Since it is often hard for a man to share his feelings, it is important to find a therapist that you are comfortable sharing with. If you feel comfortable by the end of the first session, then you are with the right therapist. If you are not comfortable, it is okay to shop for another one.
Many men mask their vulnerable feelings with anger. Men have been taught to be tough and protective of others. Consequentially, if you feel sad, scared, or your feelings are hurt you cover it with anger. Many men believe that it is unmanly or weak to cry, look scared, or care what others think, so they express anger instead. It is healthy to be objective and ask yourself what you are really feeling. Your therapist can help with this.
Men have friends who they play sports, fish, or hunt with but would not talk to about their concerns. It is important to have at least one or two friends whom you can share your personal concerns with. This could include concerns about work, your family, your kids, your ambitions. Ideally, you could have at least one male friend and one female friend. This could include family members and your spouse.
When men get upset, what’s the first thing they do besides yell? You may go out and run, tinker with the car, or pack the fishing gear. Often you do not want to talk immediately. It is okay to do an activity first as long as you then talk to a trusted person.
If you are asked what’s wrong as soon as you get upset you may not want to talk immediately. However, keep in mind that the person only wants to help. A good compromise would be to politely tell them that you don’t want to talk now but you will talk later. This works as long as you really do approach them later and share.
You rarely if ever see one man approaching another and saying “You hurt my feelings.” We just don’t express ourselves that way. There are ways to express yourself without feeling embarrassed about your vulnerability. In men’s groups, when the members get comfortable, they begin to trust each other.
There are many men who still think that they are supposed to handle everything and any expression of vulnerability is an assault on their manhood. It makes more sense to believe that part of being a man is to have your full range of feelings and express them comfortably. You are not weak just because you express your feelings.