10 Agonising Signs Show How Guys Act When They are Hurt Emotionally

Like many women before you, you’re wondering how guys act when they are hurt.

And for good reason!

Because men don’t always “show” their emotions in ways that women can resonate with.

Unlike women, men do not explicitly express how they feel when hurt emotionally. 

Rather, they sometimes change their behavior to assuage their agony. If he is really important to you, you must learn to identify such signs of changed behavior. 

Understanding how guys act when they are hurt is the first step towards helping them.

“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” – J.K. Rowling

Men tend to hide behind a macho facade, or in some rare cases, they might engage in machoism (the enjoyment of pain) when they are hurt. 

Regardless, the undeniable fact is that males are equally emotional, and they do get – and feel – deeply hurt. 

But since their primal instinct is to act strong, they tend to conceal their true feelings when hurt emotionally.

I think men are wired differently than women when it comes to expressing their emotional agony, but they are an easy study!

They can’t hide much, and if they do, most women are sensitive enough to at least know something is “off”.

It’s also interesting to note that unlike men, women have a broader spectrum of pain coping skills. 

It might be because we are blessed with greater nerve density in the body than guys, which makes us more sensitive. 

This sensitivity makes us have to feel a broader spectrum of emotions than men around the clock, and because of this, we have to keep easily available and constantly available methods to alleviate it (or in some cases, “cope” with it). 

On the other hand, men have fewer coping mechanisms to deal with emotional anguish, and therefore they tend to display intense stereotypical behavior.

When your words or actions hurt him emotionally, he will display some of these clear signs:

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how guys act when they are hurt

Sign # 1: He Resorts to Unhealthy Addictions & Habits

Many men, but especially men who already have a history of addiction, develop or fall back onto harmful habits such as drinking or smoking when hurt emotionally. 

Finding comfort in safe habits that cannot hurt them emotionally (like humans can) is a sure shot sign that something hurt him badly. The use of these negative habits seems absurd since it wouldn’t do him any good, but that is how men behave when they feel the need to absorb the emotional pain.

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Sign # 2: He Displays Bursts of Anger 

When a man is holding in emotional pain (and doesn’t know how to deal with it), the anger has to go somewhere.

Usually if a man has either: 

  1. A troubled history and already has a lot of held in anger; or 
  2. Has a good history and healthy childhood, but has been hurt by you and just hasn’t been heard or understood by you, he will have to hold in the anger. 

In both of these situations, there’s a chance he may have anger outbursts at inconvenient times.

If he loses his temper frequently and has anger outbursts, that is a clear sign that he is not able to process or accept the occurrence that hurt his ego.

“Anger is our natural defense against pain. So when I say I hate you, it really means “you hurt me.” – Anonymous

When you observe that he gets uncontrollably angry in private or publicly, take it as a clear sign that something has deeply hurt his emotions.

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Sign # 3: He Does Not Make Eye Contact

One of the perks of having a woman’s intuition is that we can sense things even when others do not say much. 

A lack of eye contact from your man might not be saying much verbally, but it’s saying a lot with his body language, and such body language is typical behavior showing how guys act when they are hurt.

A clear sign that your man is emotionally hurt is when he avoids eye contact with you. Why? Because he may not want to be seen breaking down in anger or tears, but he knows that if he makes eye contact with you, then that engagement would force him to feel more of his emotions.

Consider his lack of eye contact to be a reflection of his anger or hurt, perhaps he is convinced in his heart that you owe him an apology.

Sign # 4: He Starts Ignoring You

Ignoring you completely signals that he feels you are unworthy of any attention. Seriously, it’s that bad! 

You may have done or said something so awful that he is starting to cut you off from his life by ignoring you. 

If you didn’t mean to hurt him so badly, it is better to talk it through and solve the matter there and then!

And if you did nothing at all, then perhaps take his ignoring you to be a sign of his lack of commitment to you and to the relationship.

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Sign # 5: He Cares Less About What You Say or Do

Honestly, I find it entertainingly funny when men think they can perform the “I don’t care” attitude better than us. Jokes aside, if he is trying to ignore you by not heeding to anything you do or say, there’s a good chance he has already convinced himself that you don’t have good intentions towards him.

Men actually make efforts to pay attention to women they love. So, when he stops doing that, you may have bigger problems than you think!

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Sign # 6: He Becomes Silent or Less Talkative

Not every man processes emotional hurt the same way. Some resort to anger, while some prefer to display dormancy of silence. And silence is a stereotypical behavior, giving you an indication of how guys act when they are hurt.

When your man stops talking to you completely, or responses are limited to words like “ok,” “Hmm,” “whatever,” etc, he is hurt emotionally. 

To be fair, it’s not the most “mature” response, but if you have hurt him badly or done terrible damage, you could argue that it doesn’t need to be mature and that he is justified.

