I received a request from a reader of my old, now defunct blog to reprint the following.
Since we're heading into the holidays, I agreed that it might not be a bad idea to get this one back out there, especially since I have a much larger readership here, and it may save some of you from unnecessary grief during the holidays.
Ladies, at the risk of sounding like a patronizing prick, you need to pay close attention to this one... especially if you've never read it before.
Guys, you need to read this too, and pass it on to the woman in your life, but do so without being a patronizing prick.
ONE FOR THE LADIES
Many women do this one thing.
And it must leave them feeling awful…
I bet you do it too.
I’m talking about women who hide their true feelings from a man and fear sharing their desire for a closer relationship and for love.
Ever felt this way?
It’s happens when you won’t communicate directly with a man about your feelings because you think you’ll "scare him away".
Unfortunately, you’re right… it could scare him away.
The way you talk to a man about a relationship turns out to be THE BIGGEST MISTAKE ANY WOMAN CAN MAKE WITH A MAN.
I’ll come back to this giant mistake in just a quick second…
First, I’d like to talk about what I’ve seen in the dating world as a guy and share a story with you.
I’ve had women communicate their feelings with me in all sorts of different ways from joy to anger to frustration, and I know what each one does to a man.
(and in a larger context, what communicating this way does to any person in general - man or woman)
There’s a pattern to the dating experiences that I’d like to share.
The story goes something like this...
(let’s pretend I’m the man in this story and you’re the woman)
You and I meet. We both like each other. (lucky me!)
Feelings develop for us both on several levels. (physically, emotionally, socially)
You try to be "patient" and not express too many feelings and what you want to play it cool.
We have a great "connection", but we never talk about what we want in our future around dating, a relationship or marriage.
Time goes by and things are great for us.
Eventually, you begin to see that you’re not getting what you want from me in the relationship.
You want more, but you’re scared of talking to me about it because you don’t know where I’m at.
You’re scared because I’ve talked to you about all the bad experiences I’ve had with women in the past.
And sometimes I even make negative remarks about women and their emotions.
You don’t want to ruin the good things we have going and rock the boat, but in the back of your mind you know that you’ll want to deal with the negative emotions that are slowly but surely building in your mind.
Then as I start to see us growing closer, I begin to discuss my past issues to let you know how to proceed.
So you don’t say anything to me directly to communicate what’s going on for you and your feelings.
And of course, being a normal guy, I don’t ask. (Duh, I’m a man!)
You become frustrated and confused that I’m not acting how I used to act.
Things begin to change with the way I treat you.
I don’t pay as much attention to you anymore.
I don’t surprise you or bring you flowers anymore.
I’m tired everyday after work and just want to watch tv when I get home.
I call you less frequently.
I don’t initiate sex as much anymore.
If I have any female friends, you even consider that I could be seeing someone else.
And after a few months - I’ve become distant.
So what happens next?
You decide you’re not happy with where things are and it’s time to have a talk about where we’re at.
But you’re SCARED of expressing your feelings about what you want, so you let things build up inside you until you begin to let your frustrations with me show.
And to wrap the story up…
You make THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE WITH A MAN…
You start a conversation about the relationship and then you get upset and lose your cool with me in some way. (yelling, tears, physical violence)
All your desires, fears, frustrations and dreams that you’ve been holding inside away from me all pour out in one big emotional explosion…
This "Big Mistake" can take the form of arguing and yelling, but not exclusively.
Sometimes it’s just extreme intensity, perhaps tears.
It might include:
1. Complaining about the current state of the relationship.
2. Showing your frustrations about what you feel is missing.
3. Becoming upset that he doesn’t feel how you’d like him to feel.
4. Bringing up past issues, arguments or disappointments.
5. Implying he’s not really needed (letting him know you have other male friends who will do things for you DANGER ladies!!! This one will backfire on you almost every time!!!)
But it always creates a lot of emotional tension and "drama". Especially in the guys mind.
This is THE LAST THING you want to do with a man if you want to get some positive result with him.
That tension that’s created stays with him, and he NEVER forgets it.
In his mind, he now thinks of you as "hysterical" and full of issues. His mind defines you by what he saw in your behavior, and it scares him.
Yep, I know it’s not fair, but it’s the man’s weird and twisted reality…
I’ve heard hundreds, maybe thousands, of men talk about this exact perception of a woman and how they fear being with a woman who they think will make this giant mistake.
Yeah, I know… it’s inmature, selfish and not fair of the man, but it’s the reality of the situation that lots of women end up in with men.
