The Secret Life of Women: How Men Can Finally Understand Female Emotions

man and woman fightLion Goodman discovers the key to understanding how women communicate and how men can learn to speak their language.

I was talking with my friend and colleague, John, about my relationship, and its challenges. I smiled and said, “Women’s emotional reactions have baffled men forever.”

With his typical wise and cosmic perspective, he smiled, and asked, “Would you like to understand feminine emotion?”

What? Someone who actually understands women’s emotions? And can explain them? I said. “Lay it on me, Bro!”

A few minutes into his discourse, I stopped him to get a tape recorder. I knew I had to share this information with other men. We really need to learn about this major difference between men and women. It will save us SO much trouble. If it enlightens you, please share it with all the men you know.

◊♦◊

John spoke of “the feminine” and “the masculine,” but it’s easier to write about the genders – men and women – than those two cosmic principles. Please translate my language from “men” to “masculine” and “women” to “feminine.” We all have both within us.

John began: “There are many differences between men and women, including brain design and function, the way they feel and know the world, and different beliefs indoctrinated into them by their families and culture. I’m going to focus first on how women process emotions, and how that gives them a different experience of the world.

If you hurt her feelings last year by acting in a particular way, or if you said something unkind, that pain still lives in her. She feels the possibility that you could do it again – even if you’ve changed significantly since that time.

“Women have a much better memory than men, especially when there’s an emotional component. Women attach their memories to their emotions – and also to their defense mechanisms. Your woman has specific memories of you. She remembers who you have been, and everything you’ve done in the past. She still reacts to those memories, and she operates, and makes decisions, based on her memories of who you were a year ago, and three years ago, and five years ago.

“If you hurt her feelings last year by acting in a particular way, or if you said something unkind, that pain still lives in her. She feels the possibility that you could do it again – even if you’ve changed significantly since that time. If you ever act like her absent father, or her mean brother, or her careless first boyfriend, she sees that you have the same potential to hurt her as they did.

“Her decisions and reactions are based on all of those memories – including her subconscious ones – as if you were those people, unchanged, today. I know this seems like a problem. But it’s just feminine nature. It’s a very strong influence on her feelings and her reactions.

“Here’s another thing: most women don’t differentiate by time when it comes to emotions – their emotions are all tied together across time. They re-experience their previous emotions as if they were all happening now – and this can be quite intense.

If a situation today is at all similar (in any way) to what happened in the past, then emotionally, this situation equals that situation. In computers, this is called ‘fuzzy logic.’ In the brain, it’s called ‘the cortex’s associative matrix.’

◊♦◊

“Men process emotions and emotional memory very differently. It’s not better – just different. Men don’t carry a gestalt that combines incidents-plus-feelings-plus-people-plus-consequences that women live with all the time. When a man experiences something emotional, it’s simply related to the facts of the matter at the moment. He will typically look for a direction he can move things, or a structure he can correct, in order to get past it.

Men interpret things simply. They look to see whether they feel good at the moment, and whether their woman is happy at the moment.

Men see events as discrete from each other (even if they’re not). Women correlate their feelings to the structure and evolution of the relationship, and they project it forward into the future of the relationship, and it’s expected development. Men interpret things simply. They look to see whether they feel good at the moment, and whether their woman is happy at the moment.

“Women experience events as a huge set of related constructs and dominoes that all correlate across time. ‘If he did this and that, it means this and this, and that. And that’s going to mean this… and this means that could happen, and because of what happened ten years ago, it’s going to mean that, too. And then we’re going to have children, and they’re going to grow up and be like this because of that, and then my friends will think this about it, and they’ll react in that way, and my God, then what will happen?’

“This kind of thinking and speaking is totally baffling to men. A man’s thought process is more linear: this, then this, then this, then that. Women experience everything multidimensionally (which makes them good at multitasking).

From a woman’s point of view, the way women process information and feelings makes perfect sense. To men, it’s like an alien language.

From a woman’s point of view, the way women process information and feelings makes perfect sense. To men, it’s like an alien language. These processes are just very different from each other. They have the potential of being complementary and supportive of each other, which starts with understanding.

