Men are complicated creatures. Their behavior sometimes leaves us guessing and wondering what it is we did wrong.
Stereotypically, men are not programmed to be very good at expressing their feelings or understanding their emotions. Whereas, for us, women, being in touch with our feelings, comes naturally.
Men have been socialized differently from women, and so our social expectations and what is considered acceptable behaviors vary greatly.
Many of us try our best to subscribe to social norms that we consider are the most attractive traits. Even if its at the expense of our wellbeing.
This can lead to lots of misunderstandings and issues in relationships. Contrary to popular belief, guys feel just as strongly and deeply as women do. But they are less accustomed to being expressive and communicative about what’s going on under the surface. They tend to internalize their feelings.
Expressing emotions is considered to be a feminine behavior, and so many guys shy away from showing their feelings. This is because they do not want to hurt their masculine image and pride.
It’s impossible to suppress our feelings, however wholly, so if you look closely, you will be able to read between the lines and determine what is going on inside his mind and heart. More often than not, he won’t tell you that you have hurt him. So tricky, I know.
A man’s ego is the source of his self-esteem and motivation. It is a very fragile part of himself that he tries to protect at almost any cost. When he allows himself to be vulnerable with a woman, he will express himself, but if he is met with criticism and or rejection, he will quickly withdraw.
Understanding the behaviors that hurt your guy and learning how to avoid wounding his ego is a helpful lesson to create a harmonious relationship. Read on to determine if your guy’s ego has been hurt and what you can do to fix it.
The 10 Acts Signs that a man’s ego is hurt and he is feeling broken
These are ten signs that a man’s ego is hurt, and he is feeling broken:
1. Their communication habits change
When a guy is feeling hurt, he will lessen his communication with you. This is because communication is about openness and sharing.
When we share our thoughts and feelings and especially our hopes and dreams with another person, we are essentially allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to their judgment.
If you have been critical or judgemental of your partner when he is trying to share with you, chances are he will shut down and withdraw. His ego is fragile, and he feels your disapproval acutely.
Signs of a communication breakdown may include him engaging only minimally in conversation or even completely giving the silent treatment.
2. He will spend more time on a hobby
If your partner is feeling hurt, then it is prevalent for him to withdraw into his own space and activities.
He might spend more time with his friends or escape into a hobby for hours. This is because he is craving escapism as a coping mechanism.
This simply means that he is looking for a reliable distraction that will give him something else to focus on.
When he keeps himself busy with a hobby he enjoys, then it is much easier for him to switch off his thoughts and not think about how he is feeling.
Sometimes these activities might be damaging to him and his relationship. For example, he might start drinking more, or he may retreat inside himself and not participate in the usual things he enjoys.
3. Lots of little things annoy him
We already know that guys can find it harder to express what is going on for them beneath the surface.
If your man is feeling worried, stressed, or hurt, he might be struggling to recognize these feelings and express them.
Instead, he suppresses the issue. Unfortunately, you will know that something is up because he will exhibit passive-aggressive behavior about other things.
His fuse will be a lot shorter, due to the emotional buildup, and you might notice that almost anything can set him off.
This is because he is not feeling relaxed or able to resolve what is troubling him.
Guys are natural problem solvers, and so if he is dealing with emotions that he does not know how to handle, he will let off steam in other ways.
4. They will fix the things they can
Because they are problem solvers and logical thinkers, a guy will often turn to other things they can fix if they are feeling hurt. This is because they are looking for validation that they are still capable and can conquer other tasks that they set their minds to.
It will likely be something mechanical that he can systematically work his way through. This is because this is a familiar language that your guy understands: logical, sequential thinking. It’s much easier than trying to understand his complicated and confusing emotions!
If you notice your guy obsessively working on dismantling and fixing the vacuum cleaner, then it might be because he has other things troubling his thoughts. He may even redirect his energy towards trying to fix your life.
5. He will set himself up for failure and create a self-fulfilling prophecy
If your guy has been feeling hurt repeatedly for a long time, then he could be feeling resentful. This could lead to him losing motivation to fix things.
Or he might just grow apathetic and check-out of the relationship.
He might start to do things he knows you won’t like to create reasons for the relationship to end. Nobody likes to feel hurt by someone for a long time. Even if he loves you, he won’t want to stay together if too much resentment has built up.
