***waits for the digestion of the title, and for the obvious backlash it could possibly unleash***
You can’t get mad at me; I didn’t say the above. My pastor said it. And he said it to be “helpful” not to be “hateful”.
The above statement is not to say that “men don’t feel” or “women don’t think. Quite the contrary. Being a pastor, he has done marriage counseling and this one of the many ideals that couples need to understand when they communicate.
Here is the ideal in full:
Men are thinkers; women are feelers. You can’t tell a man how to FEEL unless you know and UNDERSTAND what he THINKS, and you can’t tell a woman what to THINK until you know and UNDERSTAND what she FEELS.
***waits for further digestion***
Y’all still with me?
I know I have been/am guilty of not fully putting the above into practice. Like I may or may not have told you before, I am hypersensitive, which basically translates into heightened senses. I see, hear, smell taste and feel things at almost a supernatural level. This is a great asset when it comes to writing but not so much so when it comes to relationships because I have been called (and will take accountability for it) “over emotional”.
But my refutation for that sentiment is:
I’d rather feel than NOT to feel.
That usually shuts men up.
For a little while anyway.
In my experience, the only emotion I have noticed that men are comfortable with expressing is anger. Again because like I have inferred in a past blog Men Want to be Needed; women Need to be Wanted. Men, for whatever reason, feel that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness. But no, not anger. Anger gets the testosterone pumping and makes men feel all “arrrrrrghhhh and manly”.
My “friend” is one of those “manly men”. I remember a time he was so angry I got this obscure text message that had a lot of cursing in it. I inquired about the issue, and he came by and literally spewed his anger towards his “situation” for oh, three hours non-stop. It was a fast paced mumble with a dialect that bordered on Southern.
I listened the best that I could.
But, I didn’t say sh*t.
Because he didn’t need me to say sh*t, because I couldn’t fix his situation. I mean I could have, but he didn’t want me to have a felony on my record combined with the fact that I only have two bedrooms in my bungalow.
But I segued, my bad.
An article, I make my students read in class called Sex, Lies and Conversation by Deborah Tannen, addresses the fixing vs the fluff when it comes to male/female communication.
Paraphrasing the article:
*Men, if we come to you with a concern of ours. We understand the story may be long and riddled with detail you don’t need (fluff). But we say all of that to you, to get you to empathize with our situation. We appreciate “feedback noise” when we “tell the story”. By that I mean an occasional, “mmmhmm, really, you don’t say, get out, are you f*cking kidding me?” That lets us as women know that you are indeed listening. But be sincere don’t “loop” it. That just pisses us off.
1-Shut the f*ck up sometimes, and get to the point.
2-Men are fixers and they want to know:
a-if there is, in fact, a problem
b-can they fix the problem
c-if you want them to fix the problem.
It’s not that they don’t care that “Keisha” was wearing “that God awful yellow sweater while she cussed you out at work as you were trying to eat your salmon salad at lunch which was at three-thirty because the meeting ran long”. But those bits of information are not really relevant to them “fixing” the problem, and they will lose interest in the monologue and “go watch the game”.
Side bar: When I write, I tend to blame “Keisha” for a lot of sh*t. If your name is “Keisha” my bad; it’s not personal.
So here are a few pieces of advice when it comes to communicating with the man you supposedly Love:
Unless it is an extreme emergency…
*Do not wake him.
*Do not bother him while he is “watching the game” or “doing what he loves to do”.
*Preface the conversation with “I need to talk to you; I have a problem, but the problem is NOT YOU.
*That above bolded and italicized statement, is NOT AN OPTIONAL statement, because men for whatever reason hear the words “talk” and “problem” and IMMEDIATELY get defensive and/or shut down.
*However, if the problem is because of him, don’t come at him like a screamin banshee. Men don’t like that sh*t either.
*Also try not to make accusing “you statements”. I will give you an example: “Henry” didn’t take out the trash again.
Shut up, I don’t know a man named Henry either. LOL.
Instead of yelling at Henry with, “You stupid, lazy, “sonofamotherlessgoat, I have asked you four times this week to take out the f*ckin trash. You have time for that damn X-Box, Playstation, or ball game, but when are you gonna take out the damn trash, ass-clown?”
“Hey Henry, are you okay? I am kinda hurt that I asked you to take out the trash four times this week, and it isn’t done. It makes me feel like I’m not being heard, and I am the only one who or cares about the household chores.”
TRUST ME when I say, “Henry” will be more receptive to that than the screaming and will take out said trash at the first opportunity he gets.
*TRY not to argue via text message. (raises hand– I am “guilty” of that myself). But written messages sometimes are unclear and there is no “sarcasm or I’m kidding” font. No matter how many “lol’s” you put in a text, sometimes you just have to wait to TALK to the man.
*Notice I said TALK, not YELL.
And if none of that works, kick him in the nuts and destroy the television.
PEACE and SHINE ON!!!