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What is Emotional Fluency and How Can It Help Men?

An article by Vince Wishart

Man expressing difficult emotions to his friend

Successful Relationships Require Emotional Fluency

80 percent of my clients are men. As I support them in their relationships, I've witnessed a common theme: they often lack emotional intelligence or vocabulary. Their partners or spouses often complain that their men are emotionally unavailable; that they don't know how to connect. This usually leads to protests like "I just want to feel more connected with you", it just feels like you're not there," and "I feel so alone in this". Often the man cares yet his efforts to be responsive are met with frustration and this can be the beginning of a cycle of disconnect in the relationship.

The missing link is that they don't know how to feel and identify their own feelings.

This is called attunement to self. Rebecca likes to quote:

"The extent that I am able to attune to myself is the extent that I am able to attune to others."

A good relationship with yourself is vital to developing relationships with others. Then you can attune to the other. This can't happen if you aren’t able to feel and identify your feelings. Emotional fluency supports intimate connection - with yourself and others. Emotional accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement are the key ingredients for healthy attachment which is the foundation for healthy long-lasting relationships. Without this, a rift gets created, distancing occurs and we all know the story of the man ending up stuck in his man cave without knowing any way through.

Societal Conditioning - Think. Don't Feel.

Many men feel, yet they cannot understand what it is they are feeling. Let's imagine a man: he hasn't learned Emotional fluency because it was not modelled for him as a child. It was never a normalized thing. Can you see how hard it is for him? How alienating him from his feelings alienates him from himself? How is it even possible for him to attune to his mate and their needs? He is not capable currently, but his drive for connection is there. He is torn. He feels a conflict within. One part wants to run and hide in his man cave, while the other part longs for connection with his beloved - if only he knew how to bridge the gap!

He is willing.

Courage to face into the unknown is key.

Many men are taught not to talk about their feelings from a young age. Western society is notorious for favouring thoughts and opinions over feelings and emotions. This impacts everyone in society in more ways than can be described in this blog. In my experience, I have witnessed many men struggle with the conditioning to suppress, exile, and deny their emotions. This leads to an inability to fully feel or identify their feelings and therefore it's difficult for these men to express their emotions. Sadly, though they may feel lots of love toward their partners or spouse, the ability to be emotionally attuned to themselves undermines their ability to attune to the other in the relationship. They may even have a tendency to shut down the other sometimes without even meaning to.

What is Emotional Fluency?

Emotional fluency is the ability to feel, identify, understand, name, communicate, and express emotions in oneself and others. This skill is an expression of empathy & attunement. Most people have this innate capacity but, suppression of feeling dulls this ability. When people have strong emotional fluency skills, they can communicate effectively with others. This is because 80 % of our communication is nonverbal and comes through body language and tone of voice (the realms of emotion). Emotional fluency better equips one to respond appropriately when faced with difficult situations or conversations. Having strong emotional fluency skills can improve relationships, health, career success, and overall quality of life.

Benefits of Emotional Fluency for Men

For men who have been conditioned from an early age not to talk about their feelings or emotions, increasing their emotional fluency can bring many benefits. For example, it can help them develop better relationships by allowing them to listen more effectively and respond more appropriately during disagreements or tense conversations.

Emotional fluency also makes relationships more dazzling, sumptuous, delectable, and so much fun!

It can also help people have healthier relationships by helping them understand each other’s needs better. Furthermore, for those in committed relationships or marriages, having strong emotional fluency skills can lead to a stronger bond between partners as they learn how to express themselves more clearly and openly. Often the underlying cause for the disconnect in sexual intimacy is the disconnect of emotional intimacy.

Moreover, having good emotional fluency skills can improve communication in the workplace as well. Men will be better able to understand colleagues’ needs while being able to express theirs effectively. In addition, improving emotional awareness, empathy, attunement to others, and learning how to read body language or facial expressions could help improve communication with clients or customers which could lead to better business opportunities over time.

There is Hope

You can develop emotional fluency. It is not as challenging as it may feel. I know it can be difficult when it is required and the skills are just not there. There are many skills required yes, and they can be easily learned with support and appropriate practices.


Emotional fluency is an important skill that all men would benefit from developing. As more emotionally aware and communicative individuals, they will be better equipped for success both personally and professionally. By understanding what Emotional Fluency means and how it works, you will become more capable of expressing yourself openly without fear of judgment or criticism.

Now would be a great time for you to start your journey toward a higher level of emotional fluency!

Click the link If you feel called to be supported in a one-on-one session with Vince:

Click the link. If you would like to get on the waiting list for Men’s Peaceful Warrior Circles With that said, Best wishes on your journey!

Vince Wishart

An experienced facilitator, NLP Life Coach, Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, and community builder, Vince has been running men's groups for 6+ years. Read Vince’s Full Bio


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