Jan 20, 2010

Communications Barriers Part 1 - 'Understanding women, their need to talk and what they want'

Theres an issue/drama/miscommunication.... whatever. The first thing that happens? Women get upset, and the one thing they want to do is talk about it.

Why? Well it makes us feel better... And by talking about a problem and how we feel, we think that we'll eventually understand what went wrong in the first place. Its also about about having a safe space to open up, be understood and trust the other person not to punish us for being honest about our fears.

Men, as most of you know, deal with their emotions internally. Its not often a guy will call up his friends to 'talk' about how he feels. In fact most men find this type of analytical approach draining and if he's an emotionally stunted individual he'll call it 'drama' and avoid it all together.

Still even if he's a cool guy and willing to listen, its not fair to take him on the same rollercoaster ride of emotions as we experience it. 1. He wont be able to follow your breakneck speed of processing everything at once and will get confused. And 2. He'll either shut down completely or try an placate you with the phrase "i'll do what you want".

Killer that isnt it Girls?

So part 1 of this article is written for men on 'understanding women' and how not to get to the 'upset' part in the first place. Hopefully some of it will stick.

Rule 1. Simply to women... 'everything has a meaning'

Men let me explain. Why she feels the need to talk is because (stupidly) she has given a whole range of reasons to every action you do (or don't do) and a double meaning behind everything you say (or don't say). Women just do this... don't ask why.

If for any reason she is feeling low/emotional (say time of the month or bad day at work) then that reason may turn out to be negative one. After a while the negative reasons build up, proving to her in a way you'll never understand, that you don't love her or care for her, until she needs you to reassure her with a 'talk' to make her feel better...

An example of this negative association:

Her: hey so do you need me to pick you up from the airport?
Him: what? oh no its ok now, John will drive up
Her: oh ok... are you sure
Him: yeah its fine. Don't trouble yourself.

*In her mind the reason is you either don't want to see her and spend time with her or don't think she can do the job as good as john.

Now all this anxiety on her part can be dispersed by simply adding the reason in yourself straight away:

Her: hey so do you need me to pick you up from the airport?
Him: what? oh no its ok now. John will drive up, but only because i know you have work in the morning and as much as i'd love to see you, i may be a bit grumpy after the flight and i'd hate for you to have to deal with me when i'm like that.

Her: oh of course, i understand. I just wanted to see you.
Him: I know. We'll do something when i get back ok.

So if you don't give her a meaning she will look for one or make one out of thin air or even worse... her girlfriends will tell what the meaning is and it'll be 100x worse that the real reason (and thats when you need to be digging your grave).

Rule 2. Never say "I'll do what you want"

I understand men want to make women happy. And that means finding out what they want and giving it to them right? So asking a girl "what do you want?" and then doing it seems like the best solution to the problem....

Wrong. It will never work because again she will assign a reason to that type of behaviour and if she is feeling low/emotional at the time (and usually when guys reach this point the girl is a mess of tears and stuff) then she will give it a negative reason. That reason is 'he doesn't care what he does because he doesn't really care about me'...

Ok thats a hard one. To a guy its logical. Its what you'd love to hear a girl say to you... but seriously you're putting what you'd want on her and expecting her to like it. Women need to feel that the guy cares and if you push all the responsibility of 'what to do'... whether it be a simple thing like what movie to see or something serious like staying friends after a breakup... she will see that as you don't. Because for women, taking responsibility requires effort, and effort to understand her and know her well means you care a hell of a lot.

So how do you find out what to do? And i know you don't because so many times a guy has said to me "I can't win!"... My advice is to tell her what you want (with reasons!) and then let her decide if she wants to go along with it or not.

Rule 3. Don't punish her or take it personally if she wants to tell you how she feels about the relationship

Some men have this habit of thinking they are 'easy-going' or 'laid-back'. To women this feels like they are cold and distant, cut off from their feelings. They'll punish a girl by saying comments like 'oh just chill out', 'stop nagging' or 'don't worry so much'.... and even worse just avoid her or refuse to engage, staring at her behind a mask of complete aloofness. This type of guy shifts the blame of the issue on to the girl by making her feel that she is 'wrong' to get so upset and that she is causing 'unnecessary drama'.

Sometimes that is the case... women can be drama queens i agree. But its all about balance. If she has shown to be understanding in the past, tolerated difficult behaviour from you on numerous occasions, then a drama queen she isn't. Talk in a relationship should be more than just about fun or sex and shouldn't be taken as a criticism by him when she is only expressing her fears.

