I have to apologize in advance if this post sounds like a man-bashing. However, it is common for women to lament that men don’t take the time to just listen to them, and to have empathy when they are emotional.
I have definitely found myself in situations in which I feel like I need to apologize for being emotional or sensitive. I am never allowed to be upset, and I have to swallow everything upsetting thing like a bitter pill. I know that men and women speak different languages, but I will never understand why it is a problem if I happen to quietly voice a concern over an event which made me feel like a boot scraper at the front door. When my feelings are ignored, I can quickly progress from nice and sweet to angry.
Women don’t expect men to agree with them. They expect men to understand and empathize when they feel slighted by an incident. Men don’t want to feel emasculated either, so women should also take heed and pay attention to how they approach men after such an incident. In defense of women everywhere, though, many men tune out the instant a woman says, “What you did/said really hurt me”, and may even turn into ugly, mean bulls who trample over the woman’s emotions. Suddenly, only the man’s perspective matters, and he is never culpable, while the woman is made to feel like a whiny bitch, even if she is calm, gentle, and kind in her approach. It’s like a switch flips in a man’s brain, and a furious instinct to lash out asserts itself. When this happens, no resolution can be found.
Before you men begin to think that this is about the man or the woman winning an argument, I will tell you that your perspective is really skewed. It isn’t about winning, and it isn’t about you versus the woman. That kind of viewpoint is confrontational, counterproductive, and puts you in a position in which the blinders are still on, and you can’t see anything but your own opinion. Instead of pounding on your chest and tuning out a woman who is in pain, perhaps you could listen to what she is saying and work with her. I can almost guarantee that an agreeable and open approach will yield much better results than resisting everything the woman says to you!