Girls, have you ever thought, “Heaven help me understand the male race.”? Our relationship with members of the opposite sex can provide us love and belonging and healthful body chemistry. But when these relationships aren’t going well, they create a lot of stress, frustration, isolation and grief, all which create bad chemistry… elevated adrenalin, cortisol, suppressed dopamine and suppressed immunity that wreck your body and your peace of mind.
In this post you’ll learn 3 secrets to understanding the men and boys in your life that will help you engage with them in healthier ways. As a result of understanding these differences, you’ll begin seeing them as different by design and not as defective in some way. And you’ll begin appreciating these differences instead of berating men for them.
Men are a different race of homo sapien than women. They think differently and form opinions differently and engage with the world differently than women do. Understanding just 3 of these differences may help you view the men in your life with new eyes. Instead of finding them misbehaving often and responding intensely to them, you’ll begin viewing them as acting appropriately for their biological design and see them with greater compassion and appreciation. My favorite part of seeing this new view of men is that it’s allowed the intense woman living inside my head (and in every woman’s head for that matter) to take a long sabbatical and maybe never come back.
If you’ve ever blamed your guy for not listening, or for being selfish, or not caring enough… this post’s for you.
Secret #1: Your capacity for conversation is much larger than his.
Most women expect their man to listen for as long as she wants to talk, and then feel marginalized if he falls asleep or tunes her out before she’s finished. A good thing to know is that men aren’t built with the same capacity for verbally sorting through all that’s going on in a woman’s head. Unlike your girlfriends or sisters, his brain’s a mans brain. And while men love a good story and good conversation, their minds are designed to find and fix, to protect and provide rather than savoring all the subtle nuances of light and shadow a female brain experiences each day. His capacity for listening is usually met long before you can unload every itty bitty detail.
What To Share Instead
Rather than feel frustrated or angry that he’s reached his capacity before you got to the really good stuff, try Choosing 3. Select 3 details to share from your day or your weekend away and if he’d like to know more he can inquire further later. Which he probably will do. Women still need other women who match their capacity for talking and listening to help them sort through and draw out meaning from the details of their lives. Your man is capable of processing and discerning solutions, but he may want to get there much sooner than you do.
Secret #2: He’s focused on only one thing at a time.
One major difference between the way men and women operate is that men tend to be focused on a single task at any given point in time. Unlike women, they don’t have a dozen things flying through their head at once. They’re either watching the ballgame on OR they’re listening to you. Not both. In contrast, women tend to be alerted to multiple inputs all the time. This is how a woman can feed the baby, field a phone call, remember where Johnny left his shoes and keep the stew from burning on the stove…all at the same time. Men are generally amazed that the women they walk with can keep track of so many things at once.
Have you ever asked your man a question while the TV is on, and felt hurt that he ignored your query? He honestly didn’t hear you. Even if there is no noise in the room and he has a magazine in front of him. And two minutes into your explanation he looks up and says, “Were you talking to me?” and you think, “oh. my. word. Who else would I be talking to?” Then we blame our man for being insensitive or uncaring about what we have to say or what we want his help with. His focus is truly on only one thing at a time.
What To Do Instead
Before making a request of your man, be sure you’ve interrupted his single task focus. Then begin giving out valuable information. A soft squeeze on the arm…or a kiss on the cheek will do the trick. He’s far more open to assisting you and providing whatever you need than you think. Set him up for success in providing for you by getting his attention first.
Secret #3: He has a strong and healthy relationship with his needs.
Another notable difference between the sexes is their relationship with their own needs. A mans primal brain, including the almond shaped amygdala is much larger than a womans. The primitive brain knows it’s need for survival and prioritizes those needs (food, sleep, sex). Their survival needs are hardwired into them. Women who bear a much smaller amygdala find their limbic system overriden much more easily by other inputs, the needs of the herd, her partner, the offspring. Largely due to her wiring, a woman gives and adapts away her own needs until soon, she doesn’t know what she wants or needs anymore. She’s forgotten how to take a bubble bath, read a magazine she loves or take care of getting the rest and good food she needs. Women often resent the men in their lives for their more balanced connection with meeting their own basic needs.
