MEN – Do you ever feel like the woman in your life is committed to being irritated with you no matter what you do, or don’t do? Many of us (men and women) have grown up believing that this is just part of How Things Are in relationships. Its difficult to believe otherwise when these periodic disagreements between you often flare up like spontaneous summer thundershowers, appearing without warning and disappearing just as quickly. Namaste and I have talked with hundreds of couples and many agree with us that this sporadic irritation and disquiet in relationships is an unwanted, undesired guest. It sucks the life and enjoyment out of whatever you happen to be doing and you hate it….but it seems to be unavoidable.
I believe that a major obstacle is the fact that most men are still doing what they saw their grandfathers and their fathers do – when she starts talking, YOUR job is to listen. Right?
Dont LISTEN? I know – it sounds crazy, right? I dont mean you should tune her out or be uninterested in what she’s talking about. The problem is that men have been using a flawed model for interacting with women during a conflict. This is totally understandable – we’ve had 50 years of mis-information about what women really want from men. For much of my life whenever the topic of “what Women want” came up in articles or books – I can remember this theme being repeated over and over and over again;
- Women want to be listened to.
- Women want a man that is really going to LISTEN to them.
- A woman’s greatest need is to be HEARD! Yadda, yadda yadda.
Somewhere along the line this notion that women want to be listened to has been grafted onto the masculine DNA. As a result, we men have become a nation…a WORLD OF ‘LISTENERS’ – and one of the unfortunate results of all this ‘listening’ is that HOW WE LISTEN has contributed to the dissatisfaction of millions of women that seem to be perpetually dissatisfied/disappointed with the men in their lives. For no apparent reason that most men can understand. Guys are irritated and frustrated and don’t really understand how their relationships began suffering from a low-grade fever of irritation and what’s worse, they dont know how to make it better.
Here’s a News Flash – Constant Listening is overrated.
Lets take a look at how men end up on the Irritation-Go-Round…
How many times has this happened to you?
- She’s dissatisfied for some reason about something.
- She wants to TALK to you about it.
- Conversation ensues – wait. This isn’t a real conversation at all, even if it starts out sounding like one. Actually, she mostly talks and you (mostly) listen. Things eventually ‘get better’ (as in issue is dropped or resolved) or they don’t (she gets even more dissatisfied/upset/irritated – talks with more intensity/louder/more emotional)
- At some point you’re admittedly confused – the ‘issue’ has changed. What she seems to be irritated about NOW probably sounds completely different from what the two of you began discussing .
- You still don’t say much of anything – meanwhile, your sense of confusion is slowly growing.
- Eventually, you feel you have enough data to piece together in your mind ‘what this is all about’. AHA!!!! I HAZ A COMMENT!!!!!
- You seize one of her many statements to this point in the discussion and either offer your brilliant solution to the ‘problem’ as you see it, or challenge the validity or accuracy of a specific factoid. (This is often the conversational equivalent of Our Hero cutting the blue wire to defuse the bomb and then watching helplessly as the countdown to detonation actually speeds up…)
- The intensity of her immediate response to your ‘contribution’ to the discussion leads to some variation of this thought in your head; ‘why didn’t I just keep quiet?’
- Now you’re irritated as well!
- At some point the white towel of male conversational surrender will be tossed into the ring; “I don’t even know what we are talking about anymore!”
- Both parties retreat to neutral corners.
- Irritation eventually dissipates.
- Real life ensues…until the next time.
- Lather, rinse, repeat for the duration of your relationship.
In the Aftermath….The uncomfortable silences…the olive branches of humor or the distraction of some activity or whatever y’all do to dissipate the irritation in the air….sometimes it works, sometimes it bombs miserably and the only thing you can do is hope that a good nights sleep will restore some sense of normal to your relationship. Sometimes one or both people apologize, which seems to work for a while but you keep wondering why this happens so often…are you just destined to constantly misunderstand each other? You can recall a time when you NEVER seemed to disagree about anything, remember that?…what happened to that time? How can you get it back?
Fear not – you CAN get the magic back…and what’s even better, you can virtually eliminate this dance of irritation from your relationship….forever.
Next: MEN – STOP DOING THESE FIVE THINGS WHEN YOU ARE TALKING TO YOUR WOMAN…..
Hey – if you are having communication issues in your relationship – we can help you feel better in as little as 30 minutes. Its free. We are good like that. Click here and lets talk.