“When it comes to information about relationships, women can run rings around most men. They understand thousands of facets and dimensions of relationships, and consider them all at the same time, including all the nuances of personal and interpersonal relationships, expectations of social and interpersonal decorum, etc. And this ability is built right into their energetic DNA. It’s the world they live in.”

◊♦◊

I listen, stunned, my head swimming, trying to comprehend all that John was saying. The best I could do was to say, “So emotionally, we’re completely outgunned and outclassed, right?”

He laughs. “No, not at all.  However, these differences must be understood and accepted. Otherwise, when a man attempts to communicate with a woman on an emotionally-loaded issue, he’s likely to be overwhelmed by the woman’s rapid-fire communication. He’ll go into information overload. She’s going to say, ‘What about this, and this, and this, and this?’ He won’t be able to deal with all of those complexities, because he can’t process all of the emotional dimensions as quickly as she can rattle them off.

“He’s going to think she’s being defensive, or that she’s talking gibberish, or she’s adding extraneous information. As a result, he might get angry and frustrated, or try to shut down the conversation. All she’s doing is communicating her emotional reality. She’s living it from moment to moment, and she assumes that it’s all vital information he needs to know. She’s trying to deal with what she sees as his lack of understanding of the emotional reality of the situation. She wants to establish a clear, trustworthy and shared understanding of the situation that they can both work from and negotiate from.

“It’s how she understands the world, and how she makes decisions, moment by moment. It’s how she takes care of her own well-being, self-esteem, and her own place in society. It’s how she cares for and manages all of her relationships.

This is why men appear emotionally unavailable to women, and why they appear to be less emotionally involved in the relationship. He doesn’t have the ability to process her emotional communications.

“This is why men appear emotionally unavailable to women, and why they appear to be less emotionally involved in the relationship. He doesn’t have the ability to process her emotional communications. It’s one reason why men don’t listen more to women, and they appear to be living on different planets. Men can learn this language, but they have a hard time keeping up. There’s usually a time lag for him to get and understand her feelings.”

I manage to say, “I’ve heard that men know one thing at a time, and women know everything at once.”

“Sure,” he says. “Women process relationship information as a gestalt – a whole. Men process information one bit at a time. Without knowing it, women naturally communicate more emotional and relationship information than men can readily and constructively process.”

◊♦◊

My mind was reeling, but curious. I felt a bit overloaded – sort of like talking to my woman.  I asked him to give me a specific example, hoping that it would pull my thoughts back together.

“Okay, let’s imagine a guy who’s pretty sensitive. He’s been thinking that he wants more sex with his partner. He knows it’s a touchy subject, so he spends some time thinking about how he’s going to bring up the topic. In the past, it usually hasn’t gone so well. So he finds her in a good mood one day, and he says, ‘You know, honey, I love making love with you. It’s so good when we do! We’re both really happy, and we feel that beautiful energy between us. I’d like us to create more of that feeling in our relationship. What can we do to bring more of it in?’

“What do you think happens next?”

“It can’t be good.” I say. “I don’t know of a good way to have that conversation.”

“Right,” he says. “It goes terribly. She gets incredibly hurt, and thinks of him as some kind of brutish jerk for being so insensitive. He gets completely confused. He thought it was a great way to bring up a difficult conversation. He was being kind and straightforward.

“But let’s look at how she interpreted what he said. She doesn’t hear the facts: that he loves her, that he’s longing for more of her, and he wants to bring more pleasure into their life together. That’s how a man would hear it – as discrete facts.”

Based on my years of experience with women, I offer a guess: “She probably interprets it as, ‘I’m not good enough for you.’”

“Much more than that,” John says. “She has multiple interpretations all at once. She hears him saying: ‘There’s something wrong with you. You’re not satisfying me. You’ll never satisfy me. You’re not sexy. You’re not enough for me. I’ll never approve of you. You have to change in order to be worthy of my love and approval.’ And that’s just in the first few seconds.

“Then comes the second round. She thinks, ‘He doesn’t love me. I can’t please him. He’s destroying everything I’ve worked for in this relationship.’ She can’t even put most of this into words. There’s a core reaction happening at her depth, and she feels her world falling apart.

