I’m always careful when it comes to being critical of the women in our Western cultures because it can lead some men to blame women for their unhappiness. I don’t believe you should ever give anyone else power over your happiness. Additionally, when you blame someone else it sends a message to your subconscious that you were a victim and that you are helpless to fix your unhappiness. Both conclusions would be wrong and unhealthy.
HOWEVER, it helps to identify what causes frustration and confusion in the dating scene. I subscribe to one of the American female dating coach’s Facebook pages so I can get her posts from time to time. This one was a gem because it so clearly illustrated some faulty thinking among some women.
Read her post below and then I’ll share with you the response I posted under it.
TO THE MEN.
Plenty of times you witnesses that women go a bit crazy. Tirades, Outbursts, Irrational Arguing Or Screaming at you, beating on you… All of this as a result to emotional pent-up to a situation.
How do you feel when you can’t solve her issues? And what happens when you realize that you don’t have to? That all that’s asked of you is your presence, your ears and your empathy?
Let’s take a very hard situation she’s in, and neither one of you can change it. Then what?
Will you man up or run?
Will you accept her with her challenges or run?
Will you hold her when she needs you, will you be there or will you run?
And what when she’s in major pain? Can you take it? Or will you feel your own insecurities?
I know, plenty of questions…. take your time…*smirks*”
Her post was designed to get responses from her Facebook Fans. The presumptions here were outrageous and I don’t think she even sees it. Aside from her obvious fears of abandonment, I offered a response based on the context of what she wrote.
This is my response:
There are two opposing philosophies in psychology regarding extreme emotional responses – sometimes seen as rage. The first is to never hold anything back so nothing builds up. I read one man’s quote who said, “Express yourself fully at all times – those who matter won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter”. The problem with this approach is that is has little regard for the wake of damaged people who endured the tirade; including those closest.
Obviously, bottling up emotion is recommended by no one.
The other thought is that of assessment. When you feel outrage, frustration, or disappointment it is always related to an unmet expectation. It can be as simple as an expectation that the car in the lane next to you would have stayed there and not cut you off, or as personal as expecting that a significant other would have remembered a special anniversary or event.
The healthy response is not to stop ourselves from feelings, but to help ourselves identify their sources and value. The source has to do with defining what our expectation was, how we got it, if it was put on us by someone else or it was our own expectation, and to think about the validity of the expectation. Not all expectations are valid or fair. If you expect your significant other to take you to the same restaurant where you met on your first date for your anniversary, but did nothing to communicate that expectation to them – you own your own disappoint and it was not fairly placed on your partner.
Your loved one is not your dumping ground for unloading today’s trash. Each partner needs to own their own emotions and the processes involved for processing them responsibly and with love and respect for those around them. Before you ask a friend or loved one to help you process extreme emotions, you should be clear with them about you are asking them to do and set up boundaries and expectations for them so they can be of help to you. It would go something like this, “Honey, I experienced a sense of betrayal today at work today and my heart is heavy and part of me is very angry. I would be grateful if I could talk it out with you so I could have a loving person as a sounding board, but I need to know how soon you might be able to give me a focused hour for this.”
If you can’t get calm enough, rational enough, or have processed the sources, then you need to get alone and find physical vents that will not harm anyone until you can. Go for a run – treadmill – fast walk. But do something physical to help vent the pent up adrenaline. Many people take no responsibility for their emotions and feel a sense of entitlement that those close to them should have to stop their world at any time demanded of them and take the verbal abuse without complaint – or they will be branded as uncaring.
It’s time for people to grow up, own up, and find healthy ways to deal with life that will strengthen them for the future and actually create greater bonds in their relationships in the process.
I’d love to hear your comments below.