1. Songbird21
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    Songbird21 Member

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    Would a guy ........?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Songbird21, Jul 13, 2014.

    I need some guys input here. I'm working on my novel and there have been several instances where I'm not sure if a reaction to stimulus was too "feminine".

    If a guy was face with news such as hearing a friend's house burned down would he ever gasp and have his hand fly to cover his mouth? Like this: http://ronwhitetraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/woman-hands-over-mouth.jpg

    If a guy is told he's going to die in the next year, would he cry? Even as little as his eyes misting over? Same question for if a guy decides he's going to do something for the greater good that would make it so he'd never see his mother again?

    If a guy is told something very surprising that is happy would he gasp and put his hands on each side of his face. Like this: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/happy-man-hands-face-28126082.jpg
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    No.

    Maybe, depending if he was alone or with others. The mother thing, probably not.

    No.
     
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  3. Juju Bagdasarian
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    Juju Bagdasarian Member

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    i'ts been so long since i have been in this forum , and i found a question that i can answer since i am a guy :p

    Of course it depends on how manly do you present your characters but usually no, we wouldn't put our hands in front of our mouths , we would go and try to help our friend or at least call him. maybe i would be speechless for a split second but shit happens, and this particular one is something i actually experienced few years back.

    Second question, maybe we would cry but not in front of anyone. i would feel better when i am alone and even then i don't really think i would :p (i know to manly XD ), as for part b of the question i would shed a couple of tears maybe :p.

    Last question, Just no :p
    maybe i am an ass i don't know :p
     
  4. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends, is the answer to all three. It depends on your character, when it happens, it depends on how someone is raised and their culture, asking if a guy would do this or that is pointless, it depends on the guy. The typical guy might be a No to all three, but a woman might just as easily be No to all three. in my option I'm not sure you can develop a good character based on a generic gender-type, it all depends on the character.
     
  5. J Faceless
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    J Faceless Active Member

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    1-no
    2- I think it'd be the opposite. hed probably be prideful
    3- no
    Depends on the guy, but if we're talking in general terms then I would say no. We tend to keep our emotions drowned deep with a bottle of whiskey. Maybe that's just my Irish up bringing talking.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My view is that they're all considered "feminine", but I also see the first and third as "learned"--that they're not natural, instinctive gestures. Crying, on the other hand, is a natural instinctive action. How do I know this? I don't, it's just my guess.

    A man who wants to make a point of presenting himself as manly is unlikely to use learned gestures that society considers feminine even when off guard, because he would have resisted learning them in the first place. Instinctive actions like crying might instead happen whether you want them to or not.

    So I think that the first and third won't happen unless the guy at some point willingly added them to his vocabulary of gestures, while either example of crying might happen.

    Edited to add: Which makes me imagine a consciously manly-man character like, say, Jane from Firefly, who as a small boy used these gestures because his mother found them adorable, and then tried to drop them as he got older, but to his great annoyance he just can't break the habit.

    Edited again to add: Oh. I should clarify that I'm not a guy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  7. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    first one, I would think no. Yes there would be concern, more of a sort of blank face and then perhaps his hand on the shoulder of the guy whose house burnt down and an offer of help if help's needed.

    Second one, I think more shock, stunned silence. Crying might come later, if he's alone or if he's with a loved one (female) who is crying about the perceived loss. And then perhaps anger at the world for letting him down.

    Third one, the surprising but happy thing, I think he would just put on a very happy grin, as if showing the outside world that he knew everything was going to be alright in the end. Definitely not a 'Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality winning the contest' kinda hands to mouth reaction.
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I would cry like a little bitch if I knew I was going to die.
     
  9. Songbird21
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    Songbird21 Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. They are a great insight.

    So for the first question, a bit of an expansion----how about just gasping? Do guys generally gasp in surprise?
     
  10. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Maybe not so much of a gasp, perhaps more of a "really?" or "are you shitting me?"
     
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  11. Wuggums47
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    Wuggums47 New Member

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    Most men do cry, wether they like to admit it or not, but all of the gestures you described sound very camp. Maybe you can have you main character be gay.
     
  12. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't make your character gay just so you can have him show emotion.

    1. I have never seen the gasp/hands over mouth from a man. I can't recall offhand seeing gasping by itself from a man either.
    2. It's very conceivable that a man would cry if he knew he was going to die soon. If he tried to cover it up, he might wait until he was alone to cry (or he might make an excuse to leave the room).
    3. Depends on the situation, but I would say it's again very conceivable that a man would cry if he knew he would never see his mother again. It's similar to her dying, and not many people won't cry some when their mother dies.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    For the record, most people don't cry upon hearing the diagnosis of a terminal disease. The initial reaction is more like stunned. It doesn't feel real. Later when it becomes real to the person one might see depression with or without crying.
     
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  14. Songbird21
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    Songbird21 Member

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    Oh heck no. He's the love interest for the main character anyway, who is female.
     
  15. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    No. Men are always ready for everything.

    On a serious note, me and my guys usually show surprise through our facial expressions, which almost certainly involve our eyes.
     
  16. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I will answer for myself as a guy:

    1. No, I never gasp or cover my mouth in shock. In this case, my eyes would communicate all my shock, and I would be speechless and silent for a couple seconds before asking if he is okay. (Assuming it is not the friend himself who is telling me.)

