If a man displays these 8 behaviors, he’s probably deeply unhappy in life

Though we’ve made some strides, men expressing emotions and being vulnerable is still generally frowned upon. 

Sometimes even ridiculed. 

Therefore, rather than being open about their feelings, many men tend to keep them tightly bottled up; a practice that is unhealthy for countless reasons. 

So if you know a man who is unhappy in life, it may be worthwhile to encourage him to open up and let those toxic feelings go. 

But first, you have to get familiar with the signs. 

In this article, I’ll walk you through the common behaviors of a man when he’s deeply unhappy in life. 

If these items set off the alarm bells, then you might want to start acting accordingly. 

Let’s get to it! 

1) They stay isolated 

This one is a no-brainer. 

When a man is feeling internal strife, he will often shut down; something that manifests as withdrawing from social interactions, avoiding potential relationships, and isolating themselves from anyone and everyone. 

They might stay at home for weeks at a time, feeling thoroughly unmotivated to disrupt this status quo. 

When I broke up with my long-term girlfriend a few years ago, I had no desire to leave my room, let alone the house.

I’d stay in bed for days at a time, wallowing in despair, desperately searching for escapism, and leaving all texts and calls unanswered. 

My only excursion would be to the fridge and the bathroom.

I was in a rut; one thankfully time healed. 

2) They engage in substance abuse 

Let’s face it: if you’re alone, sitting at a bar and getting hammered on a Monday afternoon, you’re probably not the happiest person in town. 

But this doesn’t just go for weekdays 

If you notice a man regularly intoxicating himself to excess through booze or drugs on every social occasion, you might want to do a bit of investigating. 

Sure, having a few after-work or weekend beverages with a few friends is fine, even to be expected. 

But when they take it too far, this overindulgence might well be a form of self-medication to numb themselves from underlying issues; perhaps, it could subconsciously even be a cry for help. 

Alcohol and drugs are both highly accessible in our society. 

They’re a quick, temporary fix to help us cope when we’re feeling down and dissatisfied. 

So if we’re not careful, we could become dependent, and that could become a problem. 

3) They are chronically negative

I won’t lie, I enjoy the odd bit of pessimistic humor. 

When life is all rainbows and sunshine, I tend to get a little bored. 

But this is a slippery slope. 

If I’m not careful, negative can become my default setting, something that will invariably turn people off in the process. 

Unhappy men tend to be chronically negative; in fact, they can be downright miserable. 

Perhaps they’ll frequently complain about the slightest of infractions, talk badly about other people, and just have an automatic pessimistic attitude towards everyone and everything they encounter. 

Trust me, this is just not great energy to be around. It gets old fast. 

Generally speaking, you want to surround yourself with people who uplift you, not bring you down. 

4) They have a lack of interest or enthusiasm for things they once enjoyed 

Perhaps you once enjoyed constructing model airplanes, or relished the occasional road trip with friends or round of golf. 

But these days, you just can’t be bothered. 

If this sounds familiar, it usually points to a deeper struggle, a decline in overall happiness levels. 

The activities that once brought you joy and satisfaction now feel like chores. 

That model plane you once proudly put together? 

It’s now collecting dust, somewhere in the far reaches of the garage or basement. 

Not good. 

5) Their sleep patterns are off 

You’d be surprised how much your sleep patterns can reveal about the state of your soul. 

I know a guy who was going through a crisis and would regularly sleep until the early afternoon, often abusing prescription sedatives as that could enable him to stay asleep longer. 

When paired with a couple more signs, oversleeping can certainly be a red flag. 

Conversely, being unable to sleep, or insomnia, points to a mind that is filled with worries, anxieties, and angst–all things that indicate emotional distress and unhappiness. 

So if you notice your husband or boyfriend or brother or dad tossing and turning until the wee hours, struggling to fall asleep, there could be a deeper issue at play. 

6) They neglect personal well-being

When you look good, you feel good. 

And when you feel bad, well, sometimes, you might look pretty unkempt and disheveled. 

As you know by now, with unhappiness comes a general lack of motivation, a sentiment that can often extend to how we treat ourselves. 

So if a man you know is suddenly beginning to neglect self-care, such as poor hygiene, lack of grooming, and broadly ignoring their wellness and health, this almost always points to an underlying aura of unhappiness.   

7) They have a difficult time concentrating

When my friend got divorced last year, he understandably had to take time off of work. 

Working and trying to focus when your emotions are compromised can be an uphill battle, to say the least. 

This is because unhappiness can affect cognitive functions and motivation levels, which in turn, means difficulty concentrating, gaps in memory, and impaired decision-making ability. 

So if you know a man who is going through something, encouraging him to take time off work or study can go a long way. 

Not only will this benefit his mental health and help him rejuvenate, but he’ll also do his job far more efficiently once he feels better. 

8) Their appetite suddenly changes 

Much like our sleep patterns, our eating habits can also tell a vivid story. 

You’ve seen it before in the movies: a character, fresh off a major heartbreak, stays at home bawling while gorging himself with takeout pizza and pints of ice cream. 

Consuming food, particularly junk food, in excess amounts can be an intoxicating form of self-medication–one that can be just as destructive as any if left unchecked.  

But everyone is different. 

While some people will overeat, on the other side of the fence, other unhappy men might lose their appetites completely. 

They might be so consumed with whatever they’re dealing with, they’ll neglect to eat, merely ingesting the bare minimum purely as a means of sustenance and survival. 

Final words 

Unhappy men are everywhere. 

They could be our fathers, our brothers, our sons, and so on. 

But as we’ve established, being men, they may not be forthcoming with their emotions. 

So if the above signs sound familiar, this could be cause for concern.

Reach out to the man in your life; offer a safe space to talk and encourage him to open up when he’s ready. 

As a man who has been unhappy in the past, you’d be surprised how meaningful checking in on someone you care about can be. 

This simple act of kindness can make a world of difference.   

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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