Category Archives: Action Heroes

04Dec/16

Protectors and Warriors – Men don’t talk. They do

Men don’t talk they do.

Men don’t talk. They do

When we buy a doll for a girl, we buy her a Barbie doll. When we buy a ‘’doll’’ for a boy, we buy him an action hero – a Superman. The word “action” is very important. I often advise women not to pay too much attention to what a man says, for he may often promise her the world, and he may even believe it at that moment, but what is more important, are his sustained actions. Men are action orientated.

Men express themselves mainly through their actions. If he loves a woman, he will solve her problems, he will gratify her needs and wishes, he will buy her things, he will fix her life, and he will work hard to provide for her. He will set out to make her happy.

Despite them being action orientated, when I ask men what is the most important element of a relationship, they do not unanimously answer: “Sex”. They do unanimously answer: “Communication.” Now this is interesting.

Does this mean the doers want to talk? Sometimes they do want to talk, especially if they trust a woman. And then the woman perpetually interrupts him, or she does not listen to him.

Listen

When a woman listens to a man when he tells her something, without interrupting him, he gets the message that he is important to her and that she is paying attention. If she interrupts, he feels unimportant. Sometimes it’s a good idea not to respond immediately.

He could rather think about what he said and come back a few days later with a suggestion or a response, instead of offering him immediate advice. To a man, immediate advice sounds as if she is disagreeing with him. “I have been thinking about what you discussed with me yesterday.

I wondered if … what do you think?” Just by adjusting her mode of communication, she circumvents sounding as
if she is criticising. Of course, she is entitled to a different opinion, as long as it does not make him sound stupid.

“Sometimes a good communicator is a person who just knows when to shut up,” said one man. Another man said: “It takes much courage for a man to open himself up. Don’t later use what he told you against him as a vicious backlash.”

Truly listening to someone does not imply merely keeping quiet when someone else is talking. It encompasses a cognitive effort to interpret the essence of the message the other person is communicating, seeing the message from that person’s perspective, attempting to understand that person’s underlying emotions and motivations, foreseeing how that person will act on the message and only once these cognitive actions have been completed can the listener then consider what is his/her response, emotions and the probable impact that the response will have on the other person. Listening is a complicated cognitive ACTION, not just a passive waiting for a breather to jump in.

 

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Case Study

A woman asked her husband why he doesn’t invite me as a motivational speaker at his company.

He answered: “We have already booked a speaker for this term.” “But you can always change it. I think it is a good idea to ask her,” she continued.

She repeated herself three times. Clearly, she did not hear him. He said No, three times.

She was embarrassing him by insisting. Also, she was telling him what to do at his place of work. (Then she wondered why he slammed the car door!) Some women tend to think if they just keep on repeating themselves, they may actually convince the men of their good idea.

Or she thinks if he does not immediately agree with her, he did not hear her in the first place. He heard her. He said No. Did she hear him?

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04Dec/16

Protectors And Warriors – Needs vs. Needy

Needs vs. Needy

A man wants a woman to communicate her needs to him. How else would he be able to fulfill her needs, if he does not know what she wants? He can’t read her mind, so she has to tell him. However it often happens, once she communicates her needs, he calls her “needy”.

So I ask the men, what is the difference between a woman communicating her needs and a needy woman? A man wants a woman to need him, but he does not want her to be helpless and her needs must not distract him too much from his quest and require his full-time attention.

It’s fine for her to communicate her needs, but it depends how she does it and if she is persistent, she is needy. Timing is very important too – if it interferes with something else he would rather do, she is needy. If she shows appreciation, he is likely to continue fulfilling her needs, if she criticises, she is needy.

One man explained: “Like women, men need me-time too. When she clings to you like a heart-lung machine, she is needy. When I speak to another woman and she suddenly grabs my arm, interrupts and kisses my face, it is embarrassing and she is very needy.” One man gave me a very clear and precise answer – the difference between having needs and being needy is: “Nagging.”

Regarding timing, one man commented: “If she tells me she needs it done immediately and I drop whatever I planned doing, to do it for her, and I later discover it was not that urgent at all, then next time she requires me to do something urgently, I will disregard her ideas of how and when things need to be done. If she tells me why she needs it, I can determine how urgent it is.”

 

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Case example

A man liked a certain woman, but dreaded visiting her, because he knew that would entail them sitting on the couch and talking. He was an introvert and shy and the thought of having nothing to say to her caused him much anxiety. Eventually he plucked up the courage and rang her doorbell. It was out of order. He called her and she opened the door. “Bring me a screwdriver,” he said, “so I can fix this doorbell.”

She did. “Since I am busy fixing this, do you have anything else that needs repairing?” he asked. She did. He spent the whole afternoon adjusting the geysers, changing light bulbs, fixing hair dryers, backwashing the pool pump and all the other bothersome little odd jobs.

