Friday, March 19, 2010

What Women REALLY Want, Sharing the Drama of Your Day

To help you understand what women want from a man, this issue is another must-read. It addresses a specific issue and scenario that is addressed more generally in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," the issue of “How was your day, Dear?” and how women want to share in the bad as well as the good like they do with their girlfriends, while men don’t want to relive a bad day by going through it, and prefer to skip it and move on to something positive. A real eye-opener!

I hope you’re having a great week. I’m having a blast with reader e-mail. Lots of good questions with good lessons for all to learn, so keep them coming. I’ve had some questions about women wanting to share drama with their men, a topic from my free “What Women REALLY Want” report, and since many of you have apparently assumed that free report was worthless because it was free and chose not to download it, we’re going to go through that chapter today and then handle the reader questions and comments concerning it tomorrow. It’s good, so hang with me and stay tuned.

I’ve promised you statements directly from women about what they want, and here you go: This one, which demonstrates the difference in the emotional make-up of men and women, that being that a woman’s emotional scale goes from zero to infinity, without much regard for positive and negative, where a man’s scale goes from negative to none to positive, and the emotional upheaval that can come as a result of not understanding those differences and that both scales tend to run in the middle.

What exactly does that mean? What’s in the middle of a woman’s scale? A significant amount of emotional energy being absorbed and expended. What’s in the middle of a man’s emotional scale? Neutrality! Women need to have something going on pretty much all the time or they get bored stiff (their “emotionometer” goes to the far left, at zero emotion), where men don’t mind deviating from the middle a bit on an on-going basis, but the farther we stray and the longer, the more we’ll try to push things back toward that calm and simple state somewhere near the middle, where everyone is fed and protected.

Note that on the “left” side of our emotionometer is the most negative, and to a large degree, both men and women exhibit a lot of the same symptoms when the needle moves to the left; extreme boredom makes a woman as agitated and physically uncomfortable as fear, anger, and pain to a man. See my “Emotional Scales” article at http://www.aweber.com/archive/mhh_tips/1QTO9/h/03_02_10_Understanding_Our.htm to see a graphic representation of the scale and a lot more information about it and how it works.

Without further ado, meet Alyson:

Dear David:

AAAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!! I need some help. I am totally frustrated! My husband and I have been married for a year now. We are happy and communicate wonderfully except in one area. When we sit down to dinner, that is our time to talk. I ask him how his day was and get the standard [one-word] answers, fine, ok, good, rotten...etc. That's it, except when he is having an incredible day and tells me of the rewards. I want to know the good and the bad, but he won't talk about them. If he did tell me it would be great, I would continue to get to know him and how he functions and solves problems.

All other aspects of our marriage are great, he is kind, courteous and an incredible Alpha male but that one area drives me nuts. I have tried to prod and probe and he just says "leave it alone, I don't want to talk about it". What can I do to make him talk or am I going about it the wrong way, the nagging wife syndrome?

Can you help me?

Alyson


My response:

Hi Alyson!

I’m going to give you the answer that you need to hear, probably won’t like too much, but will have to accept because this is just how it is in the real world.

Men of action, achievers, the strong alpha male that women respond to with overwhelming and magical-feeling attraction, don’t like to dwell on problems, they like to fix them and get them out of the way. We learn whatever lessons these problems and solutions present and put the events behind us, taking only the lessons forward with us. This is part of what makes us who and what we are, because it is a huge influence on self-esteem and self-confidence, things which you and all women admire and want in a man.

We don’t like living through these events the first time, and to discuss them as women do, as an accounting of the day and exploration of the emotions, as you no-doubt go through with your female friends, is like living through the problem a second time, dwelling on it, and having that negative influence of that frustration and aggravation eating at us all over again.

It’s not that we don’t want you to know about the day or how we handle problems or anything else. We simply don’t want to relive a bad day and unnecessarily expose ourselves to those negative influences all over again, which can erode confidence and expends time and effort that could be spent in spending quality time with you or doing something else we enjoy, building achievements that we can celebrate with you, etc.

You’ll also notice that your husband does share his triumphs with you. This isn’t to brag and pound his chest; it’s an act of intimacy. When a man of action relives a victory with you, he’s inviting you to share in and celebrate something that is special to him: ACHIEVEMENT.

This celebration reinforces his feelings of strength and independence, and makes him better prepared to face the next day’s challenges. Bear in mind that being an alpha male and loner by nature, a genuine male achiever doesn’t need anyone else’s recognition or approval of his achievements; telling you about it is purely an act of sharing, of trust, and of intimacy, and not to be confused with the bragging of a man who one-upped someone by some trick of cunning or stroke of luck instead of through competently performing whatever tasks were at hand.

All of this is in stark contrast to the female social practice of sharing and even dramatizing everything that happens, indiscriminately reliving everything that has happened and trying to milk every last drop of emotional energy from it, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative event, and hence, whether they are bombarding themselves with positive or negative emotions.

