Signs a person is broken

15 Signs of an Emotionally Broken Man

In This Article

In your lifetime, you will do many things that you would love. Being with an emotionally broken man isn’t one of those things.  This is because loving a broken man is complicated, painful, and has what it takes to leave you broken as well.

The sad part is that there are many signs of an emotionally broken man. You would notice these signs of a broken man when he first comes into your life. The challenge is that someone will still fall in love with an emotionally broken man despite the warning bells.

This is what this article seeks to guard against.

In this article, you will learn what it truly means to be a broken man, 15 signs a man is emotionally broken, and you will also learn how the broken man’s love will eventually affect your life if you let it.

What does being emotionally broken mean?

“What does being broken mean?” This is one question that is mainly misunderstood because there are little or no indices to measure precisely what emotional brokenness truly is.  

Many times, “emotionally broken” and “broken heart” are used interchangeably. It can be defined as a metaphor for the intense emotional stress or pain one feels from deep longing. If taken further, being emotionally broken can also be expressed as emotional abuse, psychological abuse/violence, or mental abuse. 

With this in mind, being emotionally broken is a state of low mental health or deep-seated mental/emotional trauma that usually follows a period of intense and prolonged emotional abuse. Some signs of being emotionally broken include low self-esteem, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and in some cases, suicidal tendencies. 

To clear the air, just anyone can be emotionally broken; men, women, and even children. Anybody who undergoes the pain of being subjected to humiliating experiences that qualify to be called emotional abuse can come out the other end of the experience emotionally broken. 

But studies point out that men might experience pain silently due to societal pressures associated with masculinity. That is why they might not be able to identify and acknowledge their emotional distress.

This has little or nothing to do with a person’s gender. As you would see later on in this article, men also get emotionally broken. 

Traits of an emotionally broken man

Here are some characteristics that the emotionally broken man will put up at different times. 

1. Hates everything they can’t have 

So the couple next door are having a good time and maybe dancing to a great song playing over the radio? An emotionally abused man would, for no reason, take offense to what they are doing. You’d notice this as him trying to find faults with them. 

He may complain that they are being too loud or even walk over to their place to tell them to keep it down. However, a closer look at him will show that it is not about the music. There is something about the couple’s intimacy that rubs him the wrong way. 

2. Everyone else is always wrong 

Try having a conversation about their past relationships with them, and the emotionally abused man will launch into a long tirade about how all their exes and their friends were total jerks to them. One clear characteristic of an emotionally damaged man is that they are never wrong in their eyes. 

3. Give back what they have gotten 

At some point in their life, the emotionally abused man will end up returning the favors they have been given. They would abuse their partner, gaslight them, stonewall them, or just do anything to make that partner feel the same pain and bitterness they have felt. 

4. Been told that they are toxic and need help

But true to type, the emotionally broken man would take it as an act of treason. They would never see the need to pay special attention to those words, but their cycles of toxicity will only continue. 

15 signs of an emotionally broken man

These are the signs a man is hurt emotionally. Before getting into your next relationship, please take some time to look out for these signs. 

If you find them, there is every possibility that you are about to get involved with an emotionally broken man.  

1. He still lives in his past 

Since he may not want you to see it, an emotionally broken man would usually deal with distrust issues rooted in his past experiences. He may mask these trust issues with a burly facade, but you would find the pain from his past resurfacing in the present at intervals. 

This could include anger, pain, fear of abandonment, and a tendency to lash out at other people and things when he feels threatened. 

2. Withholds investing in the present relationship 

One of the most apparent signs of a broken-hearted man is that he finds it exceedingly challenging to commit himself to present relationships. This is simply a result of his past experiences and the nagging feeling that whatever he dealt with in the past will only resurface with time. 

The emotionally broken man believes that he is better off holding back to keep from spiraling down the rabbit hole of pain twice. 

Related Reading: 15 Tips on How to Stay Committed in a Relationship

3. Epic and seamless mood swings

One second he is on top of the world, being the life of the party and making you have fun. The next second, he hits rock bottom and even you can’t admit that this is the same guy from just a few minutes ago. 

