I just finished doing a seminar on Gender Differences for one of my corporate clients. During the Q&A portion of the seminar a man asked, “I tend to be accused of solving my wife and daughter’s problems. I love them and don’t understand why they hate it when I try and help them solve things?”
Here’s my A to his Q. Disclaimer: I’m speaking in generalities here, not in absolutes.
Females problem solve while their speaking.
Women and girls need their husbands or fathers to simply listen as they work out their issue through talking.
Women and girls don’t want or need males to solve things for them, they need males to nod and acknowledge their words as they work through the issue by talking. They need males to say things like, “Yes, I see that” or “I hear you” or just acknowledge their words by saying, “Uh huh.”
When a male comes in and tries to solve a problem for a woman or a girl they react, they emotionally bite, as I call it.
Females feel disempowered when males try and solve their problems. And when females react, a man thinks, “What did I do wrong? I see how to solve this, and I love her, so why shouldn’t I help her solve it?”
Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys says, “A males brain excels in abstracting reasoning” which inspires him to want to solve the problem, especially a problem that involves someone he loves. He sees the problem, sees how to solve it, and sees no issue with just getting to the heart of the matter and solving the issue at hand.
Men automatically want to solve the problem; females automatically want to talk about it in order to solve it. This creates an automatic conflict between males and females.
Remember, I’m speaking in generalities here.
When a male is exposed to a great deal of talking, which is what the female needs in order to solve things, he tends to get a glazed look on his face. A female sees that glazed look and thinks he’s not listening, and she gets mad or feels hurt by this.
Gurain goes on to say, “A male’s brain is designed to go into rest states, where he renews, recharges & reorients himself.” Hearing a lot of talking is counterintutive for males, so their brain automatically goes into a rest state, which to onlookers looks like he’s spaced out, not listening or ignoring.
Think of the rest state like this, a male’s brain, man or boy, is like a computer in sleep mode. He needs you to touch his hand or shoulder to bring his brain out of the rest mode. Shameless plug: We discussed that and more in the seminar. I’d be happy to do the same seminar for you, live, by phone or via Skype, just contact me.
Yes, there are times when kids or spouses intentionally ignore parents or spouses, but we’re not talking about that here.
Back to the question the gentleman asked me at the seminar, “Why do my wife and daughter hate it when I try and help them solve things?”
This entire post was the A to his Q. Gender differences and the way the brain works is complicated. I’m not a brain expert. I’m a parent educator who takes facts like these and culls them to help you with your daily life. Of course this is by no means the whole answer, it’s just a snippet used to answer someone’s question when I was limited on time.
The bottom line here is a male’s brain goes directly to solving the problem, and out of love they try to offer their solution to make their wife or daughter’s pain go away. A woman solves her problems by talking it out.
These differences are like oil and water, not right or wrong, just different.
Just thought this might be helpful!