She brought him coffee while he was working and they chatted. She also thanked him every time for repairing and adjusting everything and she smiled a lot. He later told me he had never had such a great time getting to know a girl. He was the action man, DOING stuff for her, and she was appreciative, TELLING him how great he is. Perfect.

If he feels needed and he can do something for her, which she cannot do on her own, then he feels good about himself as a man.

One man also explained: “If what she requires of me involves a heroic deed, I will do it, but I am also not just her puppy at her beck and call just because she wants me to hang around. Then she is needy. I have stuff to do.” Warriors have dragons to fight.

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pantheonRead More About: Introverts and Extroverts

04Dec/16

Protectors and Warriors – Stop telling them what to do

Stop telling them what to do

Women talk, men do. Many women, unfortunately, have this astounding idea that they can and should tell men what to do. Men are men. They are strong warriors and they know what to do. They resent it when a woman tells them what to do. Several things happen when a woman tells a man to do something. Firstly she is communicating to him that she is trying to control his life. When we try to control someone, it is a vote of no confidence in their own capabilities.

He is the hero – he is in charge of his life. Secondly, telling is a descending communication. It is a  command. The woman is not the man’s commander. Trust him. Don’t tell him. One man told me: “Women talk to men as if they are boys. If I don’t know how to do something, I will figure it out.” Or he will read the manual while on the toilet.

 

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Case example

A woman was dating a father of a baby daughter. She told him over the phone: “Leave the baby with your Mom for the night and drive over to my place. I never see you.” He did not. He did not even answer his phone for the rest of the weekend. (I can already see all the men nodding their heads.) She was telling him what to do, giving him instructions. And she was criticising him. And she was being demanding.

And she was trying to control him. If she had said: “I am missing you and would like to see you. Is it possible for your Mom to babysit and can you visit me? It would make me happy,” he would have made a plan.

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Communicating a need does not imply using that TONE OF VOICE and ordering him about.

 

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Case example

It was early evening. The wife was busy tending to the baby. “You make dinner,” she said to the husband who had just arrived home. She did not ask nicely, but he just nodded and proceeded to take the meat from the fridge. “You have to defrost it first and then cook it …” she continued. He prepared the food silently and went to bed early. Don’t ask a man to do something and then tell him how to do it.

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Don’t help a man. He is an action hero. He can do it himself

Some women do not tell men what to do, but they do help men. Women are by nature very helpful creatures.

For example when a woman in a queue at a check-out counter, tells the woman behind her, she forgot an item and dashes off to fetch it, the one behind will push the absent woman’s trolley for her. Generally, men won’t push another man’s trolley. To women it is sociable to help. To men it is a sign of weakness. Never help a man. Unless he asks, which he seldom will, and then don’t make a fuss about it. A woman should not offer to help a man paint the chairs.

She can ask if she can join him. He may ask her to help him change the tyre and to pass him the thingamajig. She should not tell him how her Dad had taught her to change the tyre and that he is doing it all wrong. If he is struggling to unlock the front door, she should not take the key out of his hand, not even if he is a bit tipsy. Does she just have to stand there and wait patiently until he gets it right? Yes, and then she smiles and thanks him. I did not say it is fair.

One man explained it as follows: “Core to a woman’s essence is her appearance. Therefore a man should not tell her to go on a diet because she is fat. Core to a man’s essence is his competence. Therefore a woman should not tell him to get a professional, because he is useless at fixing things. If she goes on a diet of her own accord, then he can support her, and if he gets a professional of his own accord, then she can thank him.”

 

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Case example

The woman arrives home with a car full of groceries. He comes out and asks or tells her he will carry the grocery bags in for her. Naturally she picks up a few bags…Don’t touch the bags! She is conveying the message to him that he is not strong enough to do this simple task for her. The same goes for luggage. She can enter the house and start unpacking the groceries.

She can also pop open a can of beer for him when he’s done. (All the men agreed unanimously on this one.) What does she do when one of those bags tear and the tin cans roll down the driveway? She looks the other way and pretends she did not see. Anyway, she is supposed to be in the kitchen unpacking the groceries, not in the driveway. She can laugh with him about it later, but only when he already has the beer in his hand.

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04Dec/16

Protectors And Warriors – Helping and supporting has a different meaning to men and women

Helping and supporting has a different meaning to men and women

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Case example

An unemployed engineer complained to me that he wished his girlfriend would support him. His girlfriend, on the other hand, told me she supported him, but he refused to co-operate. I realised here was a communication problem. She told me she supported him in the following manner: “When I get home at night after a long day’s work, I tell him, come sit by me and I will update your CV on the computer. Then he just gives me a look and resumes watching television. Also, I bought all the engineering magazines and cut out all the ads looking for engineers and I told him to follow them up.” Usually, when I read this verbatim quote to men, they cringe.

