General

It’s Official: Women Grieve Differently From Men

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At some point in your life, you are likely to go through a period of grief. Somebody will die or something will go wrong and you’ll be left shocked how quickly life can take a turn for the worse.

Most articles on grief deal with the subject from a gender-neutral perspective. But it turns out that there are some differences between how men and women process grief.

In many cases, women can feel like their male partners are not being supportive enough in their times of need. They may also wonder how they are able to manage their emotions so calmly. 

Women Are Less Comfortable With Life’s Changes

Research suggests that grief might be different for women because they are less comfortable dealing with life’s changes. Men will frequently adapt to situations by taking on new roles after the death of a loved one. They have a view that they can fix problems using their time, energy and money. 

Women, by contrast, tend to be more emotional. Instead of becoming more proactive, they seek to deal with their grief through conversation. Many times, they will go over stories in their minds again and again to help them deal with the grief. Women will often confide in friends, using their emotions as a guide to help them get through a difficult time. 

Women Aren’t Afraid Of Looking Weak

Expressing grief is something that men will often interpret as a sign of weakness. For this reason, they are less likely to do it than their female counterparts. 

In many cases, women can misinterpret male response to death and believe that the man is not grieving. However, this is rarely the case. Mostly, the man is adopting a male response to the situation. 

Men are mostly what psychologists label “inward thinkers.” This means that they focus more on the situation than their emotional response to it. When men grieve, they usually become less responsive to the world around them. 

By contrast, women deal with their feelings by looking for support from others. They want individuals around them who can understand what they are going through and talk to them. 

Conclusion

When it comes to differences in how the genders react to grief, there is no right or wrong way of doing it. You can’t usually control emotions in extreme situations, so allowing them to play out naturally is the sensible and safe thing to do. 

With the rise of low cost funerals, dealing with the financial aspects of death is becoming easier. But emotionally speaking, it is still difficult. Both genders experience the stress of grief in different ways. 

Even if you do process grief, you are much more likely to experience anxiety in the future. Losing somebody who you truly care about is never a pleasant experience and can leave you with lasting trauma. 

Ideally, men and women should provide each other with the support that they need, without trying to change each other. Once we understand different approaches to grief, we can make the experience more productive. 

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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