Sometimes we don’t even realize how differently we perceive the same event. How can we not turn these contradictions into a conflict, but on the contrary, turn them to the benefit of the relationship?
The difference in reactions is laid down long before birth, when babies’ brains, depending on gender, are exposed to different hormones. Testosterone is the key hormone responsible for differences not only in physiology, but also in thought patterns. Some males in particular exhibit traits that are due to it: Determination, aggressive drive, excitement.
“Most men think in a fairly predictable way,” says coach James Bauer. – A woman sometimes thinks her partner is being deliberately stubborn and rigid when she expects him to be gentle and sympathetic. In reality, he is just being masculine.
As you interact with men, you have probably noticed certain patterns.
1. HE DOESN’T NOTICE CERTAIN THINGS
You’ve made a collage of holiday photos and hung them on your bedroom door. Soon you ask your partner how he likes the idea, and he doesn’t understand what you mean for a long time. Your collage just hasn’t caught his eye.
How to respond
With humour. Some creative ideas will be better understood by a friend or sister who is close to your gender. That’s who’ll notice both the collage on the door and the smallest details of your image.
“A man can appreciate that you look good today, but he won’t know what’s different about you,’ explains family therapist Marina Myaus. – For him, the aesthetic details that make you feel happy are not important. They fall into the realm of things that distract from solving serious problems, and therefore don’t deserve much attention.
2. HE WANTS TO BE IN CONTROL
When you watch TV together, he is likely to be holding the remote control. You think he’s mindlessly switching programmes, but what really matters is that he knows he’s not missing out on something interesting.
How to respond
If he’s not raring to manage the truly meaningful issues, let him dominate what’s not so important to you. “Try to divide your areas of interest,” the psychologist suggests. – You don’t really care whose hands are on the remote, do you? He probably doesn’t care what colour the cushions on the sofa are. Give a man the opportunity to control. This will help him relax and feel that the house is his male comfort zone.
3. HE WANTS A QUICK FIX FOR ANY PROBLEM
You’re tired after a stressful day at work. You want to share your worries with your partner. When he hears you out, he tries to find an immediate solution to the conflict. It is difficult for him to understand: you just want to be listened to. You need to vent your emotions and the last thing you want to do is look for rational solutions.
How to react
Gratefully. Your partner is listening carefully and genuinely wants to help. By help, he means finding the best solution. Even if you don’t have the energy to think about resolving the conflict right now, a sober and detached view of the situation will help you to approach it differently the next day. After all, a decision will have to be made.
4. HE CANNOT HEAR YOUR WORDS
You say something to your partner, he nods back and even says: “Of course.” At the same time his attention is focused on something else entirely.
How to react
Accept the fact that he is only able to focus on one thing at a time. “Maintaining any, even the lightest conversation, the male brain assesses as a new task,” says Marina Myaus. – Before you accuse him of inattention, consider that his reaction is a show of respect for you. He doesn’t want to listen to you formally. If he starts a conversation with you, he will be fully included in it. And by the way, it offends him when you’re discussing an important issue with him while you’re doing the dishes at the same time.”
“The downside of such mismatches is that we are so attracted to each other,” James Bauer reminds us. – “When we learn to accept the difference, instead of trying to convert each other, we will find the precious balance we long for.”
By criticizing men for what we think are typically male blunders, we deny them their natural way of living, feeling and thinking, and try to rob them of the most important thing, the manifestation of their masculinity.