She is telling him what to do, she is doing it for him. That is not helping or supporting him. That is a vote of no confidence. I asked the man how he would like her to support him. He answered: “She can just tell me she believes in me. She can tell me I am only going through a bad patch, but things will pick up and I am the best engineer in the world. That will inspire me.” Women talk, men do. Generally, if women tell men how great they are, then they inspire the men into action.

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One man explained: “Men do not want to be seen as failures. Being unemployed is a major failure. If she can just assure him that she is there, that she will not leave him and that he is not alone in that mess, then she is supportive.”

Men want to resolve women’s problems. When she tells him about something, he feels obliged to fix it for her. He wants to be the hero and help her. For example, she tells him about some problem she had at work with a co-worker. He interrupts and wants to know what the outcome was. He needs to determine how he can fix it. Often he is surprised that she has already fixed it. “Then why tell me about it?” he asks. Because she wants to TELL you about it. Women talk, get it! A man will never tell another man: “I had a flat tyre today and I changed it.” A woman will.

One of my clients has the following agreement with his wife. When she wants to tell him about something he asks: “Is this an issue you want me to do something about, or can I just sit and scratch my butt while listening?” So determine if it is a problem or just a butt scratcher. If it is only a butt scratcher, the man just needs to sit and listen and make the appropriate noises. “And what are the appropriate noises?” ask the men. Just say: “And what did you say… and what did she say… and what did you say…” and pay attention to her. You would want her to pay attention to you when you tell her something.

04Dec/16

Protectors And Warriors – When he can’t fix it

When he can’t fix it

A man wants to tend to a woman’s problems. Fixing a problem is a heroic action. However, when he cannot fix the problem for some reason, he has one of two reactions. He will either attack her or ignore her.

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Case example

A woman is crying because her dog died. The man says: “Stop crying!” And he goes and buys her another puppy. Or he ignores her, gets in his car and drives off and she thinks: “You heartless idiot.” And he returns with a puppy. In both cases the man can’t understand why she did not want the puppy? Men are very pragmatic. He fixed the problem by replacing the puppy.

Actually he would do anything to make her stop crying. Men are clueless about what to do when a woman cries, because they don’t know how to fix the problem. (Here is a tip guys: When she cries, just hold her. Don’t say anything. Just hold her. That’s it.) If women can only understand that his strange or boorish actions are due to his frustrations, because if he can’t fix her problem he is the anti-hero. And he hates being the anti-hero. So he walks away and ignores her, or worse, he yells at her. And women have to understand this about men. I did not say it is fair. It’s just the way it is.

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A colleague of mine explained men are empathic on a cognitive level, as opposed to women who are empathic on an emotional level. Men need to separate themselves from the emotional content in order to make objective decisions to solve the problem.

On an intellectual level they understand the emotion, but they cannot allow themselves to be submerged in the emotion, for then they would not be able to take rational action. Men are action orientated, remember.

Sometimes he does try to hug her and just hold her and then she pushes him away. He is trying. Acknowledge it.

There are times however, guys, when women really need you to step up. When your wife calls you in tears because she just had a car accident, it is not the time to attack her, or ignore her. Bite your tongue.

If a woman criticises everything a man does and if she does everything herself, he feels useless and inadequate. It is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately it originates in childhood with mothers doing everything for their sons, and continuously criticising their boys. Fathers usually get upset when mothers do too much for the boys, for it is in a man’s nature TO BE ACTIVE and to figure it out for himself. Praising him for figuring it out will boost his self-esteem.

Doing it for him or criticising him conveys the message that he is incompetent. How would he be able to fix adult problems and fight dragons if he is not taught to figure it out for himself as a young boy. Denying him this natural growth opportunity and being over-protective is actually psychological castration.

At about the age of 6, boys need to identify with a father figure and get involved in male activities, without a mother hovering around trying to protect them from the father figure. (This was the age when young boys were taken away from their Spartan mothers and turned into warriors.)

I have encountered many grown men who have terrible adult relationships with their mothers, because they resent the mothers’ smothering them as children. As adult men they often punish their mothers in various ways, usually by avoiding them and cutting them out of their adult lives, in an attempt to get even for childhood wounds incurred.

This act in itself makes them feel as anti-heroes, which exacerbates the situation. They often also have exaggerated over-reactions when any woman engages in a nurturing action that reminds them of their mothers – even just packing them a lunch box or reminding them to take their vitamins.

Telling him to take his vitamins, is acting like his mother. Just leaving vitamins out for him to take, without verbally reminding him, is supportive and showing you care about his health.

04Dec/16

Protectors And Warriors – Some women can be very, very bossy.

Some women can be very, very bossy. Sometimes I wonder if some of them are born that way

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Case example

A man married a widow with three young daughters. He moved into their home. One morning he let the dogs into the kitchen. The cute little 7 year old in her pink pyjamas promptly pointed her finger at him, wagged it up and down and in THAT tone of voice said: “Uncle John, in this house, we don’t let the dogs in. Don’t let me catch you doing it again.” Men do not like it if anybody points fingers at them, not even cute little 7 year olds in pink pyjamas.

