Men who feel alone in life but never open up about it usually display these 10 behaviors

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Life can be lonely, and finding real connections can be tough. 

But for some men who experience this, there’s a sense of shame:

They don’t want to admit that they’re feeling isolated or down, so they retreat into a stoic shell where they’re “fine”; or they pursue risky behaviors and extreme paths to try to feel more connected to themselves and those around them.

There are two main paths that a man takes when he feels alone, and sometimes he will alternate between the two. 

They are:

Withdrawing inward and hiding from the world and from himself, or throwing himself outward recklessly and daring life to do its worst to him. 

I’ll take a look at both paths…

Here’s how to spot a man who actually feels quite lonely in life but doesn’t want others to know about it. 

1) He self-isolates

Let’s start with the more introverted path: the man who withdraws because he feels truly alone in life. 

Even if he has people who love him and friends, or even a romantic partner, he doesn’t feel truly seen, heard or valued. 

So he hides, increasingly withdrawing from social interactions and isolating himself from others.

This has a compounding effect, of course, of usually making him feel even more alone. It’s a vicious cycle. 

2) He works constantly

Men who are feeling lonely but don’t want to open up about it often jump into work 24/7.

They hope that by using their work as an outlet they can outrun the feelings of being alone and not knowing where they are going. 

They immerse themselves in work or other activities to avoid confronting their feelings of loneliness. 

Unfortunately this also tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, with work leading to stronger feelings of isolation, particularly if it’s a fairly self-directed or solitary job. 

As Malissa Clark notes:

“Research overwhelmingly supports the idea that workaholism has negative personal consequences. 

In 2014, I led a comprehensive meta-analysis summarizing the findings of 89 primary studies, and found workaholism was related to lower job, family, and life satisfaction as well as worse physical and mental health.”

3) He’s wired in much of the time 

Lonely guys who don’t want to talk about it get “wired in” on their devices and laptops and shut the world out. 

They spend excessive amounts of time on technology, such as gaming or social media, as a means of distraction from their feelings of loneliness.

The digital world can be a place of friendships and sharing, but it can also act as a kind of painkiller, providing ersatz connection, gossip, eroticism and stimulation for those who aren’t feeling very connected to life. 

This is part of why digital addiction can be both a symptom and a further cause of social isolation. 

4) He has short flings or non-talkative relationships

Guys who feel alone in life often have intense struggles with romantic relationships. 

They often avoid forming close relationships or shy away from intimacy to prevent themselves from getting hurt.

They are so accustomed to disappointment and heartbreak that they don’t want to take another chance:

So they try to score some short-term pleasure and hit the road. They don’t feel hope for much else, and they dread being with someone and realizing they’re not really into it, because they’ve been there before and it sucks. 

5) He’s always doing ‘fine’ but doesn’t really have friends

Men in general are not doing well, at least not in most developed nations. The statistics around the death rate and addiction crisis are making waves, but loneliness is also sharply on the rise among men. 

Whereas men used to have tight groups of guys they could hang out with, that’s increasingly a thing of the past. 

This guy who feels alone but doesn’t want to open up about it is stoic and seems to be always saying he’s “fine,” but when you look at it he has no close guy friends and clearly isn’t fine. 

“A survey published in 2021 in the US found that friendship groups have shrunk in the past three decades, particularly among men. 

In 1990, 55% of American men reported having at least six close friends; today only 27% do,” notes Puru Gupta.

A guy who throws himself at the world to push down how lonely he feels…

6) He’s prone to raging out

Guys who feel lonely but don’t want to talk about it sometimes become daredevils and high-octane individuals. 

They may engage in risky behaviors such as substance abuse, reckless driving, or excessive gambling as a way to cope with their emotions. 

They also often exhibit increased irritability or have frequent anger outbursts, particularly when their feelings of loneliness are triggered.

A small rejection on a dating app or a person he doesn’t like saying something rude at the bar when he’s out? This guy is shouting them down and shoving chairs around like a WWE wrestler. 

7) He turns into a party animal

Partying is great and the world should be having more of a fun time!

But guys who turn into hardcore party animals and begin spending large amounts of money and time in the club scene are often trying to overcompensate for loneliness. 

They vaguely drift from one hookup to the next and fast friends who they don’t really care about in the first place. 

They wait for the drop and feel a bit less excitement each time:

But at least they’re temporarily distracted from how terrible they feel inside. 

8) He gets into addictive behaviors 

Men who are feeling lonely but don’t want to open up about it often find themselves chasing addictive behaviors to try to escape from the pain. 

They seek dopamine hits to try to offset that basic scary, sad feeling of being unwanted or alone, which often has roots in early childhood trauma. 

Whatever the roots or reasons for feeling alone, including possibly just having a very solitary existence, many addicts who end up going down a very dark path do so for the very simple reason that they are simply very f*cking lonely. 

9) His identity does a 180°

Suddenly he’s switched to being a Marxist rebel or a neo-pagan. He’s begun blasting black metal at 2 am on a nightly basis or dyed his hair rainbow-colored and went and gotten ten piercings in various areas of his face. 

There’s nothing wrong with experimenting and going through identity evolution and phases, in fact it’s a great thing. 

But when a guy is using identity shifts as a way to feel less alone, it’s often more of an escapist behavior: he wants to run away from that feeling of disconnection and pain. 

So he searches out groups, ideologies, “types” and styles that he hopes might finally give him that emotional payoff of feeling a sense of real belonging and commitment. 

Which brings me to the final point about men who are lonely but don’t want to open up about it… 

10) He embraces extreme ideologies 

Lonely men who don’t want to talk about it are fertile ground for extremist groups and militant ideologies. 

They feel a lack of meaning and connection in the world, and when some group or path appears to offer a touchstone to that meaning, it can be very enticing to a young man who feels alone or disconnected from the relativism of modern life. 

Suddenly he finds himself with a mission and a path that explains why he’s always felt different, alone and uninterested in what most others seem to get absorbed by… 

As Jossif Ezekilov of George Washington University writes

“All extremist groups call for war as a means of defense against the destruction of shared values, calling on men to be defenders of religion, country, ethnicity, or way of life.”

However:

“Young men are more likely drawn into joining extremist groups when they are struggling to fulfill their perceived needs and identities as men, rather than through an inherent hatred of specific groups or radical ideologies.”

How a man can feel less alone

Feeling less alone starts with opening up about it. 

Everyone feels lonely and abandoned in life at some point, and admitting that isn’t shameful or weak in any way. 

Whether a man hides from being lonely by withdrawing or over-extroverting, the inner experience is similar.

The more a man comes to terms with feeling alone, the more he can begin taking steps to address it:

Some of that loneliness is from experiences and struggles that are isolating, but other aspects of that loneliness may be unintentionally self-imposed. 

By choosing to focus on what he can change and reach out more, a guy can begin shifting some of those areas where loneliness is within his control.

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