There’s an ever rising population of aggro men in this country and women have no one to blame but themselves. Men are hurt, angry and confused- even if they don’t know why- and with good reason.
1) Men have emotions. Women need only adjust how they listen. Men express plenty of feelings; they just do it differently than women and there’s nothing wrong with that.
You know how Eskimos supposedly have 4 dozen words for snow? It’s the same thing for women and feelings. They have over 4 dozen ways to describe happy, angry, sad–4 dozen reasons why they’re mad at their co-worker today.
When a woman says, “men need to be more sensitive and in touch with their emotions,” I hear, “men need to be more like women.” Bad idea. If women want to be with men who can talk about their feelings and daily minutia just like their best girlfriend, then why don’t they just get together with their girlfriend?
2) Men are more solution-focused while women are process-focused. There have been numerous studies (of questionable methodology) asserting that women use more words than men per day. Recent research finds such assertions are unfounded. Men and women actually use about the same number of words a day. It’s not a matter of women being more verbal; generally speaking, we’re equally verbal.
Here’s the difference: women use words to process their feelings, often wallowing in emotions without reaching resolution. Men state their feelings and use words to achieve resolution. As a collective, women have told men that not talking about feelings as much as they do makes them inadequate. For the record, a glut of feelings without resolution is meaningless.
Society doesn’t tell women, “Hey, instead of blathering about your feelings and problems all day, why don’t you get off your ass and do something about them.” I don’t walk around saying, “I don’t know how to fix my car,” like I’m an abnormal defective. Yet, I’ve heard countless men parrot, “I’m not good at talking about my feelings” in a tone that sounds like they’ve been beaten into submission. Women say this to the men they supposedly love without batting an eyelash and men just swallow it. Can you imagine the female outrage if men did the same thing to women by saying, “You’re not good at being rational.”
How It Happened
Thirty years ago, Psychology became “feminized.” Women entered the field in droves in the late 1970s. Now, women greatly outnumber male mental health professionals, and let’s face it, the men who enter the field may as well have a uterus, that’s how estrogen-ized the field has become.
Thus began the “men need to be more sensitive and get in touch with their feelings” re-education movement. Female mental health “experts” surfaced in the proliferation of daytime talk shows and male characters cried openly on television shows like 30something to get in touch with their “sensitive side.”
The Lie and the Truth
In this confluence of events, men tried to become the sensitive guy modern women claimed to want, but did they? In reality, most women don’t want men who cry when they watch Beaches. In fact, most women don’t want to be with men who would willingly watch Beaches or a Lifetime network movie.
They don’t want men to be unfeeling robots, but want them to be men–strong and reliable, yet capable of tenderness. The result? American men, once stalwart bull mastiffs, turned into angry confused Pekingese drowning in a sea of mixed signals unleashed by women.
I sympathize with men. As a group, they were put into a no-win situation by women who didn’t understand their changing roles or what they wanted.
Accept and embrace the differences. Why swim upstream? It’s a lot easier to appreciate and desire men in all their glories and faults, then to try to make them become “like us.” It makes relationships easier. It makes life easier. It makes it easier to forgive and to love.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
Shrink4Men Counseling, Consulting and Coaching
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides individual services to help individuals work through their relationship issues via telephone or Skype, particularly men who are trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.
Man bashing by ArtByChrysti on flickr.