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Never ask “Why”

Another fatal mistake women make when communicating with men is to ask “why.” To a man “why” translates to: “You don’t know what you are doing, you incompetent stupid fool.” All men, without exception agree on this one.

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Case example

A husband and his wife travel in the car. She innocently asks him: “Lovey, why are you driving this route?” What he hears is: “Listen you stupid dumb fool, you don’t know where you are going.” Believe me when I tell this story, all the men burst out laughing and then agree that is exactly what they hear.

If his buddy had asked the same question he would have answered: “Because I heard on the radio there are road works on the usual road.” But because the “why” came from his wife or girlfriend, he regards it as a vote of no confidence. He is her hero at all times and he is in control of the situation. There should be no reason for her to doubt him. The same applies to “Why don’t you tell your boss….” “Why don’t you use the star screwdriver…” DELETE THE WORD WHY.

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I asked the men what would be an acceptable rephrase of “why” and the following suggestions came up: “This is interesting. How come…” or “I don’t understand how …” or “You have probably thought about this, but maybe it’s a good idea to …” Do not say: “Can you explain to me…” because that sounds like his mother or teacher. If the woman approaches the issue in one of these alternative ways and he just stares at her, it means he heard her and he thinks her suggestion is a bloody good idea. Does she really expect him to verbalise that it’s a good idea? For Pete’s sake, he is a man. Then he goes off and he does it the way she suggested. Then she should not tell him: “I told you so.” She should just tell him how great he is and that he is her hero. And mean it. He knows.

The typical vote of no confidence

Speaking about cars. This is a potentially disastrous area. Women are prone to tell a man how he should drive! A man is a strong capable warrior in charge of a heavy dangerous, complicated, expensive machine and he has her life in his trust.

And then she tells him what to do? The woman should not doubt his ability to handle this machine. She should rather sit back, relax and look out of the window if looking ahead makes her nervous. If he gets lost, so what. Don’t say anything. He knows.

What is more important? Her relationship with this man or the first 15 minutes of a movie that she may be missing? Men usually only start driving recklessly when women complain about their driving. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. Maybe she can pre-empt the situation with a comment like: “I get nervous in a car, but I know you will take it gently and look after me.” Anyway guys, you are supposed to protect her, so man-up and make her feel safe, rather than driving like a jerk to scare her. The pay-off of feeling like a hero by keeping her safe, is much greater than feeling like an ass who tried to show-off. (Tip to the men: Driving recklessly may impress other males, but it only scares a woman and if you scare her, she sure as hell is not going to sleep with you! Get it?)

Men are exceptionally sensitive to criticism and often experience even seemingly innocent comments as a vote of no confidence. And yes, it has to do with their egos. I have no problem with men’s egos. They need egos, they are warriors. They defend us. Without egos they are not men. If a woman can’t deal with a man’s ego, she  should date a woman. I do also agree that some egos are vastly inflated, but we will discuss that later.

04Dec/16

Protectors and Warriors – Women pre-navigate dialogue

Women pre-navigate dialogue

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Case example:

A husband needed to confront a relative about a problem and he had been postponing this event. Eventually his wife became clearly impatient and insisted that he takes action. “But what must I do?” asked the husband. Whereupon the wife just got up and walked off. The husband was baffled. “Do?” she replied when she had calmed down. “You must get in your car and drive over there and talk to them. That is the action that is required. How can you ask me what you must do?” What the husband meant was: “What must I say to them?” Women talk, men do.

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Women have an amazing ability to pre-navigate a complete dialogue in their heads, the same way a man would navigate a forthcoming road trip in his mind. “If he says this, then I say that and if he says this, then I will say so,” etc.

Eventually the woman will map the conversation to reach the specific outcome she desires. Armed with this verbal map, she engages in a discussion or argument. No wonder men avoid verbal conflicts with women. However, if a man can only recognise this ability in his female partner as a resource, imagine what a useful tool it could be for him when he has to confront other people. It is a pity men do not want to ask: “What should I say?”

 

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Case example

A man asked his wife to proof-read his presentation to the company’s board meeting. She was a linguist and corrected his grammar. “You can’t say it like this, it’s wrong,” she said. “Are you saying I don’t know how to do my work?” he yelled. She threw the document in the corner and stormed out of the room. “You disappoint me,” she screamed. “He attacked me, when I was only trying to help him. Why did he ask me, if he did not want my advice?” she asked me later. I explained to her that her hurt feelings were valid, but that he experienced her comment as criticism, because she told him he was wrong.

Had she worded it differently, he would have accepted her correction. I explained to him that he could have regarded her linguistic training as an allied resource in his camp, rather than an attack from an enemy. By yelling at her and hurting her feelings, he alienated her. He also did not stick to the subject. The subject was the grammar, not his capacity to do his work. This was a typical example of miscommunication.

