Mistakes Women Make:
1. Getting Emotional and Raising Their Voices: Tone and pitch are best at a neutral level. Nothing is gained from yelling. (Consider your children's therapy later too.)
2. Using Rhetorical Questions That Cannot be Answered: All men are fixers (project managers). If they can't fix things presented to them, because they don't understand, they will go on the defensive and blame back.
3. Making Vague Complaints Using Generalisations: "You always..." "You never..." "We never..." Did you know that using the word "You" in a complaint is the fastest way to start an argument? (State your needs and use the word "I".) Men want your admiration and praise more than anything, so if you demonstrate disapproval your man will feel incompetent. And if you do that enough, his ego will go elsewhere.
4. Kitchen Sinking: Bringing up old issues and throwing them together in a fight. Human beings can only sort one problem out at a time. This will overwhelm your partner. Don't do it. Try and resolve the old stuff, but don't bring it up in a new argument.
5. Comparing Your Man: Men are competitive from birth, so if you compare him to others (your father, friend's husband, his best mate, boss or an ex-partner) he will get a rise. His FIGHT or FLIGHT will go off. Tell him what you do like about his behaviour, not what you don't like and don't compare him to someone who is richer, smarter, fitter, better educated or more attractive. Instead of, "Gayle's husband is a good communicator." Say. "I love it when you talk to me about your day."
6. Expecting Your Partner to Make You Happy: Here is an analogy I use often. You are the cake and your partner is the cherry icing on top. You are responsible for feeling good about yourself. Only you can change what you don't like about yourself. It is not your partner's job to fill in your insecurities and to patch up a bad childhood. See a therapist and do work on yourself. Sure, they love you as you are, but they will love you more if you love yourself and you are fulfilled in your work and home life. Happiness comes from within, not skinny thighs. If you expect to get validated every five minutes from an external person you will need that validation all the time. We call that co-dependency and it is not healthy.
Mistakes Men Make:
1. Raising Their Voices and Appearing Aggressive: Tone and pitch are best at a neutral level no matter what your gender.
2. Sounding Condescending: When women are dismissed this can bring up Daddy issues for women who were dismissed a lot by males throughout their lives: Fathers, Exes, brothers, teachers, religion, patriarchy and society in general. Nothing makes women fume like, "It’s nothing..." "Don't worry about it..." "It's not a big deal..." "Your fussing or overreacting..." It is oil on a fire.
When you don't communicate to a communicator (which women are genetically wired to be), their UNSAFETY mechanism will go off. Women need to be validated in their worries, feelings and concerns. If you don't, some new guy at the gym will.
3. Not Listening: Example: Before she has finished telling you her story, you offer solutions. Often women are not looking for solutions because they already know how to handle a situation. What they are doing by sharing something with you is CONNECTING. This is 'intimacy' even if you don’t recognise it. So listen, without interrrupting, and ask questions about the topic. DON'T GIVE SOLUTIONS! This is called 'Active Listening' and it is something couples learn in Couples Counselling. It saves marriages and relationships every day.
4. The Fob Off: When your woman asks you over, and over, to do something and you think she is nagging, consider that in her feminine mind it is an alarm bell. The alarm says, "He is not reliable." It says, "I am not safe. My children are not safe. I always have to do things myself." The bottom of a woman's relationship pyramid is SAFETY and PROTECTION. This means that your top job as a partner is to offer her safety and protection. If she thinks that she has to do all the chores and the things that she considers to be the role of a father, husband, partner - and it is part of her value system, it will wear her down and she will eventually look for someone more reliable.
5. Tit for Tat: (Women do this too. It is called Kitchen-Sinking): When you partner complains, instead of listening and working on the problem you make her the problem and fire back with everything she has done wrong since time began. Men are competitive because of their prehistoric wiring, but it really does not help. You will both get overwhelmed with the scope of problem-solving.
6. Having to Have the Final Word: Women are better at expressing themselves because of their original, prehistoric wiring, so they tend to communicate better in an argument. However, this can bring out the competitive streak in men when they are frustrated and disempowered. So winning the argument can be more important than negotiating a truce and finding some common ground. Sadly, it will come across to her as EGOTISTICAL and not loving.
Chat to me, Ghita Andersen, about couples counselling if you find you need more help understanding each other.