Take Control of Your Relationship By Understanding Men! Part 5: Why Men Hide Their Feelings

I have been answering all your emails, every day, and the subject of “understanding men” from a man’s point of view seems to be what resonates the most.

On February 24th I blogged about the 12 ingredients that go into men. Do you remember them?

Today I want to talk about the 4th ingredient – men hide their feelings and rarely listen.
Holding in our emotions is DNA imprint #4 on our list. Guys are brought up to not show much emotion and when we do, it usually isn’t pretty.

We are taught to be self-reliant and to fix things. Crying is not part of that. A strong man never cries, instead he analyzes his problem and finds a solution. Stoic and reserved – that is a true man!

I grew up with 3 older sisters. I remember falling off my bike one day. My dad said, “Stop your crying, get over it – it’s just a scratch!” My sister Cheryl fell down and everyone embraced her crying and asked her where it hurt.

Then she would get a friggin’ ice cream!


My family listened to Cheryl. She was nurtured when she fell down. She learned through this response that showing her emotions was a good thing. She got rewarded. No one listened to my feelings when I wiped out and no one cared about my wounds.

No wonder I don’t open up and show my feelings in a relationship. Not knowing how men are when it comes to emotions, you will tell your friends, “Gregg won’t tell me how he feels” or “He never listens to me!”

Provide and protect, that’s what we do. Communicate, listen, and nurture? Uh no.

Fix the kitchen sink? I’m on it!

There is science behind men and their feelings. It’s not that we don’t have them, we do, we just process things differently. Men reason – we use the left side of our brain. Women use the right side where emotion lies.

We don’t understand your display of emotions. We have our way but it is not your way. Few women understand this. In fact I bet you would be horrified if your man started acting emotionally like you do.

If I broke into a nonstop crying fit after my car broke down, my girl would be calling me a shrink and packing her things!

You are in the talking business, we are in the fix it business.

Now that you know this and can accept it, how can you use it to your advantage? How can you get what you want while a man is allowed to get what he needs too? How do we make it a win/win for both?

Let’s start with what you don’t do:

  • Don’t try to get him to show his emotions
  • Never chase him when he retreats
  • Don’t tease him when he does show emotion

An even better way to manage this situation is to let him retreat and give him space. This is when he contemplates his next move and decides how he is going to fix whatever issue is bugging him. Give him this time and you will be amazed at how much he opens up when he is ready.

Patient women are rewarded when they do what he does – retreat and just be patient. I call this Man Mode and it works great!

Let’s look at a practical example of how you to use this DNA trait (hiding his emotions and not listening) to your benefit…

Imagine you want a fence installed around the yard. Don’t complain because he won’t listen and he will withdraw. Instead, put it in “fix it” terms! “Honey, is there a way to keep the dog from chasing the cars? A fence or something? Is that hard to do?”

WHOA! I just got a twitch running down my leg. “A fence? The dog? I love the dog.”

You can even add in a little compliment too; “Honey, is there a way to keep the dog from chasing the cars? A fence or something? I bet you can build an awesome fence!”

I am now listening and willing to express my emotions because you are speaking my language.

Some of you will yell at me and say, “Gregg, why do I always need to change for him?” I don’t want you to change, I am helping you understand him so you can react differently, and in a way he understands – that’s all.

Remember, I am also on the other side teaching men about women so we don’t keep doing the same stupid things that we are notorious for!

I can take ANY scenario, pick from the DNA tree (or the conveyor belt to manhood as I like to call it), and solve your problems that you have with men and now you can too!!

Next week, we will talk about DNA Imprint #5 – Money is very important to us!

Gregg Michaelsen

Gregg Michaelsen

Gregg feels that coaching has chosen him. He grew up just as many others – in a dysfunctional, but loving family. After going through twelve years of his own failed relationships, he decided to try and decode dating for men and women. That elusive older couple sitting in the park holding hands gave him hope!

Gregg began his journey into understanding the mistakes we make in dating and how to fix them by interviewing thousands of people – happy couples, unhappy couples, singles looking for ‘the one’ and everyone in between. He reviewed his own dating experiences and combined all of this information into his series of dating advice books for men and women.

Gregg Michaelsen
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  1. Barbara Locke  May 12, 2017

    Great examples, and I’m positive any man would prefer to be treated the way you lay out in your examples because the woman ‘asking’ is still offering a bit of an escape door. But, that doesn’t mean the woman will get her yard fenced in. What about the man who doesn’t have a clue how to build a fence (or even put up the pre-built ones from the DIY stores), and there isn’t enough money to hire it done? Sad to say that so many men today just don’t have the skills that are still part of the stereotypical man you portray in your examples! So, it could be that all a woman is going to do is trigger even more anxiety in a man who doubts his ability to ‘fix’ things. Happens a lot! I was once married to a man who worked as a mechanic, body repair/restoration and painter, and a heavy equipment operator. He had a 100% level of confidence in himself when it came to fixing that dent in the passenger door of your car (which entails filling it in with body filler, sanding it level with the surrounding surface, then priming and painting it to match the rest of the door) – but ask him about fixing the hole in the sheet rock in the living room where the door knob slammed back and put a hole in it, and he was lost. Even when you ‘suggested’ that the process might be the same, only using sheet rock patch instead of ‘bondo’. I used this example because the stereotype of the ‘blue collar’ man still exists, yet they are not necessarily adept at fixing things. Humans are too complex to believe that there are two ‘molds’ (male and female), and that our differences can be explained to, and understood by the opposite sex.

    • Gregg Michaelsen  May 12, 2017

      I own a construction company so I am always quick to use blue collar examples. Fixing things can mean so much more. Fixing a situation, fixing (resolving) an argument between two friends or fixing your wardrobe that is out of date. A good man will find a solution to the leaky faucet by allocating it to a pro, making sure it’s working properly, and paying the contractor.

      I agree that we are too complex to just call out two molds, but we need to start somewhere and I have taken on this task. Our DNA imprint from our past has not left us, just listen to law and attraction guru and anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher.
      Great comment Barbara!!! Keep them coming.

  2. Mary  May 13, 2017

    Since reading your books & blogs I’ve been able to approach men differently. Your advice does work, one just has to fine tune in to suit the individual man’s personality, issues,etc.

    • Gregg Michaelsen  May 14, 2017

      Exactly! That’s all we are doing, Mary. We are just communicating with men in a language that they understand by making a few tweaks. I always say watch how 2 guys communicate and mimic how they do it. They get their points across quickly and with total understanding. They actually LISTEN to each other.
      Great comment, Mary!!


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