What Can Men and Women Learn From Each Other?
One of the most unnatural traits for any man is machismo. If you locked a group of guys into a room with a couple of rocks and sticks, they’d build a fire and barbecue the smallest guy in there. If you put the same items into a room with a group of women, they’d assort the rocks into chairs and have a group therapy session. It is true that men withhold sensitivity, while a good portion of women are drowning in it. However, the solution is really quite simple. I’d like you two to meet your new best friends, Mr. Sensitive and Mrs. Not-So-Much.
The Dribbling Creek and Gushing River
Society dictates for men to withhold emotions, and women to gush them. The result is a man who feels isolated and cut off from support, even though he is surrounded by people who love him. Withholding his emotions is choosing to retreat to a cave, where the entire world is left to rest on his shoulders. This singular focus leaves a man lonely, tired, and cynical. Women, tend to overreact to emotional situations when a man isn’t as tactful as he could be. Having these feelings rise to the surface, only to bounce off Mr. Practical’s patented anti-emotion shield; she is left feeling anxious and depressed.
Most psychologists agree that men should embrace their feelings more, while women could exercise a little self-restraint. Men gain an ally when they share their thoughts with the women they love. Women remove the fear men have of being part of a “ball session,” when they control their emotions, and learn to question his intentions, rather than react to them. Often, men will regrettably say things they don’t mean, and by questioning him, you can give him the chance to apologize or clarify. Men naturally retreat when too much emotion gets thrown their way, so sometimes the best way to relate is to communicate on his own terms.
It’s Not Always What You Say, But How You Say It
Men are guilty as charged with trying to help women, and doing it in the most pragmatic ways possible. Women, hear these helpful tips, but the well-meaning insight is often lost in his impatience, cynicism, bluntness, and superiority. Women base their interactions on other people’s feelings, which is why when a guy just comes right out and says it like he thinks it; she may feel attacked. Being Mr. Sensitive means being delicate enough to a woman’s feelings to know how to offer assistance without putting yourself in her line of fire.
For the women, exercising restraint is giving yourself a pass from always having to be warm and agreeable, and looking at situations from a more pragmatic viewpoint. If you can remove your emotional investment, it may help you see a situation the way it is. It is also highly recommended to avoid all female powwows, where the conversation is rallied by sentences starting with, “he said this, and then he said that…” Studies show the only good that ever comes from tattletale bull sessions, is making yourself feel even worse. Read a book, go for a walk, and come back to the problem once you’re ready to think of solutions, rather than dwell on feelings.
“Picking your battles is of utmost importance. Sometimes we take things too personally, when in reality 99% of what a person does is not about us.” – Giovanna ext. 5214
Meeting in the Middle
One lesson that men and women can learn from each other is that their biggest weakness can become their partner’s greatest strength. Men need to understand that sensitivity is not about balling his eyes out in a pile of tissue while watching films like P.S. I Love You. A sensitive man is attuned to his relationships, which means he can be compassionate, thus avoiding the cold shoulder, because he has placed a warm fuzzy in its place. Women, on the other hand, need to learn to let certain emotions go, before creating a one-act play out of them that they spontaneously perform after each heated debate or female retreat.
Men prefer to express themselves through action, while women like to communicate via verbal exchange. Mr. Sensitive should offer his full attention whenever Mrs. Not-So-Much wants to talk, and if she feels the urge to spring a leak, she should warn him in advance, so he has time to get on his “relationship” preserver (a.k.a. Mr. Empathy)!
“Relationships are hard. To say they aren’t is a lie, but the best things in life are the ones we have to work at constantly, and still enjoy.” – Lacy ext. 5494
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