Research has looked at mood swings’ characteristics and has noted various reasons for these mood swings, including emotional distress.

If your man has multiple inexplicable mood swings, you may want to determine if he has had any emotionally jolting experiences in his past. 

4. Consider expressing his love as being ‘weak’ or ‘needy.’

He loves you; you know it, and he knows it as well. However, suppose he finds it difficult to express his love and attraction toward you but believes (for some reason) that you should be able to put two and two together. In that case, you may just be dealing with an emotionally broken man. 

5. Self-esteem is always low 

It is okay to feel shy sometimes, but if your man has an acute case of low self-esteem (especially at those times when he should act and feel confident), you may want to double-check if he is emotionally broken.  

Emotionally broken men deal with low self-esteem, and most times, this low self-esteem stems from the experiences they have had in the past. 

6. Unhealthy quest for success

Everyone wants to be a success, who receives the award for team member or entrepreneur of the year. However, an emotionally broken man resorts to pursuing career goals (and smashing them) because he seeks the highs that come from knowing that he isn’t completely good for nothing. 

If your man would rather spend his life on his work than on building a healthy relationship with you, you may want to do some digging. 

7. Engages in common vices 

More often than not, the emotionally broken man will indulge in common vices that men go after. If he cheats on you, uses drugs, clubs incessantly, and spends his time indulging in other vices that negatively affect the relationship, it could be because he is trying to hide the real challenge he is facing. 

His engagement in those vices wouldn’t be because he is a bad person. It may just be his way of letting go of his past. 

8. Doesn’t appreciate your efforts but is terrified of losing you 

This is arguably one of the most dangerous signs of an emotionally broken man. He puts up a front like he doesn’t see and appreciate your efforts in the relationship. If you don’t know better, you will assume that he doesn’t want to make things work. 

However, the day you work up the courage to talk to him about it, you will notice a side of him you never knew existed. If he ever suspects that you are about to end the relationship, you will find him on his knees, begging and pleading with you not to go. 

Your man’s horror at the prospect of losing you could be a result of many things. However, you would notice from this that despite what a broken man would want you to believe, the emotionally broken man understands your role in his life.  

9. Always touchy about his past 

Innocently ask him a question about his past (especially about the experiences that are traumatizing in his past), and you may be positively shocked at the way he would respond.  

In the best-case scenario, the emotionally damaged man will find a diplomatic (but not so unnoticeable) way of changing the subject. In the worst-case scenario, he may burst out or lash out at you and make you feel as though you are prying. 

Research has shown that relationship satisfaction and open communication are interrelated. It is because of this connection that relationships flourish when your partner discusses past experiences with you openly and honestly.

These reactions are simply his mind’s way of protecting itself from reliving bad experiences from the past. 

10. Never takes responsibility for his mistakes 

When he messes up in the relationship and you call him out, he always looks for a way to explain away what he has done. He may try to manipulate you, intimidate you, or even play down on your feelings/emotions just to evade taking responsibility for the mess he has made.

When you have seen him avoiding taking responsibility for his actions for a while, you may want to take some time to assess the relationship and the direction it is headed critically. Resist the urge to try learning how to fix a broken man. That may do more harm to you than you ever imagined. 

Watch this video to learn more about taking responsibility in relationships by not being defensive:

11. Someone in your life has told you so 

As much as you may want to believe that the people in your life do not know what’s up with your relationship, that may not be a complete truth. 

If you have ever taken part in your relationship with people close to you, like your close friends/family (even if it was just for dinner with the siblings), you may be surprised to know what they gleaned from the short time they spent with you. 

If at any point, someone in your life (who you trust their decisions/judgment) has hinted that he is an emotionally broken man, you may want to pay closer attention to their words.  

If possible, find out what sponsored that comment and listen to what they have to say. You may just end up positively shocked. 

12. No emotional intimacy, but always down for sex 

If your man is quick to jump into bed with you and quick to jump out immediately after the deed is done, you may want to take things slowly. 

Take a critical look at the relationship. Is sex all that your man wants from you? Does he spend time trying to connect emotionally with you? Do you even talk about the things that matter? 

