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Looking for girlfriend > 40 years > How to get a closed off guy to open up

How to get a closed off guy to open up

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Sound familiar? In a recent poll, 42 percent of iVillage visitors say that they have a hard time getting their partner to share his feelings. When that happens, she feels shut out and he feels misunderstood. But in my years as a therapist and author, I've discovered something that many women don't realize. Men want to talk.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How To Help An Emotionally Unavailable Man Share His Feelings - 6 Ways To Make Him Emotionally Open

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How To Get People To Open Up

New Phone Who Dis?: Is Being “Emotionally Unavailable” Holding You Back?

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Sound familiar? In a recent poll, 42 percent of iVillage visitors say that they have a hard time getting their partner to share his feelings. When that happens, she feels shut out and he feels misunderstood. But in my years as a therapist and author, I've discovered something that many women don't realize. Men want to talk. Under the right conditions, they'll talk all night long.

Most men desperately need to unburden themselves. So what's the secret to getting your guy to share? Read on—and get ready to receive an earful. It's true. Most men feel that women are very critical of them, and they worry that if they do open up, someone's going to laugh at them, leaving them rejected and humiliated.

It's important for women to realize that a man's ego and sense of identity are generally more fragile than hers and more easily threatened. That is especially so when he's in an intimate relationship: He craves acknowledgment, feedback and knowing that he's pleased you. So if a man feels that you are going to judge him, or look at him differently as a result of what he says, you can be sure that he won't talk. Not judging your partner means allowing him to say what is on his mind, and simply being willing to hear it.

This does not mean that you don't have an opinion or that you can't offer it at some point. In order for him open up to you, he has to feel truly accepted for who he is, not for who you may want him to be.

Be patient with him. If you respond to his thoughts by immediately offering your point of view with something like "Well, that's wrong. I don't agree" or, "Where did you get a crazy idea like that?

They're afraid if they say something too personal, it may not fit into the image you have of them, or the image they force themselves to project. A man is many different things at different points in his life—even at different points in the week or day. Don't be afraid to allow him to show you all different parts of himself. If you can let go of your expectations and really just try to find out who he is, he will immediately sense it, feel greatly at ease and enjoy talking to you. There must be mutual disclosure between partners.

Everybody has problems, fears and skeletons in the closet. Many guys think, "If I share this, she'll leave me. When he starts to open up, listen to what he is saying, then take a step beyond and offer something positive in return. After he tells you something personal, say something like, "Well, that's not so bad. I've done worse. Don't make this up, though. It will fall flat and turn into manipulation. People always know when they are being manipulated on some level and it never works out.

Let him know you're on his team, that he is not alone with his experience. Make sure as you give him feedback, that you take his side. Many women listen to the stories that men tell only to respond by telling him how he's been looking at it wrong. They take the side of someone else. In a story about work, for example, it's the coworker he's been having a hard time with. It is important, however, that you look at the situation from his point of view. This is not a time to teach or train him, it's a time to "make friends.

Here, you're creating rapport, the feeling that the two of you occupy the same planet and live in a similar world. It's amazing how many men feel tremendously alone. Not only have they been trained for silence, taught that it is unmanly to express what they are going through, they usually don't get feedback from the guys in their world.

Your honest and positive feedback is vital. If you bond in this way, your partner will feel there is someone there who understands them and open up even more. Have you ever had a "discussion" with your partner that ended up turning into a litany of past grievances, the things he did wrong, the ways he hurt you, and what he owes you now? It happens at some point in nearly every relationship, but the fact remains; men cringe when they feel this coming.

When a man fears that his words will later be distorted, misunderstood, told to others or thrown back at him, it is impossible for him to open up. And the only way to move beyond this communication trap is to realize that whatever happened in the past, whatever he did or said, you were involved as well. All relationships are dances. No one is entirely good and no one entirely bad.

In fact, rather than seeing anyone as good or bad, it is more useful to notice the roles being played in the relationship and the ways in which all of us become stuck in patterns that we don't know how to get out of. For example, some women love playing the victim or martyr.

They need the blame of the relationship in order to validate their own feelings and feel powerful over their partner. In fact, they may hold a man to them in this way for a while. But it's a sure sign that the communication has completely closed down and the relationship is on the rocks.

If you want to avoid or change this sorry state of affairs and help him speak to you openly, try this. Take responsibility for your part in the situation and see the ways in which you might have contributed to what happened. This does not mean blaming yourself, either. Just to look at the situation with a large eye. Focus on all the things he did "right," not "wrong. Notice times when you were also less than perfect, and notice the ways in which both of you have grown and changed. The ability to forgive may be just as simple as realizing that what was true a year ago about him and about yourself as well may not be true now.

Stay focused in the present. True communication requires the ability to remain in the present and to let the past be over when it's done. Secret 4: Become a Solid — and Secure — Listener. Is it even possible to have honest relationships?

The assumption is that everybody's going to be honest. The truth is, few people are. And the main reason that people are dishonest is that the consequences are too big. Many men feel that women want and need to be lied to because they can't take the honest truth. Some of my clients have said that they fear telling their partner what is really going on in their lives, or how they truly feel because it will upset her. In fact, many women use their emotions to control men—and control the relationship.

They demand certain responses from men, and feel devastated if they don't get them. Then they're surprised when he shuts down and doesn't talk. Unfortunately, many women also have strong images of how a man is "supposed" to feel, and think.

That kind of fantasy makes the truth devastating, so they let the man know in many subtle ways that they do not want it. We're all guilty of this from time to time, but being willing to listen to what he has to say is the beginning of a truly mature relationship.