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Like a yin and yang symbol that forms a perfect circle, half black, half white, if men and women can only grasp that their differences can complement each other, instead of perceiving the differences as threats. If we were all the same, it would be a mishmash of greys.(And I’m not speaking of Shades of Grey – that is another book.)

Strengths and weaknesses can complement each other. Mostly women offer advice or suggest alternatives, not because they criticise the men, but because they are on his team, they do have his back, they have the intelligence to make a meaningful contribution and this is her way of supporting him. If only he can step outside his ego for a second and give her the benefit of the doubt. Even generals consult and consider suggestions.Men do rate communication as an important element of a relationship, but they underestimate the vital importance thereof.

 

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Case example:

A man told me he spends much time at work making lists of all the handyman tasks he plans on doing at home. I asked him if he had told his wife about this list. “No,” he said, “do you think I should?” So, we have the wife at home. Living with all the little handyman jobs that need to be done, wondering if he is ever going to get to them, but she does not want to complain or nag, so she becomes quiet and sulking and sour faced.

He avoids going home because she is quiet and sulking and sour faced and that is why the handyman jobs never get done. If only he told her he is making a list, she would flip over backwards just to know he is thinking about it, and about her, at work. He just never thought of telling her. Did she remember to tell him how grateful she is that he is doing this for her? It works both ways.

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One man said the difference between whining and nagging is: whining is when she is complaining and there is no hope of a solution, nagging is when she makes the issue his problem.

Men catch balls, not hints

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Case example

The wife says: “Wow, the grass is growing wild,” or “it looks like a jungle out there.” He looks outside and says: “Yeah.” He wonders why she is stating something obvious. Come Saturday, she says: “I asked you so nicely to mow the lawn and now the guests are coming over and just look at it.” He answers: “No you did not.” He is right. She did not ask him to mow the lawn. She said the grass was growing wild. Had she said: “Would you please mow the lawn before Saturday because your parents are coming over for lunch,” he would have known exactly what she wanted and why she wanted it and when she wanted it done by.

Come Saturday morning, she should rather not say: “Remember you promised to mow the lawn.” It sounds like criticism. Men prefer feedback. A friendly reminder like: “I’m so glad you are going to mow the lawn, while I prepare lunch for your parents,” would do. Once he has mowed the lawn and she gives him a beer, she can ask him to clean the patio, but she needs to be specific, because it looks clean to him.

“Please unpack the plastic chairs, they are too heavy for me and would you mind wiping them with a cloth, they are dusty and women don’t like sitting on dirty chairs.” (Guys don’t mind dirty chairs. Women wear floral dresses or white jeans.) So he takes a wet cloth and he smears the dust. Don’t say anything. Now she can ask him to go to the shops and buy charcoal and three lemons for his favourite lemon meringue pie. While he is gone she can quickly wash the muddy white plastic chairs.

When he returns from running the errand, she thanks him and invites him to join her in the shower before his parents arrive. He is very happy, he could be the hero and do stuff for her, and he is getting a joint shower and who knows what may happen then. And he is getting lemon meringue pie.

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04Dec/16

Protectors And Warriors – Don’t tell him, touch him

Don’t tell him, touch him. It’s an action he understands

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Case example

A young woman was very much in love with a man. No matter how much she flirted with him, he just did not get it. I asked the other men for advice to help the young woman. What should a woman do to convey to a man that she likes him? They all unanimously responded: “Touch him.” Later the young woman brought her boyfriend so I could meet him. “Did you never realise she was flirting with you?” I asked. “No,” he replied. “I thought she was flirting with my friend. I could not believe a girl like her would be remotely interested in me.” “When did you realise it was you?” I asked. “She came up to me one day and placed her one little hand on my shoulder and held her other wrist under my nose and asked me to smell her new perfume. I melted and could literally feel my legs buckle.” He actually blushed when he told me.

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Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter released by the brain and is commonly called the “cuddle hormone”. Women produce much more oxytocin than men, but interestingly enough, when men inhale oxytocin by nasal spray it improves their ability to interpret emotional and mental states of other people. Now women do not need to inject inhalers in men’s noses when they sleep to improve their emotional intelligence. The good news is that a good hug can cause an oxytocin release.

So does sex. A well known neuropsychologist reports that men need to be touched two or three times more frequently than women to maintain the same level of oxytocin. Oxytocin also happens to be a good antidote to the stress hormone cortisol. So if women want men to be more empathic to their emotions, then women should touch men more often. Nothing beats scratching his back … almost nothing.

Arguing with men is futile

Men are by nature an aggressive species. They have to be, how else would they protect us? As in days of yore, modern man’s daily life still consists of real and metaphorical battlefields. His neurological wiring has remained the same for millennia. The moment he encounters another human, he decides within 15 milliseconds if this is a friend or an enemy, based upon the other person’s tone of voice and facial expressions.

