Insights on How to Better Communicate with the Men in Your Life

 

Over the past year I had the privilege of discussing Man Information with men. The secret survey of men provided information from 2000 men. And another seminar I was fortunate to attend was called “Men are Like Dogs, and You are a Bad Owner.” Let me tell you—it was interesting! No rocks were left unturned.

Did you know that women make the mistake of communicating with men like they are hairy women? Men and women tend to process things differently, have slightly different communication styles, and men and women were generally raised differently; they received different messages from their parents, from society, and from the media. So, it’s not surprising that communicating with men just as you would your female friends and relatives sometimes doesn’t turn out as well as you want.

Here are two pieces of information from “Men are Like Dogs” that gave me new insights:

The first one is that women are often a bit up and down with their emotions, so for them, getting upset and then getting over it would be like jumping off a dock and climbing back up fairly quickly.

For a man, it’s like being in the middle of an ocean and having to swim for miles to land. In other words, it takes much longer for a man to switch emotional gears.

The second piece that stood out was, as women we are always interrupting one another. We jump in and finish each other’s sentences. Perhaps it’s our collaborative nature.

But, men would like us to know that even though we are usually right, we should wait until they have finished speaking before interrupting. They like feeling that they have been heard.

So ladies, we need to embrace these Dogs and tweak our communications for maximum efficiency. Small changes, such as giving men time to process their feelings and not interrupting, are easy to do, and will significantly improve your communication. Give yourself a challenge and try these two tips this week, and see what happens!

Managing Your Energy Vs. Self-Care

You’ve probably heard about self-care. Self-care is an important aspect of life. It’s when you purposefully take the time to nurture yourself, whether it’s meditating, getting a massage, resting, working at your passion or hobby, or just getting your hair done. When you take time for yourself, it replenishes your energy, makes you happy and content, and helps you grow.

But it also triggers feelings of anxiety and guilt for some women. As women, we’re seen as the nurturers. We put others’ needs first. We bend over backwards to help our loved ones and neglect ourselves. We sacrifice. We ask ourselves, “How can I take time to do a yoga class when I’ve got piles of laundry, an unfinished project at work, a kid that needs homework help, and a million emails and phone calls to respond to?” This always-put-others-first lesson has been ingrained in us for generations. So the concept of prioritizing self-care is often met with hesitation and resistance.

But, still – it’s important. How can we change our mindset so that we make it a priority to take care of ourselves?

I suggest we reframe the concept of self-care into the concept of managing your energy. I believe managing your energy is the key to living the life you desire. And, the concept of managing your energy versus self-care will probably get better support from you and everyone else in your life.

You only have so much energy. And, you want to use that energy to do the things you feel are important, like helping your child with homework or doing a great job at work. When you run out of energy, you’re doing yourself and others a disservice. You’re not giving it your all; you can’t.

To get more energy, to replenish energy, so that you can give 100% when you need to, you need to instill positive, replenishing habits.

95% of our lives are run by habits. Sometimes bad ones. That’s when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired, and your pre-frontal cortex or your rational and analytical mind shuts down and goes to your subconscious default habits, like reaching for the bag of cookies, or cigarettes, or alcohol, in an attempt to soothe yourself. These habits do not replenish your energy; they deplete it.

Why not guard your energy and replenish it and make deliberate, high-quality choices? Get more sleep, eat foods that are full of life force, laugh and share with friends. Move your body. It is designed to move. Give yourself permission to chill. Take that class you’ve wanted to take for a long time. Go for a hike by yourself.

These types of habits can fill your energy tank back up so that you can be truly present and energized for your job, for your kids, for your partner, and for anything else important to you. Your energy is the most serious thing about you, and you are responsible for managing your energy so that you can bring it to every situation that needs it.