Then round three begins – her reaction to those thoughts: ‘You’re not seeing me as who I am — the source of love – and you’re not seeing everything I’ve done to show you how loving I am. After all the ways I’ve expressed my love to you over the years, you’re saying all that effort and love means nothing. You’re crushing my life. I might as well just give up, or die.’

She feels the rug pulled out from under her most precious, loving emotions. Her intellect is off-line for all practical purposes.

“She feels the rug pulled out from under her most precious, loving emotions. Her intellect is off-line for all practical purposes. She can’t interpret what’s going on any other way. Her identity as a loving woman has been questioned, put on trial, and found wanting. It’s emotional death.

“You know that a person will do anything they can to avoid feeling those awful feelings. She’ll scream and fight, or collapse and cry, or dissociate, or withdraw, or call her girlfriends and talk about what a brute he was for saying that. And they’ll agree, because they can feel whatever she’s feeling, to its full depth and breadth.”

◊♦◊

I’m breathing slowly, consciously, trying to keep up with the emotional wonderland John is describing. At the same time, I realize that this is what I’ve been dealing with in my relationships with women my whole life. Something is beginning to dawn on me – but I’m not sure what.

“So what can a man do?” I ask, innocently. “Should we just shut up and listen, and not engage? Or just do our best, figuring we’re going to lose the emotional battle anyway? What do you suggest?”

John looks at me with a mixture of compassion and pity. I know he respects me as a good man – it’s just that I’m a natural-born emotional blockhead.

He replies, thoughtfully, “It’s possible for partners to understand their different needs, and work cooperatively to mutually satisfy all of them. The first step for the man is to really understand how differently women process emotional information.

Women really want to see the good in their men. They try hard to replace and over-write past memories of hurts and discomforts. Their complex emotional process is truly a miracle, an intuitive marvel.

“Before you share anything that could be emotional wounding, you need to imagine how your partner might perceive it. Imagine that you’re her, and project yourself into her female body. Feel what it will feel like for her to hear what you have to say. Feel the impact on her emotional body. Then spend time thinking about how you might be able to buffer the communication so your partner can receive it. It’s not easy, but it will save you a lot of processing time later. And it’s also a good idea to create a protective structure for those kinds of conversations. Have an objective third person there with you, such as a friend or therapist. Or specify rules of engagement in advance. Create structures for communication safety.

“Women really want to see the good in their men. They try hard to replace and over-write past memories of hurts and discomforts. Their complex emotional process is truly a miracle, an intuitive marvel. It’s what makes relationships possible, and beautiful, and improve over time. But when they get triggered, all those emotional memories can come up automatically. Once that process is engaged, there aren’t any easy alternatives.

“Men are not really designed to interact constructively with women’s triggered emotional processes. It’s possible for men to improve in this area, and it’s possible for women to heal their tendency to react in this way, but it takes some wisdom and finesse on both sides. The solution is for both men and women to proactively disassemble the non-helpful elements of their communication and emotional processes, and to constructively shift their communication system so that they no longer interact in ways that produce pain in the first place.”

◊♦◊

I consider the potential of all this new information, and say, “John, if you could develop a method to do that, you could win a Nobel prize, or get very rich.”

John laughs. “Yes, but most women see it differently. They see their process as a very empowering thing. It’s a defensive power tool in their relationship tool bag – a way for them to have leverage, defend themselves, and be validated. It serves them. In its positive form, it helps them remember, understand and manage all the various aspects of all their relationships.

“Our goal should be to become more conscious of the downsides on both sides of the equation, and also the positive aspects that enhance both people. Both men and women get themselves all tied up unnecessarily, and too often, they use it to blame the other person. It takes some work to become conscious, but it can be accomplished.

I said, “Okay, I now have a better understanding of women’s emotions. What can we do, as men, to start disassembling those non-helpful elements?”

Smiling, he said, “Ah… that will have to wait until you write the next article.”

 

Photo: Flickr/Morning Shadow

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About Lion Goodman

Lion Goodman is the co-founder of Luminary Leadership Institute (http://www.luminaryleadership.net), an accelerated initiatory program for leaders of businesses and organizations. With his partner, Carista Luminare, Ph.D., he developed a program to help couples transform old patterns of insecurity and trauma into a secure and passionate relationship: Confused About Love (http://www.confusedaboutlove.com). Lion is a co-founder of The Tribe of Men, an initiatory program in Northern California, and he served as the Director of Men’s Programs for The Shift Network, where he produced the Ultimate Men’s Summit, attended by 20,000 people around the world. He is the author of three books: Creating On Purpose (with Anodea Judith, Ph.D.), Transform Your Beliefs, and Menlightenment: A Book for Awakening Men. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, but considers himself to be a world citizen.