(Gentlemen, you need to understand that they are not being nosey or trying to rub your nose in a bad day; this sharing is a reaching out for intimacy and when you just stomp on them for asking it’s a severe rejection, which we’ll discuss further in a minute, and it’s just as natural and automatic a drive as your own drive to bury negative things once they’ve been resolved and move forward.)

Women are frighteningly effective and efficient at this, and I must wonder how damaging this practice must be to women, and how much better their lives could be if they didn’t spend so much time and energy digging into negative emotions and drama and milking the emotion from it the way they do.

Take care,
David


I’ve never seen this in print, or heard anyone discuss it in any venue or forum, but it is statistically ridiculous that nobody in the 10,000 years of recent history has ever noticed this, so I can’t help but also wonder if it’s never been mentioned in public because those who noticed feared the outrage that women might voice at the mere suggestion that negative emotions and negative drama could be bad for their psyche, self-esteem, and by virtue of the chemical impact of stress on the body, their health in general.

Nonetheless, you heard it here first; I wonder if women acted as men do in filtering out negative influences like those encountered in the ritual sharing of problems, especially those marathon drama-fests where the same problem is iterated over and over until everyone in the conversation gets bored with the repetition and moves on, this would leave them with time and energy to spend planning, achieving, celebrating and reaping the benefits of much more positive energy and influence on their psyche, emotional balance, and physical well-being, not to mention the boost in self-esteem and confidence and proportional drop in insecurities this would create.

This hypothesis is based on observation of a limited number of women, under 300, and of those, the ones who do not get bogged down in negative emotion are indeed much more happy, motivated, and successful than those who do. The evidence says that negative emotion creates physical stress in both males and females. I’m still looking for a way to test this hypothesis on a very wide scale, and if anyone hears of an existing study, I’d like to know about it immediately.

A word for the ladies reading this: Please think about this, Ladies. I realize that the concept sounds like suggesting you cut off your arm, more accurately, like you cut out a piece of your heart, emotionally speaking, but look at your own life and assess how much time you have spent in the last day, week, month, year, etc., indulging in negative emotions to milk the rush from them before setting to the task of solving and eliminating the problem. Then try to get some feel for how much time you spent that you could have spent doing other more positive and productive things, and what your life might be like right now if you had spared yourself all that negative influence and had those extra achievements and decreased stress from less time pressure. If you feel comfortable talking about it, I’d love to hear from you, and would love to eventually do a formal study of a group of women, but this is strictly for your benefit, and I’m sure that if you are objective in your assessment, you’ll find that you could have done a lot with that time and positive energy.

Now that everyone hopefully understands where everyone else stands on the issue, and the origin and nature of the behavior, let’s talk about what can be done to bring everybody closer together. Ladies, don’t feel like a man is being closed off or rejecting you when he doesn’t want to relive a bad day. Be glad that you have a partner who is an achiever and is strong enough to do this instead of doing what many men do: whining and acting weak and pissy, and sometimes getting caught up in the frustration and abusing you to release the frustration that something or somebody else caused. That makes him look like a girlfriend instead of a man, and kills your attraction for him.

Gentlemen, be aware that any time a woman is asking you questions about yourself in any non-accusatory, non-confrontational context, she’s trying to learn about you, trying to be closer to you and connect with you, so don’t just stomp on her if she’s asking about something you don’t want to talk about. Give her the gift of a little understanding and dignity by telling her that it was one of those days that was bad enough the first time you lived through it, and rather than going through it all over again and reliving all that negative emotion, you would rather put that part of the day behind you and give her the best part of your day, the enjoyable part, and rather than rehash bad memories it would be far better for both of you to use the time to make some new, positive memories.

When you do tell her about things, tell her as much as you can about the emotional aspects of it, the details that let her feel what you felt, and while it is still not good to rehash the really bad stuff, you could share the neutral to positive things with her to give her some part of the day. It may not have been something you thought worth celebrating, but it’s still something that she can examine to get to know you better, and it helps eliminate that illusion that you are trying to shut her out.

This was the best solution found by our test group, but is by no means the only possible solution. If you can find something that works better for you, write about it, and we can possibly discuss it here. If readers were more active, it might inspire me to set up some blog or discussion forum software on the website to allow you interact and exchange ideas and success stories directly, but I won’t be going through that trouble and expense without seeing that those resources, if provided, would be used for the benefit of a significant group of people, so if you want it, get involved by e-mail and let’s see where it goes.

There you have it, the answer to one of the toughest problems in any good relationship. In my men’s book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” men are instructed about women’s social mechanisms and their need to share, and encouraged to be sensitive to those needs to whatever degree possible, as well as many other critical topics and skills in the areas of relationship evaluation and understanding, communications with women, and a wealth of knowledge about attraction, that magical feeling poets refer to as “being in love,” including how it works, how to create it, and how to kill it (like making your partner feel shut out!), which is the beginning of trouble of paradise and the end of more relationships than you can imagine. In case it’s not obvious, these are all the very things that women REALLY want from a man!

Relationships can survive without a lot of things, even without love to a large degree, but they seldom survive without effective communication and attraction, so don’t let it happen to you. Jump on over to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and get your copy today, because life is too short to spend it bored, fighting, or worst of all, lonely.

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

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