Monday, October 20, 2008

An Attitude and Mistake That Can Kill ANY Relationship or Marriage

A reader’s comment on ending a newsletter subscription demonstrates an attitude and a mistake that will kill not just attraction, but any relationship, faster than you can snap your finger and say “Buh-bye!”

Occasionally readers end their subscription to this newsletter, and I invite them to provide a reason or any other commentary on the form. I have an on-going interest in trying to find any reasonable means to improve the scope, content, delivery, convenience, etc.

Once in awhile I get a comment that sparks positive change, sometimes a simple thank you for helping someone to become their own relationship expert, and a few benign comments like they were looking for a different kind of publication, are leaving on vacation and don’t want their e-mail inbox to fill up in their absence, are changing addresses, etc. No problem…

But then there are those few comments that proclaim such a level of “megalithic moronitude” that I have to disclose them here, because they invariably disclose something that the rest of this group, the part with a functioning brain looking for self-improvement and help, can learn from. The following is such a comment:

This lead has unsubscribed by following the link at the bottom of one of your AWeber messages, and decided to provide comments. Why did I receive this email?
http://www.aweber.com/faq_messages.htm#messages6b

Name: zxxxxr
Email:
xxxxxxxx@yahoo.com (e-mail address suppressed
to protect the idiotic)
Signup Date: XX/XX/XX 06:18 AM EST

Comments:
all messages should be in a form of points and alittle comment coz its boring coz itz too long


Ignoring the lack of capitalization and punctuation, grammar and spelling that you couldn’t slip past a kindergarten teacher, and the obvious utter lack of self-respect that this person projects, look at the message:

“I don’t want to read this newsletter because there’s too much information and I get bored. How dare you expect me to listen and think about what you are saying???”

This kind of comment doesn’t make me angry; it makes me pity the poor sap who wrote it. Yes, I’m a bit verbose at times, because I’m writing for a very diverse audience. Some people need a bit more of an explanation than others and a writer has to communicate at the lowest level present in his or her target audience. Others just need a little more help because their situation is worse; emotionally-charged situations make it hard-to-impossible to think rationally. I freely admit that I could make some of these newsletters half as long as they are, but then they would only make sense and be valuable to half as many people or only half as valuable to others.

So what can we learn from this?

This is the second such comment I’ve had that expressed this sentiment out of tens of thousands of e-mails and a few hundred cancelled subscriptions. That means that most people read until they understand, skim the material that appears redundant to them, and start reading thoroughly again when they find a new idea being broached. Why? Because they are motivated to listen and learn!

But what happens when it’s not my newsletter that you’re reading, but instead, it’s your wife, talking round and round, seemingly in an endless circle comprising more laps than a NASCAR event? Do you tune her out until she comes to something new because you don’t care enough about what she’s trying to communicate to listen intently and not be bored?

NO! Hell NO! Because that’s what has put most of us in the dog house more times than we can count! And think about that for a minute; this woman cared enough about you to marry you and you pay more attention to something printed in an e-mail than something that she wants you to know? If this is the case, we can project with astonishing accuracy where your relationship’s problems started!

Guys, I cannot overstress this, even if I talked non-stop about it for a thousand pages or a thousand hours. Listening to a woman talk and hearing what she is trying to make you hear is not like listening to a man, and if you make the mistake of listening to a woman as if she were a man you will live to regret it every time, unless she has a markedly masculine communication style, in which case you most likely would not be reading this newsletter because you’d be getting along quite well. Indeed, many of you have written to me acknowledging that improving communications is the doorway to all other relationship success, including attraction and a return to “normal intimate relations.”

When we men speak to each other and use as few words as possible, we’re doing each other a favor and we know it, because we’re all about results, resolution, keeping things safe, etc., and efficiency is how we get the most things achieved in everything we do. It’s not so with women…


They only rarely, if ever, speak directly about anything. They often use repetition as a way of expressing emotional involvement. We’ve all heard the dramatic litany, “I thought I would die! I mean I thought I would die!” The more it’s repeated, the higher the emotional intensity they’re trying to convey. And yes, it bugs the crap out of me just like it does you, because it’s inefficient, dramatic, and annoying, just like it annoys them that we don’t repeat ourselves to indicate our emotional involvement like they do, being the closed-off, terse, Neanderthals that we are (in their minds, of course).

They use questions to make statements and make statements to ask questions. “Are you hungry?” really means, “I’m hungry and want to talk about what we’re going to eat and where we’re going to get it.” “Are you wearing that?” means, “Don’t wear that. You look stupid.” “I saw Jenny at the market today,” means “I saw somebody and talked to them and would like to tell you about it. Are you going to let me or are you going to cut me off like you usually do?”

They seldom if ever succinctly report anything except the details of their itinerary, and even then they’re waiting for you to act interested by asking them questions about what they’re saying, thereby giving them to green light to get into the emotions and social impact of their itinerary. Refer to the previous paragraph because it’s the same principle.

Everything with them is a negotiation of one form or another, and if you’re not hearing something that you can interpret and respond to and just tune her out until she gets around to something that you can, you just paid her a HUGE, HURTFUL INSULT (in her mind because she expects you to communicate like a woman), because you ignored her instead of engaging her to get the message right. Well, jump back two paragraphs to the example of being hungry. Pretty simple, universal stuff, right?

What she hears when you “cut her off” like that is that you don’t care enough about her or anything regarding her to try to listen. Why? Because she doesn’t realize that you don’t speak and listen in the same manner as women! (Women cut each other short or don’t ask engaging questions as a demeaning way of cutting someone off.) Remember all the times that she screamed at you, “You NEVER listen to me!” even though you were trying to listen and maybe even thought you were doing a pretty good job? Now you know why she pitched that fit.

There is a fix, and it’s not that difficult; indeed, there are more experts being born every day after reading "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and learning the mechanics and protocols that men and women use to communicate. As men learn to be better listeners and speakers when speaking with women, they’re also teaching the women in their life how to listen and speak more directly and effectively with men, resulting in women who are amused by men’s quaint shortcomings in communications skills instead of feeling ignored, discounted, and disrespected. Imagine how that alone is improving their self-esteem and trust of their men, and how that is in turn impacting their relationship and the men in their life!

And you’re going to love this: those who go through it verify that it is indeed fun! It’s like opening this huge box of new tools and toys and being overwhelmed with delight and discovery. Want to join in the fun and kick your relationship up to notches previously unknown to mankind?

It’s easy to do. Just hop over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and your complimentary copy of my “Break-Up Busting 101” and “What Women REALLY Want” series reports. It’s an instant download, guaranteed to improve your life, no matter what condition it’s in. Do yourself a favor and go for it, before you end up spending yet another night in the doghouse and have no idea why.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

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