Mar 26, 2009

Men think women create unnecessary 'drama'

A throwback from an era when men didn't cry or talk about their emotions has given rise to a generation of guys who think their way of acting is the only sane way to act. Don't expect him to understand 'why' you need a hug right now, to make sense of your need for reassurance or to anticipate your mood swings. Simple fact is he won't...

Our worst behaviours.... crying, sulking, seeking approval/validation, convincing, bartering for affection and giving ultimatums are all unattractive, especially to guys. It isn't the way they act (well most of the time) and so anything different will set you apart as moody, overly sensitive & emotional. Don' t take it personally. He's just obtuse that way ;)

So what's a girl to do?

Remember... its not about who is right, but what works. Swallow your pride ladies and do something you've never considered before. Seek to understand him. And in doing so you will be understood.

A guy's perspective

Put yourself in his shoes, think about what he wants (and don't assume its the same as you), think how your reaction would make him feel and mirror how he would handle the situation instead.

Heres a blast from my past as an example:

Location: Bar in Soho
Time: 12.30
Scenario: My bf is late (again) to meet with me and our friends. He is meant to be bringing my purse. I've been texting/calling for the last four hours and no answer. He's just arrived.

Me: You said you would be here at 7.30pm. Its like midnight? Where the hell have you been?
BF: Sorry babe been at a work drinks. The bar was in the cellar so no reception.

At this point i seem to have forgotten our friends are standing within earshot. Anger seems to be giving way to contempt for this loser and i start to sulk.

Me: You could have called?
BF: I know i just wasn't able to get away. Jane had me meet some clients.
Me: Typical... just give me my purse.
BF: Oh shit babe i forgot. Its in the car still. Look i'll buy your drinks tonight?
Me: *rolls eyes* Oh whats the point.... the night is over already and i'm tired. Can we go?

He gets into defense mode and i get all 'poor me'.

Bf: I just got here....
Me: Well you should have thought of that earlier. I've been waiting since seven!
Bf: I told you i was working!
Me: You're always working. You never make time for me anymore.
Bf: I'm not arguing with you now.
Me: I'm not arguing. I'm making a point. You're so fucking selfish. I asked you one thing... and you couldn't even do that. I've been sitting here waiting for you. The least you could have done was text me to let me know. I would have gone home hours ago!

We argue for another 5 minutes then he switches off. I'm still sulking.

Bf: Look do you want a drink?
Me: No. I just want to go home.
Bf: *sigh*

He turns away to talk to someone else and ignores me. After ten minutes i get upset with his lack of attention/apology.

Me: I'm going home. If' you're staying out can i have some cab money?
Bf: How much do you need? I don't have a lot of cash....

He is totally cold now so i mirror him. I'm pissed off he would rather stay out.

Me: oh don't bother.... i'll get the bus!

And i storm out with all our friends looking on, wanting & expecting him to chase me. He doesn't and i have no way of getting home safe. Great!

Ok so that was how NOT to do it. In that example i used strategies such as 'sulking', 'crying', 'running-off', 'convincing'. I caused a lot of drama in front of an audience. And even though he was late and forgot my purse, i'm the one looking like the bad guy.

Take 2. How i could have handled it better:

Me: You said you would be here at 7.30pm. Its five hours later? Where have you been?
BF: Sorry babe been at a work drinks. The bar was in the cellar so no reception.
Me: Ok. Do you have my purse?
Bf: Oh fuck i forgot it. I left it in the car. Sorry, lemme buy your drinks tonight.
Me: Ok, but only because you were late. And maybe tomorrow you can buy me dinner to make it up to me, especially since you didn't even call?
Bf: Of course. I'm sorry babe. I know i messed up. Jane had me meet some clients. I couldn't get away.
Me: Well i know you would have called if you could. Just try to send a text at least next time. Just so i know whats going on? I worry when you disappear like that.
Bf: I know i'm sorry. I'll text you next time.
Me: ok thanks *smiles* I'm tired. Do you mind we only stay out for a short while?
Bf: Sure. Lets have one then go. *Puts his hand on my waist and draws me closer to him/the bar* What can i get you?
Me: Well you have some catching up to do Mister.... so lets get some tequila shots. And if you can drink yours without making a face... maybe i'll stay for two *wink*
Bf: haha deal!

So in this version i accept his offer of drinks and negotiate dinner in exchange for his crap efforts at communication. He then apologizes properly and gives his reasons. I become understanding and let him know that i realise it wasn't intentional. I then tell him what i expect next time. He agrees. I thank him and then lighten the mood with a drinking challenge.

Now there is a big difference in both outcomes. For the record my ex was always late by hours and hours and sometimes he use to even forget he said he would meet me. And during his absences there was no getting hold of him. After a long time of this happening (mainly because of my bad training) version 1, though a little exaggerated, was my 'normal' reaction. In my defence i was very young and totally insecure. Although he made a habit of going awol for hours on end, getting upset and taking it personally just got his back up, and pushed him away from me emotionally. Now i'm older and more 'sane'? i can see how i should have acted.

What makes version 2 more likely is my ability to put myself in his shoes. He's already late. He's just come from work. The last thing he wants is to feel worse for letting me down. My 'laid-back' reaction was unexpected but much appreciated. He can now afford to apologize properly and even feel bad for being late. Next time he is more likely to remember how 'cool' i was and not be afraid to call me like i asked. In short, the best way to change a guy's perception/behaviour is to first change your own ;)


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