Facts vs. Feelings

The more I learn about dif­fer­ences between men and women (or I should rather say fem­i­nine and mas­cu­line) the more I dis­cover the causes of mis­un­der­stand­ing and mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tions that that are per­va­sive in man/woman rela­tion­ships. The fol­low­ing is a per­fect exam­ple how mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine per­ceive and inter­pret real­ity, which if under­stood and han­dled prop­erly can solve most of the rela­tionship prob­lems, but if unat­tended can eas­ily esca­late to a break-up or divorce.

Here is the exam­ple in the two cor­re­spon­dences that I received from Ali­son Arm­strong, a rela­tion­ship expert who I respect very much. (Her books, courses and CDs you can find in the right col­umn on this website.)

After read­ing this exam­ple try to see other occur­rences where gen­der dif­fer­ences, if under­stood prop­erly can save you a lot of grief in your relationship.

What doy think about this? Let us know.

Best regards,

Radomir

——–
Dear Radomir,

One of the things we dis­cov­ered years ago is that the Mas­cu­line mea­sures real­ity by trusted FACTs while the Fem­i­nine real­ity is cre­ated by her FEEL­INGs.  Both of these are com­pletely valid ways of see­ing the world.

An inter­est­ing and haz­ardous side effect, how­ever, is when you put these two real­i­ties in an auto­mo­bile together.  Let’s call the Mas­cu­line a “Man,” although this is not always true, and the Fem­i­nine a “Woman,” also not always true ~ but eas­ier to repeat over and over again.  He’s going to pay atten­tion to being Fac­tu­ally safe, while she can’t help but notice if she Feels safe.

Add to this the dif­fer­ence in eye­sight for men and women: He can track mov­ing objects way bet­ter than she can; she has a periph­eral vision that’s more sen­si­tive and prey-like than preda­tor ~ mean­ing she sees more threats.

This is how you have a woman full of ten­sion and poten­tially freak­ing out because he keeps chang­ing lanes.  Every time he moves the car to a lane on her side, it will look to her like cars on her side might hit her.  So she doesn’t Feel safe.  He may know fac­tu­ally that he hasn’t had an acci­dent in decades, that the car over on the other side wasn’t going to move, that the speed with which he slipped in that spot missed the other car by a mile… and so on.

Unfor­tu­nately, the Fact of her being safe will not make her Feel safe.  And a man’s great­est chal­lenge with women is mak­ing them FEEL SAFE.  Because every­thing good from a woman begins with her feel­ing safe ~ and every­thing nasty begins with her feel­ing unsafe.

I would love your com­ments and ques­tions related to this topic.  It’s worth exploring!

Bless­ings,
Alison

——

Thank you for your pro­found response to “Chang­ing Lanes.”  I’m thrilled that so many of you found insight, inspi­ra­tion, relief and, even, heal­ing, in a seem­ingly small thing that effects our time with the oppo­site sex in such a big way.

To con­tinue the dia­log: Since learn­ing about the effect of chang­ing lanes on my feel­ings of safety, Greg has mod­i­fied the way he dri­ves.  On a recent trip back from Ore­gon, he apol­o­gized for get­ting close to a semi-truck as he nego­ti­ated the hol­i­day traf­fic.  His apol­ogy was sweet but unnec­es­sary.  As I said to him, “Honey, chillin’ the cave­woman is a part­ner­ship.  I just reminded myself that, as a hunter, you track mov­ing objects much bet­ter than I do and the fact is you’ve never plowed me into the back of a truck!  So I calmed myself down.”

I tell you this because under­stand­ing our instincts and hav­ing a vic­tory of human spirit is some­thing we can all do.  On one end, it’s mak­ing an accom­mo­da­tion to not antag­o­nize another’s most prim­i­tive reac­tions.  On the other, it’s being respon­si­ble for hav­ing them and talk­ing your­self back down off the cliff edge.  Being will­ing to act from whichever end you’re on is a gift to our part­ners — and just plain smart.  Using the infor­ma­tion about our great­est weak­nesses and demand­ing solely the accom­mo­da­tion from our part­ners isn’t fair or in true partnership.

Speak­ing of part­ner­ship, I’m off to Col­orado for three weeks of bliss with some of my favorite two and four-legged part­ners.  PAX World News will return in Sep­tem­ber renewed.  Mean­while, Patrice will give you ample oppor­tu­ni­ties to lis­ten and watch the lat­est inter­views shar­ing my most recent trea­sures from the adven­tures of study­ing men, women and part­ner­ship.  Look for those emails from her in August.

Many bless­ings,

Ali­son

——–

http://www.RelationshipSaver.org/

http://www.GamelessRelationship.com/

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Comments (5)

Walt

August 24th, 2010 at 6:54 AM    


Alison/Radomir,

What ter­rific insight, it sounds so sim­ple yet is very pro­found. I am hav­ing dif­fi­culty in my rela­tion­ship and after read­ing this I real­ize I did not make her FEEL SAFE after a dis­cus­sion on the sta­tus of our rela­tion­ship. We are no longer a cou­ple because of that dis­agree­ment, only wish I could go back…

Walt

Lisa

November 1st, 2010 at 12:15 PM    


I com­pletely agree. In my prac­tice I find it’s very dif­fi­cult to get women to move to fact based com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but it is a skill they can learn and deploy when con­flict creeps up.

I’d like to share an arti­cle I wrote on this very subject.

http://escapefromrelationshiphell.com/just-the-facts-please.php

Thank you for much for shar­ing your wis­dom. You have a great blog.

Robyn

July 6th, 2012 at 10:51 AM    


Thank you for this post. I too have learnt a great deal from this sim­ple idea. My part­ner is very fac­tual, trust­ing and con­tent and I often find it hard to express my inse­cu­ri­ties and feel­ings. I will go over­board, mak­ing a sit­u­a­tion dif­fi­cult by ques­tion­ing our rela­tion­ship and hav­ing unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions. I often find myself ask­ing him to say and do things to make me feel bet­ter, but im too often left feel­ing empty because he hasn’t thought about it on his own. I for­get that he pos­si­bly doesn’t even see the prob­lem in the first place, and then sud­denly he is hit with a full blown episode of emo­tion. There is a big com­mu­ni­ca­tion gap between this and I will take full own­er­ship for it. I need to remind myself that he doesn’t see the feel­ings side of things. As long as we talk every day, and remind each other we love each other, then in his books we are fine. I need to start think­ing that way. Sim­ple and to the point.

Radomir

July 7th, 2012 at 12:35 PM    


Yes, if there is one thing to know about men that will serve you the best is that men are NOT mind read­ers. Men are sin­gle focused and do not expect them to “read” your feel­ings. If you want some­thing, ASK for it. You may be sur­prised how ready he is to oblige. Know­ing your thoughts is not a mea­sure­ment of his love for you. Just con­sider how often you mis­in­ter­pret HIS actions and thoughts.

Mike

October 11th, 2012 at 7:26 PM    


It’s very true, no one is able to read minds and it seems like such a silly thing to even have to bring up, but com­mu­ni­ca­tion can be really dif­fi­cult when the male and female per­spec­tive is so dif­fer­ent. Yet your expla­na­tion shows it’s sim­plic­ity amidst it’s complication

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