Without going into detail on how to deal with her emotions on a mature level... I'll leave you with an article on the 3 signs of a healthy mature man. It should give you some tips on what women are looking for and its written by a guy of course so im hoping it will make more sense to the male brain than my girly chatter.

Right enough beating up the men ;) part 2 will attempt to understand why guys do what they do and will follow shortly... stay tuned.


Jan 12, 2010

The real reason why women flake...

So one minute everything is going well and you manage to hook a first/second date with that girl you really like. You're texting, flirting, looking forward to seeing how far she'll let you go when u finally meet... and then like a lightbulb (or an oven) she no longer seems turned-on and interested, and even worse she cancels or flakes out on your date.

So what went wrong?

Boys, quite simply.... she has no emotional investment in you - the only reason a girl would continue to spend time on any guy, despite how much attraction you're pulling.

Let me explain... us girls, we love to talk and 'connect'. Something almost akin to a myth among men that they often mistake having a connection with doing either of the following:

'relentless grilling in the quest to know everything about her' (boring)

'uninvited sexual flirting that makes her skin crawl' (slimey/gross)


ditch the 'connection' side of things and hope that by not texting/flirting before the date she'll still want to meet.

In all cases forget it. I'll give you some examples:

The 'i cant be bothered to create a connection' technique

A guy i met once contacted me after he got back from travelling. We were in contact when he was away but to be honest his emails were so 'today we went skiing and saw the indigenous monkeys that lived in the undergrowth of blah, blah..' that shamefully i used to delete them before i read them just to have free space in my inbox again.

Anyway he got back and text me to straight away to meet up. I remembered he was cute and said 'cool' as at the time i was willing give him a chance and to re-acquaint myself with his personality. Me, i like to 'look forward' to meeting a guy and that means i want to have a smile on my face when his name pops up in my messages. Only i never got to a 'smile' with him... more of a half cheek twitch that is kinda like a silent 'meh' only with less effort.

His mistake was no matter how much i tried to keep flirty banter going on msn or email, he cut it short everytime. In the end even i did not know why i had agreed to meet up when the time came and was unwilling to waste an evening with someone who didn't seem to want to indulge in some lighthearted flirting with me in any shape or form. It was like a blind date only worse cos i was worried that i hadn't forgotten his personality... maybe he just didn't have one?

The 'do you know what i want to do to you' technique:

Another example is a close friend of mine met a guy who seemed really nice. She was initially attracted to him and actually was looking forward to setting another date, when a few days later he asked her if she wanted to know what he was thinking about. The conversation had been about weekend so she wasn't prepared for him to get sexual without her initiating that sort of chat first. She said 'sure' and regretted it almost immediately when he proceeded to tell her in glorious detail what he wanted to do to her right now. She was at work and it was 10am and she hadn't even kissed this guy yet. It was an immediate turn off.

The 'question tennis or i'm practicing to be a hairdresser' technique

Guys who want to date me have this really bad habit of adding me on msn and then grilling me non-stop about my life. I get so bored i tend to switch off and revert to one word answers. If i want to talk about myself i would ping a friend or write in my blog. It usually starts with 'how are you' and the they move on to ask about work, your house, your brother and sister, your pet hamster, your msn status, your weekend, your holiday... and politely you end up saying 'lol' or 'u?' so the poor guy isn't just talking to himself.

One guy actually persisted every day for over a year until he finally asked for my phone number. Sometimes i feel bad that i'm not giving these nice guys a chance so in this instance i actually did. Weeks later he was still texting the same style of text over and over - the kind that i find i stop reading they are so boring and never have time to answer.

"how are you. did you have a good weekend/holiday/new year. fancy meeting up?"

To his credit he was persistant... but nothing he said made me laugh or made me feel good. He was asking a question only friends and family could ask and get away with it. Put it this way.... im only going to spend the required minutes telling a 'real' friend how i was and if i had a good holiday or whatever because they've invested time and effort and we've shared many nice memories together. If a guy i've met once or twice and emailed a few times gets my number he is not a friend, he is a potential 'date' and so does not get that sort of treatment straight away. He has to earn my interest enough to give a decent and honest reply otherwise its similar situation to when you're stuck in the lift with a colleague at work - you start a conversation about the weather to be polite... but really you don't care to know the answer and just want to listen to your ipod.

So how can you create an 'emotional investment' so she will be looking forward to the date?

