities. Remember that anger is the by-product of hurt, and unless we address our core pains we’re doomed to stay in anger forever, continuously blaming each other for the pain caused by deeply rooted wounds.
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Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they’re looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.