Am i too sensitive as a guy?

I am 39 years old and a guy. Recently , i met up with friends for drinks, at their urging. I was feeling very down and they urged me to come out to feel better.

To my horror, they started making fun of my personal troubles/stuff (love life etc) in front of a stranger (i didn’t know him but they did). I felt humiliated and that i lost face. However, i am also aware that they could fo it behind my back, so maybe it is better that they do it in front of me

I feel like my only value as a friend to them is the person to make fun of. I was very hurt about it and kept thinking about it the past 5 days. I don’t have many friends, am scared to lose friendships and also feel its useless to talk to them about it. (cuz men tend to be insensitive about it and men talking about their weaknesses tend to be viewed as weak).

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Hey @HenryLimanoynomous hmm I can sorta relate to how you’re feeling too like whenever I hang out with my guy friends alot of things are always downplayed or they immediately jump to solutioning which makes me feel unheard or not understood.

But overall no bah I dont think you are being sensitive or rather I think some friends are just more on the insensitive side sometimes :disappointed_relieved:

Thats to say not all guys are like this and it could be because it was a group setting which you know people tends to let loose or go with the flow . Maybe speaking to them individually would be helpful?

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I think guys tend to have this herd mentality thing that makes it hard to discuss emotional troubles, especially if you’re meeting up for other purposes (eg just to hang out or do some activity).

I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive. The fact that you feel humiliated probably means that they overstepped the boundaries. I understand that fear of losing friends but I guess there are different types of friends - maybe this isn’t the group that you can connect on an emotional level with.

On a separate note, what are you facing? We’ll be here to lend a listening ear if you want to share.

Hi @HenryLimanoynomous! That’s really unkind of your friends- am so sorry that you had to go through that!

Its really hard when your friends turn out to not respect/value your vulnerability like that. It might also be because they are not used to talking about these things with their friends, and hence react in a defensive way when these issues are brought up. Given the circumstances, it might be worth it to talk about how their actions were hurtful to you, and gauge their response. If they are still dismissive/do not treat your feelings seriously, it might be time to consider what is important for you from your friends.

Having said that, it is important to feel seen and understood. Perhaps it might be useful to consider going to therapy, or starting to explore different activities that can help you make friends. Am here to chat anytime as well!

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Hey @HenryLimanoynomous,

I’m really sorry to hear about what happened with your friends. That sounds incredibly hurtful and frustrating. It’s completely understandable to feel the way you do, especially after being put in such an uncomfortable and humiliating situation.

It’s clear that you value your friendships and don’t have many close friends, which makes this experience even more painful. Feeling like your only value to your friends is as someone to make fun of is a really tough position to be in, and it’s natural to feel hurt and anxious about it.

Firstly, kudos for openly acknowledging your feelings. It’s normal to feel humiliated, hurt, and worried about your friendships. These emotions are valid, and recognizing them is the first step towards addressing your concerns. It’s tough to feel like you’re being singled out, especially in front of strangers.

I saw that others mentioned similar experiences with guy friends where emotions are downplayed, and there’s a herd mentality that makes discussing emotional troubles difficult. You’re definitely not alone in feeling this way.

From my experience, I’ve found that sometimes reframing the situation can help. Your friends’ behavior is not a reflection of your worth. Reflecting on times when your friends have shown genuine care and support doesn’t make them bad either. So the question; Is this the first time this has happened, or has it been occurring frequently?

If you feel strongly about addressing the issue with your friends, speaking to them individually rather than in a group setting can lead to a more constructive and understanding dialogue. I’ve found it helpful to share how their actions made me feel without confronting them aggressively. For example, you could say, “When I was made fun of in front of a stranger, it really hurt my feelings and made me feel humiliated.” This can help them understand your perspective without escalating the situation. How does this sound to you?

If talking to them directly feels too challenging, writing down your thoughts first can help. Sometimes, organizing feelings on paper makes it easier to express them later. Do you think this could be useful for you?

Remember, you deserve friends who respect and value you for who you are. It’s important to prioritize your own well-being and to surround yourself with people who uplift you. Engaging in new social activities or reconnecting with old friends can provide a broader network of support and reduce the pressure on these particular friendships. If you still find it difficult to stop thinking about it, this space can be a safe place to explore your feelings and develop strategies for dealing with such situations. How do you feel about this idea?

Take care of yourself, and if you ever need to share more about what you’re facing, we’re here to listen and support you.

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Answer:
No, I do not feel that you are being sensitive. It sounds like they do not really care about how you are doing and only compare themselves to you to feel good about themselves while you trusted them. I think the issue could also be that the attachment to relationships (which you mentioned you have few of) could lead you to be attached to these people since you have no one else. As a guy myself I do feel quite hurt when some people who I consider “bros” laugh at things I am passionate about or struggling with no matter how small, because I feel like in a relationship we should at least maintain a level of respect and understanding.