Yes? Great! 

No? You may just be dealing with a broken man. 

13. Always appears perfect

The keyword here is ‘appear.’ 

If you suspect something off and ask him about it, he would most likely tell you that it is all good. The emotionally broken man does his best never to admit mistakes or flaws. This could be because he was taught not to. 

14. Unaffected by your emotions

Even if you break down in tears over something, he is most likely going to keep staring at you without any impact of your feelings on his face. One thing you should know about an emotionally broken man is that empathy isn’t his strongest forte.

Related Reading: How to Overcome Emotional Repression in Your Relationship

15. Painfully sensitive 

It is difficult to let down your guard when you are with him because it feels that you perpetually have to walk on eggshells. He may take jokes too seriously, even if they are jokes he used on you earlier. To him, questioning his actions may be interpreted as defamation of character. 

Does the emotionally broken man love differently?

As much as we have discussed 15 signs that he is emotionally broken, here’s how his emotional state may cause him to express love differently. 

1. With him, emotional intimacy is a battle 

Because of the things he has been through in the past, he may find it difficult to be emotionally open with his partner. This, however, does not negate the fact that he would still want his partner to reach out to him and satisfy his emotional needs.  

He just isn’t cut out for returning the favor. 

2. Saying that he is stoic wouldn’t be a complete lie 

Have you ever tried reaching out to him, only to meet with a brick wall so tricky to breakthrough? No matter what he feels, the emotionally broken man will never show his emotions. 

On the flip side, some emotionally broken men may end up becoming overly dramatic. This group of men becomes extremely sensitive and touchy. 

3. He believes everyone is out to harm him 

As a result, he would rather keep people at arm’s length than allow them close to his heart again. As far as he is concerned, there isn’t any need to live through the pain again. 

So, he protects himself by creating an emotional world of his own. He would never let anyone into that world, not even a romantic partner. 


If you have ever wondered what it means to be a broken man, this article has shed light on who the emotionally broken man is.  

Before committing to your next relationship (or, even if you are in a committed relationship now), take out some time to examine the relationship. If you discover that you are with an emotionally damaged man, you may want to break from the relationship, so you don’t become emotionally traumatized.

Characteristics Of A Broken Person—Love When You Feel Emotionally Broken — Kim Salyer, LMFT

Written By Kimberly Salyer

If you’re feeling emotionally broken after a traumatic experience, you’re not alone. Many people who have been abused feel broken and incapable of being in a romantic and intimate relationship. But just because you’ve gone through something difficult and come out on the other side doesn’t make you broken. It makes you strong.

There are several characteristics of someone who feels like a broken person. You may identify with some or all of these. I want you to know that while you may feel broken, you aren’t. People are not “broken” or “fixed.” We all exist on an emotional spectrum.

Just because something terrible happened to you that makes it hard for you to get close to people doesn’t mean that you are broken or that something is wrong with you. But for the sake of using language that resonates, I’ll reference the characteristics of a broken person and what it feels like to be emotionally broken. But I want to emphasize that you are none of those things.

Hi, I’m Kim Salyer, a trauma therapist in Pleasanton specializing in trauma. Let’s dive in.

Characteristics of Someone Who Feels Like a Broken Person

People who feel emotionally broken have low-self esteem and tend to be unhappy. You may feel hopeless or in despair. Perhaps you feel inadequate or unworthy of love. Of course, none of these things are true, but they’re common for people who believe they are broken.
Some other characteristics of a broken person are having toxic beliefs about dating, love, and sex. You may get upset when you see people who are happy and in love. You might see potential romantic partners as opponents. People who feel emotionally broken would rather be alone than burden others with their brokenness.

Often people who think they’re broken are afraid. Maybe you’re afraid no one will find you attractive. Or just the opposite – what if someone does find you attractive, then what do you do? There’s also fear that if someone gets to know the “real you” they’ll run away or hurt you.

You may be insecure and choose romantic relationships or dates based on what you think other people expect from you and not what you actually want. Maybe you don’t know what you want because you’re afraid that you’re not enough for anyone. 