Comments

  1. A good (and funny) read that puts feet-on-the-ground about this “Women are crazy, men are stupid” (can’t remember authors….a man and a woman). Bottom line, women tend to “over process”, men tend to “under process”. Nice if we could meet in the middle.
    Interesting aside, when I once mistakenly said to a man that the title was “Women are stupid, men are crazy” he said, “Oh man! That would NEVER fly!” Weird how that plays isn’t it? Can’t it ever be that that would be true or have we all been so “socialized” that only men can be “stupid” and only women “crazy”? Clearly men can be both, but women can only be “crazy” (based on the, it’s-that-time-of-month claims). But women can never be stupid? And men can always be both?
    Just some “gum” to chew on.

  2. As a woman, I’ll have to admit that the depiction resonates with my experience.

  3. As I read the article I found myself agreeing with most of it; however I was struck by the example of the man respectfully requesting more sex and intimacy from his partner and her reaction, which I found totally unbelievable. In fact, I have made this exact same request in the exact same respectful and loving way, to my ex husband as well as to other men who become remote and distant after a certain time spent in the relationship, only to have the exact same defensive and put-upon response delivered back to me. It could be that some confused women would respond in this fashion to such a remarkable request from a man, but I don’t see it as the norm from women, but from men.

  4. anongirl says:

    Reading this makes me feel like your all eating with your ears or something.
    Basic empathy has always worked for me when trying to understand someone of any gender.

    • Mark Greene says:

      Thank you! Yes!!!

    • Thank you anongirl and Mark Greene. I HATE this, women brains are different from men. Men’s brain are like a tomato, and women’s brain are like broccoli. They only cloud the truth, WE ARE MORE ALIKE THAN WE ARE OPPOSITES. If you really want to understand women, how about listening to THEM? Here is a book for you to read to get a better understanding of HUMANS way of thinking. Emotional Intelligence (Why it matters more than IQ) by Daniel Goleman. It helped me understand why PEOPLE (men and women) think a certain way due to their past experiences. Societal pressure has a HUGE impact on how women and men see things, it’s not because their INNATE DESIGN’S are different.

      • The idea that male and female brains work differently has been scientifically proven incorrect already, it’s just ridiculous how many people actually think we process things so differently! Um no, it’s called socialisation buddy. I’m sick of people putting it down to biology instead of realising it’s how we are socialised that changes how our brains work. Like anon girl said, BASIC EMPATHY! Bella you are spot on

        • Nowhere in this article does the author give any mention to biology. I’d agree that it’s an oversimplification to a degree, and also that basic empathy is the best path to understanding another person regardless of gender. That being said, I think there’s valid points to be made, not biologically but through cultural indoctrination, that the majority of men and women use different emotional processes. As “John” said, it’s not that either one is better, and personally I don’t believe it’s a theory capable of generalized truth, but in many cases, no doubt some of which are applicable to our own lives, these theories he presents can be said to be true.

    • Yes! Exactly!

  5. I really enjoyed the first half of this article – I think it is an interesting take on the many ways that men and women differ emotionally, and a lot of it rings true. However, I felt that it lost its way a little in the second half. That example of a ‘typical’ woman’s reaction to what I thought was a very reasonable and considerately-phrased suggestion from her partner was completely unrealistic. I would expect that kind of reaction only from a woman who was extremely insecure about her worth in the relationship. For myself and most of the women I know it completely misses the mark, and the whole “Her intellect is off-line for all practical purposes. She can’t interpret what’s going on any other way,” seriously feeds the poisonous stereotype that women are incapable of thinking rationally – again non-representational of most modern women. Both women and men are capable of regulating their emotional impulses by employing rational thought. Nonetheless, an interesting article!

