Monday, August 12, 2013

Chapter 3 (Part II): How Do Women Cope With Stress?


They talk!

A woman feels a need to talk about her feelings and all the possible problems that are associated with her feelings. However, she is not immediately concerned with finding solutions to her problems but rather seeks relief by expressing herself and being understood.

Unfortunately, when women talk about problems, men usually resist. A man assumes she is talking with him about her problems because she is holding him responsible. The more problems, the more he feels blamed. He does not realise that she is talking to feel better. A man does not know that she will appreciate it if he just listens. This is because, men talk about problems for only two reasons: they are blaming someone or they are seeking advice.

If a woman is really upset, a man assumes she is blaming him and he begins to defend himself. He thinks if he explains himself, she will stop blaming him. The more he defends himself, the more upset she becomes. He does not realise that explanations are not what she needs. She needs him to understand her feelings and let her move on to talk about more problems.

If a woman seems less upset, then he assumes she is asking for advice. However, when he offers solutions to her problems, she just continues talking about more problems. After offering two or three solutions, he expects her to feel better. When she does not feel better, he feels his solutions have been rejected and he feels unappreciated.

Men also become impatient when woman talk about problems in great detail. He mistakenly assumes that when she talks in great detail, that all the details are necessary for him to find a solution to her problem. Again, he does not realise that she is looking not for a solution from him but for his caring and understanding.

Also, listening is difficult for a man because he mistakenly assumes there is a logical order when she randomly changes from one problem to another. Again, he does not realise that she finds relief through talking about problems, worries, disappointments and frustrations and that these topics need not be in any order and tend to be logically unrelated.

Another reason a man mat resist listening is that he is looking for the bottom line. He cannot begin formulating his solution until he knows the outcome. Something a woman can do to make it a little easier for him is to let him know in advance the outcome of the story and then go back and give the details. Avoid keeping him in suspense.

More important, if a woman can remind a man that she just wants to talk about her problems and he does not have to solve any of them, it can help him to relax and listen.

To know how men cope with stress, check out the post here.


Extracted from Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

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