Men who are unhappy in life but won’t admit it usually display these 15 subtle behaviors

Have you ever thought about how many people you cross paths with on a daily basis who are deeply unhappy? 

It’s not easy to tell!

We all know that we’re expected to smile and act like we’re OK, especially men who are raised from a young age to be tough and get on with it. 

So how can you tell when a man is actually very unhappy in his life but not admitting it?

Here’s what to look out for… 

1) Turning down invitations

Invite this guy out and he’ll make polite excuses to avoid it. 

He’d rather hang out with his latest FPS game from Steam or top 10 “cumpilation” on Pornhub. 

He’s done interacting with the world and even though he says he’s doing fine, all signs show that something’s not quite right.

2) Avoiding social interactions

Guys (and women) who go into goblin mode aren’t exactly doing great. 

That likely won’t come as a surprise, but it can be easy to miss when you only know somebody casually or don’t see them often. 

They seem unsociable, but surely it’s no big deal, right? 

3) Loss of interest in most hobbies and activities

Activities which they may have used to enjoy no longer have much appeal to unhappy men. 

Even hanging out with the guys or going to the batting cage (or whatever they once loved to do) becomes forgotten. 

This can share a lot of similarities with depression, of course, and when a guy is unhappy he often drops out of many of the hobbies and interests he once had. 

He makes excuses about being tired or having no time, but then you have to wonder what he’s doing during all the free time he clearly still has.

4) Carelessness with personal hygiene and appearance

There’s a reason that “neckbeard” has entered our lexicon in the 21st century. 

It’s because of low-key unhappy men who stop paying attention to their appearance and start looking like Gollum with facial hair. 

They just aren’t too worried about how they look. That’s the line, anyway. But underneath that disregard is usually a real despair. 

5) Irritability and short-tempered 

Guys who are unhappy but not trying to show it are irritable and short-tempered. 

They don’t take criticism well and scowl and shut down at the slightest sign of conflict. 

They tend to spend their time on flame wars and discussion threads online or hours on Discord. They’re doing “fine.”


6) Overuse of social media and devices

This ties into the previous point: 

Men who aren’t doing well usually become very tightly tethered to their phone, laptop and devices. 

They lock eyes with a screen and look away from the world, pushing down their emotions and “wiring in” beyond the reach of the cruel world and its disappointments. 

7) A surprising lack of empathy for others 

When somebody isn’t doing well, there’s not always something that can be done. 

But at the very least a bit of empathy is called for. 

Men who aren’t doing well have a surprising lack of empathy for others. From the suffering of an old friend to tragedy around the world, they shrug and say “meh.” 

They just aren’t very interested in what’s going on with other people in general, and that includes the troubles that others are going through. 

As far as they’re concerned, it’s whatever.

8) Becoming emotionally impassive and wooden

This relates directly to the previous point and is observable in men who aren’t doing well. 

They become emotionally impassive and stop reacting much to emotional triggers. 

This can be a form of self-protection but also a way to simply “batten down the hatches” and avoid being vulnerable. 

If a man seems to have taken the “strong, silent type” to a real extreme, he might be more than just a stoic: he might be actively repressing how awful he feels. 

9) Low-key schadenfreude and sociopathy

Schadenfreude is a German word describing the experience of pleasure at the misfortune of others. 

It’s extremely common but definitely not kosher to feel schadenfreude, which is why it is vastly underreported.

“What me? Feel schadenfreude? Never! I’m a good person!”

It’s definitely something that unhappy men experience even more intensely and commonly than everyone else. They feel like shit about life, so seeing others fall from grace and slip in the mud honestly feels like a win. 

10) Difficulty concentrating and frequent exhaustion

Men who are unhappy often come across as doing generally OK but just a bit tired. 

They may make excuses to duck out early from any social occasions or get out early from work engagements. 

Even on phone conversations or other interactions they excuse themselves early and say their goodbyes. 

11) Gambling and overuse of substances, alcohol, porn

Addictions are a way to get a flood of dopamine and run away from pain. 

Some are more socially acceptable than others, but they all serve the same basic psychosocial function: to cope. 

Men who are unhappy will often engage in addictive behaviors but mask them as “just fun” or no big deal. 

Whereas that may be true for some people engaging occasionally in addictive-style behaviors, it’s not true for somebody who’s trying to drown their pain. 

12) Considerable oversleeping or undersleeping

Guys who aren’t doing well and go into goblin mode tend to fall into one of two categories:

They sleep way too much or not nearly enough. 

In many cases they may combine the two, simply inverting a traditional sleeping rhythm by staying up all night and sleeping at various times during the day.

13) Repeatedly postponing tasks and deadlines

Where does work fit in for a guy who’s not doing well? 

The answer is: stuffed in a corner somewhere or wherever he can get to it at the last moment. 

Men who aren’t happy will procrastinate as much as possible and put off deadlines when they can. 

They’re not above calling in sick when that can be used as an excuse and finding any way possible to stay away from others and avoid pressure. 

14) Lack of excitement about the future 

The future? No thanks.

This guy isn’t feeling it and anybody who brings it up gets an eye roll. 

He’d rather the future just go hide in a cave somewhere for all he cares. He’s not even anxious about the future, he’s just done caring about it either way. 

Those who are amped up about the future? This guy mocks them for being stoned on “copium” (unwarranted optimism that hides from reality). 

15) Apathetic and ironic doomerism 

Social media is full of young men who typify a kind of irony-poisoned doomerism. 

They post Doomer Wojak memes and joke about the curse of existence.

“Well, we’re all going to die soon and I’m pretty cool with it,” they post. “Maybe group X who I hate will go down first, but either way.”

This kind of casual doomer outlook is humor disguising a real depressive pessimism. 

Admitting unhappiness

Many developed nations have a lot of stigma around unhappiness and suffering. They see it as “bad” or shameful to not be doing well. 

More traditional societies tend to understand instinctively that suffering and pain are a natural part of life. There is nothing wrong with a man for feeling beaten down by life:

This is the time that others rally around him and that he discovers what he’s made of. 

This is the time to find out what’s wrong and take steps to address it, instead of gaslighting himself or blaming himself for everything. 

Sometimes being unhappy can be an active choice, part of a process, a valid reaction. 

As Aldhous Huxley writes in Brave New World:

“I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.”

“In fact,” said Mustapha Mond, “you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”

“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”

For far too many men in the West and in advanced, technologically streamlined nations, unhappiness becomes a shameful thing that’s hidden and disguised under irony, self-isolating behaviors and addiction. 

That needs to change. 

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