If you’ve experienced abuse of any kind you may, understandably, have commitment issues. You may also have had to defend yourself verbally or physically in previous relationships. This can lead to a pattern of becoming abusive towards others.

These characteristics of a broken person are all a result of what happened to you. The part that matters is what you do next. If you find yourself feeling any of these things, it’s important that you seek counseling to help assuage your fears, increase your self-esteem, and help you work through the emotional aftermath of abuse so that you can have healthy relationships.

Signs You Are Not Emotionally Broken

I understand that the characteristics of a broken person I’ve laid out may resonate loudly with you. But now it’s time to look at all the signs that you’re not emotionally broken. And if you’re not there yet, these are things to aspire to and work on in emotional trauma therapy.

You’re not emotionally broken if you’re willing to be open to the possibility of love. You’re able to be vulnerable with another human being despite being afraid that they’ll run away from you. You still have the ability to love, no matter what difficulties you’ve been through.

Despite the trauma you’ve endured, and however you’ve responded to trauma so far, you are able to communicate your needs and desires to another person. You’re able to talk about what happened to you, whether it’s with a counselor, a friend, or a significant other.

You’re able to communicate your needs, especially when it comes to physical intimacy if you’ve been sexually abused, and talk to your partner about what does and doesn’t work for you. You can communicate when you feel overwhelmed, have a flashback, or start to dissociate. You allow other people in, despite feeling emotionally broken.

Falling in Love With a Damaged Person

I don’t like calling anyone “damaged,” but many of my clients believe that they are. If you feel damaged and broken, you may not see that you are worthy of love. But there are plenty of people who do love you. If you let them in, you might just find love more easily than you thought.

For people who are falling in love with someone who believes they are damaged and broken, it’s important to think about a few things. You need to be able to tell the person who thinks they’re broken that you accept them for who they are. Be willing to share your deepest, darkest secrets and fears with that person in order for them to trust you completely.

Listen to them without judgment when they tell you why they think they’re broken. Show that you’re willing to be there for them no matter what, no matter how difficult things may get.

It’s not going to be easy. You’ll need to have a lot of patience. You might need to wait longer than you would like for physical or emotional intimacy.

Make sure to let your partner who feels they are emotionally broken know that you love all of them, not just the parts they think are good. Make it clear that while you see and hear them, none of what happened to them was their fault and that you don’t begrudge them for symptoms of PTSD or any trauma triggers that occur during the relationship.

Give them space while still letting them know that you’re there when they need you. Show them with your actions, not just words, that you accept them for who they are. Demonstrate that you are falling or are in love with the person they are, not the horrible things that happened to them

How Does a Broken Person Heal?

The first step to healing from trauma is to talk about what happened to you. Attend emotional trauma therapy. Talk to friends, family, and your romantic partner. Start learning to love yourself for who you are.

With help, you can realize that you aren’t actually broken. Something bad happened to you that caused you to disconnect from the world and feel so much pain that you didn’t know how to connect with someone else.

You’ll heal with time. Having a partner who is patient, kind, and understanding of all your hang-ups and difficulties, once you’ve let them in, will also be healing. Going through difficult moments, such as a sexual trigger if you’ve been sexually assaulted, and still coming out on the other side with your partner, who is still there, loving and holding you, will make you so much stronger.

You can heal from trauma that has left you feeling emotionally broken. I’m here to help. Contact me to set up a free 20-minute consultation. Together we’ll help set you up for success in relationships and all the aspects of your life that feel broken.

Kimberly Salyer

About signs of a broken person

For some reason, many people ignore emotional pain when it comes from people, but it's important to remember that we all suffer to some degree. Emotional pain is bad for us, whether we want to admit it or not.

Men are considered a masculine and rude type by women, but not all of them fit into this stereotype. The same can be said about women in relation to female stereotypes, according to men. Sometimes people find it difficult to express their feelings. Therefore, it is unlikely to know what is happening now in a person’s soul. nine0003

The most common symptoms of a broken person:

  • Faded look downcast. Sighs often. He sits hunched over, cringing. He walks without courage, doomed, as if something hurts;
  • Moves away, avoids those who did not help when there was despair;
  • Gives up hobbies, sports, walks;
  • Stops visiting and calling;
  • Does not show enthusiasm in cooking and eating tasty things: eats mechanically. Sometimes he refuses to eat at all; nine0010
  • In general, he ceases to be an enthusiast. If he shows it, then he is pathetic, nervous. This is the straw of a drowning man;
  • Spends a lot of time lying down;
  • Began to get sick often.