    • I second what Hayley says. Was nodding along until I got to the second part.I thought that request was well put and I would have been discussing with my lover the best way to satisfy both of us after that request…

    • Thanks, Haley. I agree that my portrayal of the reaction is over-the-top, and is more reflective of insecurity than anything else. I have to keep saying and reminding readers that I made clear that this is a masculine/feminine thing, not a man/woman thing. I obviously didn’t make the point clear enough in the article (although its there). If I could re-write the article, I’d use those terms instead of gender terms, and would re-emphasize that both men and women have both masculine and feminine within them, and that it has less to do with gender and more to do with how our brains are wired. Maybe I should have written “men (and women)” and “women (and men)” throughout the article.

  6. It is not women that see the present as a greatest hits of the pains that were, that are and will be, it’s depressive people and yes they are absolutely, completely wrong! We were not born like that, you guys don’t have to change us, we turn ourselves and each other into that. Just look at all the depressive stuff on women’s tv on magazines, like women’s lives are a long string of traumas, from the moment we have our period to the moment we LOSE (‘cuz we’re losing something we’re supposed to keep forever, sure…) our virginity to the moment we have children. The Oprahs of this world always have a sad, sad story on how it’s sad, sad to be a woman in (insert non-western place here). Fear feminism and Crime tv are always happy to remind you that every man is a potential rapist and to always look at the other gender’s lawn to be reminded that it will always, always suck to be a woman. Cut to the soap operas where men always cheat, just before the sitcom where all men are idiots.

    Our society tells women to always focus on the worst case scenario, that anything good always comes with bad consequences. It thrives on making women depressive! We’re always told it’s for our own good but it’s more than time to change our thought pattern. No more isolation and pessimism under the false excuse of protection.

    • Cynthia: I agree with you. The media is guilty as charged – creating real-as-life scenarios for people who don’t have a life, so they buy into the made up reality made by those who have something to sell.

      Men, too, get programmed badly by historical stereotypes, locker-room rumors and taunts, and media that glorifies women as objects to be admired, rather than people with full, rich interior lives worthy of respect.

      We ALL have to fight the bad influence of the media — by becoming aware of it, first; by recognizing it as indoctrination, second; and by countering it with action and protest, third. I’ll join you there.

  7. While I think that this article is well intentioned, it’s pretty off-base. Articles like these just scare men into thinking that their SOs will blow up at them over the littlest thing and scares women into thinking that they’re doomed to relationships in which they will not receive much emotional consideration.

    <>
    This is called ‘getting to know your partner’ and is crucial for any relationship. The article frames this as “she’ll make you pay for everything you’ve ever done wrong,” but that’s not the case. Both partners should appreciate their history together. They should remember the hurts and the good times, both.

    <>
    This is just called ‘learning from your past’ and everyone should do it. People who share the same qualities tend to act similarly. This is not rocket science. If the person that you’re with starts reminding you of someone who was not good for you, you should think very seriously about the situation, regardless of your gender.

    The simple point is that both parties need to be invested enough in the relationship to give it some thought. If you’re just hanging out, ‘living in the moment’, going day-to-day without a care in the world and not spending any time being considerate of your partner’s feelings, you’re probably not a good partner. If you blow everything out of proportion regardless of what was said or how it was said, you’re probably not a good partner. This is not gendered.

  8. I haven’t read this article and to be honest I am not that interested. Why? Because I am one of those so called “highly sensitive men”. More often than not, it is me who is crying during a movie, rather than my fiance. She and I still have problems. Much of the time, I still try to block off my emotions, mostly because all of my life I have been told to “man up” and deal. My fiance loves that I feel things deeply. So, when we watch Bicentennial Man together and the Wedding scene comes on, everything will be fine.

    How about we stop with the gender stereotypes already? There is a reason that false dichotomies are a logical fallacy.

    • How about if you read the article, and find out that I’m not gender stereotyping?

      • D.R. Peck says:

        Hi Lion,

        Nice words. Appreciate your efforts.

        I don’t believe the notion (it is not yours per se) that we are part masculine and feminine. I think that is a flawed premise. In my male classes, the last thing a man needs to do is “get in touch with his female side.”

        When I ask,

        “When was the last time you heard someone tell a woman that she needs to get in touch with her masculine side?”

