I’m laughing. I know many women who would debate that there is only one number one mistake; their response would be there are just too many to claim first place status. Thus is the opinion of many women when it comes to men and relationships. However, in my humble view and experience, if we were all to shift a bit more to the middle, be willing to compromise and cut each other a bit of slack, the world would be a lot closer to being a healthier place to live.
So, back to the number one challenge men have in relationships with women. Notice, how I said with women. Men with men are a completely different animal. They understand and intuit situations and non-verbal communication with each other, as women do. They grunt, growl, guffaw, say,”you know”, laugh at indiscriminate jokes, tell the same stories over and over thinking they’re hilarious, and pat each other on the back for making stupid mistakes. They’re manly and they know it.
When it comes to women, most men are out of their element. There is a negligible group, yes even outside the gay community, men who actually have strong emotional intelligence and can communicate well with women. They are few and far between. Sorry guys. But if women understand that, not expecting what cannot be offered without education instead of beratement and chastisement, are willing to gently encourage our men, wow! What wonderful changes are in store.
If men, – okay guys, are you listening- were to “daily,” yep, I mean daily, (not weekly, bi-weekly or monthly,) offer up “Active-Emotionally-Responsive-Listening” where your partner feels heard, understood and appreciated, there’s nothing a woman won’t do for you. This actually goes beyond the five love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identified our first five emotional love languages. He was spot on. Everyone’s order of importance is different, making the connection unique, the key is understanding the differences and working towards harmony. They are: 1. Acts of Service. 2. Words of Affirmation. 3. Intimacy and Touch. 4. Quality Time. 5. Gifts. Once these are identified in your relationship, it will immediately run smoother if acted upon. This number one mistake if heeded is a global leap ahead. I’ll repeat it, “Active-Emotionally-Invested-Responsive-Listening.”
You might wonder what I mean by “active.” It means to be fully “present,” you know, completely in the moment, not contemplating work, your upcoming fishing trip or when you’re going to have sex next, but being fully engaged 150% in listening to her with your inner emotional fiber optics. You have the equipment; use it.
I’ll offer an example. There is a family gathering your partner, girlfriend, wife wants you to attend, however you have other plans with your buddies. Okay, we already have a problem from a woman’s point of view, however that’s really not the issue. The issue is not listening to her invitation, and doing what you want without asking how she “feels” about it. Nine times out of ten, if you were to talk and be Actively Emotionally Invested, Listen to her reasons and feelings and lovingly Respond from this perspective, the outcome would be good for everyone. Perhaps you compromise with a 50/50 split with family and buddy time or maybe after Listening to her and acknowledging her feelings, she’s totally fine with you hanging with your buddies. Or, one step closer, because you Actively Listened to her reasons why she truly desires your company, you choose to support and love her by going. All three examples are a win/win versus not caring enough to Actively Listen and Emotionally Respond by just going and getting everyone pissed off.
Ironically, this is not a huge time zapper but a relationship investment into your lifelong emotional account. It’s the easiest and quickest route to huge heartwarming assets and ardent, lusty riches, if you catch my drift.
“Active-Emotionally-Invested-Responsive-Listening.” Try it and see what happens. Your buddy time will be much more enjoyable.
Cosmic sunshine to you.