In the last several years there has been a plethora of information discussing the differences in how men and women differ. The field of neuroscience has corroborated what most of us already know intuitively. I have had several relationships and can testify to the fact that there are major gender differences. I’m sure when men and women hang out in their separate groups they often point out behaviors that have become the foundation for a lot of sitcoms. When I was younger and uniformed about how differently we see the world, I would often find myself getting crazed and humorless. I can’t say I’m completely cured, but I do find myself laughing more often at both genders behaviors. Here’s some examples of situations I have learned to laugh at. A man will open the refrigerator door and swear up and down that he can’t find whatever he’s looking for, but he has no trouble finding his favorite sports show on the tube. Women will discuss a topic over and over and add every subtle nuance as if they were trying to create an academy award winning film. Men simply look bewildered and wonder “why can’t she simply get to the point”? We will get in the car and immediately think of where we might stop to wander around some shops, or make sure we know where the nearest restroom is. Men seem to resemble camels when it comes to their bathroom habits, until they get older. Our goal is to gather information, no matter where we are so we can share it with our women friends and bring home some little treasure to remind us of our journey. Our partners can never figure out why we need what we’ve purchased, because their sojourns to stores comes from a more practical place. If they go to a hardware store for a hammer they don’t call their friends to go with them so they can try it out before they buy it, or come back with more than they set out to buy. They also don’t get overly concerned over making beds, making sure the house is clean when companies coming over, or putting toilet seats down. Of course not every man or female fits into the above categories, but I can bet that a great majority do. What we all need to discover is that what annoys us about each other can become a great way to connect, if we can both admit that we are often a joke.
Most of us have no clue how crazy we make ourselves, especially when it comes to relationships, weight loss, work issues, and our health.
Over the years, I’ve heard excuses that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Nothing can change if we don’t first change the way we think about things. If you believe that you’ll never be happy or successful, then no matter what you do, you won’t ever feel happy or successful. This is because you focus all your energy on being right and finding people who support your beliefs. If you believe that certain people or events create your difficulties, then you’ll spend your time trying to change them instead of yourself, which is a pointless exercise.
The thing that needs to change is the way you see your obstacles. We all have thought traps, and identifying them is not easy. I have found some real epiphanies in the book “What Happy People Know” by Dr. Dan Baker. Dr. Baker is a psychologist who has been counseling for years. He realized later in his practice that most people wanted to keep telling the same stories as to why they felt miserable, unfulfilled or unappreciated. He decided it was time to confront his patients in a way that led them to discover how they sabotaged themselves.”
What most of us do is fall into four categories” he says. We are either victims, entitled, looking to be rescued, or seeking to blame someone or something for our woes.
The victim often portrays him or herself as always being taken advantage of. “No one cares”, it’s always me, are part of their usual dialogue.
Those who are entitled feel they deserve to have more, not have to wait for anything, or be acknowledged for just about anything they do.
The “rescue seekers are fixated at thinking someone is going to handle their problems, help them direct their life, or give them the answers to the challenges they might face.
Accountability is not a word they are familiar with. I was very invested in this “thought trap” until I finally realized that “no one was coming” and that I was in charge of my own life. Frightening at first, but incredibly freeing in the long run.
The blame game is something we’ve all heard about and I would almost guarantee that a great majority of us have used it to try to get off the hook for a variety of issues. It’s an easy one to get trapped by. After all why not use it to counter failing at a variety of things, like living with an abusive partner, gaining weight or staying in a job that is filled with stress and disrespect?
It allows us to forget that we are the captain of our own ship and that we have choices on how we perceive situations or individuals around us. We create our own feelings through the thoughts we have. Not an easy concept to engage in since many of us have been doing the same bit for a very long time and it essentially becomes automatic like an actor who has been in the same play for many years.
Change takes work and courage, but the exciting news is that you close the curtain on your performance, get new dialogue and voila, you have a new show that might just get you a standing ovation!