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I’m a psychologist – here’s the real reason men don’t show their emotions and why it’s so dangerous

IT can be hard going being in a relationship with a man.

Aside from leaving their dirty boxer shorts on the floor or forgetting anniversaries, many men also struggle when it comes to showing their emotions - making partnerships difficult to navigate.

If your partner struggles to show their emotions then it could actually be down to a psychological conditionCredit: Getty

Whether it's a grunt after telling them you love them, or an 'it's all right', when you reveal the birthday gift you've spent weeks preparing - some aren't all that forthcoming with the way they feel.

But one expert has now revealed the real reason men don't wear their heart on their sleeve.

Psychologist Loren Soeiro said not being able to express your feelings could put a strain on relationships and could also be interpreted as arrogance.

He said that many men come across as 'rational thinkers', separating their emotions from decisions.

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Rather than this being a personality trait of your husband, boyfriend or friend, Dr Soeiro said it could actually be down to a common -psychological trait called alexithymia.

The word itself is Greek and refers a lack of words for emotions.

Dr Soerio explained that it describes a disconnect between thought and emotions - meaning while you might be feeling one thing, you'll struggle to identify them clearly.

"It’s not a mental disorder per se, but rather, a trait that can pose distinct psychological challenges," he told Psychology Today.

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The guru explained that other common indicators of the condition include:

  • fear of intimacy
  • emotional distancing
  • exaggerated interest in autonomy
  • discomfort in social settings
  • not being able to express emotion
  • chronic negative mood

He added that these signs can often be confused with autistic spectrum disorder.

Aside from putting a strain on relationships, not being able to express the way you feel can also have dangerous physical side effects, he said.

These include a racing heartbeat, chronic pain and difficulty breathing.

Experts say the condition is more common in men due to gender stereotypes that are pushed on males from a young age.

This can include sayings such as 'man up' or the notion that men should not cry, be strong and protectors in their family units.

Dr Soerio said this isn't healthy for anyone and human beings have evolved to have emotions for many good reasons.

"Including interpersonal communication, inter-group bonding, and detection of danger; overall, it’s not difficult to see that emotions have always been important to our survival.

"Cultural or intra-familial trends that devalue the experience of, or the expression of, male emotions place an unnecessary and harmful burden on many men," he added.

How can men manage it?

If you think you're suffering with alexithymia then Dr Soerio says you can learn to live with it, but that you can also reverse it.

He said psychotherapy is a great place to start, as this will give you somewhere you can be yourself and express your emotions.

But if you can't access this, there are some things you can do at home such as keeping a journal, listening to music or even trying to empathise with characters in films and novels.

This, the psychologist said, will help you develop a greater emotional awareness.

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However, this wont be a quick fix and Dr Soerio said that many years of evading emotions wont be easy to change.

He added that it could take some time to bring them to the surface, but said that you should be assured that if you put the work in, it can be done.

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