This is a pre-conscious neurological action. If he recognises an enemy his brain sends messages within 100 milliseconds to his torso, preparing his body for battle, before he is actually consciously aware of it. If you are an enemy, it’s game on!

When anybody, including a woman, engages on a hostile level with a man, his aggression escalates. As soon as men are challenged with aggression, then their own aggression becomes justified to them. Once swords are drawn on the battlefield, he automatically goes into warrior mode.

Pretty soon we have two people yelling at each other, or worse, physically attacking each other. In any case what makes us think that any person is going to be willing and inclined to give us what we want, when we yell at them? Just where is the logic in that? Men may also just retreat into their camp in an attempt to disengage from the fight, because fighting with a woman is anti-hero behaviour.

Think about it. Mostly we get angry at another person when that person does not want to do what we want him or her to do, or we get angry when someone else tells us to do something we don’t want to do. What makes us think that we have the right, power, authority or audacity to tell another adult what they must do?

We all have a right and responsibility to admonish someone not to break the law. We should all know the law. We all also have the right to state our individual boundaries of what we regard as acceptable or unacceptable behaviour. If someone else persists in non-compliance, and in abusing our boundaries, we can leave. Walk away. Do not share your time or space with someone who does not respect you, but do not assume it’s acceptable to expect another person, or your partner, to do everything exactly as you want them to.

(Unless you are paying them in an employment situation.) If everybody thought the same way you do, then the Creator would have created only one prototype and there would be billions of other cloned YOUS on earth and no diversity. People differ from each other. It’s not right or wrong. It is just different. If you can’t live with the difference, it’s acceptable to leave, but violence and force and manipulation are not conducive to a relationship.

 

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Case example

A husband returned home at 2am, after a night out with the boys. He was expecting a confrontation. Men are not stupid. They know when they are in trouble. The wife, in bed, was clearly sleeping. (Note, she did not stay up and wait for him.) Instead of yelling at him when he stumbled into the bedroom, she greeted him normally – not with a smile, but definitely not with the icy voice. “Hi, I ‘m glad you’re home safe. Let’s go to sleep.” He attempted to make an excuse or defend himself, because he was expecting the fight.

She just repeated: “It’s late, let’s go to sleep.” Gratefully he fell asleep. He woke up the next morning, with a hell of a hangover. He knew he was going to get it then. Instead he got a cup of coffee and two headache tablets. She was dressed and she looked pretty and she smelled good. He noticed. He smelled like stale rum, cigarette smoke and sweat. He noticed that too. It felt like a flock of dirty sheep were grazing on his teeth. “I’m meeting Lucy for breakfast,” she said with a minty breath, and off she went. He slept it off. He took a shower. She returned home with a beautiful bunch of flowers. He knew it would be pointless to buy her the I-am-sorry-flowers later.

She had already bought them. She was in a cheerful mood. But her friendly mood was unrelated to him. This puzzled him. He initiated small talk. She responded normally. He realised she was not going to scold him about the previous night. They were not going to talk about it. He was SO relieved. She turned her back on him so he could not see the smile on her face. He told her he was going out to get pizzas.

While he was away he reminded himself what a low down excuse of a husband he is and that he is lucky to have the best wife in the world. He returned with the pizza’s, his favourite flavour of course, but maybe he remembered she liked pineapple. She forgave him without him having to grovel for it. Believe me, no woman, no matter what insults or foul language she uses, can make a man feel such an anti-hero and so bad about himself, than he himself can.

So if he has done something bad, afford him the opportunity to reprimand himself. He will do a much better job at it and appreciate the woman much more for not doing it. Do not for one moment assume that he thinks he got away with it, or that she condoned his behaviour. He knows what he did wrong and a hero will strive to be the better man, for the woman he loves. If he perpetuates his bad behaviour, it’s time to call it quits. Continuous bad behaviour means he does not want to be there anymore. Let him go.

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04Dec/16

Protectors And Warriors – A woman does not have to fight

A woman does not have to fight or manipulate a man to do what she wants him to do

When men hear the above case example, they all have one unanimous response. He did not do anything wrong by going out on the boys’ night. He made the mistake of not informing her and not calling her when it grew late. By the way, why does she want him to call her when he is out late at night or travelling? Men tend to think it is because she does not trust him – that he may be with another woman. Please! I know of men who call their wives, with their girlfriends lying right next to them. No, it’s not about not trusting them. Wives want their men to call them, so she knows he is still alive. Men tend to think that they are invincible. They are warriors and their skin is made of armour.

They are strong and they can look after themselves and they get irritated if women tell them to drive safely. A wife asks him to call her, not because she does not believe him to be the strong hero, she does. Rather, she asks him to call because if heaven forbid he should die, her whole world collapses. If he dies, she is unprotected. She has no hero to protect her or to provide for her. She wants to know that he is alive, because it makes her feel safe. Feeling safe is the most basic need a woman has. So be the hero and just make the call. Just make contact.

