This comment on one of my Facebook posts stirred me up the other day because there were a lot of women who agreed (and liked) it.
Take a look:
There are 2 parts of this woman’s simple sentence I want to dissect.
Perspective 1: What we dish is what we get
I’ll be sitting at a restaurant in NYC, and there will be a group of women next to me talking about their dates and how men just don’t get it. They’ll say some crazy degrading things, like the kind of comments in the above example.
Yet if men say things like, “Women are too emotional or needy” it really gets to us.
Because we aren’t just emotional. We’re also smart, savvy and really loving. In fact our ability to navigate emotions is something that can really help to open up a man who has been taught to suppress everything.
We often don’t grant men the same respect we desire from them.
Are there men out there who are selfish, unfaithful, and disrespectful? Sure.
But this isn’t EVERY man and they aren’t choosing to be that way. No human being wants to be out of integrity or alignment with themselves.
It’s because they have a past filled with experiences that have hurt them. Just like you and me.
When we think that the majority of men are selfish or immature, we attract more of those kinds of men into our lives to prove that thought is right.
Then we say to ourselves, “See, I was right!”
I did the same thing.
I would man bash by thinking men just don’t know what they’re doing. This thought would circle over and over again in my mind without me even knowing it.
It impacted my relationship with Hemal. There were days he would come home from work and start to tell me about difficulties he was having with his team.
However, when he’d open up like this I’d launch right into every way he did something wrong.
“Why did you talk to your team like this? You should have done it this way”
He would then quickly shut down, I’d feel bad, and the moment passed and he didn’t feel like talking about it anymore.
I would then think, “See! He’s shutting down. Another sign he doesn’t know what he’s doing and doesn’t want to see things differently.”
Can you see it? I kept finding evidence of how what I thought about men was right.
Once I identified this pattern, I began to approach conversations like this differently.
Now I say to Hemal, “I get it. That sucks. Just wondering – why did you choose to say this to your team in that way? What was the background to why you decided to take this action?”
The energy of this is curiosity, not testing him to see if he says what I think he should.
I’m supportive and challenging him to see things a little differently, but not trying to pick him apart.
The more you think men are the problem, the more you will see that they are.
To shift this, it’s all about identifying why you’re saying certain negative things about men (whether it is out loud or in your head).
For example, I felt like this because I grew up hearing my Mom say things like this about my Dad. My Mom didn’t even know she was doing this, but I picked up on it as a kid and made it true.
My Mom was using it as a way to protect herself, and just by observing it and making it true I started to do the same.
Which brings me to the second point.
Perspective 2: Protecting your heart will only lead to walls being erected – so no one can break in.
When I see a comment like, “I prefer being single!” I can feel a lot of hurt and pain underneath.
Now don’t get me wrong, you could really enjoy being single and tell me, “I feel empowered being single!” which is amazing. There’s a lot of truth and excitement underneath that.
But with this Facebook comment (something I hear a lot), you can feel her pain.
Truth is we ALL want to share our life with someone we deeply love, but because we’ve been hurt we shut down our hearts and start to give up.
We say to ourselves, “I don’t think it’s going to happen for me” or “I don’t want to get hurt again!”
When it comes to love, hurt and pain are par for the course. But so, are feeling ecstasy, passion, and fulfillment.
When we protect ourselves from hurt we also give up the possibility of all that good, juicy stuff too.
Protecting your heart will only leave you living a life without spark and excitement. Tweet it.
It’s so interesting how we deny what we really WANT just to protect ourselves from getting hurt.
I do it too.
So, this week I’m challenging both of us to look inwards at what’s having you PROTECT yourself.
What are your thoughts about men and how are you using those to protect yourself?
Your Lovework is to tell me over in the comments below so I can support you and help you shift into believing that there ARE high-quality men out there for you.