It is no secret that women and men find it difficult to understand one another. We see this theme play out on a global scale, throughout society and of course, via individual experiences. I am guilty of not being able to understand men. I have through my own experiences been deeply betrayed and hurt by men and this had developed a need for me to protect myself from them. The reason for this, is because I did not trust them. I didn’t trust that they would keep me safe and that they had my best interests at heart. What the saddest part is, it was completely my fault. I allowed men into my life that didn’t have my best interests at heart (because it wasn’t aligned with theirs) so of course they were not going to protect me and allow me the freedom to feel safe. I didn’t trust them because I didn’t trust myself to walk away therefore, I made bad choices.
But that was then and this is now. What I understand as a result of all of these bad choices was simply, lack of effective communication and understanding. Firstly, I have assumed that men are a lot more calculating and deceptive than they are. Secondly, I haven’t realised that men see me as overly complicated when I’m not. This unfortunately is almost every single man and woman on this planet. Men only care about themselves and women are too hard work or crazy. This couldn’t be a more separating belief and it also couldn’t be further from the truth. All this does is eliminate our ability to understand one another and communicate with one another.
We have an amazing opportunity to put our wounds and assumptions about the other sex aside and learn what it is that makes them who they are. To try and understand so we can have better relationships. Whether this is romantically, platonically or within a family unit. We owe it also to ourselves to change the channel so we can feel free to be more of who we are and offer the same for others.
Men have a fundamental drive to protect. They want to be men and they want to keep their “tribe” alive and well. This is the most important thing to him. If you want to understand how a man behaves, watch Animal Kingdom and this is the basic instinct that runs through a human man. A man also has a deep desire to build his own empire. This is his measurement as a man and it is how he walks his truth on the earth. He needs certain levels of freedom and trust to be able to accomplish this. When a mans worth is built on keeping his tribe safe and building an empire, his ability to do this will also determine how much of man he is. As humans, we operate on a lot of validation. It is what helps us succeed and gives us the strength and confidence to get back up again. Therefore, for a man to be successful, he needs the people around him (his tribe) to trust where he is going. A man actually thrives in a space when he is trusted fully in following his desires. So if we break it down a man is driven by trust, freedom and a desire to give to his tribe.
A woman on the other hand is driven by the complete opposite. She wants to feel safe and to receive connection. When she feels safe and connected she is able to trust. When she can trust, she is able to feel every expression of these emotions (of who she is) and this keeps her connected to herself. If she can connect herself to another in this process, it is even more satisfying. These are highly complimenting desires to a man so we are in fact built to fit perfectly with one another.
Feeling is the primary word for a woman because a woman feels ALL THINGS! If you build a scale on a woman’s emotions, she would have a 360 degrees of different ones. She processes these very quickly and that is where her strength lies. When it does not feel safe and when she does not trust, she can’t be effective in this. Her attention needs to switch to guarding her safety and she can’t do both. If you can picture the cycle, the emotions keep coming but she has to push them aside. This starts to eliminate a very vital part of her and she slowly deteriorates. She will either start nagging and become bitter or she will simply give up.
Now a man, does not have the same capacity for emotional processing. If a woman has a 360 degree capacity of feeling, a man is about 1/3 of that. He also processes that 1/3 of emotion at a much slower rate than women. The reason for this, is he needs to have his wits about him to keep his eyes and instincts peeled for predators. If he has to try and work out this incredible puzzle of emotion, he is putting his tribe at huge risk and therefore, he can’t be trusted to keep them safe. He becomes less of a man and then he will become overwhelmed. He will either run because he feels shame and less of a man or he will stay and become controlling.
You can see, both men and women need to be trusted and offered the freedom to focus on what is important to them. When they have to do both, they can’t do the one that is most important effectively. They then feel like a failure and the destruction is imminent. One needs the other to feel freedom to be all that they are designed to be. To flourish in what makes them magnificent. When we have a lack of trust, we move from complimenting one another, to conflicting with one another. The question we are faced with now is, how do we use our gifts to compliment one another. This is actually so easy you will want to slap yourself. To illustrate this, we need to see the contrast.
Contrary to popular belief, a man loves emotions. He doesn’t have as many so he finds it naturally very alluring. He craves all of the different versions of a woman’s personality because he also loves variety. A woman does just that, she offers an incredible amount of variety.
Women are a beautiful representation of the moon. The moon changes every two days as does a woman. She feels different emotions, and approaches the world differently pretty much every two days. Within those two days she is also cycling different expressions and emotions. Women are an incredibly complex (not complicated) phenomenon. Men are instinctively mesmerised by this. They crave variety and women offer just that. The reason why a man will become confronted by this or find it complicated, is when he is made to feel like or tries to be responsible for her emotions. This is the scariest, most overwhelming and dangerous thing for a man. As we illustrated earlier, this inhibits his ability to be a man and to protect.
