Photo By: Robert in Toronto
The Fight Women Can't Win
By Bob Grant
When it comes to fighting and disagreeing with men, women frequently make a critical mistake which ends up causing them to feel hurt and lonely. When I see a female client for Relationship Advice I frequently encounter this scenario. During a routine conversation there is a disagreement between the woman and her husband/boyfriend.
It starts out in a logical manner with two competent speaking adults simply talking about a problem or disagreement. Then at some point in the discussion that woman gets her feelings hurt and responds in an emotional manner. All of a sudden the entire dynamic of the conversation has changed and the man feels he has been betrayed.
While the discussion was logical and factual, it had the similar feel of a business meeting where everyone has the sole goal of finding the answer to the problem. No one would dare interject their feelings into such a discussion for fear they would be viewed has weak and childish. In the business world, accomplishing the task is the primary goal, not making everyone feel good.
This is how a man views a discussion that is logical and factual. He believes that if her idea is so good then she should be able to prove it. "She wants to prove her point so I'll prove mine. May the best man win," is how he thinks and has no idea that she only wants to be heard/understood.
When women interject their feelings into a discussion that has become competitive, it makes men feel as though they are being blamed for being logical which causes them to react in anger. Men say to themselves, "She ask me to prove my point and when I do she gets her feelings hurt!" He has been blind sided by the one thing that makes him feel powerless, a woman in pain.
The man feels tricked by acting strong only to pull the feelings card out when she was starting to loose the argument so now he feels entitled to punish her. That really is how most men think in that scenario.
If you are a woman, a practical rule when discussing a topic is that if you want to debate, prove or compete with your boyfriend/husband then stay in that role throughout the discussion. If you want to be understood or nurtured, then relate to him by sharing how you feel about the subject.
Don't switch to becoming a soft, feeling and vulnerable woman after you have presented yourself logically. All that will do is encourage him not to discuss things with you in the future. He'll be afraid of you dropping the feelings bomb.
Most of the time I would suggest that you start off softly by speaking to him about how you feel concerning the issue so he can recognize your feelings which will signal to him that you are not trying to be competitive.
On the occasions you do need to prove your point, hold your ground regardless of how you feel. Remember it doesn't matter as much which way you relate to him, the most important thing you can do is not to combine the two.
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Posted by Jessica Watts at 1:08 PM