Below is a list of things people do when they feel emotionally broken. When you notice a person in your life doing these things, ask them if they are okay. Show him that you are ready to turn your shoulder at the right time.

Sometimes ordinary communication is necessary to cheer up. But not on everyday topics, of course. nine0003

So, 5 signs of a broken person

1. He never talks about his problems

If your interlocutor refuses to talk about what is happening in his life, most likely, he does not want to burden you with his problems. When a person closes his emotions, then our inner self is suppressed. But this can be fixed with a heart-to-heart talk.

2. Everything goes to extremes with him.

Outwardly, a person may seem completely normal, but inside he struggles with himself every day. It makes up for this by improving and maintaining the look more than before. However, when it comes to completing tasks, he takes things to extremes. A dark barrier has now formed around him, due to which he cannot perform any action normally. nine0003

3. He seems colder from time to time

Have you ever noticed a change in your friend, partner or colleague? This could be a sign that he is currently struggling with something. From this, such factors of emotions appeared. Anger, aggression, stress, or vice versa, constant silence are all common symptoms of emotional brokenness.

It happens that a person withdraws from everyone, even when a small problem arises, which is not difficult to solve. However, due to the barrier built around them, he believes he can't handle her. That's why they try their best to get away from it. nine0003

4. He keeps his emotions in check

A person doesn't really say everything he really wants. It is difficult for him to accept his weak side. He understands and knows that if he accepts it, then all this negative turmoil will immediately surface.

5. He stopped trusting

He stopped trusting people, he is afraid to enter into relationships or vice versa falls into co-dependence, he does almost all things on his own.

In conclusion...

So, it has come to the point that being around an emotionally broken person is difficult. BUT! You have to weigh the good with the bad and decide if a relationship with this person is worth something to you or not. nine0003

If you really want to help this person, then share his sadness and take the brunt of his problems. Help him get through these obstacles. If a person has started himself, then seek help from a specialist. Well, if for some reason you don’t want to go to a specialist, we recommend you a course on the power of internal support from the NeuroDao school of change.

Dear readers, have you ever been in situations where a person was emotionally broken? What did you do in such cases? Tell us about it in the comments! nine0003

The online psychology magazine "Hard-Life" was in touch.

12 Signs You're Dating an Emotionally Broken Man

We all go through a lot of trials throughout our lives, however, while women tend to talk about their pain, men prefer to remain silent. Some are afraid of being branded as weak, others believe that “men don’t cry”, and therefore they are used to keeping everything in themselves.

Do not be afraid and do not avoid such partners: most likely, something happened to such a person at some point and concerned a specific part of life; however, this does not mean that there is something wrong with him. Usually, men who are considered "broken" do not realize that they are "broken" at all. After all, each of us has problems, and we solve them in our own way. Not everything and not at once, not all with the same success, but we are not gods, and therefore it would be naive to expect perfection and impeccability in everything. nine0003

Indeed, when a man is broken and traumatized in the past, this is obvious. For some, it is obvious, for others, by subtle signs. The important thing is that pain and suffering did not break him completely, but on the contrary, they made him what he is now. And this is only worthy of praise and admiration: the man survived, became stronger, wiser and more resilient.

Here are twelve signs that the man you are dating is broken:


  1. 1. He lacks self-confidence. nine0010
  2. 2. He tries to control everything.
  3. 3. He distances himself from you without realizing it.
  4. 4. He is afraid to open up and work on relationships for real.
  5. 5. He gives up easily.
  6. 6. It's hard for him to let go.
  7. 7. He is very careful.
  8. 8. He prefers being alone.
  9. 9. He doesn't give other people a second chance.
  10. 10. He doesn't like to talk about the past.
  11. 11. He is not easy to trust.
  12. 12. He constantly compares himself with others. nine0010

1. He lacks self-confidence.

When a person has to be broken, it leaves a mark for a very long time. And first of all, self-confidence suffers. Such a man does not believe in his abilities, looks at the future very critically, often worries about what they will say or think about him.