        The men in the room open their eyes just a little bit wider and realize this is true. Sure a man can match a woman’s energy (hello Mom) but that is much different than activating a female component inside themselves.

        When society attributes certain emotional characteristics as ‘feminine,’ I see that as an invalidation of male energy. Would love to discuss this while including my spiritual/clairvoyant perspective.

        Keep up the good work,

        D.R. Peck

      • You are most definitely gender stereotyping! How can you actually deny that? The entire article is about how women think one way, men think another way. In actuality it’s more like people think differently, you can’t just generalise how female’s experience the world by some rubbish assertion.

        • To quote myself, here’s paragraph 5:

          “John spoke of “the feminine” and “the masculine,” but it’s easier to write about the genders – men and women – than those two cosmic principles. Please translate my language from “men” to “masculine” and “women” to “feminine.” We all have both within us.”

          • FlyingKal says:

            You (or “John”) are using circle argument.
            “The feminine” and “the masculine” as described are not Cosmic principles, it’s just gender stereotyping of (possibly?) common female vs.male behaviour…

            • Interesting belief, FlyingKal. If you have no experience with the cosmic energies of Yin and Yang (the ancient Chinese words for the feminine principle and the masculine principle that appear everywhere in nature), it would be hard for me to provide you with evidence that they exist. I can understand how you might work your way from gender stereotyping (which does exist – I’m not denying that) and projecting back onto my use of those words, it’s just not true, nor is it the way it happened.

            • Jon Jay Obermark says:

              I would like to agree with both of you.

              There are clearly deep forces of social current that are more accessible to one gender or the other. Here, the call is basically Analysis vs Synthesis.

              To me it seems clear that women are allowed traditionally to be more synthetic, to invest in real and present experience and live in the memory of those experiences rather than abstracting away from them.

              From a kind of Socialist point of view, this is because (despite legal fictions) women actually own and keep a lot of control over what they make — their home, their social groups, their children. Traditionally, a man’s product stays at work, accrues to someone else’s benefit, is held at a distance from him, gets sold on the market, or just gets destroyed pointlessly, far more often than a woman’s.

              Men pass this on to their sons, because we have always had roles. So in a lot of cultures men tend to end up end up analytically inclined and pessimistic.

              Density of the corpus collosum, hormonal balance, etc. notwithstanding, the differences in biology do not make the difference in behavior — in-group variation swamps between-group variation in any persons real experience.

              So the forces themselves are not Male and Female, they are shared, and we decide which ones go with whose roles. Casting our social decisions back on Nature is helpful as a learning device, but at a deeper level, it is really a lie.

  9. Post from Facebook:

    Lion Goodman: Thank you for posting a link to my blog, Jaguar. Spread it around! Men need to know this!

    Jaguar K: YES! And women too. A couple of times since I read it I’ve gone into exactly what your friend describes and thought “Oh that’s me doing that feminine thing” and it’s made it so much easier to SEE it and choose to think differently. And in those instances I’ve also gone, “oh yeah and that definitely doesn’t mean to him what I imagine it means!” haha… All so beautifully human, isn’t it, Amigo? You do GOOD work.

  10. Sabrinna says:

    I’m a woman and that example was just completely alien to me. The woman in the example made no sense at all. The general gist of the article was right but the example given was just fruitloop crazy.

  11. Article probably has some. for about 80% of the human race who are either victims of their neuropsychobiology or simply byproducts thereof. They have not taken responsibility that they learned to be the way they are, believe as they.do, and hence expect life – relationships – to be as they are. Women feel abondoned. Men feel frustrated. They seek understaning, acceptance, appreciation from others. – their SOs – without ever learning to understand, accept, and appreciate themselves. Hence, they engage in passive/aggressive and may escalate in manic/depressive behavior to manipulate the other to satisfy their eogic needs.

  12. Yes, males & females are different. Yes, males & females choose to be victims of their conditioned habit patterns of behavior that further configures the brain to function as it does.

  13. Responses from Facebook:
    13 shares

    Kelley P: Great article! ⭐️

    Fredrik E: Lion the Great!!!! Great article!

    Paul B: Thank you.

    Donna S: This is great in the wake of the Republican assertion that women candidates are always borderline hysterical and too emotional to hold important offices in government.