    2. No, my first reaction to learning I am terminally ill would not be sadness. I would be stunned. Then terrified -- of suffering and of dying. The fight or flight response would kick into full gear and I would have a panic attack. (Which opens a whole new can of worms for depicting nonverbal communication, but I recommend watching how James Gandolfini portrays panic attacks as Tony Soprano. He does it so realistically that it is uncomfortable for me to watch. Except that I never pass out. I also get intense pinprick-like tingling on my chest, arms, and back, so you would probably see me flinching from those areas and rubbing them to try to soothe them. But you can see all of Tony's anxiety in his face, especially his eyes. Watch his face at 0:50 when he is driving.) Only after the reality sinks in and I have nothing left to fear would I have time to be sad.

    3. No, I would probably not do anything with my hands -- just raise my eyebrows and give a big, goofy grin.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  17. Chad Lutzke
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    Chad Lutzke Member

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    No, most men don't gasp or put their hand over their mouth. Their mouth may open with a look of shock...or even a facepalm or hand on the forehead and then through the hair, palming the head like it's a basketball kind of thing.

    The crying when hearing about dying thing would come eventually, most likely when alone, but probably not right away. It would depend on the situation. Is it news he's hearing for the very first time or has he had some time to wonder if that's the case? If he's had time to think about it like waiting on a doctor's report that could be bad then perhaps he would start crying immediately, or at least heavily tear up. News like that strikes several different emotions at different stages...and definitely no to the gasp and the hands on the side of his face. That's got femme written all over it. More like a tight-fisted punch to the air followed by some sort of yell. "Yes!"..or even just an internal sigh where he would tilt his head toward the sky, inhale deeply putting his hands together in front of his lips (like praying hands but without praying) closing his eyes and smiling with relief; maybe even shaking his head in almost disbelief at the great news/event.


    ~Chad Lutzke
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  18. AlannaHart
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    I can't imagine anyone's reaction to hearing a friend's house burning down would be the whole gasp and hand to the mouth thing. That's more like a cartoon reaction. Sure some people do it, but it definitely doesn't strike me as a realistic reaction to that news. I imagine even the most feminine of people would be more likely to react with 'WHAT?' or 'Oh, God!' and be too stunned to bother with silly gestures. Of course, with some it's almost involuntary, but I don't see many chicks react to serious news like that, let alone men.
    Same thing for the last example. People who react that way usually strike me as fake regardless of gender but I can't imagine a man doing that unless he was incredibly flamboyant.
    As for finding out he has terminal cancer or never seeing his mother again, crying isn't out of the question, but probs not in company.
    Have you ever met a man? Surely you've noticed these things.
     
  19. Bryan Romer
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    Burning house - No. Perhaps raised eyebrows, widening of the eyes etc, more from surprise than exaggerated demonstrations of horror. May be a "Huh?", "Damn!" or "What?"

    Death diagnosis - Unlikely that he would cry. I now I wouldn't. I've been deathly ill before and have been in situations where I might have died violently. I become very calm, emotionless. Some might run their hands through their hair or shake their heads in denial.

    Extreme surprise and joy - Waving clenched fists, jumping, maybe cry/whoop of joy.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Depends on the guy. Neither would be "typical" for a guy, but gender behavior is not hard and fast. The second is, in fact, associated with a particular guy: Macaulay Culkin.

    Also, the tone of the section narrative makes a difference. Comic effect is always an option.
     
  21. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    To be fair, I wouldn't do any of those as a girl. :p In private, maybe, but definitely not in public. It really depends on the kind of personality your guy has--some boys are quite 'sensitive', perhaps you're aiming for that. If no, you might want to cut down on the feeling part of this fella.
     
  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I see your point. When I look at that photo, it feels more like the person is being pleasurably shocked by celebrity gossip, rather than genuinely horrified by something.
     
  23. wulliam
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    wulliam New Member

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    My first serious post...

    1) Never. Eyes would widen and teeth might clench. Furrowed eyebrows too.
    2) No. He'd be silent, trying to take the news on board. He'd question it too - are the facts right?
    3) No. His jaw might hit the floor and a slow smile would spread from ear to ear.

    Hope that's some help :)
     
  24. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    1 and 3 are a definite no.

    In fact, nobody behaves like that in real life, man or woman. Maybe a handful of exceptions, but outside of childish TV tropes, no, people don't behave like that.
     
  25. PensiveQuill
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    I think the question needs to be would anyone over the age of 6 do that.....? These are the kinds of expressions I witness on small children but rarely adults. Socialisation teaches us not to react in that kind of way to stimuli and most people learn very quickly to bottle up their reactions and then only express it through more subtle means. The more intense the stimuli, the greater the adult's effort to cover it up and then deal with the strong emotions in private.

    It's easy for me because I work in a public facing job, I see hundreds of faces a day and just as many reactions to stimuli good, bad and indifferent. Some people laugh at negative stimuli, but it's still just a coverup for the pressure they are feeling internally. In actual fact the difference in expression between men and women isn't remarkably great. The John Gray books did the world a dis-service by asserting that all woman talk their problems out and all men withdraw. That's not the case, not even in the majority of the time. It comes down to the individual personality of that person.

    One pattern I have observed is that men are more likely to assert themselves (ask for what they want) than women in a stressful situation, who tend to require others to intuit their needs.
     

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