He thinks that women who want to be with him deserve much better. As a result, he tries to please, earn love, or, conversely, sneers at feelings in every possible way so as not to experience pain and suffering again. nine0003

2. He tries to control everything.

Broken people lack something inside, so they worry and worry much more than others. In order to somehow calm down, they try to control everything and everyone. This gives the illusion that they can predict something bad in order to warn.

The saddest thing is that such men begin to control those they love. From the best of intentions, but that doesn't make it any easier for anyone. That is why a girl who meets such a broken man needs to make sure that he does not subconsciously turn her into his toy. He will love and care, but he will deprive of freedom. Such relationships have no future. nine0003

3. He distances himself from you without realizing it.

When a person is in pain, he or she will do everything to prevent it from happening again. This means that he will try to stay at such a distance from people that they can no longer strike.

It should be noted that a man who does this sincerely does not even know about it. This is his natural reaction, and occurs at the level of instincts. So you can guess what is happening only by barely perceptible signs. Distancing is his defense, his attempt to "rewrite life" so as not to suffer again. Often, he can be so "carried away" that he even breaks the connection completely. This option seems more forgiving to a broken person than vulnerability and openness. He no longer intends to take risks, but love is always a risk ...

4. He is afraid to open up and work on the relationship for real.

Being broken means having a sad experience when a person tried, believed, gave all his best, and everything ended in disappointment and pain. That's why he decided that this would not happen again - he would be more careful. As a result, a situation arises that you are working on relationships, giving your best, and he is half-hearted. This does not mean that he does not like or value them - he is simply afraid of repeating the previous scenario. He holds back and hides his true feelings and intentions, he looks and listens, he thinks...

In fact, such a man is simply afraid to give everything again and get a knife in his heart. After all, then, as it seems to him, there will no longer be strength left to love and live on.

5. He gives up easily.

When a man gives up easily, it means that he has been let down and betrayed very often in life. That is why he decided that nothing good can be expected from anyone or from anything, and you can only count on yourself. It's easier for him to think like that, it's easier for him to live like that. It seems to him that this will secure him in the future. nine0003

That's why when something doesn't work, he just gives up. And to come up with a thousand excuses why, something is impossible or does not make sense, this is what broken people are real masters of.

6. It is difficult for him to let go.

Those men who have been broken tend to hold on to what needs to be let go too tightly and too stubbornly.

That's why all your quarrels they will scroll through their heads countless times. Remembering old grievances, who told whom and how, procrastinate and reflect on it... Such an approach can drive a rather dangerous wedge between you. nine0003

7. He is very careful.

Because of all that he had to endure, such a man became very cautious. It seems to him that before he was too careless, for which he paid. In fact, he is more cautious than anyone else, because he knows that losing what he believed in is very painful. And go through it again - he won't be able to stand it...

8. He prefers loneliness.

It is very difficult for a broken person to cope with emotions, and even more difficult to speak out loud about what he feels and what he is going through. Therefore, he rarely voices these things. nine0003

When something happens in such a man's life, he closes and prefers to experience everything alone.

9. He does not give other people a second chance.

You will have to come to terms with this: if you make a mistake (and we are all human, we make mistakes), then a broken man will not give you a second chance. And not because he is heartless or cruel. The thing is different: such a person burned himself with milk, so he even blows on water. This means that you are more likely to say goodbye. You can argue as much as you want about how wrong this is, but that's how it is. nine0003

Such a man gives people exactly one chance. If you did not justify the trust, caused pain - this is the end of the relationship.

10. He doesn't like to talk about the past.

When it comes to talking about the past, a broken person avoids such topics at all costs. He does not want to open up and does not allow others to "crawl" into the soul too frankly. This frightens and disturbs him.

Everything that still hurts and hurts is only his problem, and outsiders are not allowed to enter. nine0003

11. He is not easy to trust.

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