Reset Password
If you've forgotten your password, you can enter your email address below. An email will then be sent with a link to set up a new password.
Cancel
Reset Link Sent
Password reset link sent to
Check your email and enter the confirmation code:
Don't see the email?
  • Resend Confirmation Link
  • Start Over
Close
If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service

Men and Their Feelings  

hotdreamer1000 63M
8869 posts
12/17/2021 6:54 am

Last Read:
12/20/2021 9:55 am

Men and Their Feelings


*******ALL MY APOSTROPHIES HAVE GONE HAYWIRE IN THIS - READ THE GLITCH PROTECTOR COMMENT FOR AN EASIER, (IF STILL VERY LONG) READ!!! ***********

It is a commonly held view among women that men tend not to express emotional feelings. Is this actually true and if so why?

If it’s true, is it that men less able to display emotion or do they reserve their feelings on purpose?

I to say of course, that all of the following is merely based on my observations of people and is intended for blog discussion and enlightenment. It's a Dreamer's eye view. I am not an anthropologist or a social scientist and there are probably well researched essays on this subject out there if anyone wants to get to the real truth. I am also generalising wildly, and of course there are people whose mentality falls well outside the general characterisations I describe.

Could it be that men express their feelings in a different way, less easily understood by women? That could explain why it is so often only women who see this as a problem, whilst men get along amongst themselves - for the most part at least - without difficulty in this area. Men don't often go into detail about their feelings because they find it embarrassing, the same way you might not discuss incontinence or a nasty rash. They tend to feel that expressions of emotion are easily misunderstood, and can be difficult to retract if not well received. So they may prefer an understated hint, or a joke to say everything they need it to. This might help explain how it can be that there are some women who are more comfortable around men, and generally understand their motives and feelings without having to hear them spelt out in detail. That is in sharp contrast with women I know who are instinctively mistrustful of men, and although they would love to meet a “good” one, they do not actually like them very much as a gender.

I know from discussion with women that many are not aware of how close a complete loss of emotional control is to the surface for many seemingly well-adjusted men. Considerably closer than it would be for most women. It probably has to do with the amount of testosterone flying about. I remember once a friend of mine said, in front of a friend of ours, “you know that feeling when just for a moment, you’d like to smash someone’s face with a cricket bat or something, but then you remember it is better to keep control and you move on.” The woman we were talking to, a good friend, looked shocked and said “I have never felt like that, I don’t know what you mean.” I think she wondered if my friend some kind of potentially violent monster. But I knew exactly what he meant. It’s what is called “the Red Mist.” I’m not saying no woman ever feels this way, but it is less common. Most men know this feeling, but can control it, it feels perfectly normal and it doesn’t worry them provided they keep it from getting out of hand. Women, not unreasonably, are mistrustful of men who lose control.

It might seem that this has nothing to do with expressing emotions of love or sadness, but actually I think all these emotions are connected, and men tend to grow through adolescence realising that to let these feelings get too near the surface can be dangerous. For many men, especially when , if the emotions get out of the box, they can take over – we have all heard the expression that someone allowed emotion to cloud their judgement. This is an emotional red mist, just as powerful as the urge to be violent. The mere admission of the existence of the emotion may be enough to see it flare up into a wildfire. When it has passed, it is an all too frequent occurrence to look back and say “what I thinking?”

Clearly, it is advisable to learn how to navigate the line between helpful and excessive emotion, and many men do learn, to the benefit of their mental health. But a reluctance to let it all show too easily can remain. Why is this?

I think there is a wide range of factors. But much of it is created in adolescence and partly by women themselves. Think back to your teenage years. Did you yearn for a boy who emotional and needed to talk to you about his fears and shortcomings? Okay, I am generalising I know, there is always an exception, but in the main, no, I don’t believe you did. You longed for the “strong silent type” who would take you to the ball and know how to dance and not mess it up when he kissed you goodnight. So we learned not to show our fear. Even our mothers told us “big boys don’t cry.” And they were right – a man who gives in too easily to emotional stress is outstripped by his contemporaries in the great competition for work, women and success which our society is built on. We learn that displays of emotion will be seized upon as weaknesses, and the one thing a teenage boy wants to avoid at all costs is ridicule. At a age it is hard to work out the difference between emotions which need to be repressed, and those which can be shared and explained, and that pattern can be set for life. It is only in later life that women, often once they settle into a relationship, start to notice that their men are less forthcoming at the "soppy stuff" than they would like them to be, and men who can adapt to this can become attractive.

