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Women are different. December 6, 2012

Posted by occhristiancounseling in dating, Dr. Debi Smith, research, understanding women.

by Dr. Debi Smith

psychology_of_womenWomen are different by nature.  We can’t help it.  We were born that way. And truth be told, you guys like us this way.  In fact, there’s no one you would rather dance with than a girl, right?

However, the very things that draw you to us are the very things that you find confusing.  You’ve probably wondered with Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”

But that’s not really what you want.  You love the fact that she’s emotionally sensitive and not as big or as strong as you are.  But you’re also very confused that so much depends on how she feels.  And she feels a lot.

And she can talk forever and ever and never get to the point.  She looks to you to solve problems for her … sometimes.  But just as often, she gets angry if you try to solve a problem for her … especially if her feelings are involved.  Sheesh.

What you probably don’t realize is just how differently she’s been treated her entire life … just because she’s female.  From the moment her expectant parents found out she was a girl, she has been viewed as sweet and delicate.

For example, as a toddler, she got picked on by another child at the park, and her mom or dad moved in quickly to intervene.  She was given lots of comfort, understanding, hugs and kisses, and reassurance that she was cared for.  Her tears meant something – helping her communicate that something was wrong.  She felt like she mattered.  Childhood was a very different experience for her than it was for you.

She was probably trained to be a pleaser.  At the very least, she learned that nice girls never come right out and ask for what they want, that they take turns, and that they must always consider how other people might be feeling.  So she learned to use a very tentative language, which now to you seems vague at best and just plain crazy-making at its worst.

She knew another girl was her best friend because they shared secrets with one another.  Unlike your childhood friendships that focused on shared activities among a whole gang of guys, two-by-two proved to be the best pattern for her.  Add a third girl to the equation, and it was an emotional disaster waiting to happen.  Sounds weird, huh?

As if the tearfulness and the vagueness and the secret-sharing aren’t enough, the differences between male and female communication are extensive.  You wouldn’t think the same English words could hold such different meanings for two people brought up in the same culture, but they do.


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