Most people have experienced trauma, and sometimes an unhealed man carries the pain into adulthood. People often experience barriers when trying to move on and heal from trauma. It prolongs the healing and growth necessary to let go of how the hurt affected them.
Sometimes trauma occurs after a stressful event, emotional neglect, excess criticism, or lack of support. When this happens, your brain goes into survival mode and adjusts to keep you safe. Even after the experience ends, you can feel stuck and struggle to let go.
Even if you talk about what happened, he might have lingering trauma that shows up in his life. It’s a trauma response based on how the brain learned to protect him, and it doesn’t always turn off. The effects often happen subconsciously, so he might not realize it’s still present in his life.
Understanding the signs of an unhealed man can help you learn to experience growth in overcoming trauma. If you have a relationship with an unhealed man, it can help you understand him and why he behaves the way he does. It can also help you encourage them to find a way to heal.
The Long-Term Effects of Hurt and Unresolved Trauma
It’s sometimes hard to recognize the signs unless you know what to look for. Many people experience dissociation that leads to blocking out part of the event, although their subconscious remembers the hurt.
When this happens, it can be hard to move past it because they don’t realize there’s something they need to heal from. Then, they don’t realize that their behavior stems from the trauma.
The effects of unhealed trauma can affect every aspect of a person’s life. It harms their well-being, relationships, career, and health. Identifying the signs is essential to finding a way to heal.
While this article discusses unhealed men, they aren’t alone. Women can have unhealed trauma that affects their life, and it’s discussed in another article.
Fifteen Behaviors Revealing an Unhealed Man
A man might not remember his trauma, but the signs may still be present daily. Some of the most common behaviors that reveal an unhealed man include the following:
1 – An Unhealed Man Might Struggle to Ask for Help
Men with unhealed trauma often struggle to ask for help when necessary. They’re not good at opening up to others even when it could make things easier.
Not asking for help is especially true when it’s regarding their trauma. They might stay silent and suppress their feelings rather than ask for support. It’s sometimes that they are afraid of appearing weak, scared of rejection, or worried about judgment from others.
2 – They Constantly Worry About the Future
People who have unhealed trauma worry about the future. They overthink every aspect, looking for dangers or problems before there’s any evidence of an issue.
While planning for the future can be helpful, an unhealed man will worry in unhelpful ways. Their worrying doesn’t produce new insights that can improve their situation. Instead, their worrying leads to anxiety about things you can control and may never happen.
3 – A Hurt Person Fears Abandonment
Someone with unhealed trauma might experience a subconscious fear of abandonment. This fear often originates during early experiences when parents are far away or when they think their parents won’t return.
Some of the signs a man has a fear of abandonment include the following:
- need to be in control
- being afraid to open up
- feeling unworthy
- seeking any attention from others, even if it’s unhealthy or toxic
- insecurity and comparing yourself to others
- coping by exhibiting addictive behaviors
4 – An Unhealed Man Might Not Handle Change Well
Change can be scary for anyone, but someone with unhealed trauma can struggle more. It can lead to negative feelings and cause them to lose trust in their life experiences. Not handling change can indicate the need for inner child healing because change often indicates negativity for them.
When things go well, the person might expect change to disrupt happiness. While change can be a good thing, they rarely view it that way because they’ll feel like losing the good parts of life.
5 – Hurt Men Are People Pleasers
Trauma can make someone overly agreeable, trying to please everyone to win their approval. They’ll pretend to agree with someone to keep the peace, even if they have a differing opinion. It also can lead to the person putting their needs last so that other people like them.
These people often struggle to say no, even when they have other things going on or should focus on themselves. They feel like making others happy is a way they can stay in control.
6 – A Man May Seek External Validation
When someone seeks validation from external sources, they likely have unhealed trauma. They might struggle to confront others and often change their thoughts or beliefs to make people like them better.
These people will want others to validate who they are, even if that means giving a false representation of themselves. They believe their self-worth is attached to how others think of them and often make decisions based on what others think.
7 – They Look for Love from Toxic People or in Places They Shouldn’t Seek It
Looking for love from the wrong people or wrong places indicates unhealed trauma. They might look for love from everyone they interact with, including colleagues, supervisors, strangers, or anyone else.
Trauma also might make someone cling to toxic or abusive people. They are more likely to engage in these unhealthy relationships when it mimics experiences from their past.
8 – An Unhealed Man Has a Fear of Failure or Success
For an unhealed man, their fear could go either way. They might be afraid of failure or success, depending on their situation.
The person’s fear of failure can overpower their desire to succeed. They’ll miss growth opportunities because they are afraid they’ll fail if they try. It’s a sign of insecurity that stems from trauma.
On the other hand, unhealed trauma can contribute to a fear of success. The person might hold themselves back because they’re afraid of what will happen if they achieve the goal. They’re scared they’ll lose whatever gets gained from becoming successful, so they sabotage their chance.
9 – They Often Experience Shame and Self-Blame
Many people with unhealed trauma view themselves as worthless because of shame and self-blame. It often occurs because of sexual violence, intimate partner abuse, or childhood abuse. These experiences are dehumanizing and humiliating, resulting in shame.
When someone experiences shame, it often triggers self-destructive behaviors. A man with shame might take part in self-neglect, perfectionism, or suicidal thoughts. They might blame themselves for things that aren’t their fault, feel like they deserve poor treatment, or believe they aren’t good enough for happiness.
10 – A Hurt Man Is Codependent
Trauma can lead to codependent relationships where an unhealed man feels dependent on another person. Experts indicate that some codependent behaviors include the following emotional neglect or abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.
These experiences lead to feeling like they deserve the harmful situations, and they’ll place another person’s reality above their own. The person will choose someone who either confirms their sense of victimization or mimics similar behaviors. An unhealed man might also accept the consequences of their partner’s actions rather than having their partner deal with them.
11 – They Struggle with Concentration
The damaging psychological effects of trauma often lead to trouble concentrating. A man who can’t seem to focus on one thing at a time might be unhealed. Sometimes they’ll even experience gaps in memory, going as far as blacking out.
12 – They Lash Out and Hurt People
Someone with unhealed trauma often lashes out at the people they care about. Intense emotions can lead to pushing their loved ones away and isolating themselves. They also might become out of control and overly sensitive. It’s not unusual for them to lose their temper, break things, or harm themselves.
13 – They Have Low Self-Esteem
Trauma can trigger low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. Experiencing neglect as a child or being hurt by someone they loved can lead to a man having low self-esteem. He’ll struggle to feel good about himself as the trauma disrupts his self-image.
14 – An Unhealed Man Does Not Tolerate Conflict Well
While most people don’t enjoy conflict because it’s uncomfortable, unhealed people struggle more. It triggers hypervigilance, sometimes causing them to feel panicked or overwhelmed. They’ll do whatever they can to stop the conflict from happening, potentially damaging their relationships.
When they avoid conflict, it can lead to not communicating to overcome problems. They’ll let issues fester rather than discuss things and move forward.
15 – A Hurt Man Often Experiences Numbing Emotions
An unhealed man might numb their emotions with food, drugs, or alcohol. They sometimes self-medicate to suppress lingering feelings from their trauma. Their unhealthy coping methods might make them feel ashamed, but they still turn to them when they feel bad.
Final Thoughts on Behaviors of an Unhealed Man
An unhealed man will exhibit many behaviors that indicate he hasn’t healed from his trauma. Identifying these signs can help you understand why he behaves in specific ways. It can also help him realize he should find ways to heal.
Reaching out for professional help can encourage healing and increase self-worth. Finding guidance is one of the best ways to determine how to move forward and find happiness and peace.