Harvard psychologist Dr. William Pollack, author of Real Boys' Voices, says boys are desperate to reveal their true feelings. Many boys wear a "mask," often hiding feelings of sadness, loneliness and vulnerability. Dr. Pollack says that, for many boys, self-worth is tied to their body image. They worry they are not masculine enough.
Parents don't realize how they teach their boys to bury emotions. Simple phrases like "Big boys don't cry" create a lifelong effect, according to Dr. Pollack. Many boys feel they can't express their sadness, so instead they get angry.