In my dating/relationship coaching business, I speak in front of large groups of women. Afterwards or during question time, they like to pick my brain about what men think about love, life, and various other topics. They appreciate me because I give honest answers that don’t sugarcoat the truth.
One thing they almost always want to know is “why are men so mean?” They’ve known lots of guys over the years, whether it’s fathers, uncles, friends, boyfriends, husbands, and lovers. And, among that group, they’ve known guys who were just downright nasty human beings who treated them like crap.
This article is going to explain why some men are just downright mean jerks.
Not All Men
First, I want to start by staying that this article isn’t meant to imply that all men are mean. Most guys are generally good people and act that way. And, even some guys who are mean act that way for some of the reasons listed below.
Also, many people assume that men are all just violent thugs waiting to explode because they have so much testosterone. However, testosterone has been shown, outside of hostile environments like prison, to be associated with social dominance, not violence. So, unless you’re dealing with a person who already has violent tendencies, higher testosterone will only create better leaders…not giant jerks.
Also, I like to believe that people are basically good. So, while there certainly are some colossally evil people, both now and throughout history, I still believe the vast majority of men (and women) want to be happy and get along with others. But, for whatever reason, they act in a mean way.
Obviously, this doesn’t justify their meanness and I’m not making excuses for them. Any man or woman behaving like a jerk needs to be called out and dealt with. But, this article will try to get the reasons behind why guys are mean, either to you or in general.
When I was younger, I went through periods when I was very unhappy with my life. I felt trapped in certain circumstances and had few skills or resources to deal with my stress. So, frustrated and upset, what did I do? I lashed out.
Many guys you know who are mean might just simply hate their lives or large parts of it. Perhaps they work all day, receive disrespect from their bosses, and, by the time they talk to you afterwards, they’re cranky and annoyed.
If a guy you know is mean and it seems like his life is spiraling out of control and he’s incredibly stressed, that is most likely the cause. He probably doesn’t have the resources or coping skills to deal with his sad life…so he gets mean.
I had a teacher who would always lose his cool when students would act up. He got so aggravated and worked up that he would throw stuff at students! He was eventually forced to “retire” because his outbursts were too over the top.
When we get triggered by an event, emotions start to form in the limbic part of our brain. Some people control those emotions and make good choices. Other people lose their cool and enter into a rage.
Some men are mean because they lack emotional regulation skills. So, they get triggered by a stressor and react by acting like a big jerk. They let their anger get the best of them instead of calming themselves down and acting calmly.
If you’re asking “why are men so mean?” then the answer might be due to a lack of emotion regulation on his part.
Unresolved Mental Health Problems
I went to school with a guy who was known for being a huge jerk. He was a larger guy so he bullied other kids, sometimes resorting to violence. Almost everyone was afraid of him and his mean ways.
However, one summer he went to live with his grandma who noticed that he seemed anxious and depressed. She got him to a psychiatrist and, it turns out, he was abused when he was younger, which caused him many mental health problems.
He got on medicine, received professional counseling, and, that fall when school started, was almost a totally different person. He wasn’t exactly a teddy bear, but he wasn’t nearly as mean. He was generally respectful and stopped being a bully.
So, if you know men who are mean, then it’s possible they have issues you don’t know about and they aren’t getting enough help or the right kind. If you suspect someone close to you has mental health issues, try to get them the help they need. You might find that solves or lessens their mean tendencies.
You Just Think They’re Mean
I went to university with a girl who was always late to everything. If we had a study group, event, or activity where she was needed, she’d always show up anywhere from 10 minutes late to not at all. It was very frustrating.
One day, she arrived 30 minutes late to help setting up a booth at a campus event. Because she was late, those of us involved had to work twice as hard. When she finally made it, the work was done. She went to leave and another guy blurted out, “next time, if you’re going to be so late, just don’t even bother coming.”
At the next meeting of the group, she told me she thought that guy was “mean.” I reminded her that everyone was annoyed with her being late and doing extra work. He just stated the truth and she didn’t like it.
So, there might be men in your life who tell you the truth. They could be fathers, teachers, or bosses who assertively tell you what needs fixed or done. But, because you don’t like their message, you accuse them of being mean instead.
So, this article should help you understand why men are so mean. It might give you some insight into the feelings of the mean men in your life and why they act the way they do.
For more tips from the perspective of a man and a dating coach, we invite you to visit our For Women Page