Some of my Thoughts:
Friends
Personally I guess it’s about building the right connections, if these friends are very close to you and they aren’t able to provide help but instead make fun of you then I think you shouldn’t worry too much about such friends. In a sense, I mean that your real friends should be able to support you when you need help and they should be quite understanding of your issues.

Problems
Adding on to that, in today’s society I feel like (as a guy) opening up about your issues will often lead to being made fun or mocked, hence I feel like if you can’t rely on family or friends you can try developing strategies to help you manage your emotions. I have recently been journaling a lot about what I am grateful for, what I have done, what I need to do as well as my feelings and emotions, which has helped me build awareness on whatever issues I am facing and what I can do to solve them.

Self Care
On that note, I also think that your lifestyle can definitely be an alternative way in order to deal with your own issues. Many people are also dealing with their own issues and don’t want to spend time helping you so you can definitely find ways to help yourself. As a general rule of thumb I live by, I think you should:

  • Do things that make you feel good
  • Do things that make you improve/grow
  • Do things you want to do
    This allows you to be more self-sufficient in managing your own problems (when you have no one to rely on) and I feel that it is a useful skill to build since it is often hard to build meaningful relationships with others nowdays.

Possible Solutions

  • Obviously, you could talk to them about it but from what you have told me it does not sound like they are very genuine friends and I feel like after you try talking to them and it doesn’t work you should let go and try to make more connections. Join interest groups or online forums on things you are passionate about or develop yourself further.
  • Self management skills (journaling and meditation) can help you be aware of any issues and address them as soon as you are aware, as well as generally helping you to manage your mood and understand that you are your own best friend
    -Embrace your negative feelings, as much as I know it hurts. They help you grow resilience and mental fortitude that will prepare you for any future experiences that are similar to what happened as well as improving your mindset and challenging your limits, knowing you are doing your best every day.

Take care of yourself bro, hope this helps :smiley:

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I tried speaking to the guys that were there at the event via whatsapp; one of them, the one with the harshest words, did not even reply. I did tell the other friend that i was a bit embarrassed to have my personal issues/problems aired out in front of 8a stranger, and his reply was: “No la he ok one bro, He quite open about everything”.

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Thank you very much for your kind words, Jaws. I was having some problems with my love life, in particular, the choice of marriage partners. i am also careful because my parent has this habit of falling into depression if she thinks i have caused her to lose face or if i think i did something to embarass her. I have moved out quite some time ago and more or less moved out and am financially independent. But i still have to be careful about my actions and choice of words in front of my mother as her mental health can be easily affected.

Unfortunately, at that gathering recently, my friends laughed at me about this, saying to the other stranger that “his parents don’t allow him”. It felt that they were misconstruing me as a mummy’s boy publicly. And it got worse when they publicly derided me as “indecisive”. The worst part is that they know that my choice of actions are limited because i have to consider my parent’s mental state of health.

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Honestly this group of friends sound rather toxic to me. I think it’s probably sensible for you to be careful and considerate of your mum’s mental health. After all I suppose you are / will be the primary caretaker as well.

It’s easy for this group of people to say what they want because they’re not the one that will face the consequences any way. Probably not the best group of people to pour your feelings to. Some “friends” can just remain as “friends” - maybe that’s what their role in your life is.

What problems are you facing on the romantic side? Maybe you’ll find some answers here (hopefully!)

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Thank you FuYuan.

This is very helpful.

I want to type you a long reply but i need your advice and perspective.

I tried reaching out to one of my friends who was there that night, and told him that i felt embarrassed that my personal secrets were disclosed in front of a stranger. I felt that his reply, “but you did discuss, right?” Is putting me on the defensive, as i was trying to defend myself. Should i continue the engagement or should i just give it up? It feels like they are putting the blame on me.

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Thank you for your kind words. Do you think i should go “no-contact” with them?

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Thank you very much for your kind words. I tried talking to them, saying i was embarassed that my personal affairs were revealed in front of a stranger but they dont seem to care, one guy didn’t even bother to respond and one guy seem to be trying to push me to take the blame of what happened .

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Hmm honestly it seems like they might not be the kind of listeners you wanna look for if thats the case based on what you say. Maybe its best to let things cool off and perhaps they are not the best people to talk to at the moment :people_hugging: but if you ever feel needed to sharing more or even a listening ear, I’m open to listen too :+1:

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Hi Otterwordly,

Thank you very much for your kind words, i really appreciate it . I decided that i would go no-contact with them.

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does show that he doesn’t understand your boundaries, I would advise against hanging around people like this if they don’t respect your boundaries or don’t even bother to respond. Definitely do believe moving forward you need to assess things on your own & do what you can :slight_smile:

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