    Lion Goodman Donna Sprague: Republican men are just the extreme version of something most men suffer from: narcissistic-based and shame-based reactions to the power of women. As little boys, we had no power over our mother, so we figured out how to get our power back, and then we got stuck in the development cycle, never maturing into co-creative partners.

    Linda JF: Wow, 68,000 views! Congrats, Lion!

    William A: Fantastic article Lion Goodman. I think this should be the main topic of your talk at Harding House Salon.

    Giovanni M: Great Article !

  14. Thanks Lion for a great perspective on the eternal question. I love all those commenting wanting to make you the villain and women the victim (and them the hero) by highlighting the gender stereotyping. Men have penises and woman have vaginas. Oh no I’m gender stereotyping! The fact that men and woman are different plays out fundamentally in how we act and relate. Blind freddy can see that having a womb and bearing children has a big effect on our psyche. This is handed down energetically. The denial of this is an attempt to deny nature. From my experience what you describe is alarmingly accurate to the point of being very funny.

    • Thanks for your support, Rod. I agree that “gender stereotyping” has become a Politically Correct stereotyping of its own. We can place our attention, and our belief filters, anywhere we want (or anywhere they’re programmed), so if you’re seeing the world through politically correct glasses, any mention of masculine, feminine, man, or woman can look like an unfair division of the world. The truth is, all language stereotypes by excluding certain qualities and including others. “That is a cat” is a stereotype, because it eliminates dogs. It doesn’t, however, make the language less useful. We have to use words to communicate, and words are divisive, by nature. If we deconstruct all the words, all we can do is point and grunt … which is where I think the whole male language / female language began a couple million years ago.

  15. Thanks to everyone who has commented. It’s been a rich discussion so far — one we need to have as men and women (and everyone else). The article has had more than 80,000 views so far. If you think it’s worthy of more good discussion, please send the link out to your friends. Here’s the link, for your convenience: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/finally-insight-womens-emotions-lal/

    Visit my website if you’d like to learn more about my perspective on relationships and love: http://www.ConfusedAboutLove.com. Take the free LoveStyle Profile Quiz, and find out about your unique LoveStyle — your early childhood attachment style — and how it impacts your intimate adult relationships.

  16. Great article.

    Very funny and interesting no matter if somewhat generalizing in certain parts or not. It sums up my own experience in +20 relationships perfectly!

  17. I’m all for thus understanding one another, and the analysis is probably right, but in the given example, the man would have had no ‘emotionally baffling’ female response, if he had went away and thought a) I want more sex :0, therefore b) I’ll go and figure out a direct way to achieving this!:)

    Women don’t want men to function like women!… And I’m sure she would have been happier for this!;)

    Yes. :)

  18. I feel like this more so describes the difference between masculine and feminine energy, which is based on societal expectations on how a woman and a man should act–I’d consider my significant other and I (I’m female) the opposite.

  19. i think he’s very much onto something, perhaps the narrative reduced to a blog post seems a bit over simplified.. watch helen fisher’s ted talk http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat?language=en

  20. Men relate to facts, while women relate to their inner hysteria, how progressive. This is patronizing, and a ridiculous pairing of an unusually, emotionally mature man, with an immature girl.
    “Then spend time thinking about how you might be able to buffer the communication so your partner can receive it.”- are you kidding me? I prefer a straight shooter, and I assure you, I can handle it.

  21. The author acknowledges that individuals can be a mixture of feminine and masculine so that leaves me wondering how this information is truly that helpful unless one happens to be in a relationship with someone who conforms to either extreme. I’m not certain that I’ve ever been in a relationship with such a person and I think that creating a model of how a partner process information based solely on their gender identity would be woefully misleading.

  22. Please stop with the whole “women are ruled by emotions” thing. A healthy person is “relational and empathic. Period. Being able to only see one step at a time is not linear thinking or “accurately seeing the facts”. Not being able to see how things are connected, or failing to be able to predict a logical outcome, or being baffled by emotions—– sounds like an individual who has over compartmentalized their experience sand has become very disconnected from the richness of their own emotional experiences. Additionally, functioning in this manner would obviously present real issues to any type of an adult relationship. sorry, but i don’t buy that this is ” maleness” either. If it is we are in deep trouble!

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