The perceived weakness argument is important. People will say that it is a strong man who can show his emotions. But that is perhaps the whole point. You do need to be strong, and in an emotional situation, you may well not feel strong enough. Especially in front of a woman you love. One of my closest friends once had a destructive relationship with a very subtly controlling woman. She manipulated him, turned many of his friends against him and left him feeling the whole problem his own fault. After it ended he broke down in tears to me on the telephone. I going through some problems myself at the time but we’d been out of close contact for a while and up until then neither of us knew. We both cried and leant on each other for support. Later, we agreed that only our enduring life-long friendship, during which we had often discussed feelings, the meaning of relationships and deeper areas of life’s mysteries, had allowed us to feel safe in expressing such deeply felt emotion to each other. I simply would not have been strong enough at the time to share any of it so closely with anyone else.

Part of all this may also be an evolutionary hang over. It may have been necessary for physically stronger men to go to hunt or into battle not allowing their fear or pain any head space. Women (we think) tended to maintain family groups and work in a more mentally collaborative way, and so evolved more emotional connectivity. Maybe men’s interactions had to be based on quick, instinctive understanding, simple statements, facial cues and body language rather than lengthy detailed expression. That way of communicating among men in groups (as opposed to one-to-one friendships) persists to this day.

Incidentally, this issue is not restricted just to men – I have come across (both figuratively and sexually speaking, lol ) quite a few women over the years who have been very self-contained and unable, or at least reluctant to express their feelings easily. In one relationship, I found I needed to coax her to let me into her feelings – even one time when it turned out to be sadness that her mother ill. In another, I know she loved me deeply, but it hurt me that she never wanted to say so. Her parents had both been alcoholics – all emotion had seemed misplaced, shallow and self-serving to her when , so in her words, she “learned not to have any.” Or maybe she unsure whether she loved me in the way I hoped she did, and didn’t feel able to tell me that.

So, as in all things, we to have this both ways. We people who are full of emotion, strong enough to let it show, but can keep it controlled if it threatens, and are self aware enough to express it eloquently and sensitively, even in the most emotionally charged circumstances. But we don’t them enslaved to it, blurting it out at inappropriate moments or telling us truths we didn’t to hear. Often that can be too much to as

hotdreamer1000 63M
12409 posts
12/17/2021 6:55 am

Glitch Protector:

It is a commonly held view among women that men tend not to express emotional feelings. Is this actually true and if so why?

If it’s true, is it that men less able to display emotion or do they reserve their feelings on purpose?

I want to say of course, that all of the following is merely based on my observations of people and is intended for blog discussion and enlightenment. It's a Dreamer's eye view. I am not an anthropologist or a social scientist and there are probably well researched essays on this subject out there if anyone wants to get to the real truth. I am also generalising wildly, and of course there are people whose mentality falls well outside the general characterisations I describe.

Could it be that men express their feelings in a different way, less easily understood by women? That could explain why it is so often only women who see this as a problem, whilst men get along amongst themselves - for the most part at least - without difficulty in this area. Men don't often go into detail about their feelings because they find it embarrassing, the same way you might not discuss incontinence or a nasty rash. They tend to feel that expressions of emotion are easily misunderstood, and can be difficult to retract if not well received. So they may prefer an understated hint, or a joke to say everything they need it to. This might help explain how it can be that there are some women who are more comfortable around men, and generally understand their motives and feelings without having to hear them spelt out in detail. That is in sharp contrast with women I know who are instinctively mistrustful of men, and although they would love to meet a “good” one, they do not actually like them very much as a gender.

