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Do you expect too much from him?


“We’ve just moved across the country – he should be sad and missing his friends, right?”

 

“His best friend has moved on to other friends – shouldn’t he be worried about it?”

 

“He’s broken up with his girlfriend – he doesn’t seem to be sad about it at all.”

We worry when he doesn’t talk about his feelings or share what the events that SHOULD be a big deal in his life (at least we think so).

However, many boys (and men) don’t feel the need to share their deepest feelings all the time.

Sometimes, when big events have a big impact on YOU – you naturally think they should have a big impact on him, too – and they just don’t.

Look at it with a ‘gender lens’:

Females tend to process events, feelings, questions, decisions, and all the emotions and detail that go along with them verbally.

Females LOVE to talk about emotions and events – and then talk about them some more!

Females discover solutions as they talk, answer their own questions, along with getting a hit of oxytocin (that “feel good” hormone) in the process.

Males, on the other hand, often don’t want or need to process emotional events in detail.

In fact, the less they are required to talk about them, the better.

Males tend to process inwardly – they don’t need to talk about every detail.

Males tend to process while they are in motion – running or playing basketball, for example.

Of course, we want our boys to learn to be comfortable talking about their feelings.  Absolutely!

It could help, however, to recognize that developing an emotional vocabulary and an understanding of feelings and processing and sharing them is a life-long process.

Notice:

He will talk – eventually – and it may not be when you think he should.

Bedtime.

In the car.

Days later.

Watch for the opening and then make sure you’re available to listen!


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