He even might start believing in the negative image you have painted of him, and so he will no longer try to work at the relationship.
6. He doesn’t laugh anymore
When you are feeling hurt, then it is challenging to smile and laugh. You may find that his tone of voice has changed and that he is a lot more severe or somber when you talk.
Perhaps he is easily triggered, and even little things you say will throw him off, and he ends up showering you in his frustration.
It can be tough trying to talk to someone who is harboring a lot of unresolved hurts and a wounded ego. You may think everything is fine until he gets triggered. Again.
7. He is less interested in sex and is less affectionate
This is a visible sign that your guy is hurt or that his ego has suffered a blow.
When a man profoundly loves a woman, sex will become one of the most important ways that he bonds with her and shows his vulnerable side.
Being affectionate is the essential non-verbal way that he communicates his love to you.
If he is no longer interested in having sex or your sexual dynamic has shifted inexplicably, or he is less affectionate. It could be because your guy is feeling hurt. If you have made him feel like a failure in any way, then he might avoid an intimate setting that could set him up for more feelings of failure.
Also, stress is a considerable libido-killer. If he is feeling stressed about your relationship and is struggling to find solutions to the issues, then it will make it very difficult for him to engage with you sexually.
8. He is acting colder towards you
Does it feel like an invisible wall has come up around your guy, and, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to break through it? This is a sign that you have hurt his ego.
As I said, guys find it very hard to be emotionally vulnerable, and they find it especially hard to get hurt from that vulnerability.
If you have hurt his feelings, then he is going to feel foolish for allowing you the privilege.
To combat this, he will shut you out from his inner world and make sure you know that you are no longer privy to his emotional side.
He will keep conversations on a more superficial level, and he will avoid any topics that might make him engage with his feelings and therefore appear vulnerable.
If he does talk about feelings, they will be about his anger. Anger his more masculine energy, and he won’t feel disempowered by talking about it.
9. He is more anxious or depressed
If your guy is suffering from unresolved pain, then it will likely cause his anxiety levels to spike or his lows to multiply. This is because he is struggling with his feelings, and they are eating him up from the inside.
Anxiety may look like him questioning what you are doing, worrying about the future, not acting comfortable or relaxed, or trying to control you. These are all unproductive behaviors, but they can all happen if your guy is suffering from anxiety due to emotional pain.
If he is depressed, then he may lose interest in the things that he used to love. He might become less active, and he might spend more time alone.
He may genuinely think that if he is alone, then there is no chance that he will get hurt again.
10. You just know it
Women have mighty intuitive powers, and they can read the language of emotions very well. Sometimes, you just know that your guy is hurting.
He just isn’t his usual self. Something has changed, and it seems to have something to do with you. He is avoiding you, or he is picking fights.
He is irritable and withdrawn. You know that something is wrong and you are worried that you won’t be able to fix it.
Trust your intuition. If it feels like there is something wrong, then they’re probably is.
Repairing a relationship after your guy has been hurt is not easy.
Especially if resentment has built up, he is not going to feel like being open with you, and he certainly won’t be trusting you with his deepest emotional confessions.
You are probably longing to see that playful side of him again. The one when he gets excited, sharing all his hopes and dreams with you and knowing that you are a part of them. Don’t stress, and I promise that if he has had those feelings for you before, then you can get them back.
The first thing you need to do is validate his feelings by acknowledging that you hurt him and how. Giving a heartfelt apology is the first step to repairing the damage and moving forward. A good excuse will recognize what you did and why, and it will also include a sentiment of genuine remorse.
Actions speak louder than words and so the second step is to show that you will do what it takes to make it up to him. Try asking him what he needs and what you can do. This shows him that you are not only are making an active effort to fix things, but you are also willing to listen to him, and you value his opinion.
Give him space. Once you have acknowledged the mistakes, you have made and your intention to make things better, show him respect by giving him space if he requests it. Guys sometimes need time to process their thoughts so that they can come up with the best logical conclusion.
Finally, be consistent. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. If you let him down again, then it will be that much harder to win back his trust, and you might not be able to at all.
Your guy will need a lot of praise and recognition to help heal his hurt ego. A simple way to do this is by making a point of acknowledging his achievements. Positive reinforcement can go a long way.
Remember, keeping communication lines open, not being too critical, and giving him love, attention, and respect will help to rebuild your relationship’ and steer you both into smoother and more peaceful waters.