Why Don't Men Get it? - Or do they?
Oh yes, many are going to say, how can a man write about this topic? After all, he is a man and only thinks like one.
Well, on the surface, that may be true. However, as a writer, and I like to think I am a good one, a writer MUST have the ability to think out of the box. Objectively, honestly, and most importantly, not bring their personal opinions into an article. Heck yes. During the earlier stages of my writing career, I found that to be quite the challenge. After all, why shouldn't I write what I think? On some level, that is true. Essentially, when you look at the larger picture, that never leads to good writing because it is strictly opinion-based, and everyone's opinion is different. Especially when writing about a gender-sensitive subject, which this is. Over time, the good writer learns to take their personal experiences along with factual based evidence, tie it all together, and have the ability to write an objective article about any topic.
Depending on the topic, opinions can always change, but the facts never change unless behavior changes. Many behaviors do not change. Let's make one fact perfectly clear. The discussion around this topic refers to men in general. As with any rule, there are always exceptions to the rule. Meaning, terms like most men, refer to the male population in general, not every individual man. As an example, when I was younger, a woman could;t tell me anything. I pretended like I was listening to avoid an argument, but the bottom line after all was said and done, it was my way or the highway. For many years that worked. The question is why?
The most common thing that people forget is that we do, and always well, and have, lived in a three-generational society. Meaning, do the lifespan of people, we always have the young, the middle-aged, and the elderly. What is the significance of this? Simply put, each generation was raised differently. Therefore, we have three different levels of learned behavior. To add insult to injury, within those three generations are multiple cultures that also have their own inherent learned behaviors. Therefore, the behavioral issues increase exponentially. When all of this is combined and put into the mix, we call this society. Let's look at a couple of examples.
My grandparents on both my mother's and father's side came over from Italy. They were immigrants. Both my parents were born in the U.S. My grandparents became citizens. Myself and my sister were born. Growing up, that old-fashioned, as it's called, "from the old country," mentality was totally different. My parents, being more Americanized, were more modern in their thinking. Why not, they were from a different generation. I remember on a Sunday for family dinner, if my grandmother asked my grandfather if he wanted more food in his dish, and my grandmother gave him even one more fork full after he said stop, he would give her a slap across the head. This drove my mother CRAZY. However, that was the culture of my grandparents. Would that be acceptable today?
Let's look at people that immigrate here from the Middle East. Many of the women retain their Middle East customs, meaning, they do not work, most do not have driver's licenses, and they stay home and take care of their husband, the house, and raise the children. Others become westernized and adapt to our way of living. They have a driver's license, work, and live as most other women do in the U.S. This not only applies to the manner in which they choose to live, but it also applies to their religion. Some maintain their religious beliefs, others do not. Most of this occurs because people have a tendency to adapt to their environment.
So that covers two of the three generations. Now, the children begin to grow up and their learned behavior becomes split between the present times and the way they were raised. With all this in mind, how can we expect that three different generations, multiple cultures, and religious beliefs will all be on the same page? They will not. Now that I have given you the basic foundational information, how does this apply to the topic?
WHY DON'T MEN GET IT - or do they?:
This can get quite complicated so I will give you the simple version. Here is where I combine being a man along with factual information. Ladies, to understand this you must first understand men in general, and remember, There are always exceptions, and your partner may be one. However, almost every woman I encounter at speaking engagements, depending on the topic, has the same complaint. "I don't think my (husband, partner, etc..), even listen to what I am saying."
First, it's a fact. Most women in general, are better communicators than men. NOT because men do not care about what's on your mind, in general, men do not want the confrontation. We all know we live in stressful times, and people handle that stress differently. Is there a right or wrong way to handle it? Well, that's another topic for discussion. However, for the purpose of this post, most men simply do not want to hear it. They prefer to go on thinking or believing that everything is fine, even when in fact it may not be. You want resolution, and they do not want to discuss it. With this in mind, most men do know this so they make it appear they are listening when in fact, they are not absorbing what you are saying.
When it is all said and done, what we are left with is total frustration. Frustration, that over time, leads to other problems. Increased anxiety, stress, and eventually, a total breakdown of communications. All of which, at any level, is unhealthy. Not only physically and mentally, but also for the relationship. Yes, as I said earlier, I used to be that guy. So was my father. Actually, my father was so good at it, he could actually make my mother think he was listening to her when in reality,r he had no idea what she was saying. For them, it worked because he was so convincing. An occasional response, such as, "I understand, Yep, or Uh Huh", made her think he was listening. Therefore, this became my learned behavior and became quite one-sided in my thinking. Not until I started taking my required Psychology courses, and dated a girl that didn't take my crap and saw through my deception, did I learn I really needed to change. Yes, I really liked that girl and lost her because of my own inadequacies due to my learned behavior. I now realized I needed to change.
Life was not the same as when I was growing up. Women were more independent and were not going to settle for what was not best for them. This is when I started researching generational differences and studied and learned the three-generational concept, and, it made perfect sense. Now the question was, how do I achieve this and become a better man. Not just for me, but for future partners and eventually my children and the values I wanted them to learn? I realized one of the most important lessons I ever learned in life.