What happens when you don’t respond to self-disclosure ‘properly’:
So according to a friend of mine, she usually doesn’t have conversations about personal problems with guys. This is because of several bad experiences. When she reveals her innermost feelings, worries and insecurities to her guy friends, they normally start feeling uncomfortable, and think that she expects them to come up with solutions to her problems (when she in fact doesn’t–she just wants someone to listen). So they are at a loss as to how to respond..and come up with the worst solution ever (in her opinion): joke and laugh about it. This makes her feel angry, embarrassed and vulnerable, because she has self-disclosed but there is no reciprocation and by laughing it off, it makes her “feel very small”.
Speaking from a male perspective, I feel this arises due to the way guys interact among themselves. Most guys don’t talk about their problems and feelings with their buddies, keeping most stuff to themselves. Perhaps this is due to our culture..where males are expected not to show any signs of weakness. Plus we usually joke with/tease each other a lot, as a way to show intimacy I suppose. So…some might just do the same when interacting with girls. I’ve observed that in an all-guys setting..sometimes when a guy tries to self-disclose to his group of buddies, he may end up getting laughed at for being weak/too sensitive/thinking too much etc. If that’s the case, the guy might know better than to engage in self-disclosure again.
But as the text mentions, it seems like the media might be changing some of these perceptions..so we shall see in the future.