If a man displays these 7 behaviors, there’s a good chance he struggles to control his emotions

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

People often picture men as stoic figures, unmovable by emotion. Yet, beneath that composed exterior often lies a tumult of feelings that can be difficult to handle.

The truth is, every man — just like every woman — struggles with their emotions at times.

But how do you spot a man who’s wrestling with his feelings? Well, there are certain behaviors that can serve as telling signs.

If you’re curious to know what these behaviors are, stick around. We’ll be delving into some key indicators that suggest a man might be having a hard time controlling his emotions.

Remember, understanding these behaviors isn’t about passing judgment—it’s about fostering empathy and supporting those around us.

1) Quick to anger

We all have our moments of frustration. But if you notice a man getting angry swiftly and over seemingly trivial matters, it might be a sign of emotional struggle.

Anger is often a secondary emotion. It’s a protective layer that shields us from feeling vulnerable emotions such as hurt, fear, or disappointment.

So when anger seems to be the go-to response, it could mean that there’s a whirlwind of other emotions underneath that he’s finding tough to manage.

Remember, it’s not about labeling him as ‘bad-tempered’. It’s about recognizing a potential emotional struggle and understanding its root causes.

2) Difficulty handling criticism

I still remember an incident with a friend of mine, John, which highlighted this point.

John was always the life of the party, but he had a hard time when it came to criticism, however constructive it might be.

Once, we were working on a project together, and I suggested a different approach to something he had planned. I could see his face tighten, and his jovial demeanor slipped away. He got defensive and the conversation turned sour.

Later, he confided in me that he often felt attacked when criticized. He knew it wasn’t rational, but he just couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions.

This reaction could hint at a struggle with emotional control. Criticism can be hard to take for everyone. 

But when it frequently triggers an intense emotional response, it might be a sign of deeper issues.

3) Overly secretive

Let me share a story about my neighbor, Tom.

Tom was a quiet guy who mostly kept to himself. We would chat occasionally and he was always polite, but he hardly shared anything personal.

One time, I noticed he looked particularly downcast. When I asked if everything was alright, he quickly brushed it off and changed the subject. It was clear that something was bothering him, but he was unwilling to open up.

This over-secretiveness struck me as another possible sign of emotional struggle. There seemed to be a wall around him, as if he was holding back a tide of unexpressed emotions.

4) Physical symptoms

Physical symptoms can sometimes be indicators of emotional struggle.

For instance, if a man often complains about headaches, sleep problems, or frequent upset stomachs without a clear medical cause, it could be stress manifesting physically.

Unchecked emotions can have quite the impact on our bodies. Stress, anxiety, and depression are notorious for causing a range of physical issues.

So, if you notice consistent physical discomfort in someone without any apparent reason, it might be more than just a health issue. It could very well be a sign of emotional distress that needs attention.

5) Overindulgence in distractions

Did you know that the average person spends over three hours a day on their phone? Now, imagine someone spending significantly more time than that.

If a man is constantly absorbed in distractions—be it his phone, video games, or even work—it could mean he’s using these activities to escape from his emotions.

Distracting oneself is a common coping mechanism when dealing with overwhelming feelings. It provides a temporary relief from emotional discomfort.

6) Unpredictable mood swings

I’ll never forget the day my brother broke down in tears in the middle of a family dinner. Just moments before, he had been laughing and joking with us.

His sudden shift in mood was alarming. It was unlike him, and it hinted at a storm of emotions brewing beneath his jovial exterior.

Mood swings can be a sign of emotional struggle. When emotions are not effectively managed, they can bubble up to the surface in unpredictable ways.

So, if you observe sudden and frequent changes in a man’s mood, it could indicate he might be finding it challenging to control his emotions.

7) Difficulty expressing emotions

If a man often seems unable to put his feelings into words, or if he tends to bottle up his emotions until they explode, it could mean he’s wrestling with his feelings.

Effective communication about our emotions is key to managing them. Without it, emotions can build up and become increasingly difficult to handle.

So, spotting a man who finds it hard to express his emotions could be the clearest indication that he might be struggling to control them.

Wrapping it up

If you recognize these signs in someone you know, remember, it’s not about labeling or judging them. It’s about understanding what might be going on beneath the surface.

And if these signs resonate with you personally, know this – it’s okay. Emotional struggles are part of being human, and acknowledging them is the first step towards better emotional control.

Start by observing your own behavior. Notice when anger flares up too quickly or criticism hits harder than it should. Pay attention to times when you’re overly secretive or when mood swings occur.

The key is self-awareness. Once we acknowledge these patterns in ourselves, we can start to understand and manage our emotions better.

It won’t happen overnight. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. But with consistent effort and patience, you can gradually achieve better emotional control.

And remember, it’s perfectly alright to seek help. Psychologists, therapists, and even friends and family can provide valuable support on this journey.

In the end, gaining control over emotions doesn’t mean suppressing them. It means understanding them, accepting them, and navigating life with them in a healthier way.

So take a moment today to reflect on your emotional journey. Every small step towards better emotional control is a victory worth celebrating.

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.

8 traits of people who grew up with overly critical parents

If you want to become a better person in life, start embracing these 10 daily habits