Why Men Suddenly Stop Communicating.

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I am aware that it is not only men who suddenly stop communicating. However, as I have had this happen to me in the past, and quite a few of my female friends have also experienced it, I decided to write an explanation to describe how and why I believe the masculine energy closes off to the feminine energy. 

Although I describe this dynamic using the words “men and women,” it can relate to anyone whose energy is predominantly masculine.

One of the reasons that men may stop communicating is because somewhere deep within, there is an inherent belief that talking about feelings is feminine. Not all guys feel comfortable disclosing their innermost emotions, and the reason for this can be partly due to men not having much experience communicating emotionally.

Many women, generally from their teenage years on, have talked in great depth about how emotions and relationships affect them. They have either had friends, colleagues or even family members on hand to help put their own (or other’s) emotions into context.

Men aren’t always fortunate enough to have someone with whom they can openly and safely share their feelings. Therefore, when it comes to communicating with someone they are romantically entangled with, they can become stumped—quite literally blocked—from vulnerably showing how they feel.

Men may worry that if they do disclose their innermost fears, insecurities or attachments, they will then be judged as less masculine, and they may be afraid that their romantic interest will ultimately lose respect for them. Although the likelihood of this is slim, as women generally love conversing about their feelings, it feels so alien to men that they build walls and lock their emotions away just to be sure.

Often, men stay silent simply because to communicate may cause an emotional eruption. When feelings have been contained for such a long period of time, there is a chance that they may explode in an uncontrolled manner when released. This is particularly true if a situation has become tense, or there are underlying unresolved issues, causing frustration or anger to simmer beneath the surface. Men may feel anxious and just decide that it is easier to remain silent than to say something in the heat of the moment they might later regret.

Silence can be a means of taking a little space after a conflict when it is difficult to find the right words. A guy may choose to say nothing at all if he can’t engage in open and honest communication right away. However, prolonged and deliberate silence can cause things to escalate further.

It may be the case that when previously communicating their emotions, the male in question had a painful experience, and their explanation of their feelings was not well received. If they have had a previous dysfunctional relationship, or they have traumatic family history, they may be wary and believe that talking through difficulties will lead to further irreparable problems. Silence may be a way of avoiding what they feel is unnecessary trauma and pain.

Some men withdraw from a relationship and stop communicating as they feel they are getting in too deep. This is particularly true for guys who are terrified of commitment. Cognitive dissonance starts to take place in their minds, and their fear makes up a million and one rational reasons to end the relationship, or to pull back, to prevent them from getting closer and potentially losing their freedom. This can be equally as confusing for the man as it is for the woman as often it is happening at a subconscious level.

For guys who adore their freedom, they may choose to stop interacting if they feel the woman has become too needy for his attention, jealous or clingy. Often this can just be a misunderstanding between the two, particularly if the male is not communicating that he needs and enjoys uninterrupted space, and that there is nothing for the female to be concerned about.

They may also decide to halt the connection if they initially enjoyed the first stages of the relationship, but the chemistry and attraction has worn off. For many, this can feel like a huge rejection. However, it is a natural part of the dating game, and there are no guarantees that anything is going to last permanently. This does not excuse the fact that the guy chooses avoidance instead of acting respectfully by taking a few moments to make his feelings clear.

He may even have picked up the wrong signals and think that the woman is not interested in him, so to save himself the risk or rejection or hurt feelings, he chooses avoidance and creates distance.

Men may also become fearful and resort to using the silent treatment if they feel that they are out of their depth with the person they are involved with. For example, if a guy who is not used to freely talking about emotions dates a girl who is fluent emotionally, he may feel as though he will look like a fool and say all the wrong things as soon as he tries to put what he feels into words. Unfortunately, this is just their pride and ego getting in the way, and likely, a woman will be soft and gentle the moment he becomes vulnerable, but until the guy sees the proof of this, he will retreat and lock his feelings away where they feel more comfortable, familiar and safe.

This can become a “catch-22” situation, as until the guy opens up, he isn’t going to know whether there is a safe space to spill how he feels. Vulnerability and shared “feeling” conversations can take a great deal of courage and also be a major risk for a lot of men. When there is tenderness, patience and no expectation, there is far more chance of the guy opening up.

What many men are often not aware of is that when they don’t communicate, they are fueling an already volatile situation. If something has occurred that has caused the breakdown of expression, keeping hold of it and not allowing the other person the chance to rectify it can cause long-term damage. Although it may be uncomfortable and challenging to clearly explain what is going on, when men fail to offer an insight into what is going on in their minds, this can leave the person they were involved with coming to all kinds of irrational conclusions as to what went so badly wrong that silence is now the chosen solution.

When there is no reasonable or plausible cause for the sudden lack of communication, usually the person on the receiving end of the silence will come to a variety of conclusions to try to justify the reasons and often they are very far from the mark.

There are some who will use silent treatment as a way to manipulate a relationship. If a guy wants to play mind games and “keep a girl keen” they may resort to “push and pull” tactics, meaning the further they pull away the closer the female draws toward him. This can be utterly confusing, because why would someone want someone else to want them purely because they’ve tricked their mind into thinking they do?

Regardless, this is a well-known game in the dating world and sadly, there’s always a chance that the person that is doing the ignoring has a cunning plan up their sleeve. 

To the men reading this (or women if they are the ones who have stopped the communication):

A little space after a disagreement can be a healthy way to avoid a heated argument, so both parties can agree to take time out to gather their thoughts.

However, if this is the case, although it may feel awkward, a few explanatory words can make a huge difference. There are so many options for communicating nowadays that there really aren’t any valid excuses not to. Something a simple, “I just need some space to calm down and think about things,” or, “I’m not sure how I feel at the moment, so it’s better if we talk in an hour or two,” can ease all the building tension and is a kind and compassionate way to put things on hold temporarily while you figure your feelings.

