Men may find it harder to express emotions than women - psychologist

Some people find it hard to express their emotions and be affectionate towards others. They find it hard to be emotionally intimate with people, or verbalise how they feel about others.

Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyani says that before learning how to express affection in our families, it is useful to understand the role of affection and emotions within the human species.

As human beings we are geared for survival, and expression of emotions is part of that.

Khosi Jiyane, clinical psychologist

In the species affection is really about moving the reptilian functions (which instinctively or reflexively helps mitigate threats) to the mammalian functions (which helps with emotional and psychological safety) which describes human beings as social beings.

Khosi Jiyane, clinical psychologist

She says human beings are relational beings and that's how they learn the meaning and expression of emotions from their care givers early in life.

That's how we get psychologically and emotionally encoded around our sense of belonging and our sense of self worth.

Khosi Jiyane, clinical psychologist

According to Jiyane the male species is geared for survival, playing the role of protector and provider. This is the reason they find it hard to express emotions. On the other hand females, who play the more care taking and nurturing role, have a higher propensity to express emotions.

We learn how to express emotions through how others have expressed emotions to us.

Khosi Jiyane, clinical psychologist

Listen to the full conversation below:

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