In my previous post “For The Ladies…” I ended it off by saying that it’s not what we say to our significant other, but HOW we say it. And that it pertains greatly to the way we communicate our needs to the men in our lives, as well as to his ego. Especially since quantifying how much more vulnerable men are to our opinions of them. More than anything we want them to feel competent and acknowledged. One way we can achieve this objective is by circumventing the ego.
The ego is one of our greatest barriers to overcome here. You do not want to bruise your man’s ego and make him feel defensive. You always want to build him up, not break him down. Don’t think that continued repetition or “whining” will sound like music to his ears, eventually wearing him down to the point when he’ll just do what you want. That won’t happen, because once you hurt his pride, the ego takes over, and when the ego is in control, the message is not received with openness – it’s received with resistance. And you’ll feel it.
The kabbalists teach that when a person goes through a process where somebody really hurts them, or does something that their ego doesn't like, the natural reaction of the ego is to lash back, hold a grudge or be upset about it. We ALL experience this, not just men. Let’s start talking to each other with this in mind. If we are aware of how vulnerable his feelings are to our opinions, then there is a better way to communicate with them altogether. We need to rise above our egos too. Men are not mind readers and we can’t expect them to decipher every whim we have. It is our job to guide the men in our lives.
Over the years, kabbalists have explained that men are like electricity, bringing the energy to the relationship. Whereas women are the wire casings and the light bulb, guiding the electricity to a point – preventing it from flaring out of control, and then providing a medium to manifest that energy into something. In this case, Light. As women, it is our role to encourage our men to reach their potential - just like the wire casing encourages a secure pathway to the bulb.
If you have a criticism for your man - let’s say he is a little lazy when it comes to washing the dishes, instead of insisting he buy you a dishwasher because “At least it gets the job done properly!” Joke a little; speak to the boy in him… “Hey babe, let’s serve 14 Hors d'oeuvres on your golf clubs for dinner tonight with the Smiths! Those babies shine like the top of the Chrysler building.” Firstly, you’ll get a laugh out of him, secondly he’ll be impressed that you know that he can have up to 14 clubs in his golf bag at a time, and he won’t feel criticized. He’ll feel accepted and part of a unit, which is exactly what we women want to be and feel anyway.
In a partnership it is of the utmost importance that both always feel secure and supported; scolding each other will only drive a wedge between you (haha… pun intended!) Although different at times, try to reinforce each other, appreciate each other and then the criticism won't feel as obvious. Ladies, it’s okay to use your feminine powers on your man, flatter him a little and you may really be surprised at how clean he keeps those dishes!
SOME EXERCISES TO TRY:
1. You want him to pick his clothes up off the floor - instead of going on a crazy tirade - use your sense of humor.
“Babe, your pants have started a march in protest of desiring to be back in the closet.”
2. You want the yard mowed? The trash taken out? Strike a deal!
“You mow the yard and I'll make your favorite dessert.” “I can pick up the kids if you'll take the trash out.”
3. You are trying to tell him something heartfelt, but he isn’t really listening – the TV’s on, he’s checking emails, texting, playing Xbox… Just throw in the “sex” word. And watch his ears prick up with interest...
“Oh, you’re listening now…” with a wink. And tell him what you wanted to in the first place.
The key here is the art of persuasion. Men are incredibly visual beings. Paint him a picture of what NOT doing it will feel like and he’ll get to it. Give it a try.