If he is deliberately being silent or ignoring you, such behavior from a man could indicate that he is stonewalling you as well.

Just because a man is hurt, doesn’t always mean that we should simply tolerate bad behavior from him.

(After all, it could be his way of lashing out at you, or it could be him trying to withdraw love).

Whether or not his behavior is justified will be something for you to decide.

To help you, here are 6 Behaviors You Should Never Tolerate In A Guy.

Regardless, if he becomes silent or less talkative, it shows that he has either:

  1. Felt very hurt emotionally and decided that you are not worth communicating with.
  2. He is trying to get your attention and sympathy
  3. He is actually stonewalling you; or 
  4. He is deliberately withdrawing love and intentionally causing damage.

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Sign # 7: He Hurts Himself Physically Or Emotionally

Is he punishing himself or needlessly blaming himself? Self-blame is one of the most destructive and unwelcoming behavioral attributes that lead to self-hurt. 

Hurting himself physically or emotionally is a sign that he is emotionally disturbed by some incident, and perhaps he blames himself for it. 

The discomfort of self-hurt seems less painful to him than his broken emotions or his tarnished self-respect.

After all, he can control the amount of discomfort he exerts upon himself, but he cannot control how much hurt he may feel in response to something that you did (or that someone else did).

The best thing to do here is to learn how to comfort a man. 

Sign # 8: He Becomes Socially Inactive

When a man is hurt emotionally, he loses interest in socializing. Finding reasons to avoid outings with friends or not having any usual guests over shows that he has lost interest in emotional closeness as well as in the outside world. 

If you observe that he is distancing himself from others or from any socializing, there’s a chance he is hurt emotionally.

There’s also a chance that he is putting more effort and focus into his work (where he has control) and where he feels worthy.

When men focus on work and less on socializing, it doesn’t have to indicate pain as it would for us, it can simply mean he is pursuing what makes him worthy as a man.

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Sign # 9: There is No-Activity on His Social Media Accounts

Social media is an amazing arena that helps us get insight into a person’s life. That is, if you are paying attention!

Believe it or not, social media activity can show us how connected a person feels with their world. 

If someone used to post a lot in the past, but is suddenly going through a period of not posting (and this happens regularly on and off), it can indicate that things are going badly in his life and that he is hurting.

When your man seems to be completely inactive on social media, it can indicate that his emotional pain is keeping him occupied and that he has lost that curiosity to connect with anyone or to inspire anyone to connect with him.

MORE: 10 Signs Of A Commitment Phobic Man.

Sign # 10: Everything You Do Bothers Him

If you are the sole reason for his emotional agony, you would observe that anything and everything you do bothers him. He would despise your actions, choices, behavior, and everything else that you do.

“It hurts because it matters.” – John Green

Such a strong reaction is a clear indication that he is hurt emotionally. Loathing everything gives him the satisfaction of hurting you back.

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Final Words

Relationships can be complicated – but men are not! 

If you have been with them or around them long enough, you would know that their actions and behavior are the first to show how he is feeling. 

Like most normal people, you might have to go through several bumps in your relationship before you get to a place of complete trust. 

So, always remember that insensitive words and careless, unattuned actions have the power to hurt your man badly. A part of being a high value woman and achieving a state of wholeness in your life and relationship is by making the effort to understand your man.

By reading this article, you’re well on your way, and you should congratulate yourself for making the effort to understand him. It is always good to strive to lead with your understanding, because it is only then you can build a strong foundation for your relationship and always be respected and cherished by a good man.

Being mindful of these important factors and making genuine efforts to mend the relationship in a timely manner are the key to a long-lasting bond.

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Frequently Asked Questions On How Guys Act When They Are Hurt

Signs He Is Heartbroken Over You?

Is he posting depressing posts on social media that are directed towards you? If yes, then it’s time that you take this hint. Other clear signs that he is heartbroken over you are:

  • He keeps pictures of you
  • He resorts to unhealthy addictive habits
  • His friends and family tell you that he’s withdrawn or acting resentful
  • Disappearing from his usual social meetups
  • Blocking you on social media or WhatsApp
  • Showing up in places you don’t expect him to (or places you used to go to together)
  • Avoiding contact
  • Throwing your gifts away
  • Flirting with other women

What Are the Signs You Really Hurt Him?

You might observe a loss of any interest in intimacy if it goes too far. Some men even distance themselves by getting into a rebound relationship. While others stop dating completely when they feel extremely hurt as a way to announce that they have lost faith in such relationships.

Do Guys Ignore You When They Are Hurt?

Yes. Ignoring you would be one of the first few signs he would display if you were the foremost reason for his predicament.

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Kitty Luciano

You said machoism. Then said “the enjoyment of pain”. I think what you were intending to say was masochism. I just thought I’d point it out. I’m sure it’s a typo.