A World Uncharted
I grew up saying, “What is wrong with women?! Why are they not like men?!”
For most of my life, I believed that women are just like men in the way we think, feel, and go through life. This most likely explains why a lot of my intimate relationships never lasted too long as a young man!
It was later on in life that I learned that men and women are built not just anatomically different but more importantly, emotionally different. Why was understanding women so elusive for me? What was I missing? I began on an inquiry that lasted years until I finally discovered that I had to communicate differently with women to make them feel loved, wanted, safe and heard and that was going to take some work! They deserved that, and it was my responsibility to deliver!
I spoke to some of my current woman friends and asked them what was missing in their relationships with men that would make a real difference in all aspects of life.
Hanh McLean of Bayho said that she wished that men had more “compassion” for the responsibilities they put on women when they cannot be there and the stress that creates. Responsibilities such as taking care of the kids and working to provide shelter and food on the table. A little empathy goes a long way to ensure a happy, loving and workable relationship that can stand the test of time. Asking a question such as, how is it like for you to handle all these responsibilities on your own, goes a long way.
Zoe Khetani of San Diego said, “Men are solution oriented and sometimes when women are looking for someone to vent to or just listen to what they are going through, men think that providing a solution for them will help them when in reality it makes them mad. They would like a man who listens for what they are dealing with, (acknowledges) it and asks how they can support them in that issue.” As men, we think we can solve any crisis, but sometimes women just want a shoulder to cry on.
Jamie Warner of Fullerton said that women like men who, “Open up more with their feelings and emotions and not withhold what is going on inside.” When men withhold, women do not feel as connected or loved by a man. In regards to the workplace, men who “create a safe space” by saying to women that they got their back and will protect them if anything arises whether from another employee, customer or supervisor, goes a long way in making women feel at ease, more powerful and connected to everyone else.
I believe that women by default think with their hearts, while men think with their heads. For us to understand each other, we first need to understand both why and how we operate so we can communicate in a way where we all feel loved, wanted, safe and heard.
Alex Macklin is a Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga teacher in San Diego. He specializes in building strength, mobility, flexibility and rehabilitation with his clients. His mission is to empower people to their own greatness with strength, grace and passion.