Why your boyfriend never listen and your girlfriend want to change you ?
All time classic relationship book, if you never date or in a relationship i suggest you put the book aside first, if you don’t have enough context you cant relate to most of the situations in the book.
To start with , we expect opposite sex want what we want, feel like what we feel. Due to the different want / feel in opposite sex, we tend to think our girlfriend as a GUY !
Woman want empathy and man offer solutions. Man offer solutions and woman seek to improve. The sense of self for a man is to define through ability to achieve results. Man pride themselves of doing things by themselves. Woman sens of self is the feelings , quality of relationships, the fulfillment come from sharing and relating to others. Man are goal orientated and woman are relationship orientated. For most man mentality, we don’t need to fix something until its broken, however for woman is “if something work can always be improve”. So when a woman try to improve a guy, a guy tend to think he is broken and lost the sens of self. in contrast, when woman talk about problem to get closer , they don’t necessary need a solution ( of course sometimes they DO need your practical opinion), for man most of the time you just need to present and listen, without offering solutions.
When it come to stress, man and woman also has different strategy. For man , they like to withdraw into the cave of his mind, focus in solving the problem, if he cannot find solution, he as to unstuck his mind into TV, driving etc and get to the solution again. the most 5 common misunderstand between man and woman
- ” You don’t listen” > woman don’t want only listen, they want a fully undivided attention
- “You not even here” > woman want full presence, instead of just a body without soul there
- “You don’t care” > woman don’t want the solution but direct attention and caring
- ” I feel like I am not important” > man focus on the problem solving and ignore the feeling she is bothered.
- “You have no feeling” > unaware of the indifferent feelings to others when man is preoccupied.
When Men talk about problem (with other man) normally, is when he seriously need an advice and try to blame someone, which we assume woman do the same. That’s why when woman talk about problems, man have a feeling of ” Am i the one to be blamed?”
Men are motivated and empowered when they feel they are needed. Woman are motivated and empowered when they feel cherish. Its like death when a men feel he is not being needed.
There are 3 step to heal a relationship.
- Motivation >share the feelings and men listen
- Responsibility – When woman are not supporting and men not settling bounderies
- Practice : Express honest feeling in a respectful way
To fully express her feeling, women tend to use a lots of superlatives, metaphors, generalization. As a man to fully understand the girls prospective, we have to dive underneath the face value and see what it really means.
How to approach a man with criticism :
- Tell him directly : I don’t like XXX – if he is annoyed, respect his sensitivity and apologize
- Talk about it in other time
- Directly ask”Would you let me XXX”
- I want to talk about XX but i don’t know how to , i don’t want to offend you but i want to say XXX
Base on different need in the relationship , a woman should be be judged for needing reassurance, a man should not be judged for need to withdraw.
For a men intimacy cycle : Getting close > Pull away >> Getting close again. Men lose sense of self through connecting with the partners, he might lose touch of himself, there are 2 way woman try to stop the cycle by chasing him (which he run further ) or punish him ( which slowly build resentment).
Woman rise and fall in their ability to love themselves and others. When negative feeling are suppressed, resentment slowly build and love die slowly.
Telling a woman “You shouldn’t feel this way” is the worst thing a man can ever say to a woman as woman have the need to be heard. Man want space and woman want understanding, when a woman financial need are fulfilled, she become more aware of her emotional need.
Normally, man give what man want and woman give what woman want to our partners,some major woman wants : Caring, understanding, respect, devotion, validation and reassurance. Some major man wants: trust , acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval and engagement. Number one way man can fulfill a woman needed is through communication.
In a relationship , the closer we are to someone, the easier it is to bruise or be bruised and we become more and more vulnerable.
In a fight, normally partner not objecting what we say but how we say it, there are 4F in an argument:
Fight: Intimidation weaken trust in relationship
Flight: Avoid talking to avoid argument
Fake: Build resentment of always giving but partners don’t give back.
Fold : resent give up themselves for sake of love
When a woman keep score, how big/small thing a man does is scoring 1 point, little thing as important as big thing. The bigger mistake a man can make is assume he can do ONE big thing ( honeymoon / bring salary home ) score 90 points in one giant swing.
When we try to communicate different feelings, we can try to write a love letter, let the anger, sadness, fear , regret and love flow in the words.
Very often in a relationship, there will be sudden negative negative emotion come form nowhere, 10% of related to the present relationship but 90% can related to our suppress feeling in the past, as love make us safe to feel, for more of this topic you can see the other book called <meeting the shadow>, which talk about how suppressed feeling we have affect our day to day life.
Overall i think the book give general good advice on relationship and point out some blind spot for different sex, however i think everyone is an unique individual and the book can be a reference but more important is to stay present with our partner and do our best to feel what they really feel.
Until next time !