1) Keep it kid-level and light-hearted. Don't ask her any 'meaning of life' questions that require a serious answer too soon, not unless u want to develop a friendship. She has plenty of 'real' friends to talk to about that stuff and later you can inch into that as a padding out of the relationship. For now, in the initial stages, you're there to provide a fun, flirty distraction from the mundane everyday so she'll associate you with good times. You don't have to be a comedian and make jokes, but try chatting about topics that are 'abstract' and 'interesting', like fun facts, stupid/weird things you see, random links, making choices, picture messages, challenges etc

2) Don't initiate anything 'naughty' in your chat unless you've already slept together, or at least kissed. Especially if she hasn't taken the conversation there herself, try not to make suggestions like 'dress code: as little as possible' or 'cocktails: screaming orgasms'. Not that these are instant turn-offs but it makes a girl think 'ok now im not so sure about you'. This is because if you're not careful words to that effect can alert a girl on her 'guy who is only after one thing' radar and she'll wonder if you think shes so easy that you have the balls to say that to her and expect a reply. Even worse is when a guy goes all out and starts telling her his fantasies.... like what were you thinking? Text of course makes it less awkward to say stuff but if you couldn't say it to her face then don't say it at all.

Of course to keep from ending up in the friends zone she has to know you find her attractive and want to sleep with her still. There are ways to make your admiration known, like calling her 'sexy' or 'gorgeous' or mentioning how hot she looks in her dress/picture... the key is to compliment at the same time. No girl can resist that ;)

3) Stay in light contact. If you want to be in the forefront of her mind and get her thinking of when she'll see you next, don't disappear for 3 weeks without a word. You need to keep the fire burning, or at least the ashes warm. Of course its good to keep it sporadic, but anything more than about 3-5 days of not hearing from you will make her anxious, and over a week is asking for trouble. Now i know everyone is busy and im not saying you need to initiate a full blown flirting phone call every 3 days.... a random text/email or pic msg is cute and fun enough to keep her chomping at the bit for more. Don't over do it either. Contact her for a few days in a row then disappear for the weekend. One night chat for a few hours on the phone, another day send her a video clip link in an email. You shouldn't spoil the mystery of who you are in the first week of meeting by being predictable or by telling her everything there is to know about you. Drip in the actual facts about yourself over time, interspersed between random flirty chats about nothing in particular. It keeps the dating fresh and interesting and she'll never know what to expect.

And finally never forget the things she tells you, try not to cancel twice in a row... and kiss her as soon as possible or risk ending up in the friends zone if you don't.


Jan 7, 2010

What a difference a day makes... or "the art of forgiving a man"

My New Years gift to you ladies...

Meet Paul Wesley, rising star in the new teen-drama hit 'the vampire diaries'.... *sigh* and yes i too get shivers all over just looking at this picture ;)

Ok back to the article...

Sooo every morning i wake up and for a barest of minutes while i slumber between wake and dreaming, there is nothing on my mind. It is empty. And then it dawns like a bad memory and the unresolved emotions come flooding back to bite me in the ass. There lies a soft sadness that lingers at the back of my throat. Noted i proceed to get up and get out and on with my day.

It takes me the next 12 hours of walking, reading, working, people watching and eating to fully dissolve that sadness into nothing. I've devised this concept of fully immersing myself in feeling, whatever it is, and riding it out. I don't mean moping or dwelling on it like a stroppy teenager, i mean taking whatever raw emotion it is and tracing it back to the source. I want to know where it comes from, how it developed, what makes it better/worse, i want to understand every aspect of this feeling until it feels like nothing but a gift of knowing myself better.

By nighttime the feeling has been transformed from "this really hurts me" to "this was never about me"...

Forgiveness isn't about condoning what someone did to you in the past. Its not about saying that you are worth less because you accept the way they treated you. Its about accepting it and realising others only hurt you because they were in some form of fear about their own lives.

... it was always about them.

and when you finally accept this opportunity to become more open and less judgemental, to learn the lesson, well you let go and finally move on. And dump the not-so-desirable emotional baggage that makes you feel drained just carrying it around all day.

Until this week i was still carrying the pain and hurt from a very old relationship. I had never forgiven him. Funny because i didn't even realise i needed to forgive. That's how arrogant i can be. But not forgiving keeps you stuck in the past, living in denial-ville (thank you Isa), and repeating the same mistakes and accusations over and over and over.

I got no room for this baggage in 2010. Time to travel light i say.

L x

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