We wanted to share one portion from the copious notes and sessions Cinthia has shared on loving a man and the gender differences she sees in her practice. Here are some excerpts from her notes and we hope they will help you process why it is important from a woman to control how you communicate your emotions in your relationship with a man. Please listen to the radio show on Sunday on Faithtalk1360 4PM MST for more, but this might help set the stage for one important aspect of the broadcast.
Here are the notes:
Communicating Emotions: One of the things that comes naturally to women is how they express their emotions. When they talk to their girlfriends, women just have feelings, they’re big and perhaps kind of a dramatic, and in a passionate manner. Woman can even be somewhat reactionary. This is how I (Cinthia) am when I am speaking: You can really see things on my face. It comes really naturally to me to be really animated. I use my hands, I get tearful, my voice rises. I use lots of analogies; I’m really, really verbal; I talk really quickly and that doesn’t always go over well with men. I have to do things in order to moderate and adjust this. So I need to speak slower; I use less words; I take some time and am careful about how animated I am, and moderate intensity. There are a lot of feelings and they are often.
It’s so funny to me when I’m teaching women about men and I say to
them, ‘Do you understand that the scariest thing to a man is a woman’s
feelings?’ They will go to war, they will go to Afghanistan but they
won’t take on their wife having a "bad" feeling. Because they just don’t
know where it’s going to go. They don’t know how to fix it. They don’t
know what’s happening. It starts to then be about them and they are
not a good provider, a good husband, a good lover, a good friend, a
good father or whatever it is. It is very scary. Men come into my office
and they are white-faced because they know they are getting
something. Inevitably, it makes no difference. It cracks me up. A
couple will come into my office, sit down, and I will say, ‘Ok, How are
things?’ The man inevitably, always looks at the woman and says, ‘I
think we’re OK?’ Or he responds, ‘Are we OK?’ The woman will say,
‘Yeah, we are, we had a few little issues.’ then she’ll follow up with, ‘You know what I’m
talking about honey.’ And he’ll always respond, ‘I’m not sure’. This is because
(Thank the Lord) men are really hard-wired to forget. They don’t truly do not
remember. They don’t track information the way women track. Whereas, I can bring
something up from two years ago as a reference point for me as to
why I feel the way I feel today. I can say it to my friends, I can say it to
clients, I can say it to my husband, you know ‘this is why I’m so-and-
so, because when we did this and this at this restaurant...’ He will look
at me and go ‘What are you talking about? What?’
What women need to understand about men, when woman do that to a man: express emotions without processing and expect them to remember it all...it goes nuclear. If women do not present their emotions well, men feel totally bombarded. They feel ambushed. They are broad-sided out of left-field and they automatically think they are now in the one-man-down position. They don’t remember and do not have that in their little weaponry like women do. If women are not careful, it’s like a loaded gun. When explaining to men the reason women do this is that it creates an emotional reference point for them. That’s all women are doing. Some women bring it up to be accusatory and keeping score but what really is happening to women emotionally is they are building this emotional grid for themselves, so they can say, "wow, it’s like the same thing, the first time you brought me flowers I’ll never forget how I felt." The guy will be respond, ‘Oh, really, when did I do that?’ They just don’t register the information in the same way. They can feel really, really ambushed when women start bringing stuff up from the past because it is an immediate trigger "Oh no, I thought that was resolved and now I have a big emotional issue I’ve got to deal with. I thought we’d put that to rest but now she’s bringing it up again, re-igniting it again," And what a woman is saying to the man is not necessarily re-hashing it. A woman is trying to give a man a frame of reference as to why that was important to her and why the issue that’s happening today is making it harder for her. Because she remembers what happened to her a year and a half ago when they had that experience.
So, if a woman can give him a little frame of reference and say this is why we are talking about this, "I’m not trying to ambush you" or be honest and say , ‘Yeah, I faked you out. I told you it was resolved and I’ve been carrying it for a year and a half." Yet that is just mean and harmful to your relationship. Men do not do well with this and it is detrimental. Deal with the issue as it rises. Therefore, men start to act very afraid, thinking that they were ok and then finding out that we’re not ok...its a precipice of the unknown. They feel like the rug is pulled out from under them and they can’t trust anymore. So, it’s really important that women address men and are upfront, "Yes, this is resolved." If a woman brings it up in the future, it’s only as an example for why I feel the way I feel. It isn’t because it’s unresolved. If it’s not resolved, a woman really needs to be honest and communicate to the the man that "We probably can’t talk about this anymore but we will have to talk about it again because I’m not ok with "xyz" that occurred." Men are more literal, and compartmentalize, so they can be offended when I refer to the past as a way to explain the present. The past does not explain the present issue at hand.
We would love to hear feedback and cannot wait for you to hear the show!