When a man resists a woman’s suggestions she feels as though he doesn’t care; she feels her need are not being respected. As a result she understandably feels unsupported and stops trusting him.
At such times, by remembering that men are from mars. she can instead correctly understand why he is resisting her. She can reflect and discover how she was probably giving him unsolicited advice or criticism rather than simply sharing her needs, providing information, or making a request.
Here are brief example of ways a woman might unknowingly annoy a man by offering advice or seemingly harmless criticism. As you explore this list, remember that these little things can add up to create big walls of resistance and resentment. In some of the statements the advice or criticism is hidden. See if you can recognize why he might feel controlled.
- How can you think of buying that? you already have one.
- Those dishes are still wet. They’ll dry with spots.
- Your hair is getting kind of long, isn’t it?
- There’s a parking spot over there, turn the car around.
- You want to spend time with your friends, what about me?
- You shouldn’t work so hard. Take a day off
- Don’t put that there. It will get lost.
- You should call a plumber. He’ll know what to do
- Why are we waiting for a table? Didn’t you make reservations?
- You should spend more times with kids. They miss you.
- Your office is still a mess. How can you think here? When are you going to clean it up?
- You forget to bring it home again. Maybe you could put in a special place where you can remember it.
- You’re driving too fast. Slow down or you’ll get a ticket.
- Next time we should read the movie reviews.
- I didn’t know where you were. (You should have called.)
- Somebody drank from the juice bottle.
- Don’t eat with your fingers. You’re setting a bad example.
- Those potato chips are too greasy. They’re not good for your heart.
- You are not leaving yourself enough time.
- You should give me more [advance] notice. I can’t just drop everything and go to lunch with you.
- Your shirt doesn’t match your pants.
- Bill called for the third time. When are you going to call him back?
- Your toolbox is such a mess. I can’t find anything. You should organize it.
When a woman does not know how to directly ask a man for support or constructively share of opinion, she may feel powerless to get what she needs without giving unsolicited advice or criticism. To practice giving acceptance and not giving advice and criticism is, however, a big step.
By clearly understanding he is rejecting not her needs but the way she is approaching him, she can take his rejection less personally and explore more supportive ways of communicating her needs. Gradually she will realize that a man wants to make improvements when he feels he is being approached as the solution to a problem rather than as problem itself.
If you are a woman, I suggest that for the next week practice restraining from giving any unsolicited advice or criticism. the men in your life not only will appreciate it but also will be more attentive and responsive to you.
If you are a man, I suggest that for the next week you practice listening whenever a woman speaks, with the sole intention of respectfully understanding what she is going through. Practice biting your tongue whenever you get the urge to offer a solution or change how she is feeling. You will be surprised when you experience how much she appreciates you