If the relationship is over, save the guessing games for the other person, and simply say, “I’m sorry, this isn’t working out for me,” preferably in person—but as a last resort, send the text, end the chapter and gently close the book.

And to the women:

Whatever happens, do not lose your personal power if someone pulls a disappearing act. Resist the temptation and urge to keep communicating when the other person has stopped.

To read more about what to do when he stops communicating, click here.

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Relephant:

Why Men Pull Away.

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Author: Alex Myles

Image: Flickr/Hernán Piñera

Editor: Travis May

 

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Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.

Jack Blackwell May 17, 2017 3:39pm

Thank you Alex for this article. This is a tough topic to touch, especially for a woman to speak to a man's world. I feel you have shared some very valuable points here and I hope many men and women get value from your post. Thank you again, Jack

Michael Joseph May 17, 2017 10:05am

Or maybe.... they just got sick of dealing with your nonesence an started shutting you silly ladies out...

Myka Nyne Apr 28, 2017 12:45am

Kind of funny article, especially since I have been noticing women are showing this trait more than men in recent years.

Kevin Adams Apr 27, 2017 10:18am

Some of us find it easy and very natural to commuincate freely and openly, wearig our hearts on our sleeve - unfortunately not everyone is like that, and some find it very hard to speak up about deep feelings. Communication is always the answer, but sometimes the hardest to accomplish. But guessing games drive people insane - we cant read minds, and can just go in endless, pointless circles trying to figure out what is going on in someones head... and still come up with nothing. I can only implore people to make the effort, no matter how difficult - to speak openly and honestly no matter what.

Tim Dibble Mar 7, 2017 8:42pm

Robert Gerhardt We all write these things for two puposes--one to catch people's attention and two to believe that by sharing our opinion we might help someone else. At the core, all humans are unique and every interaction different. No matter how often we look for commonalities and averages, it will never apply to all situations. And that is so incredibly tough for people to understand and to believe. We all want to be unique, but not so unique that we are alone.

Robert Gerhardt Mar 7, 2017 8:29pm

I agree with you Tim. If the above author titled this, "ONE of the possible reasons men stop communicating" it would be easier to accept some of her statements.

Adam Sharples Mar 7, 2017 12:12pm

Yeah, i think the attitude of the author of the article provides the perfect example as to why men might clam up. This assumption that a woman knows and ubderstands the mind of a man, simply because she has bought into outmoded feminist ideas and cherry picked associations for her justification. Here's some cherry picked justifications for the counter. The majority of men in affluent western civilisation are raised by their mother's while father's tend to earn a living. There are exception s I concede, but they are exceptions not the rule. If not the mother then usually female teachers. The feminine is a huge part of mans development. A male child spends mist of his time in the company of these emotionally super powered women. So why do they clam up? Perhaps its because women don't listen? They make up their mind and that's that. Man be damned if he has a point of view. Being problem solvers, men address the problem. I am not being heard. I will state my indisputable case (again). She is ignoring or debating my right to feel a certain way. I am left with two choices, repeat ad infinitum or just withdraw communication and emotional intimacy because she's clearly not interested in a relationship of two people, but rather, in getting what she wants. Usually with histrionics, drama, tantrums and tears, bexause , as liberal feminist rhetoric would have it, this isn't manipulative, it's liberated. Its OK to cry. My daughter has been able to turn on the tears from a very young age. It is culturally acceptable for women to cry and so they grow up with this mindset. Cherry picked justifications. Maybe ask a man what he thinks next time, instead of assuming you know it all.

Alana Glaves Mar 5, 2017 3:39pm

It's not so easy to diagnose why there might be a breakdown in communication in a relationship. I am someone who is incredibly empathetic, very in touch with my emotions, highly focused on maintaining communication and therefore tend to be open and direct. However I found myself in a relationship where I repeatedly tried to discuss my thoughts and feelings with my partner and he made every effort to block me seemingly because he didn't like the direction of where my thoughts were heading, towards the amicable separation of our relationship. So I ended up withdrawing but feeling trappedin the relationship. It's entirely possible that a partner gives subtle gestures which the other partner reads as clues to something which for one reason or another makes them uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable about it, they might hesitantly watch or probe for additional clues and at the same time their partner might interpret their newfound hesitancy as cause for concern and start to get unsettled themselves. It can turn into a spiral if neither partner is able to adequately talk about their feelings and avoid causing the other to feel responsible. I'm not saying that my situation is what everyone else might experience as a reason for a breakdown in communication. But men aren't some sort of scientific marvel who are filled with mysteries which people have been wishing they could unravel for centuries. They do share their thoughts and emotions in writing just as the author and I have. So it's entirely possible to spend time scouring the Internet for men's personal accounts of why they withdrew in a relationship. Voila, mystery solved and then the research data can be shared with an audience. Otherwise, we're able to conjecture from experience, but have to be careful about being definitive regarding things which are attributable to another person.

Doug Cyr Mar 5, 2017 6:39am

Ooo. Ouch. Yikes. Too many generalizations and stereotypes here. Please read Real Boys by William Pollack. And please be careful to not use so many generalizations in a public forum on such a sensitive topic.

Katie Goldman Mar 4, 2017 5:23pm

If a man wants to be with a woman, he will be. He probably isn't into her anymore if he just stops communicating. I move on.

Tim Dibble Mar 3, 2017 9:59pm

I firmly disagree. I believe men stop communicating feelings because women won't let them change their mind or adjust their position. If I don't like something and express that feeling, then forever I'm held to dislike that thing or even and never given a chance to try again, to change my mind. It takes very few incidents of being shut down before men simply stop communicating.