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The Emotional Profiles of Men
What is the reason why women are emotionally stronger than man?
This was a recent question that had some interesting and thoughtful answers.
Are women more emotional than men? Or some women more emotional than some men?
Could it be more accurate to say that many men find it difficult to know what emotions they are harboring, let alone express them.
Why is this? Is it to do with intelligence? Is it to do with upbringing or education?
What Does It Take To Express An Emotion?
That will depend upon the sort of reaction you can expect from the person to whom you are expressing the emotion.
Take, for example, the emotion of Anger. How would you want to express that? It's the sort of emotion that can built up very rapidly. Triggered by perhaps an insult, or a threat, or a request that is impossible to satisfy, the hormones rush into your blood stream and you stand your ground. Counter-attack. There is a real possibility that you will be hit, knocked to the ground, wounded, even killed.
If you have had even a little experience of this sort of emotion before, and felt its outcome, you will most likely have developed defensive skills, of one sort or another, helping you to survive.
Or consider the opposite emotion of gentleness and love. Here you will be letting down your defenses, lowering the wall, exposing yourself to the desires and demands of another person. You will be relinquishing your independence and free choices.
Similarly with the other emotions, in each case there is a potential price to pay for entering into that emotion and expressing it.
What About Our Social History?
Imagine what it must have been like when our species lived a primitive life, without the "civilised" benefits of our modern society.
The males of the family grew up with the job of having to defend the tribe and the home from enemies. You have to protect the female who has the domestic job of nurturing your children.
Your physical attributes are strong muscles for running, throwing a spear, fighting hand-to-hand.
You mental attributes are honed to perfection so that you could focus, concentrate, avoid distractions. You have to watch your enemy, predict what he is likely or about to do, so you could be ready with your defense strategies.
You would have learned, perhaps through bitter experience, that you could not afford to trust. Because your enemy would be working out little tricks to catch you off your guard. You might have used similar tactics yourself. The important thing was not to trust anyone but you own instincts. That was essential for your survival as a male.
The Female, on the other hand, had the opposite needs in her role as the care-giver and the mother. Her child/children had to develop total trust in her if they were to survive their early dependent years. Trust .became inherent in her nature and she passed that trust onto her children. She would share her concerns, fears, joys, etc., with her fellow females. That required communication skills very different from the males who were out hunting or fighting.
So, What Of Us, The Modern Male?
I suggest that we retain much of that ancient instinctive reluctance to expose ourselves in the act of Trust.
Trust can make us vulnerable to the ulterior motives of others. The other person with whom we wish to communicate, might not have told us everything about herself or her objectives. Better to not trust her until you are absolutely sure. Keep your distance. Keep your shield up to your chest, don't let her in until she has proven obedience and accepted you as King.
Even the means of communication does not come easily to most of us males. Again, I suggest this inability comes from our evolutionary past. It's hard-wired into our psyche, to a greater or lesser degree. We are not all exactly on the same level of course; we are a diverse bunch of people.
How To Overcome The Instinctive Tendencies?
I contend that it is better to recognize our basic nature than to deny its existence. We have an intelligence, the ability to learn and understand. So we don't have to get stuck in that instinctive mode. Once we recognize and understand, then we can make choices as to whether we want to change our actions/reactions. We can modify our behavior.
Conversely, in denial we are "up a blind alley." We will simply allow those ancient instincts to rule our lives and the lives of those around us.
We men need to do this homework on our selves, acquiring new skills of communication and listening to the needs of women. And the women need to listen to us, learn about us and hear our side of the story.
Maybe, above everything, we all need more patience and a willingness to share.