Just ask the men in your life, when the last time was that they forgot to pee. If men need to go to the bathroom, this need interrupts their single task focus and zoom, they go to the bathroom and get it done. Women, on the other hand, may easily be distracted on the way to the bathroom by that quick phone call to the school or wiping up the spilled applesauce or finishing the one task at hand before taking a break to pee. Then hours later she realizes that she never did go to the bathroom. Right? Because a woman’s connection to her basic needs can easily be interrupted by what’s going on in her environment, the chances are much higher that something more demanding or seemingly more important will hit her radar and draw her off track from meeting the need. It’s just a much looser connection to her needs than for men.
Men also have the ability to supplant their needs and wants in the moment, but their most basic needs (food, sleep and sex) are hardwired into them. Generally speaking, when a man is hungry, it’s a primal need to feed himself. He’ll want to stop for something to eat on the drive home from work or wander into the pantry for a snack…even though he can see you’re putting the finishing touches on dinner. When he’s tired, he’ll catch some z’s right there on the couch or excuse himself to go to bed while life goes on around him and your world keeps on spinning. Women often blame men for being lazy, or selfish or pigheaded because we don’t, ourselves, exhibit this kind of selfcare. Instead women adapt away their own needs for food, sleep and comfort quite easily and then resent the male race for staying in better balance.
What To Think Instead
Consider that your man’s relationship with his basic needs is healthy and efficient. He’s not waiting around for someone else to monitor his need for sleep or transition time from work, or a morning out doing what he loves regularly. And best of all, he bears no resentment toward you for not filling this need for him. Allow his ease at keeping a better balance to inspire you and grant you his quiet permission to stand up and take care of your own needs too. Enlist his help if you need it, he loves the feeling he gets from providing whatever his woman needs. And right here is a great place to start.
Because women are natural givers and adapters, it may take some focus and introspection to identify what your basic needs are right now. Is it sleep? Are you feeding yourself energy sustaining food? Would treating yourself to some dabble time thumbing through a magazine, going for a hike or taking a bubble bath feel like self-nurturing for you today? By filling your own bucket doing something non-productive that you enjoy just 20 minutes a day, you’ll be delighted at how this activates your feminine energy and helps you feel seen and heard and empowered. If you need your man’s support in order to get this feminizing dabble time, the conversation could look like this.
Having a needs conversation with your man
“Honey, I want to ____________(name the activity). It would help me feel more balanced and calm if that could happen _______(desired time or frequency of activity). Would you be able to provide that for me?” Men are natural, able providers and love to be acknowledged for their role in providing balance, calm, and whatever else their woman sees she needs. No guilting or shaming him if you haven’t made this request before. Just keep it short and sweet and bite your tongue until you get his verbal agreement. Then pour on the praise, “Thank you so much for making that possible for me. I’m pretty excited to have that experience.” Thank him again after your reprieve and use the words “great provider” and “making that possible” and any other flattering terms that fit. He will love it. And it’s your first step to feeling more adored by him.
With these 3 Secrets in your pocket, you’re on your way to awakening to the Intense Woman living inside every girls head. What’s more, learning how to silence her will open your heart to greater peace with the men in your life. For more on The Intense Woman and how she wrecks relationships checkout Trina Glines on Youtube, or her podcast, Elevate Your Marriage and Life. Her 10 week online course, Taming Jane Academy is excellent for opening your mind to appreciate the differences between men and women. You’ll also embrace these differences as beneficial in a marriage and in any male/female partnership. Best of all, Trina unlocks the hidden key for being adored by your man in the way you’ve always wanted. You’ll never regret your investment in learning how to do your part better and with greater ease than you have before.
This knowledge is power!
To your health and happiness,