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Are Men Really Emotionally Simple or Just Selective

Updated on May 7, 2013

Are men really emotionally simple or just selective. Speaking as a man, I can attest it’s a bit more complicated than black and white, but I will say that simplicity does play a role in it. Deciphering between the two can really help improve the depth of your relationships.

First, we have an off and on switch, like a remote control, but we’re not always carrying it with us. Let me give you an example. I’m driving with my girlfriend on an absolutely beautiful Sunday afternoon, having a simple and un-emotional conversation. We’re actually talking about our hope, wish and desire for Facebook to disappear and think it’s completely ridiculous how transparent some people make their lives, giving up their privacy at will. I made the comment that at least if Twitter takes over, it limits the amount of content you can post. Everything is peaceful until she called “bull” stating that it’s just as bad. Enter the male ego.

Option A, I could let it go: it wasn’t directed to me or about me and actually was completely petty in the grand scheme of the conversation and was just a minor speed bump. Letting it go would have kept the conversation fluent and left us going along our merry way for the next hour in the car. Sounds like the right option to me, but I left my remote at home and went with option B. I decided to think about her comment and instead of letting it go, I spent the next 30 seconds thinking of something witty to say to refute her remark, and then, personalized it and let a jab fly back, like two kids arguing. Why? Simple.

The simple part of a man’s brain wants to categorize, fix, solve and get things correct. This is not to say women don’t want the same things, but from a needs perspective, we are psychologically geared to be right and because we’re “men”, we can take being wrong or called out as a personal chink in our armor.

Oblivious to the fact that this is someone I love and care about, I turned a simple conversation into a mechanical debate, driving no value to the conversation, elevating our emotions all because I simply forgot to bring my remote with me and selectively weigh the pro’s and con’s of my simple male psychology.

When I say the remote, I’m talking about that part of a man’s brain that knows better. That has walked down this path hundreds if not thousands of times before and yet, for the life of us, still can’t bite our tongues or swallow our pride and just let it be. We even go so far as to recognize that split second between thought and words, and for whatever reason, we still let it fly. Not all the time, but from time to time which brings me to my point about a man’s emotions being either simple, or selective. In my scenario above, I was acting in a simple, one dimensional way.

Selectively, as the day progressed, any other similar intersections in our conversations, I carefully and selectively chose to let sticking points slide on by. It was at that point, that I became conscious of my needs. I recognized that I lost that basic, simple part of my emotional state that seeks the balance and until things settle down, its best to not rock the boat. If we could always act and react in this frame of mind, life would be great. However, we’ll do this dance over and over again until the next time. But shouldn’t women know this about us?

No excuse, but gaining an understanding of how your partner works can be a great benefit to a relationship as it allows the issues between you to naturally sift and leave behind only the material ones to resolve. Fortunately for me, she knows that I am a fact whore. I am glued to Google to search and learn anything I don’t know and by my profession I’m geared to solving problems and getting things right.

Lets not forget too that this is a two way street and I too know things about her and her style and thought processes that help me sort through the simple, or selective emotional responses. The benefit gained from understanding the basic simple needs of your partner contrasted with the selective chosen idiosyncrasies they have can often provide more context than the words spoken. Like reading between the lines. If I’m picking small battles, it’s likely because I’m not quite caught up resolving one issue before moving on to the next. Once my attention shifts, it’s a lot less likely such mistakes will be made. We’re compartmentalized thinkers and so if we’re pre-occupied, it’s like prying a kid away from a TV screen. Until we’re done, we’re not fully giving you 100%. The same thing goes with our emotions.

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