How to Handle the Silent Man

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Communicating with men may seem more difficult than it should be. Address his fear of getting in trouble for the truth, being called girly and more!

Getting Through Your Man’s Wall

It doesn’t take much to take the wind out of any guy, causing him to clam up and refuse to share his feelings. Many women choose to strong arm this resistance, demanding that he open up. However, the more tactful your technique, the more likely you are to break through his stone wall. Here are four reasons why guys say nothing, and what you can do about it:

Clammy Sammy

Some guys clam up simply because they’re afraid of the repercussions of telling the truth. Most guys have experienced opening up about a touchy subject, then being thrown in the dog house. In these cases, they feel that it is better to say nothing, and live to say something wrong another day.

What to Do?

Think of your guy as a trained iguana. When you want him to do something, you don’t bop him on the head until he finally reacts how you want; you coerce him by rewarding accordingly. Don’t punish a man for clamming up and not giving you what you want. Remind him about the importance of honesty in your relationship. This gives him a positive scenario to look forward to in the future. He knows that he may not be able to confess without repercussion. However, he will keep it in mind for the future. You may not be victorious in every battle, but you will win the war if you pave the road with positive experiences.

Drippy Dave

Guys are emotional geysers because they don’t feel comfortable expressing feelings. What you are actually seeing when a guy clams up, is the fear of showing too much emotion (love), and being labeled a girly-man. Women are great communicators, and quickly learn that guys communicate via practical solutions. Women figure the quickest route to relationship difficulties is to tell him what to do to make things better for her (“Quit staying late at the office.”). However, this does little in the way of getting a guy to understand the feeling behind the request. In other words, it just sounds like nagging.

What to Do?

Instead, tell him how his actions are making you feel (“I feel like you don’t want to see me.”), and let him sort through his own feelings to find a solution. This teaches a guy to feel his way through a relationship problem, using his emotions as guidance. In time, he will open up, without fear of being labeled a Drippy Dave. Want to better understand your partner? 

Hangdog Hank

Men are terrible at opening up about the things they are embarrassed or fearful of. To a man, this is like shedding his armor, and showing weakness. When a man is quiet, he may be going over a fear or concern in his mind, trying to find a logical solution. He doesn’t want to include you in his thinking, as he knows it will either worry you, or cause you to lose confidence in his ability to take care of you.

What to Do?

Men need faith. This can be as simple as showing you know that whatever he is going through, he will make the best decision, and you are there for him if he needs you. Rather than scolding him for not talking, he is given the freedom to work through his problem without feeling pushed. During these moments of solitude a man considers taking a chance and expressing his fears and frustrations. He now understands that you will not see him as weak, as you have expressed confidence in him.

Brooding Brian

Brooding is a man’s way of taking one problem on at a time. Guys are terrible at multitasking when it comes to difficult situations, because they let their problems become all consuming—affecting every aspect of their lives. Women assume that brooding in her presence means that she must have something to do with it.

What to Do?

Brooding is one of those moments where it’s best to do nothing, and let your guy work out his own situation. If he doesn’t want to talk, give him space. He will come to you when he is ready. By pressing the issue, you will only agitate his thinking, and he will see you as working against his process to find a solution. This can cause harsh feeling from both sides. Never assume anything when it comes to men.

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