Part of the main problem many men face is understanding just what it means to see the value behind a woman’s input and perspective, and use it to the advantage of everyone involved.
In terms of relationship advice for men, I think you’re going to enjoy this.
See, many guys think of the opposite sex as alien creatures that they’ll never understand, so they don’t try at all.
You may be under the impression that men and women are from different planets but the truth is that we all operate on very similar principles of behavior.
Yes, there are certainly gender differences but they’re nowhere near as complicated as your buddy, father, grandfather and ridiculous TV shows have made them out to be.
Understanding her point of view is not difficult and It helps if you look at this from a different angle.
One of the main goals in any partnership (be it personal or professional) is to encourage open dialogue and maintain a high level of mutual benefit.
If you’re working with a customer or client your end goal is to secure or attain their business. You do this by uncovering their needs, working through objections and concerns, and ultimately agreeing to move forward on a path together.
You gain from their business and revenue and they gain from the use of your goods or services.
We deal in it everyday and it’s not a hard principle to grasp.
But, fail to apply this when it comes to your romantic or personal life and things play out a little differently.
Stress Is A Relationship Killer
It’s fairly common that most of us have dealt with a certain amount of unnecessary drama in our lives.
We’ve got work, finances and a slew of other issues dropped on our doorstep at any given time.
Sometimes this has a tendency to carry over into our relationships, stirring up confusion on either end. When one or both people in a relationship feel misunderstood it then creates a disconnect.
Levels of disappointment begin to rise, frustration sets in and ultimately this transforms into stress and/or anxiety.
Once we’re stressed out and the emotional triggers have been pulled it makes it all that much easier to transition into a full blown argument (or avoidance measure). It’s at this point when the value of a woman begins to decrease in your eyes.
You see, when the common and perceived feeling about a relationship itself is one of repeated negativity, over an extended period of time, its chances for survival diminish.
A study by Neff and Karney (2009) showed that, regardless of the relationship skills a couple possessed, more stress increased the likeliness that their relationship will fail.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you know or how good you are at loving someone, dealing with prolonged stress leads to separation (emotionally and eventually physically).
If you’ve ever said or acted in a way that you’ve later come to regret, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Soon, patterns and habits start to take shape along these lines. Preventing this from happening is just a matter of identifying some underlying issues at fault here.
Common Areas Of Neglect
For the most part, it’s not that either individual is a bad person or harboring this ill will on the inside. As men we want to embrace and enjoy the value of a woman.
The majority of us wish to be happy and avoid pain. It’s just that by overlooking a few critical areas where there could be improvement we tend to attract the latter and distance ourselves from the former.
We can start by avoiding making the mistake of thinking that there is such a thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.
People are fluid and require adaptability and a variety of approaches to find the right solutions.
Couples therapy and counseling may work for some but cannot for all. One reason for this is that many couples make the attempt at therapy after things have already been bad for so long.
There are also many other circumstances where seeking out this type of counseling can actually hurt your relationship, and if one side is less than cooperative, or not willing, it’s just a waste of time and money.
Next we must look at the type of input we are receiving.
Where does your main source of relationship information come from?
Lack of information or getting the wrong type of information can play a big role in relationship disaster so it’s extremely important to gain the knowledge and acquire the right kind of information before things have a chance to go sour.
Recognizing different types of attachment styles is also an area often neglected.
How you bond or connect with your partner can be related to the type of attachment style you’ve learned as as a child. Are you aware of the attachment style you have, the differing styles themselves and how they correlate to your relationship?
Another area which men specifically overlook is in offering solutions.
I’ll be the first to admit that I love to fix things.
As a guy it’s easy for us to see a problem, apply some logic and start banging out solutions. If one doesn’t work we move on to the next. It’s even easier for us hear a problem from our girlfriends or wives and blurt out an answer.
Problem solved, right? Wrong.
Due to differing communication styles this is a disastrous approach to take.
Our wiring is different and while we may be looking for only an answer or solution (and see a readily available and accessible one), she may be looking for sympathy, an empathic ear, or a shoulder to lean on.
Sometimes they’re just looking for someone to vent to.
Getting On The Same Page
Communication is truly an art form which requires patience, attention and balance.
The first step to enhancing your ability to communicate with women better is to listen better.
[alert type=”info”]By learning to accept input other than your own, you become a master of empathy. Tweet This[/alert]
Empathy provides validation and verification for others. It lets them know we identify with where they are or how they’re feeling.
When emotions and feelings are running hot it’s all too easy to ‘listen’ with the sole intention of making your next point.
This is a big mistake.
One which comes from the universal desire to be heard, and the ego-driven need to be right or get the last word in.
But instead of listening with the intent of replying, try listening with the intent of acknowledging what is being said. You don’t necessarily have to agree with it but you can certainly be conscious of what is being relayed to you.
This is the foundation of mutual benefit (remember that?) and one which supports win/win outcomes.
By opening the lines of communication in this way you can tap into a whole new level in your relationships but be wary not to interpret this the wrong way.
While listening and understanding in a respectful manner is mark of a high character man, it does not open you up to being taken advantage of, pushed around or becoming a doormat.
It also does not mean that it is all your responsibility to listen to the drama or the details.
There are somethings that are better left to be said to her female friends.
Your job is to be a man not a girlfriend.
Don’t confuse yourself there.
Find the Value of a Woman Today
Open your ears and your mind to the environment around you when she comes to talk with you.
Identify what it is she is trying to tell you prior to jumping to a conclusion or offering a solution in advance.
Ask her what her take is on it and what she feels would be the proper way to handle it.
Then have a discussion. Perhaps you do have the best answer or solution but by stepping over the critical first step of hearing her first you’ll still end up with the dreaded “sometimes you just don’t understand me,” or “I feel like you just don’t get it,” statements.
By learning to value a woman’s input, and really get it, you put yourself in position to succeed as well as avoid some of the common pitfalls that others are quick to step into.
Deal with the external stress separately.
Problems in the office have nothing to do with your relationship so leave it there. The more you can eliminate these outside factors from injecting themselves in other areas of your life the better.
Start finding the right resources, books, people and situations that will help you to grow and develop into a more complete person. These aren’t topics or skills they teach you in school or college, but they’re vital to your well being.
You can become a better husband, father or partner by working on refining your abilities as a man.
Now, I’d like to hear what’s on your mind… What are some ways that you enhance your own communication style? Are you and your partner on equal footing when it comes to discussions and exchanging input? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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