Hey, Claire: How is it that men can totally disconnect from feeling, thinking, and emotion at the snap of a finger? – Ana
Recently on my Facebook page I posted an open invitation for questions about relationships, and this one was one of the first to be posted. In fact, I hear this one regularly.
Do men sometimes seem like cold, unemotional, cruel creatures to you? Do you feel like you could be drowning in a whirlpool of anguish, frustration, anger, or insanity and he’d be just standing there chatting with his buddies about their fantasy football draft picks or a particular episode of Breaking Bad?
Are men really disconnected from feelings and emotions?
I invited a couple of guy friends to chat online with me about it, and here’s what they had to say…
Why do guys not seem to respond to a woman’s emotional needs? Sometimes it can seem like men don’t even have feelings… What’s that about?
Jackson: A woman’s emotions can be totally overwhelming.
When guys show our feelings, it’s in short, simple bursts that take maybe 5 seconds. Like, I’ll tell my bud that my boss is a jackass, and my landlady just told me she sold the building and we gotta move out by the end of the month. Plus my girlfriend is hormonal and I can barely understand what she wants from me.
And he’ll say, “Dude, that sucks. I’m really sorry. And hey, you should check that new apartment complex going up on Grueber Street; the neighborhood isn’t great, but the apartments are pretty decent. And hang in there, man.”
And maybe we’ll share a bro-hug, or he’ll pat me on the back and ask me if I’m coming to game night.
And that’s it. We’re done with the messy stuff. I give him the short version, he gives me the short version, we move on.
With women, it’s never that way. They want you to be swimming in the emotional craziness with them for a good long while, and they want you to be able to talk much more about it. That’s just not how guys operate.
Nick: We do have feelings, but we keep a tight leash on them. It’s like, you wouldn’t let your Great Dane run all over the park and jump on people, would you? No, you keep him controlled. Sometimes when women are all emotional, it’s like they just popped open a giant balloon filled with bees in the middle of a crowded room; not only is it chaos, pretty much everybody around is going to get stung.
Claire: Yikes, the bees! No wonder guys turn themselves to ice…
So do you think there’s a way that women could get the attention from men that we want, even though we feel very emotional?
Nick: Definitely! Women have our attention most of the time, anyway – we can’t help but want to be around you. We’re all about the women in our lives. Also they smell so awesome, lol.
Claire: Focus, my man. 🙂
Nick: Right. It’s like Jackson said – it maybe sounds ridiculous, but you could tell us, but it needs to be the short version, if humanly possible.
Jackson: Exactly. Like pick a time when there’s not so much happening and give us the straight story. And if possible, tell us what you need from us.
Nick: Oh, dude, that last part is critical. Tell us what you need us to do.
But what if a woman doesn’t know what she needs?
Nick: That makes it tough, but we do have a few tools we use on that one. We know we can’t always fix stuff, but we can usually offer a hug, make you dinner, or just listen quietly for a while.
Claire: You make dinner?
Nick: I know. Chicks dig it. I even clean up.
Jackson: But the listening thing is hard if a girl is mad specifically at us. We want to fix stuff, and I don’t hold up well when someone is raging out of control at me and everything seems mixed together. It’s like a 1000-piece puzzle has just been thrown off the balcony, and it’s my job to put the thing together before all the bits get lost down the gutter, carried off by birds, or stomped into the mud.
Claire: You’re pretty expressive, for a dude.
Let me see if I can sum it up…
1. Women’s emotions are overwhelming for most guys. For us, emotions are at the front of our lives; guys seem to keep their emotions more in the background, or on a tight leash.
2. Men do share their feelings, they just do it differently. (They can be pretty expressive, too.)
3. It helps when women can tell guys what they’re feeling, and ask for what they need.
Y’all rock, thanks for taking the time to hang with me.
Anyone want to respond to Nick and Jackson with a comment or question? And feel free to drop by my Facebook page and ask another question about men and/or relationships… Hope to hear from you!