How do guys deal with grief (and what can I do to help)?

There is often a stigma for men around grief. They’re typically expected to conceal their grief or stifle it. This can make it hard for men to fully experience loss and heal from it. If you’re someone who wants to help a guy you know the deal with their grief, keep reading below.

How do guys commonly deal with grief?

The points listed below aren’t applicable in every situation, but they’re some of the common reactions that men exhibit when dealing with grief. People may deal with grief in different ways, but these responses are meant to serve as examples of what grief could look like in some instances.

  • Avoidance — One thing that guys will often do to deal with their grief is avoid speaking about their feelings or exhibiting the emotions associated with grief. 
  • Isolation — Another reaction to grief is isolation. This might look like distancing oneself from family and friends or spending more time alone.
  • Distractions — Many men will frequently avoid confronting their grief by distracting themselves. This might look like staying busy to occupy one’s time and avoid thinking about feelings of grief or loss.
  • Irritability — Some people will react to grief by being angry or irritable. They may begin to lash out at loved ones or those close to them.

How can you help a guy who is dealing with grief that is affecting their mental health?

  • Offer to listen — One way to potentially help a guy who is struggling to deal with their grief is by offering to listen. Sometimes holding a space for someone to speak about their struggles can be very helpful for them, especially if the person they’re speaking to can actively listen. 
  • Ask them how they’re feeling — Sometimes people forget to ask grieving men how they’re feeling, especially if that person is putting up an emotional front. It might be helpful to ask them how they’re feeling in the midst of their grief. They may want to open up and express what’s going on once prompted, so it could be a good idea to ask what’s going on in their emotional world. 
  • Ask if they want company — Another way you could potentially help a guy dealing with grief is by simply offering company. Some men prefer not to talk but will feel supported through quality time. It might be beneficial to offer to sit with them or do an activity together.

How else can guys get help dealing with their grief if it’s affecting their mental health?

  • Speak with a trusted friend or family member — If you’ve tried to reach out to this person without much luck, you might want to suggest that they do speak with a trusted friend or family member instead. They might be more willing to open up to someone they’re more familiar with or have a deep connection with. 
  • Seek counseling from a mental health professional — Getting counseling from a mental health professional can seem overwhelming but can be effective for guys dealing with grief. It can help to speak with a qualified counselor or psychologist who can help them positively deal with their grief. If someone you know is dealing with grief and you notice it’s affecting their mental health, you may want to recommend that they see a mental health specialist for guidance through the grieving process.

Lightfully wants to help individuals manage their grief

Our Lightfully team mission is to work with individuals to change their life compassionately. We strive to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients through a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. Lightfully offers various layers of service to both adults and teens through our residential, virtual, partial hospitalization (also called our Day Treatment programs), and intensive outpatient programs. We regularly see clients who actively manage mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and trauma disorders. If you have a guy friend who is dealing with grief, we’d like to help them.

Our licensed, clinical experts see each client as a complex and layered human – not just a diagnosis. We value our clients as they are and hope to enrich their lives through treatment. Our vision for the future is an authentic and loving community where everyone can be seen, heard, and valued as they are. We believe in the light within each individual, and when that light is properly nurtured it can allow a person to shine brighter than ever before.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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