A woman’s tongue is like a dagger

Although no woman can berate a man to the same extent he can do it to himself, men also agree that the weapon a man fears most is not a dagger or a gun. It is a woman’s tongue. With her tongue she can castrate in the same sentence. At some point when a man and woman are yelling at each other, he tells her: “Enough.” This is the point where if she were a man, he would have hit her, but he can’t because she is a woman. Her words are coming at him like daggers and he is going to do something drastic to defend himself. Most men either hit the door or they leave. Then the women follow them, calling them cowards for leaving. Some men have described this as feeling as if they are being verbally violated or castrated by the woman, but they can’t tell anyone about it. Or she clings to his legs and begs him not to go.

One man said: “Men do hear all the bad words. It is not necessary for her to repeat them in many different ways. When a man says “Enough, I heard you,” then STOP. He will go off and consider and analyse where he went wrong. Just STOP and give him the chance to retreat.”

I have explained how men’s bodies prepare for battle within split seconds. Physiologically during a heated argument, his heart rate increases, his blood pressure rises, rushing blood to the muscle groups required for fighting and the arterioles in the skin constrict, which will reduce bleeding if he is wounded. His breathing accelerates, providing the oxygen he needs for the increased rush of blood. He starts to sweat to cool his body down in preparation for the fight. This is generally referred to as the fight-or-flight or sympathetic nervous system. These bodily adaptations require fuel. Fuel is produced by the brain alerting the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. Adrenalin produces glucose, which is the fuel required.

The neo-cortex is the part of the brain that evolved last in humans. It is responsible for choices, planning, philosophical reasoning, analytical thinking and considering long-term consequences of actions. The physiological activity of preparing the body for a fight burns the glucose, but during prolonged periods of the body under this pressure, the glucose fuel can run dry. Unfortunately the neo-cortex, which houses self-control, also runs on glucose.

Both extreme physical and mental activity can deplete the glucose reserves. This is usually when men cry ENOUGH! They know they are on the verge of losing that self-control. (Please note that this physiological explanation is by no or any means an excuse or endorsement for a man to hit a woman and any attempt to interpret it that way, will be considered malicious misinterpretation of text.)

Heated arguments

Men and women differ greatly in their expectations of each other during heated arguments. Men try to avoid verbal conflict and arguments, because words are unfamiliar weapons to them. At some point during the argument, the woman leaves, goes into the bedroom and slams the door. The man is oblivious to the fact that the woman expects him to follow her into the room. So she sits there seething and pre-navigating the next chapter of the argument in her head. The moment he walks through that door, she is just going to tell him… and he does not come through the door.

Actually, he is sitting on the veranda and probably lit a fire. Fire is good for men, it has a calming effect on them. And he happened to notice the soccer score in the newspaper, which he is now reading. Men compartmentalise. Since the danger and threat of the angry woman is not currently there, he can relax. Between battles, men’s bodies are relieved and cool down. (That’s why we have breaks during boxing, rugby, soccer and other sporting events.) Would he for one instant consider following her into that room? You have got to be kidding. He knows what is in that room and he wants to avoid it. He actually thinks she is cooling down in that room. Meanwhile… she is seething and the pressure is reaching boiling point. She tried crying louder, but men avoid crying women.

Eventually, unfortunately, this is also the point where some women lose the plot and threaten to harm or kill themselves in order to elicit sympathy or attention from the men. Men have a complete opposite reaction. They will assist her, take her to the hospital and get her emergency care (note: they take action, they do not express empathy) and thereafter they will try and hot heel it out of that relationship as soon as they can. Threatening or attempting suicide does not draw men closer. It repels them. I repeat: threatening or attempting suicide does not evoke feelings of empathy or love in a man. Quite the opposite.

When a woman exits a fight scene she expects the man to come after her. When a man exits a fight, he expects the woman to let him go. Do not cling to his legs or follow him, or throw objects at him.

Would it not be more productive and better for both, if women just never engage in aggressive fights with men? What is the point? There are better, more conducive and more mature ways of communicating her needs, displeasure and even her anger and hurt. There are ways to actually talk to a man, where he listens and attends to her needs.

Remember, basically, men want to be the heroes and fix the women’s problems.

pantheonRead more: TIME OUT

04Dec/16

Protectors And Warriors – “NOTHING”

“NOTHING”

Men reluctantly agree, that sometimes, they are the actual source of the woman’s problem. Although usually they are the handsome, sexy, clever, strong heroes, occasionally they can be the pain in the butt or the source of her pain. They also agree that when this happens, they would like her to tell them about it. I explain to the men that when she tells him about something he did that made her unhappy, men usually experience this as a dagger to the gut and then they have one of two reactions.