I know from discussion with women that many are not aware of how close a complete loss of emotional control is to the surface for many seemingly well-adjusted men. Considerably closer than it would be for most women. It probably has to do with the amount of testosterone flying about. I remember once a friend of mine said, in front of a girl friend of ours, “you know that feeling when just for a moment, you’d like to smash someone’s face with a cricket bat or something, but then you remember it is better to keep control and you move on.” The woman we were talking to, a good friend, looked shocked and said “I have never felt like that, I don’t know what you mean.” I think she wondered if my friend was some kind of potentially violent monster. But I knew exactly what he meant. It’s what is called “the Red Mist.” I’m not saying no woman ever feels this way, but it is less common. Most men know this feeling, but can control it, it feels perfectly normal and it doesn’t worry them provided they keep it from getting out of hand. Women, not unreasonably, are mistrustful of men who lose control.

It might seem that this has nothing to do with expressing emotions of love or sadness, but actually I think all these emotions are connected, and men tend to grow through adolescence realising that to let these feelings get too near the surface can be dangerous. For many men, especially when young, if the emotions get out of the box, they can take over – we have all heard the expression that someone allowed emotion to cloud their judgement. This is an emotional red mist, just as powerful as the urge to be violent. The mere admission of the existence of the emotion may be enough to see it flare up into a wildfire. When it has passed, it is an all too frequent occurrence to look back and say “what was I thinking?”

Clearly, it is advisable to learn how to navigate the line between helpful and excessive emotion, and many men do learn, to the benefit of their mental health. But a reluctance to let it all show too easily can remain. Why is this?

I think there is a wide range of factors. But much of it is created in adolescence and partly by women themselves. Think back to your teenage years. Did you yearn for a boy who was emotional and needed to talk to you about his fears and shortcomings? Okay, I am generalising I know, there is always an exception, but in the main, no, I don’t believe you did. You longed for the “strong silent type” who would take you to the ball and know how to dance and not mess it up when he kissed you goodnight. So we learned not to show our fear. Even our mothers told us “big boys don’t cry.” And they were right – a man who gives in too easily to emotional stress is outstripped by his contemporaries in the great competition for work, women and success which our society is built on. We learn that displays of emotion will be seized upon as weaknesses, and the one thing a teenage boy wants to avoid at all costs is ridicule. At a young age it is hard to work out the difference between emotions which need to be repressed, and those which can be shared and explained, and that pattern can be set for life. It is only in later life that women, often once they settle into a relationship, start to notice that their men are less forthcoming at the "soppy stuff" than they would like them to be, and men who can adapt to this can become attractive.

The perceived weakness argument is important. People will say that it is a strong man who can show his emotions. But that is perhaps the whole point. You do need to be strong, and in an emotional situation, you may well not feel strong enough. Especially in front of a woman you love. One of my closest friends once had a destructive relationship with a very subtly controlling woman. She manipulated him, turned many of his friends against him and left him feeling the whole problem was his own fault. After it ended he broke down in tears to me on the telephone. I was going through some problems myself at the time but we’d been out of close contact for a while and up until then neither of us knew. We both cried and leant on each other for support. Later, we agreed that only our enduring life-long friendship, during which we had often discussed feelings, the meaning of relationships and deeper areas of life’s mysteries, had allowed us to feel safe in expressing such deeply felt emotion to each other. I simply would not have been strong enough at the time to share any of it so closely with anyone else.

Part of all this may also be an evolutionary hang over. It may have been necessary for physically stronger men to go to hunt or into battle not allowing their fear or pain any head space. Women (we think) tended to maintain family groups and work in a more mentally collaborative way, and so evolved more emotional connectivity. Maybe men’s interactions had to be based on quick, instinctive understanding, simple statements, facial cues and body language rather than lengthy detailed expression. That way of communicating among men in groups (as opposed to one-to-one friendships) persists to this day.

Incidentally, this issue is not restricted just to men – I have come across (both figuratively and sexually speaking, lol ) quite a few women over the years who have been very self-contained and unable, or at least reluctant to express their feelings easily. In one relationship, I found I needed to coax her to let me into her feelings – even one time when it turned out to be sadness that her mother was ill. In another, I know she loved me deeply, but it hurt me that she never wanted to say so. Her parents had both been alcoholics – all emotion had seemed misplaced, shallow and self-serving to her when young, so in her words, she “learned not to have any.” Or maybe she was unsure whether she loved me in the way I hoped she did, and didn’t feel able to tell me that.

