Friday, October 7

You, Me and Stress (Part 6)

Namaste pretty fellas!

Ready for gyaan session 6 by John baba and Anuja baby?

This post's got some smart tips for building and nurturing your relationships… Happy reading!

- The greatest pain comes from withholding your love. We want our partners to like being with us, to feel safe, free and cherished in our presence. To reach this goal, freedom, acceptance, trust and understanding are vital.

- Many couples feel a heaviness in their lives because they believe they have to sacrifice themselves to please their partners. This attitude needs to change. Think of it not as a sacrifice, but as a way to be considerate towards your partner. She doesn’t mistrust or control you when you drive or make decisions, you just have different needs and thresholds. You needn’t stop driving fast completely, just slow down a little with her. This is positive sacrifice, that is worthwhile for both.

- Successful relations are those where people can discuss and resolve issues. Loving support, good communication and healthy compromise are what Mr. Gray prescribes. Coz when differences create distance, passion perishes.

(Wow, that’s a lovely line, eh? The last one I mean… I’m just too good ;-) Hehe…)

- Stress is the primary reason why people, especially couples, fight. And their volatility is expressed in markedly unique ways. Women become emotional and express their feelings and thoughts, while men get detached and rush to resolve the issue. Women tend to share and discuss, men rush to take action. Not surprisingly then, women appear overemotional, unreasonable and demanding to the men, and men are deemed arrogant, righteous and uncaring by the women. And then starts the fault-finding and name-calling. Such a simple flow chart!

What is of the essence, though, is that we are tackling and arguing about the main problem only for the first few minutes. Post that, we are actually fighting about the WAY the other person is fighting (getting emotional versus being unconcerned). The focus shifts from the point of concern to the partner – he/she becomes our problem! Convincing your partner to agree with your point of view can turn any discussion into a disagreement.

The antidote to this is effective communication and the maturity to stay on track and avoid the easy pitfalls. This might require you to take a time-out coz arguing further is only going to worsen matters. A woman talks more when stressed, causing a man to become further aggressive. (Remember all men can do is “fight or flight”?) When this happens, the guy starts attacking the woman by hurting her feelings and the woman continues to yak and complain. Basically the situation goes downhill at breakneck speed…

Talking is the best way to solve things on Venus, and walking away from a conversation or “taking a break / time-out” is a downright insult. While this reduces stress in a woman, it pushes the stressed man over the edge. Hence, a woman, for the benefit of herself and her partner, ought to talk to another woman (preferably not a family member) if she’s worried about something, release her frustrations and then talk more objectively to the man later, WITHOUT expecting him to respond like a woman!

To de-escalate a prevailing argument, a man should try to listen and a woman should appreciate the man for what he does well. Ideally, the couple should talk only about the problem, a woman should not talk eternally about her feelings and the man should not tell the woman how she is supposed to feel. Easier said than done huh?!!

- It is hard for a woman to remain open and receptive when she feels her partner doesn’t care, and it’s hard for the man to be supportive when he believes he’s being called “the bad guy”. Simply put, she wants to feel that she matters and he wants to be appreciated.

- Honesty does not mean that you lose patience, flexibility and empathy. Moreover, when your partner is upset, no amount of logical or legitimate reasoning will help. Knowing when to speak and when to hold your tongue is probably one of the most essential lessons in relationships. Hearing the other person out without offering solutions or passing judgement is often the best, most effective and harmonious way to deal with stressful situations. Else, set expectations and clearly state what your need from that discussion is… makes things easier for the both of you…

- Instead of becoming more sensitive, men need to become sensitive to the needs of women. This means considering her needs and not just his own. If a man is sensitive about his needs and feelings, a woman feels responsible and maternal towards him. A needy man is a huge turnoff to women.

Been there, done that. I come across as a smart, independent, intelligent woman so I’ve had men coming to me with all their troubles. I don’t mind, but when I become only the shoulder to cry on and abandoned when the guy goes sniffing for fun company, I object. I can’t behave like a mother with the one I love. I want to be taken care of, more than the reverse! So guys, learn to be a MAN in the real sense and stop wallowing and whining in front of your partners. Be strong and intelligent when you deal with people and situations. Don’t expect a woman to keep guiding you and then feel bad when she doesn’t respect you or look up to you as her saviour. Can’t have the pie and eat it too, right?!

- There are 14 common mistakes that men and women make in a fight, these are obviously two separate lists and quite elaborate. The ones that I nodded enthusiastically over are (from the women’s list) “how could you…”, using negative or always/never terminology, complaining than requesting, non-stop talking and comparison, digging out skeletons, and (from the men’s list) making condescending comments, interrupting her, tit for tat, and helplessly and forcibly agreeing with her.

- One thing that I found a little odd (and disturbing) was John Gray saying that it’s naive to believe that partners must share everything in order to be intimate. You don’t have to say everything that you think, do or feel, nor should you seek your partner to fulfil every need. There’s a reason that there are several people in your life, connect with them! This majorly went against my childhood belief, but with time, I’ve realised that it makes tremendous sense and reduces the friction in your relationship.

(P.S : Of course, you want to make an informed decision based on your relationship and your partner’s personality. These days men and women deviate so much from the set standard, that it’s hard to figure out whether these universal truths and recommendations are really accurate. I’ve met men who are more emotional than women, and women who are more independent and aloof than men. The learning never ends…)

And on a parting note, some food for thought…
- Sometimes, willingly or inadvertently, people use their emotional outbursts or the silent treatment to manipulate others. These are dysfunctional behaviours, not real gender differences. Beware and avoid them if you wish to share a fruitful, honest and effective bond with the person you love.

Let the love blossom!


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