If it seems like it’s harder for you to share negative information with other people, you’re not alone. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology outlines the differences in how men and women act when they have bad news to share and how much they both worry about others’ perception.
The research involved three experiments with more than 1,000 participants. In the end, the study found that men are less inclined to share negative experiences than women, possibly because of concerns how they’ll be perceived socially. When it comes to positive information, however, both men and women are equally likely to share. Meanwhile, women overall feel more satisfied with their level of disclosure compared to men.
“The results from these studies present a robust systematic pattern of differences in disclosure along gender lines: Men experience a weaker psychological desire to disclose and are less likely to act on that desire,” the study authors said. “However, the results from the first two studies revealed a consistent, and to the best of our knowledge not previously identified, nuanced pattern: The tendency for women to disclose more than men depends crucially on the valence of the information shared. Men and women exhibit a similar desire and likelihood to disclose positive information, but men have a substantially lower desire and likelihood to disclose negative information than women.”
Men are often more closed off with their thoughts and emotions, so the results should come less as a surprise and more of an encouragement to share all experiences—whether positive or negative—with those around you.