It gives the man the feeling that he has a solid partner who will be there with him through thick and thin. If you're ready to break out of this unrealistic rut, it's time to ask yourself three things.

How much of the truth you can tolerate? How much do you really want? Do you want your man to be a fantasy figure for you, or are you willing to allow him to become real?

These are huge questions. Perhaps you cannot take all of the truth at once right now, but you can certainly build up your tolerance muscles and move in that direction. Oddly enough, we all think that fantasy makes us feel wonderful, but in fact, the more reality we can take, the stronger we grow.

The ability to accept honesty from others increases as we realize that true security comes not from the approval of others but from being true to ourselves. It's an old question but a good one. How can we be true to another if we aren't true to ourselves? The best way to help a man open up is simply to be open yourself, be natural, be real and exude an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance. Those who we encounter in life are mirrors of different parts of ourselves and we attract certain people who each help us love another part of ourselves.

This is why it's important to apply the five topics covered here not only to the men in our lives but also to ourselves. For example, are you able to let go of judging yourself? Do you dismiss past grievances about the things you've done wrong?

Or are you always dwelling on mistakes you've made, ways in which you've fallen short? When you treat yourself this way, it is only natural to do the same thing to your partner.

If when young you were always scolded or made to feel inadequate in some way, you are likely to act the same way toward your man. Awareness is crucial here. If you want to create a more open dynamic between your partner and yourself, take a strong inventory of the way you treat and regard yourself and the way you were treated by the significant others of your past.

5 secrets of getting a man to open up

You may even be that person, growing tired of fleeting connections and keeping parts of yourself hidden from view. It may be getting harder to work in teams at your job or stick to coffee dates with friends. You might not speak to your closest friends for months at a time. It can be a little tricky to notice when people are dealing with emotional unavailability and struggling to commit to deep, long-term relationships.

Despite your best efforts to get them to open up, you always end up hurt and frustrated that they never reciprocate the affection or love you feel for them. So why do emotionally unavailable men exist? He may have experienced trauma that he bottled up over a lifetime, which can make being vulnerable again a challenge.

A lot of woman are guarded for their own reasons, but they are also more open to expressing their feeling. Guys on the other hand, unlike woman are taught from when they are little, to hide their feelings. They are taught to be strong and not show something has affected them. So many guys walk around with these wounds no one knows about. They are secretly guarded, wary of everyone around them.

Emotionally Unavailable Men: 8 Signs (And How To Handle One)

But the era of the man bun has ushered in a willingness on the part of guys to be less guarded. Here, some methods to get his lips moving. When was the last time your boyfriend bonded with his buddies over a quiet dinner? Sustained eye contact can also cause confusion. And with a woman, a guy may perceive a long stare as you being DTF, not down to talk. Could watching Fallon be the cure to a communication freeze? It may sound silly, but yeah. A study in Human Nature found that people are more likely to share personal details after a laugh. He might take that as a hit to his masculinity and clam up.

6 Ways to Get Him to Talk About Feelings (Advice from a Dude!)

So your man is going through a rough patch, but for some odd reason he doesn't want to crack open a bottle of chardy and vent? WH: We can usually tell if our guy is wrestling with something, but nine times out of 10, he won't discuss it. How the eff do we help? BP: Men like to feel strong, and part of that is figuring out our own problems.

As you already know, strong and open communication is one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship.

We shut down if we don't feel like we matter or that your agenda is more important than ours. Get him to open up : "Feelings mean different things to each of the sexes. Guys often feel by doing, women by saying," says Dr. Try saying, 'I'm really sorry.

15 Little Gestures That Can Help Your Partner Open Up

Men are like oysters: they are hard to open up at first, but once you do, you find his soft, delicious, most vulnerable parts inside. Yep, I have been there, too. Research shows that men typically show their emotions more readily through their behavior and the manner in which they speak than they do through the words they say. Getting a guy talking about his emotional state of mind is like baking a cake: take the 10 ingredients listed below, mix them gently, and let the mixture bake for a while in order to get the best results.

How do I get him to talk about feelings? I admit that this is something I need to learn more about myself. The truth is that I want him to be more chatty, able to traverse multiple topics at once and more open to share his feelings. In other words, I want my man to be more like a woman. We women make that mistake often; expecting our men to act like women.

7 Ways to Finally Get Him to Open Up

Remember, guys think showing any kind of weakness and yes, he thinks sharing his emotions are a weakness will make you think less of him. With the right techniques, you can totally do it — you just need to know how. Start with a joke. The more relaxed he feels, the more likely he is to start sharing. Be open with him. Save some of those for your girlfriends.

The biggest mistake when a guy does open up, is the girl, woman makes it about herself, When a guy starts to open up emotionally to a woman, does he start by looking for her to get excited for him? We as humans area a guarded group.

The first step is always that we need to take responsibility for our own emotions. So breathe. And self-soothe.

How To Get An Emotionally Unavailable Man To Open Up

Well, if you could learn how to get an emotionally unavailable man to open up, would that be something worth exploring? I know how it goes — I hear it all the time. How can you hope to have a real, meaningful connection, if he will not share things with you?

18 Ways The Guy with a Guarded Heart Loves Differently

You have found the perfect albeit emotionally unavailable guy who makes you laugh and tingle all over. You guys have an absolutely wonderful time when you are hanging out and the sex is stupendously mind-blowing. To the naked eye, your relationship is all but perfect. Then it all becomes clear: You might be dating an emotionally unavailable guy!!

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How To Get Love From Someone Who’s Guarded

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