I think that to begin understanding the opposite sex, we have to recognise our differences so we can accept them. Once we know how we are both wired differently, it’s easier to understand each other and why we react and behave so differently.
When Zac comes home from work still carrying the ups and downs of the day with him, he unwinds and relaxes by watching TV or reading on his phone. As for me you ask? I like to, along with most women, release the day’s events by talking about them. It would be easy for me to feel ignored by Zac when this is happening, because all I want to do is talk to him and all he wants to do is unwind quietly. And let’s be honest, he probably just thinks I talk too much. But when we understand these differences and accept them, there is no room for resentment. There’s no need to try and change each other, we just need to understand each other. That is the birth place for love and acceptance.
A little bit of science and the female brain
Women have an 11% thicker corpus callosum compared to men. This is the part of the brain that connects both left and right hemispheres together. Communication and language is a function of the left hemisphere, and feelings and emotions are associated with the right hemisphere. So as females, because we have a stronger connection between the two hemispheres, we have greater potential to put our thoughts and feeling into words and expressing ourselves in a verbal way. This is a stereotype, and I will mention that our brains are plastic and can be molded and changed due to individual experiences, but speaking in general terms can be helpful when working towards understanding each other.
We are motivated differently
John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus says:
Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed… Women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished.
So generally speaking, when a female offers advice to a male about how to do something, with the intent to ‘help’, it can be perceived as being critical. Which makes perfect sense when we know that men are empowered by their ability to do things and be needed. On the other hand, when a man offers advice, it can be seen by a woman that he is not listening. How different are we? We can both be in the same situation but interpret things completely different to each other. We are both trying to love and support each other, but it can be so misunderstood by the crazy and wonderful differences in the way we are wired.
Before you respond, listen.
Sometimes when we talk to someone about what we are worried about, the first instinct of anyone, regardless of gender, is to offer advice. But that’s not what we are after. We all want to be heard and understood. We would like some empathy and understanding, not a suggestion about what we should or could be doing. This can imply that you know better, even if you are coming from a place of love.
It is not my intent to give you the tools to argue better with your partner. I just believe that knowledge is power, and if you can understand our differences, you will be empowered to make more conscious decisions to love each other and embrace our unique and interesting differences; as opposed to putting energy into changing them. If you want someone to understand you on a different level than the opposite sex, call a girlfriend or chat to a mate. After all, they are more likely to understand your issues because more often than not, they have experienced them, too. Don’t get me wrong, I love Zac, but there’s nothing like a girl to girl conversation about things we have in common. I have grown so much from those conversations (proof below in the photo of me and my bestie).
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