So, as in all things, we want to have this both ways. We want people who are full of emotion, strong enough to let it show, but can keep it controlled if it threatens, and are self aware enough to express it eloquently and sensitively, even in the most emotionally charged circumstances. But we don’t want them enslaved to it, blurting it out at inappropriate moments or telling us truths we didn’t want to hear. Often that can be too much to ask.


elderberry50 72M
118 posts
12/17/2021 11:35 am

Over the years I have come to dislike most people. I show my emotions if I need to. Other wise I learned not to trust other people. I have found that we all share the same emotions.


smartasswoman 65F  
35813 posts
12/18/2021 1:19 am

The part about the ‘red mist’ resonated with me because a past partner had occasional outbursts. Never physically violent, but verbal outbursts that left me reeling. And just today something happened with a male friend that startled me enough that I was thinking about writing a post about it (it wasn’t directed at me, but was uncomfortable to see).

I had never really thought about how repressing rage might lead to repressing other emotions as well. Good post, dreamer.


hotdreamer1000 63M
12409 posts
12/18/2021 1:37 am

    Quoting elderberry50:
    Over the years I have come to dislike most people. I show my emotions if I need to. Other wise I learned not to trust other people. I have found that we all share the same emotions.
Hi there. Really interesting comment. I understand what it can be like to find it hard to like people who don't live up to your expectations. Although I have definitely met quite a few people who I really can and do trust, which is an incredibly valuable thing.

Sometimes I think trusting people is a bit like trusting animals - you have to understand someone first. Some people don't trust dogs while others find that they can. Even a trustworthy dog might bite, or a placid horse might kick if severely provoked, and you have to be able to read their temperament to trust them. Perhaps people are a bit like that too.

But I am not sure you are right about everyone sharing the same emotions. And if that was to be true, would that mean you are saying you don't like yourself either?


hotdreamer1000 63M
12409 posts
12/18/2021 1:53 am

    Quoting smartasswoman:
    The part about the ‘red mist’ resonated with me because a past partner had occasional outbursts. Never physically violent, but verbal outbursts that left me reeling. And just today something happened with a male friend that startled me enough that I was thinking about writing a post about it (it wasn’t directed at me, but was uncomfortable to see).

    I had never really thought about how repressing rage might lead to repressing other emotions as well. Good post, dreamer.
Thanks Smarty, a compliment like that from you means a lot. I think replying to Elderberry50, above, made me think about trust in relation to the red mist concept. Occasionally I do give vent to passing anger in a verbal outburst - perhaps if I am tired and the vacuum cleaner persistently misbehaves or something. It could be scary if misunderstood, and I know different women read me differently when I am like that. With me it usually means I am in well control and just letting off steam, but it probably doesn't sound like it! But you have to be careful - with some men it can be a sign that violence is just around the corner.


lust4life59 63F  
2552 posts
12/18/2021 3:16 am

I commented on the beta side, see how long it takes to come back to this side.


hotdreamer1000 63M
12409 posts
12/20/2021 2:50 am

    Quoting lust4life59:
    I commented on the beta side, see how long it takes to come back to this side.
Ha ha! I didn't even know the post was up on the beta side! So this comment is showing, but not your other one from over there. I will have to go and see what my blog is doing over there I think!


hotdreamer1000 63M
12409 posts
12/20/2021 2:55 am

    Quoting  :

I think you are probably right - I too doubt that it has much to do with genetics.

I wonder if the way men express emotion is partly affected by the woman they are with? Thinking back, I would say that whilst I do not normally shy away from showing my feelings, and can usually express myself if I want to, I have known women with whom I was less willing to wear my heart on my sleeve. Is it possible that the reason you have had relationships with men who could express their emotions is because of the kind of woman you are. You made them feel comfortable with showing their feelings?


Become a member to create a blog