You’re crazy. You’re jealous. You’re too emotional.
I recently wrote a post entitled Why We Women Need to Ease Up on Our Men and shared a few ways we women might pull back a bit and have patience with our men, as well as our differences. This wasn’t written from a superior place of judgment, but instead from a place of respect for those differences.
Relationships can be difficult, but knowing a few secrets can make them easier. This post is the other side of the coin, and no I’m not going to shame anyone. I vote for peace between the sexes by honoring our differences. I can’t possibly speak for all women but I can tell you, most of us are tired of being labeled.
The quick sword of a well placed label invalidates how we’re feeling, cuts to the center of our hearts, and makes relating to you feel like a losing battle. Here are a few examples of these labels:
You’re too emotional.
Want to know why we seem so emotional as we become louder and louder, and talk faster and faster while repeating ourselves during a fight? We’re trying to be heard.
Sound of crickets? This isn’t going to make sense but trust me here.
If you’d state the obvious out loud, something like: I can see you’re really upset right now or I can tell you’re really mad right now or I can see you’re really hurt right now, you will diffuse our reaction by 75%. What we really want is to know is that you get our world in that moment.
Next, if you repeat back something we’ve just said to you, we’ll most likely stop in our tracks as the sound of shocked silence descends upon the room. If you try to interpret what we said—this won’t work, but if you repeat back a sentence or two of what we’ve actually said, tears of relief will come.
Hearing us is not the same as taking blame. When we know you get our world in moments of upset, we relax a bit.
Women want to be heard. That’s why listening to us talk with our friends can be so baffling. We want our friends to hear us and we want to hear ourselves. Most women solve problems by merely talking them out over and over again. This might seem counterintuitive to you, but the goal here is simply increased understanding Much of how we problem solve and come to terms with how we’re feeling is through talking. Half the battle is solved if you let a woman know you’ve heard what she’s saying. Defending, explaining, and problem solving shall not end the battle, but hearing her and letting her know you have, does.
“You’re so jealous!”
We want to trust you, but please remember, we all have the primal urge to defend our territory. We know women and we understand seduction. In the back of our minds we’re wondering if that friendly woman you think is oh so nice, might actually be stepping sideways into the territory of our intimacy.
Sure some of us carry heavy baggage filled with scars of betrayal, but most women do trust their men. It’s when we perceive you as taking us for granted and see you turn on the charm towards another woman, that we get nervous. When you stare at another woman, even though we know it’s in your nature to look, somewhere in the back of our mind it feels like huge disrespect in front of another woman. It would be as though you were at a dinner party with a group of people and your woman turned to the man next to her and said, “Harry, would you please help me solve this problem at work? Joe isn’t smart enough.” Yep—it stings just like that.
Admittedly in the beginning of the relationship we might have even pointed out a beautiful woman, but back then everything was new. Let’s face it, over time relationships can get hard. If we see your eyes lingering too long or your charm coming on too strong towards another woman after a particularly rough patch between us, we’re going to be sensitive.
If instead of getting mad at that sensitivity or labeling our behavior as jealous—you wrapped your arms around us, looked into our eyes and said I love you babe, you are who I desire—zillions of fights would dissolve before ever having a chance to take root. Sure that’s extra reassurance that you might wish we didn’t need, but we do. We can continue the gender battle of who’s right and who’s wrong, or we can meet in the middle and work to give one another what we know might ease our differences. (That’s why I wrote the other post.)
“You used to be fun.”
This one knocks a woman off her sensual, self-assured, sexy track so fast it will make you wonder why there’s frost on the sheets between you. You see, we’re still fun, but we’re feeling tired and taken for granted.
See a pattern here? Being taken for granted is the #1 complaint of most women I know—and I’ve coached a lot of them. Yes, it’s a double-edged sword, you don’t feel like investing time with us when we’re complaining, but complaints usually stem from what we perceive as our man not making an effort to be present with us.
What the heck does that mean? It means putting down the phone, stopping the distractions, and spending some quality time eye to eye connecting. Hold our hands, kiss us just because and out of the blue, and make eye contact. Flirt with us a little. Go back to the days before you had us and make the effort to be present. Your presence is the biggest present you can give a woman. When we don’t feel it, we become hyper-sensitive as we try to figure out why. This scenario is no breeding ground for fun and silliness, fun comes from a relaxed and secure woman. Your presence facilitates feelings of relationship security.
When both sexes can successfully negotiate the language and style the other needs, we’ll facilitate peace within our relationships. By speaking in the language a woman needs to feel safe, respected and loved, and by dropping the labels, you meet her half way. And when both sexes drop their stories, baggage, and blame games, we can stand on the bridge of peace together.