When a man feels that he is responsible for a woman’s emotions he does one of two things, he runs or he controls. If he stays and he can’t control, he will become less of a man and be emasculated. This will see a woman turn off him because he is no longer the strong man she was attracted to in the first place. Alternatively he will destroy the woman by eliminating her emotions to a more manageable range. In doing this, the woman loses parts of who she is (her emotions) the very thing that mesmerised him in the first place, disappears. He then is no longer attracted to her. In both of these scenarios, resentment follows.
When a woman is responsible for her emotions, the man gets to experience the incredible variety and beauty that is the female. She can illustrate these in the most remarkable ways and they quite literally take his breath away and turn him on. He looks at her with such desire and this validates her in more ways than a man could ever imagine. This makes her want to be MORE responsible for her emotions, it gives her permission to adore and love her emotions. This makes her feel so feminine and from this, makes him feel more of a man. This will deepen the magnificence of how he sees her and the cycle continues. Likewise, when he allows her to do this, she trusts him. She gives him his freedom to do whatever he needs to do to keep his tribe safe. She knows that he needs to work on his skills of fishing, sporting and surround himself with other tribal warriors to learn their skills and share his experiences. This is how he refines himself to be more of a man and this is what gives him permission to be more for her.
When he has these experiences, he builds up the man juice. He feels like more of a man and when he feels like this, he craves the variety (the feminine). He wants to dive back into her and watch and be mesmerised by her once again. He is happy, he is fulfilled and he is more and more a man with every day that passes. If a man is not given a place where he feels like a man, he needs to then be around more men to fill his man cup. So ladies, if you want to drive your man into the arms of his bros more often, keep bitching about him doing man things. This only emasculates him more and will want him seeking that out more, or will send him into the arms of someone that makes him feel like a man. If you want him at home, watching you be a woman, don’t make him feel like one. Let him feel like a man.
For a woman, to feel safe. She needs for him to witness her emotions and allow her the freedom to express them. When she is told she is “over emotional” or “overreacting”, this adds shame and anger into the mix and when you add too many emotions into the mixing bowl, it is like adding fuel to a manageable fire. It becomes out of control and it will take her that much longer to manage. You see, a woman needs to feel every part of something before she can move on from it. She needs to immerse herself in every emotion and explore all of the things that created it. This is how she in fact processes. Now the women reading this are all agreeing because they have processed it. The men reading this need a little more articulation so I will translate it without the emotion.
A woman experiences a situation of injustice. She needs to feel every single emotion that this injustice houses. And there are quite a number of them, let’s say seven. She can process seven very nicely and she knows which order they need to be processed in. If they don’t get sorted in her order, she can get stuck. For eg: a car moving from first gear to third or from fifth to first. She can move through this process efficiently when she is not taken off course. If she can soundboard it to another person she can be even more efficient however the soundboard can’t try and fast track the process by eliminating a step. The word here is soundboard, not fixer. A man, when he tries to take responsibility and fix this, will need to eliminate at least of five of these emotions so he can manage it but this just puts her system into chaos. All she can see is not that he is trying to help her, but he is minimising her and trying to take away her process. She sees him as not being able to understand her and then feels isolated, minimised and judged. Three more emotions on top of her seven that she has not been able to get through yet.
A man at this stage now is even more overwhelmed and confused. He knows he just fucked up dealing with two emotions (seven) and now they have increased to three (nine). He runs. She feels abandoned, unloved, unworthy and now she has twelve emotions to add to her process, she has to go and feel all of these and he contributed five of them. The problem stops being about the original injustice and starts being about him.
Pretty exhausting isn’t it. Let’s look at if a man was to simply watch her, to observe this process and use it as an opportunity to learn more about her. Throughout this she gives him little crumbs of what is important to her. He starts to see how it’s not just a silly thing to her. Because she is so deep and so sweet, it meant something to her and this makes him realise that she is just a beautiful, sweet, caring and wonderful woman. She is free to move through the seven feelings really quickly because there are power in numbers. He is giving her safety, validation, approval and acceptance. He is not abandoning her and this then adds four new emotions into her process. These now she needs to process and to do so she needs to feel them. Feeling these ones disarm her, make her feel wanted, she softens and her heart opens. When her heart opens, guess what else does! I’m sure I don’t need to spell out what comes next…….
And this my fellow humans, is the most exciting dance in the cosmos.