So how do you avoid this….? I’ll tell you how in THREE EASY STEPS.
Step 1) You Need To Understand What’s Going On Inside The Mind Of Your Man…
Let me tell it to you straight, as a man…
Women secretly believe that their connection with a man will "naturally" turn into something deeper without any communication taking place.
Kind of like it’s the unspoken truth about what’s going on.
Honestly… this isn’t how it works for us men.
If you’re "assuming" you have a relationship, and that he feels like you do, you’re wrong.
Men don’t assume that a connection, being together, spending quality time and all the rest means they’re in a committed relationship.
Some men do, but not most.
For a man to know he’s in a committed relationship, and understand the things YOU want in that relationship, YOU have to communicate with him in CLEAR AND DIRECT terms.
Yeah, that’s right… You have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable.
But I hear lots of women think that other women are just lucky to have found such a great guy.
And while there are some men who are more equipped and ready for a healthy situation with a woman, it’s NOT luck that women in great relationships have found a way to communicate with their guy.
That’s right, they’ve taken time to find the right information and to learn to integrate a certain way of communicating into their thinking and behavior.
It’s not easy, but there’s help.
Step 2) You Need To Understand What Causes You To Make "The Big Mistake"
EVERYONE wants to have THEIR needs met first. It’s basic human nature.
But being able to delay your gratification is an AMAZING thing to develop in your life. (in every part of your life!)
Most people (men and women) want to talk, talk, talk about what THEY think and what THEY want.
The root of this problem basically boils down to needs that are unmet.
So making "The Big Mistake" is really all about being driven by your unmet needs and desires and solely focusing on what YOU want the relationship to be, without honestly and critically considering the man’s perspective, his emotional state, his communication skills and where he’s coming from at the same time.
When you do this with a man, you are subconsciously telling him that you’re more interested in your feelings and what YOU want than you are in his feelings and what he wants.
And men can read and pick up on women who do this instantly.
I see a form of this "Big Mistake" communication all the time in business by the way.
Some business professionals are the worst at this self-absorbed "need" oriented communication.
Like when someone calls me who wants to get something from me or sell me something and they’re not very experienced or polished at it.
The first thing I pick up on is their selfish agenda… and it instantly puts me on the defensive.
But if they’ve done their "homework" on me and what I’m looking for, and not what THEY WANT from me, when they talk it changes the whole situation the second they show me they’ve thought about what I want.
It’s very simple but extremely powerful.
So let’s take this concept directly back to communicating with men.
It might sound cliche’, but you’ve got to learn to listen and understand where’s he’s at and where’s he’s coming from.
This cliche’ is a around for a reason.
Patience, empathy and understanding are the first steps towards creating the relationship you dream about.
But you’ve got to be careful to not become the woman who gives him EVERYTHING and gets walked on.
Use your common sense and intuition to safeguard yourself - I know that your female perceptive abilities aren’t used nearly enough, so put these strong tools to good use.
Step 3) How To Avoid Making The Big Mistake
Let me give you a vital piece of information when dealing with men…
Men are CLUELESS when it comes to identifying the things that are "obvious" to women in dating and relationships.
I would know. It’s taken me twenty years to begin to understand these things for myself - and I spend a LOT of time thinking about it.
So we know men are AWFUL at initiating and participating in conversations about deep emotions and relationships.
Sorry to break the bad news, but it’s almost always up to you to make this communication happen.
It’s important to remember to approach the entire conversation from the perspective of talking about what you want AND what he wants.
If you can make a guy feel like you put his feelings and needs a priority in this conversation, and always consider what he wants, I promise he will LOVE YOU for it!
There’s no rule that says you can’t consider another persons opinions and feelings first in order to get what you want.
In fact, a key goal in negotiating is to let the other person talk first.
When you get to listen first, you ALWAYS have the advantage. You know exactly what the other person wants… and knowledge is influence and power.
I’m not saying you need to take on hard-core negotiating here with a man, but some of the same rules and principles about people and psychology apply.
When you talk to a man from a positive place of listening first, he will be 10,000 times more receptive to what you have to say and what you want once you bring it up than if you approach him from a place of feeling hurt, communicate need and projecting fear and anxiety.
Try this instead.
Ask a positive question or give a positive statement such as, "Honey, I was thinking today that I was happy to be with you."
It might sound submissive, corny or difficult to say to someone you’re having a tough time with, but think about it…
If you’re going through all the trouble to worry so much about the future with this person, this is already what you’re thinking.
See you tomorrow.