Silly Grins

Friday, April 20, 2012

Relationships: Women 'n Men

 From another interview:
It would be a really good idea for a man to simply listen to a woman, hear her out before he tries to fix anything. Listen to all she has to say, keep quiet...and then say something that lets her know that he’s heard what she said. And then say:

 “Is there any of that you want help with?”

Now, it’s the woman’s job really to say:
  “Just listen to me. And then, if I need help, I’ll ask you.”

(At this point, as this little journey begins, it might be a good idea to put on some background music...

yeah...that's better...just remember to keep the volume on low, feel the caress of that warm, gentle breeze as you sail on through)

So, a woman does need to learn how to ask for help. But, most often, if we’ve been home alone all day with kids or we’ve been home alone all day and whatever and we don’t…we need another adult with whom to communicate something or just let ‘em know that we are…we need a mirror or someone to just hear us. 
If we’re not…if we’re interrupted too fast and someone comes up with solutions or fixes it, it feels as if the person really doesn’t want to hear us, really doesn’t care about our feelings…all they want to do is jump in and take over and control the situation and fix it so fast that you don’t even have a chance to really be heard. And it’s not about fixing. A lot of times it’s just about being heard.
And, yes, men tend to fix things. That’s why we need to let men know, “I don’t want you to fix this. I don’t want you to save me. I don’t want you to save the world. I just want you to hear me ‘cause I’ve been lonely all day and I need to know what it is…I need to hear myself talk first of all."
And then we can ask, “Now that I’ve said all this and you’ve heard me, could you help me put out the garbage or could you help me lift this or could you help me?” But a lot of times there’s no need for any help or any fixing. It’s simply...we need an ear. We just want to be heard.
When we’re not heard, we go into a feeling of despair. And sometimes we get very angry. And we get very sad. Women who don’t know how to get angry get sad. Women who don’t know how to be sad don’t know how to show their sadness [and] get angry. A lot of men do that; men get, instead of that, or afraid.
So, um, it’s really easy when we get overwhelmed, we simply, more often than not, we’re perfectly capable of taking care of things, we just need someone to know what’s going on. And it’s never a contest. Like:
Him (or her): Oh, yeah, I’ve had a really bad day!
Her (or him): Well, I’ve had a worse day than you!!
It has nothing to do with anything. Both people have bad days and both people need to be heard.
Each person needs to be able to say, “Wow. And this happened to me and it’s really a big struggle for me,” and say “I’m not asking you to help. I don’t want you to fix it. I just want you to hear me. And then I’ll figure out what it is I need help with. But don’t figure it out for me because that makes me feel incompetent or like you are impatient with me and you just want to get past this and you just don’t want to deal with me. And my emotions, if I get angry, sad, or whatever…are not, you know, sometimes they get out of hand. But, and they won’ get as out of hand if we’re heard if somebody just listens to us and just doesn’t, don’t engage. Just listen."
It’s really so much easier…in some ways…than all that other stuff

Just to relax. Do a lot of deep breathing. And just go, “Oh, I just need to listen. She’s really had a hard day.”
And yeah, you may have had a hard day too. And maybe once you’ve listened then she’ll be wiling to listen to you.
If you also say, “Yeah. Wow. I hear you’ve had a really hard day and it’s hard here with the kids because you’ve been here all day long by yourself, there’s no one else to help you make decisions, the kids…it’s 24-7, you can never, it’s…it’s really a grind, I really appreciate the fact that you’re willing to stay home and do this because this is a really important job you’re doing.”
And really, really listen. And then, if she runs down and she’s got any energy for listening, you need to be listened to too. But you might have to say:

“Do you have any energy left to hear about my day?”

You know, check it out.  And then maybe she’ll learn more about checking out do you have energy to hear about my day so that you don’t…the tendency is that the minute a person walks in the door, you’re ready to explode and you dump it on them. If the person comes home. I had a husband who never came home hardly, so he didn’t get dumped on. 

(Now, she laughs). 


An odd end: 
There are jokes you tell some people before they tie the knot, the kind of jokes they are sure to remember, but not really understand until after the honeymoon is over. Although those jokes may seem cruel, they are simply true. I'd rather laugh...till it hurts.



  1. I didn't finish reading because as soon as I began I knew what I could do to help this lady, so I started writing her an email to, you know, help her fix her problem. But, then I realized I don't have her email address...

    1. We work with what we've got to fix what we can and still seem to catch hell for it because we are not Fabio.

      "Many people ask me...Fabio, can there be another Fabio? The answer is No."

  2. I have been reaping the rewards of being a good listener for a long time. It's practically my job with the adult females. I do it naturally. I like to read people and find their buttons. The good ones and the bad ones.

    1. This is one of the first comments I have seriously considered 'moderating' - not cause I'm jealous or anything. You actually listen. And probably understand what needs fixin' and what doesn't. Some buttons need to be pressed (and perhaps are begging to be).

      No, I am not jealous.

      Just in awe.

      In awe of the fact that you know what's going on. By nature, curse, or whatever. My memory of your blog is in a recollection that you awoke to a woman on top of you pounding (hammer-fist) until you almost faded to black. No, I am not jealous. I am in awe...especially when you find the buttons, good and bad, at the same time. In some ways, it seems like a miracle. In other ways, it's 'lolo' or something like that. Better you than me.

      With respect.

  3. We're really into Mars/Venus territory here, aren't we?

    Listening is vital. Of course it is. But solutions aren't things to turn your nose up at either. If something's obviously broken and you have no interest in fixing it then that's not venting, that's having a martyr complex.

    1. Yup. Men and women are different. We grunt, like to hunt, iron shirts, and they (those women) like to do whatever-it-is. And, as you have brought up AA (Ares and Aprhodite), I'm not going to go on about how people get their credentials from diploma mills (I am making specific reference here to something that actually 'makes sense' - if you don't get the reference, that's okay, not like you would really want to torture yourself and google 'gavin sheridan' and 'dr. gray').

      Back on topic.

      At one time, a fried of mine said, "Oh, you're a 'fix-it'." What he meant was, that I am the kind who listens and takes everything literally to the point of tearing down and rebuilding within an unrealistic time-frame while lacking the proper tools and materials. You ever bake something new without the proper measuring tools or ingredients and your better half wonders why it doesn't look just like the picture?

      Sometimes I think that read-headed stepchildren have it easy.

  4. Oh, and love the new look, btw.

    1. Thank you. Ironically, the book is one by Dr. Funk. Yes, Dr. Funk...the cheeky fellow who once upon a time published an article titled "Be Glad Your Wife's Neurotic" (No, I won't dare you to google this one either).