Comforting Your Man When He’s Crying: What to Know and Do

Published on: 15 Feb 2017
man crying

When your man starts crying, it can be hard to know what to know. Do you touch him? Or maybe he wants space. Should you say anything? If so, what?

It depends on his personality and preferences. As you become closer with him and develop your relationship, you’ll feel more comfortable and know what to do. If he’s open to the conversation, you can ask him how you should be there for him when he’s crying.

If you’re still figuring out what to do, there are some general guidelines you can keep in mind for comforting him when he’s crying. The first step is understanding men in general and why crying is different for men than women.

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How Men View Crying

Understand His Societal Programming

Many men are still not comfortable with the idea of crying, especially in front of someone. Boys don’t innately cry less than girls. Societal pressures begin to creep in. Boys hear the following messages:

  • “Be tough.”
  • “Be a man.”
  • “Don’t be weak.”
  • “Crying is for wimps.”
  • “Always be strong. Don’t cry”

The Impact of “Boys Don’t Cry”

The mantra, “boys don’t cry,” isn’t healthy or accurate.

Stigmatizing crying is emotionally draining and destructive for men. People teach them to internalize their pain instead of crying and getting wrapped in warm arms.

The internalization of pain often leads a man to put up a false front, a bravado of sorts. The internalized sadness and pain can turn into anger and fear. Think about how often you will see a man go out of his way to seem “tough” and debunk any suggestion that he is weak.

Now that you understand these issues, here’s what to do to comfort him:

Listen! Don’t Talk Too Much

One reason it can be hard to understand the man in your life is because you think differently than him. This article covers it well. You might approach the situation thinking, “What would I want him to do for me in this situation?”

The answer might be that you would want him to talk a lot about how everything is going to be OK. Maybe this is something a friend did for you. Unfortunately this might not be what he wants. You could say something that pushes him away.

It’s much safer to keep your words to a minimum. Being there and listening is enough.

Don’t Be Too Persistent About Asking Him What’s Wrong

If a man is crying, you might think of asking all sorts of questions such as:

  • What’s wrong?
  • What’s the matter?
  • Are you OK?
  • Are you sure you’re OK?
  • What can I do to help?
  • Please tell me what’s wrong and why are you not speaking?

Some of these are valid questions. Nonetheless, he might not want to talk about what’s wrong, at least not at that moment. If that’s the case, you need to respect that and stop asking.

Be Calm and Focus on HIM

Sometimes we talk about ourselves when we’re comforting people. The intention usually isn’t bad. We want to provide support by weighing in, talking about similar experiences or feelings we have had. If the person is crying about something related to us or something we did, it’s especially difficult to not make it about us.

Nonetheless, try not to talk about yourself. Don’t make this about you. Be there for him.

Do Not Be Imposing In Any Way

Let him have peace. Let him cry without being pushy about what’s going on in his mind.

Let him talk. Give him the room to express himself. If he wants to talk to you about it, he will (this article goes into detail).

If he wants to be alone, let him have his space. Men are often embarrassed and feel like they should not be crying in front of anyone. He might need his privacy.

Try Giving Him a Hug

Sometimes all he needs is a warm, genuine hug from a woman he loves and cares about. Open your arms, let him bury his head in your chest and allow the world to melt away.

Erin is a passionate creative writer, thinker, psychology lover and editor for

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

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