How To Get A Guy To Talk About His Feeeeelings

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woman sitting next to man and kissing his forehead

Men are like oysters: they are hard to open up at first, but once you do, you find the most tender, vulnerable part hidden inside those shells.

If you're stuck playing guessing games when it comes to your guy’s feelings, it may be because he thinks he basically has a sign on his forehead displaying his thoughts and you should know what it is that he wants and needs.

Yep, I've been there, too. And I find that while many men have a hard time talking about their feelings, that doesn't mean you should make the mistake of thinking they don’t have any.

Research shows that men typically show their emotions more readily through their behavior and the manner in which they speak than they do through the words they say.

RELATED: 3 Things You Must Understand About Men And Their Feelings

Getting a guy to talk about his emotional state of mind is like baking a cake: take the 10 ingredients listed below, mix them gently, and let everything bake for long enough, and you'll have made the perfect confection.

Here's how to get a guy to talk to you and open up to fully express his deepest feelings.

1. Be trustworthy.

For men to open up, they have to trust you first. So work on your relationship and show him that you can be trusted with his deepest emotions.

Be sure that you never use what he shared with you about his feelings against him in an argument at a later date, or you're likely to lose his trust for good.

2. Treat him as your equal.

He is not a child you need to guide, reprimand, or make decisions for. He is a full-grown man.

Treat him as your equal and someone who knows his own emotions, opinions and ideology.

3. Recognize moments he's trying to open up and be receptive and empathetic in response.

Men can be self-conscious and they need to hear affirmation from their partner on what they do well. This gives the message that he is important to you, which naturally will transition to trust and connection.

RELATED: 70 Compliments For Men To Make Your Guy Feel Loved

4. Ask engaging questions that show you're interested in what he has to say.

Start questions with what, when, or how. These questions give him the opportunity to say what he wants to say without putting him on the defensive.

Be sure to ask questions he can’t answer with a simple yes or no, which would only annoy you to no end because they're immediate conversational dead-ends.

5. Don’t shove whatever issues you want to discuss down his throat.

Start the conversation gently and be try to remain non-judgemental. Let him set the pace for how fast he starts talking about his deeper feelings.

That said, be firm as well and don’t let him run away from the conversation or avoid difficult topics entirely by changing topics or otherwise being evasive. However, if he is being evasive, be careful — this could be treacherous territory where one should tread lightly, at least at first.

RELATED: 6 Ways Men Deal With Emotions Way, Way Differently Than Women

6. Pick a good time for both of you.

You may talk easily about your feelings, but your guy needs more time to get in the right head space, and even the right location. Pick a time and place that will eliminate distractions or make either of you like you are pressed for time.

7. Ease into the conversation.

Start a conversation that is not necessarily about "the" conversation. When you notice him relax, you can bring up an issue that you would like to discuss.

8. Be willing to go with the flow and shift topics when needed.

If you notice him become aggravated during your conversation, let the topic rest for a moment and start talking about something else. Once the tension disappears, you can gently revisit the more sensitive topic at hand.

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9. Watch your body language — keep it open and attentive.

It's important to stay cool and collected, too, because you don't want this to turn into a fight. Talking about feelings is difficult for your man and he needs to know that he is safe and that he is not being judged.

Aim to show non-threatening, open body language while speaking in a caring, compassionate tone of voice.

10. Remember: It’s not about you.

Don’t make him talk about you. Be curious about how he perceives certain issues and listen actively. You may even want to repeat back to him what you heard him say and ask if you understood him accurately. It's important to feel like one has been heard and understood.

This may sound all difficult and time-consuming, but your relationship is worth it.

Maybe if you keep the following metaphor in mind, it will go more smoothly for you:

Communication is a two-way street, and when you want to get a guy to talk to you about his feelings, it's like his side of the road is under construction.

You may need to do some maneuvering around the potholes. You may need to go slow. Be ready to hit the brakes if needed. And you'll need patience along with a sense of humor to get through it.

But, once the road ahead is clear, things should go smoothly. Just be mindful about how you would want to be talked to. At the end of the day, he's still a human, like the rest of us.

RELATED: 5 Good Questions To Ask A Guy To Make Him Feel Loved

Ellen Nyland is a certified life coach and the author of Life is Great Even When it Sucks.