… in speaking to women’s groups, I have suggested that women look at men this way: If they took away their own network of intimate friends, those with whom they share their personal journey, removed their sense of instinctual guidance, concluded that they were almost wholly alone in the world, and understood that they would be defined only by standards of productivity external to them, they would then know the inner state of the average man.
—Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, by James Hollis
With so few socially acceptable avenues for processing these emotions, it isn’t uncommon for men to find other ways of managing them. Sometimes we isolate ourselves or disassociate. We may distract ourselves, keeping busy enough that the inner world can’t catch up. Other times, we numb ourselves by drinking or using substances. When pushed too close to our emotions, unresolved grief can come out as anger.