They either say: “You are being over sensitive.” Or they say: “Yes, but you also …” In both cases they are attacking the woman and excusing or defending their own behaviour. What follows is the woman retreats into silence. The next time he sees that sullen face and he asks: “What’s wrong?” he gets the icy: “Nothing.” Men hate the icy note, sullen mouth, and the screwed-up eyes face. Yet, if he does not afford the woman the opportunity to communicate to him what he did to make her unhappy, without interrupting her, he is conditioning her into that sullen face.

The next time a man hears “Nothing!” from a woman, he should ask himself how he responded the previous time she tried to tell him what was upsetting her.

Tone of voice

Anyone who has watched a movie like 300, depicting the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC when the Spartan king Leonidas faced the might of King Xerxes and the Persian empire, will develop a sense of the din of a raging battle. The man’s body is geared-up in the highest fight-or-flight mode. Now in this mode, a part of the brain stem – the primitive reptile brain – secretes a neuro-modulator called noradrenalin, which peaks his aroused senses.

This enables him to hear sounds in the finest detail and raises his signal-to-noise ratio. The more noise, the higher the aggression, the less he is able to argue reasonably. His pupils dilate and he is focused only on annihilating the opponent in front of him, one after the other, like a machine. Remember, his higher brain functions such as logical reasoning are temporary out of action. Would you try to reason with Leonidas in the heat of the battle? Knowing this about the functioning of a warrior, is it conducive to yell and scream at him in order to try to convince him of something?

So when I ask the men: “ How would you want her to communicate to you that you did something that made her unhappy?” they all unanimously agree: “It’s in the tone of voice.” One of the biggest complaints men have about women is TONE OF VOICE.

Remember when I explained a man decides within split seconds pre-consciously whether he is encountering an ally or an enemy? We hear faster than we see. Hearing is 25 per cent more acute than seeing. Men are especially sensitive to tone of voice, more than to content. They are also sensitive to criticism, which they perceive as verbal daggers, which will throw them into the flight-or-fight state. Men are apt not to flee, they fight.

Now the good news is if the woman is calm and engages her own parasympathetic or relaxed state, she activates her vagus nerve, which among other functions such as slowing down her breathing, will also actually lower her tone of voice. Our brains are reported to receive millions of bits of information per second from our senses, of which only 0.5 bits per second actually reaches our consciousness. The rest remain pre-conscious. So when the man perceives her calmness through his senses, he is pre-programmed to calm down and to actually stay focused and pay attention to what she is saying.

If she sits next to him, touches him and says gently: “I did not like the way you spoke to me at dinner. Please do not do it again. I do not speak to you that way.” Short and sweet. No need to repeat it, or analyse it. He heard her. Maybe he will apologise there and then, probably not, but he may make her coffee later and make some silly joke just to see her smile.

If he engages in some excuse or defends his actions, she should just smile and say: “I get your point. I know you don’t want to hurt me deliberately. Thanks for being my hero.” Now come on, can any man argue with that? Try it. It works. Much better than throwing a hissy fit and remember a gentle touch releases the oxytocin, which improves his emotional understanding of the situation.

I know women are asking: “But why should I be nice to him if he was horrible to me?” Just explain to me how reciprocating nastiness is going to resolve the problem? Or will it only exacerbate the situation? Which option offers a win-win benefit in the long run?

How would she prefer him to react when she tells him what is bothering her? She would not want him to interrupt her, defend or justify himself, change the subject or accuse her. If he could just keep quiet and let her finish talking, even if what she says may sound unfair. If she is talking in THAT TONE OF VOICE, he may say: “I really want to hear what I have done to upset you, but please can you tell me in a kinder way, it would help me understand.”

Then she tells him and he listens. When she is done, he may say: “Thank you for telling me. I need time to digest this.” He may even add: “I am sorry that you are hurting,” if he is really kind. Then he goes off and thinks about what she said and maybe she had a point and maybe he can up his game, or maybe she had misunderstood his intentions, eventually he could consider what is more important, the issue or his marriage? The same applies to her.

I need to stress that men complain about a woman’s tone of voice, but many men are guilty of raising their voices. Women are just as sensitive to men raising their voices and it scares them. Men often defend by saying they were just talking loudly. Talking loudly is raising your voice. It scares her. You are supposed to protect her, not scare her.

Some men talk down to women, patronising them. Some men have a bad habit of inflicting little nasty pricks with verbal daggers, continuously sniping at their women. Prick being the operative word. This can backfire. One woman told her man: “If only your dick was as sharp as your tongue.”

This comment illustrates the point I made about how a man fears a woman’s tongue as a dagger that can castrate him. The comment: “Since you like sex so much, don’t you think it is time you learn how to do it?” has pretty much the same effect. Perhaps men learnt to humiliate and belittle women from their mothers who used those daggers on their husbands? Imagine asking a man if he learnt to be a bitch from his mother?