Oct 17, 2009

Rules of the game: understanding women of the digital age... because some men still don't

You know one thing that strikes me as a 'no-brainer' is what women want, but thats probably because i'm in a very good position to know... i am one. Sure there are a lot of ebooks and material to share on the subject of female psychology. I know. I've read a lot! But its seriously lacking and i'll tell you why.

Women don't know what they want.

So how can a guy who has had luck sleeping with a ballpark of women know anything more about female desires than the women themselves? Truth is he can't... all he knows is how to score by making her feel like she knows what she wants at that time - him. Its manipulation of feelings and thoughts that drive a girl to 'want' a guy. Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying its bad... in fact every close and personal situation we encounter is a manipulation of sorts. Today i made a guy behind the food counter feel good about himself by being friendly and chatty. I gave him positive emotions which caused him to 'want' to serve me well. He did and we both walked away happy. Emotions are contagious and breed more of the same, and you can bring more of the same about just by allowing their very existence in your life. Even negative...

But such emotional exchanges, for want of a better label, need to have balance. A mutual acceptance of terms. Kinda like agreeing to 'play a game' by the rules dictated (unspoken) at the start. So for in order for the situation with the food counter guy to go smoothly, i had to give him something... i had to give him a good feeling and my attention. That took effort and energy on my part, so as not to appear false. He then agreed without needing to verbalise it to serve me in a pleasant and efficient manner.

It seems we enter all sorts of 'games' or unspoken contracts in life (Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships by Eric Berne)... with our parents, with our managers, various games with different types of friends, and quite heavily with our lovers.

Usually the games are played out fairly with everyone taking their role and giving back as much as they get. However problems and broken contracts arise when the rules get twisted and negative outcomes occur. This happens when the 'manipulations' become more selfish. One person seeking to gain more or 'win' by force rather than allow the other to give freely, or just not giving or playing by the rules anymore. And this is why even if you 'know' what you must do to maintain balance within the relationship... your ego (whether it be a needy or overbearing one) can get in the way and mess things up.

Your limbic brain, also known as "lizard" or "reptilian" brain is the part of your mind that works beyond judgment and logic. It makes snap decisions needed in times of stress (fight or flight) and these are always very selfish because they exist only for survival. They are always negative and self-serving actions that don't take others into consideration. They can't, you have to protect you and you only so once this system engages... you will not be understanding to the needs and feelings of anyone else (bar maybe your offspring).

In times of extreme emotion or stress the limbic brain is often the part of you that takes over. Its the part of you that says those nasty retorts, gets hysterical and teary or runs away from the hurt (most women) or gets defensive and cold, shuts your emotional system down and cuts off all communication (most men). I've found myself doing some or all of these things when pushed into a corner, and only afterwards i've calmed down and gone "oh why the hell did i go off the rail like that?". It also seems the more familiar and comfortable the relationship, the lower the barrier you have shielding your limbic brain from the rest of your body... i'm not sure why this is. Maybe closer relationships have the ability to engage deeper more stressful conditions? Or maybe the hurt is so unexpected from someone so dear to you that the shock brings forward your most instinctive, most protective reaction?

So how do you keep a well deserving balance and not let your lizard brain do the talking? Well i've found that taking a break from the situation helps or bringing in a third perspective. The major problem i've found with both these scenarios is that this relies on the women to 'see' sense first and be the one with more understanding. Women are more likely to want to deal with the 'drama' straight away because their emotions are closer to the surface. Men on the other hand close off and deal with it later. So commonly women are required to ignore their natural instincts when in a stressful situation. This doesn't mean that men are reacting the right way, because more than likely they are avoiding the issue more than going away and thinking things through. But more often than not women are expected to comply with adapting to a man's world because men don't waste energy unnecessarily. But what if i was to say that it is necessary to make a women feel 'safe' about taking a time-out. We're so scared men will make us forget there was a bad feeling in the first place. Men are good at that. Thats why we cling on so tenaciously. We need that security. We need to know we can talk about it later and have our voice heard. Why don't men know this already?

All i get told is that women are irrational and dramatic and need to "just be cool" about things. I know us girls get 'over-emotional' and 'needy' and should calm down sometimes... but surely its a two way process? Why can't they men "understand women more" and realise we try so hard to be so tough and independent so much, all day long... that sometimes all we want is reassurance and guy's shoulder to cry on. I mean we're happy to live in an age where women are equal and all that shit.

We can cope with getting our own bookcases and building them, we can move house on our own and don't need any guy to drive the van or life heavy stuff, we never ask for their presence walking home in the dark every night, we fix our own cars, we manage our own finances, we buy our own homes and live in them, we nurture high-flying careers, we ignore our biological clock in case we scare off potential suitors, we do everything women weren't doing 50 years ago and we still do everything they always did - give birth, cook & clean, raise the children, look stunning but not slutty, act coy and demure but bold and daring, try not to encourage other guy's attentions (even when were supposed to want sex just as much as men?!) but be a raving sexual minx in the bedroom and be ready for it anytime of the day.... you know i could go on, but my point is in this day and age women are expected to be everything and more.

Men just don't seem to allow for the kind of strain this can put us into. They don't understand our emotions are just underneath the surface and rise up to engulf us at any given moment. Its not something they have to deal with so why should they? And yet us girls are constantly told how we must be to impress men and keep a guy interested, how we must think more like guys so that they understand and respect us more, yet keep our feminine charms. And you know what... i can do that, limbic brain or not i can be all and everything a guy desires in a woman. I enjoy making men want me and making men happy. All i ask is the same in return and a little support and understanding every now and again when the perfect mask slips. Just open your eyes and look around and see why i'm upset. Listen to the words i use. Try to understand, especially if i'm understanding you. Dont get defensive! Women don't always blame men for things, we're just upset and needy because we think emotionally (not having a go!) and think you can make it better even if you didn't make the hurt. We want to let you know what turmoil is going on inside, we want you to know the situation upsets us because you are so important to us (not because its your fault and you have to fix it!), yes you with your big buff body (that u spend hours in the gym moulding) we want you to just listen and feel glad we are upset over you because u mean so much and just hold us and be there and make us feel safe. Thats all...

Ok end of rant. My limbic brain obviously had a direct connection the keyboard just then! ;)


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