If a man displays these 7 behaviors, he’s quietly struggling in life

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It’s not uncommon for men to shoulder their struggles in silence, adhering to the unwritten code of stoicism that society has long imposed upon them. 

But beneath the facade of strength and independence, there are subtle behaviors that scream for attention, hinting at a quiet turmoil brewing within. 

Recognizing these signs is crucial, not just for providing support but for understanding the silent pleas for help that are often overlooked. 

In a world that teaches men to “man up,” it’s time we learn to read between the lines of their actions.

Let’s delve into the 7 behaviors that suggest a man is quietly struggling in life, and explore how we can extend a helping hand.

1) Avoiding social interactions

When a man starts avoiding social interactions, it’s often mistaken for mere introversion or a busy schedule. However, this behavior can be a red flag signaling deeper issues. 

Picture the friend who suddenly stops attending gatherings or the colleague who always finds an excuse to skip after-work hangouts. 

It might not be just about preferring solitude; it could be an internal struggle to connect, a fear of being exposed, or the overwhelming feeling that he just doesn’t fit in anymore. 

This kind of isolation isn’t a choice but a defense mechanism against unseen emotional battles. Depression, anxiety, or a plummeting self-esteem can drive a man into his shell, away from the very interactions that might lift his spirits. 

Recognizing this behavior as a cry for help rather than a personal preference can be the first step in offering support. 

It’s about extending a hand, showing understanding, and gently encouraging him to share his world with us again. 

Keep in mind the need to respect his boundaries and offer a safe space for him to re-engage at his own pace. 

2) Changes in sleep patterns

Changes in sleep patterns might slip under the radar unless you’re closely observing a man’s daily life, especially if you don’t live with him. 

However, even from a distance, there are signs that all is not well with his rest. He may appear perpetually tired, his eyes betraying a war with sleeplessness. 

You might catch him nodding off during a movie or a gathering. Or perhaps in passing conversations, he might mention if he was awake unusually early or late. 

These confessions are more than just complaints about bad nights; they’re whispers of deeper unrest.

Sleep, or the lack thereof, becomes a mirror reflecting the turmoil within — stress, anxiety, or the heavy cloak of depression that disrupts his body’s natural rhythms. 

Recognizing these signs is not about prying into his private life but understanding that his struggles with sleep are a call for help. 

It’s an opportunity for empathy, to offer a listening ear or gently suggest strategies that might guide him back to the restorative embrace of peaceful sleep.

3) Sudden disinterest in hobbies

When a man suddenly loses interest in his hobbies, it’s like a red flag waving, signaling that something’s off. 

Think about it: hobbies are what we turn to for joy, escape, and personal fulfillment. 

So, if he starts pushing aside his guitar, no longer cares about hitting the trails on his bike, or can’t seem to find the energy to engage in activities that once lit him up, pay attention. 

This shift isn’t just a phase or a temporary loss of interest; it’s a sign he might be struggling with something deeper, like depression or a profound sense of loss. 

The answer isn’t to nag him to pick up his hobbies again, but showing genuine understanding and kind concern. 

Maybe start a conversation, not by pointing out what he’s stopped doing, but by asking how he’s feeling about things lately. 

You’ll be opening a door, letting him know it’s okay not to be okay, and that you’re there, ready to listen and support him through this rough patch.

4) Excessive consumption of alcohol or other substances

Are alcohol bottles starting to pile up in his recycling bin, or maybe you always see him with a beer in his hand?

We all like to have a drink sometimes, but if a man suddenly starts reaching for alcohol or other substances more than usual, it’s a glaring signal that he’s trying to cope with something he finds too tough to handle sober. 

This behavior is a concern, not because enjoying a drink is a problem in itself, but because it never solves any problems. It’s often an attempt to numb feelings or escape from reality. 

If you notice his drinking habits have intensified, or he’s using substances as a crutch, it’s important to approach the topic with care and empathy. 

Avoid accusing or confronting him, but express concern and offer support. 

The goal is to help him find healthier ways to deal with his struggles, whether that’s talking through what’s bothering him, seeking professional help, or finding solace in activities that bring genuine relief. 

Remember, the aim is to be his ally in finding a path to wellness, not to judge or alienate him.

5) Short temper or increased irritability

It’s startling when a normally calm and collected man starts snapping over the smallest things. 

This short temper or increased irritability can even come out of nowhere, turning minor frustrations into major outbursts. 

It’s more than just having a bad day; it’s a sign that he’s carrying a heavier emotional load than he can manage. 

Stress, underlying anxieties, or unresolved feelings can all push a man to his breaking point, making him react more intensely to situations that previously wouldn’t have bothered him. 

How can you deal with this? Rather than walking on eggshells around him, try to create a space where he feels safe enough to express what’s really eating at him. 

Your goal won’t be to fix his problems but to let him know he doesn’t have to carry them alone. 

A listening ear and a steady presence can make a world of difference, helping him navigate through his irritability to find a calmer, more peaceful state of mind.

6) Overworking or work obsession

Is the man in question always the first to arrive and last to leave the office? Or do you see timestamps of every hour of the morning and night on his emails, even on weekends? 

This overworking or obsession with work might seem like dedication or ambition at first glance, but it can be a cover for deeper issues such as anxiety, a need for validation, or avoiding personal problems.

In this situation, you must be sure to approach him with understanding, not criticism. See if you can find out what’s going on in his life — overworking is often a red flag that he’s using work as a means to escape from something else. 

If this is the case, talking about it with someone can help him realize that running away from the issue won’t make things any better.

Remember to approach this conversation with sensitivity. He might get defensive or think you’re trying to diminish his work’s importance.

Rather than pointing out that he’s been working too much, focus on highlighting the value of rest and personal time. 

7) Neglecting personal care

We all get busy from time to time, or put tidying up off until the next day — and the next. But there are limits to this. 

If you notice him wearing the same clothes for days, skipping showers, or letting his living or workspace start to resemble an animal burrow, something is off behind the scenes.  

This disregard for personal hygiene and environment often reflects feelings of worthlessness or a subconscious disinterest in self-preservation, signaling issues like depression or severe stress. 

It’s difficult to bring these changes up, as it’s often a very sensitive topic. Make sure you come from a place of concern and empathy, and you’ll be able to find the right approach.

Inviting him to join you for a day of self-care or offering to help organize his space can be non-intrusive ways to show support. 

You can also lead by example, and when he sees how you take excellent care of yourself and your environment, he may wake up to his reality and decide to put more effort in as well. 

It’s about reminding him that he’s valued and that taking care of himself is a way to reflect that value outwardly. Encouraging small, manageable steps towards self-care can help rebuild his sense of self-worth and remind him that he’s not alone in his journey.

Recognizing the silent struggle

In understanding these signs of struggle, we can begin to peel back the layers of silent battles that men face. 

It’s about offering a hand in the darkness, showing that vulnerability is not a weakness but a shared human experience. 

By staying alert to these behaviors and approaching them with empathy and support, we pave the way for open conversations and healing. 

Let’s redefine strength, not as the absence of struggle, but as the courage to seek support and the compassion to offer it to those quietly fighting their own wars.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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