Sure, you can blame it all on testosterone and alcohol, and sometimes it's about girls or other disagreements, but so many times bar fights erupt for no good reason. And if testosterone and alcohol truly are the culprits, why then does it seem like some boys are more likely to fight than others? Let's take a deeper look.

As people, we all seek ways to leave our mark. We call it "self expression", or the way we channel out our inner thoughts and emotions. We all express ourselves in different ways. For some it's running, some cooking, some dancing, some jumping out of planes, and for some it's writing blogs. However we chose to do it, it is these avenues of expression that help us feel connected to the world and give us identity and purpose.

For millions of young men around the country, this avenue of self expression is athletics. Sports give guys a chance to compete and a chance to do something they're good at. When the athlete reaches high school, they are heralded for their talent. They are given special jackets, pep-rallies, social status, and preferential treatment. Being an athlete becomes the source of their confidence and an area of differentiation from others. Unfortunately, for these young athletes, it doesn't last forever.

Unlike most other avenues of expression, the careers of most young athletes end with their graduation from high school. Suddenly, it's all gone. No more games, no more fans, and no more pep-rallies. For the first time since they were five years old, these young men are forced to identify themselves with something other than athletics; a heavy load for 18 year olds already facing man other changes and challenges.

So what happens next? The young man is forced to find a new place in the world. A different way to connect, express, and find self confidence outside of athletics. Some can deal with it well and quickly evolve. Others however build bitterness and frustration over time as the result of the loss of their hobby and the social status that once came with it. The result of this bitterness and the desire to find away to connect and express athletically can often result in bar fights.

Bar fights are physical competitions that can help give the fighter a sense of pride and superiority. A guy with a well known bar fighting track record can receive respect from his peers and a boost to his social status. In a way, bar fighting fills the void left from the loss of athletics in the young man's life.

Bar fighting however is not a sport, and participants risk hospital bills, jail cells, law suits, or worse; so how do you help someone perpetually getting in fights? Chances are, the guy is not going to want to talk about his feelings, and he may not even understand or admit to what he's feeling and why. Therefore, it's up to the people around them to start the conversation. Get them to talk about missing sports and slowly begin to help them connect athletics and bar fighting. Remind them of the other great things in their life and challenge them to find other avenues of expression. You can't make them stop fighting, but you can help them understand why they are feeling frustrated, and offer other more healthy ways to fill the void left behind.


Did you like “Why Do Guys Fight in Bars”? Did you find it helpful or thought provoking? Click the “Like” button at the bottom and share it with your friends. Also, check out last week’s Deep Thought, “Why Does Your Ex Still Care Who You Date?” And as always, the kiddie pool is nice, but the real fun goes down on the deep end.