“Why? When are you going to realize? Didn’t you see? What were you thinking?” on and on and on she goes...
OK, so maybe you forgot to book an appointment, or you stayed out late and forgot your planned date. Then a good 180 seconds of straight criticism follow and one wonders where this pool of words flows from.
The fact is, men are wired differently from women. Men are naturally wired to let things go, while women are wired to cling to even the simplest things. Almost all men share this universal experience of being criticized by their girlfriends or wives. And you know there is nothing you can do about it, because that is how it is supposed to be. So why do women find it hard to let go? Read on if you want answers.
Women express themselves differently
Research has demonstrated that women tend to produce more emotion-oriented messages than men. One study found that, when asked to write a story about love, men’s narratives were 50 percent shorter than women’s. Evidence also suggests that men are more likely to favor a problem-focused approach in response to a stressful situation, whereas women will focus on emotional support. A woman telling you about her stressful day isn’t looking for solutions, she simply wants you to listen and talk nice words to her rather than concrete help.
These gender differences mean that you may find that your partner frequently accuses you of being insufficiently loving because she’s expecting you to be more emotionally attuned and expressive. There is no way out of this, you have to learn to be more emotionally supportive or at least fake it.
It takes men longer to cool off
When humans are overwhelmed by negative emotions, their bodies give them two options: fight (criticize) or flight (withdraw). In a disagreement with your partner, when you start to feel angry, chances are you might end up shutting down and withdrawing emotionally. Unfortunately, this doesnt make the problem go away, it only makes a woman feel like she’s not being heard, which makes her criticize you even more. Which makes you shutdown even more, hence a vicious cycle that can majorly impact the quality of your relationship. Take a break when she starts to nag, tell her you are too worked up to “talk” to her, and sort it later.
Women crave social engagement
Some theorists speculate that the female brain is more primed for social connection than its male counterpart. Women at most can talk three times as much as men, uttering an average of 20,000 words a day compared to 7,000 in men. It’s this need for engagement that drives a woman to criticize you when that hunger for social connection isn’t satisfied. Basically, she simply needs someone to “talk” to.
In effect, criticizing can be your girlfriend’s way of saying, “Listen to me, I matter!” To get around this problem so that you have enough alone time and your mate feels valued, set aside some time each day, even if it’s only 20 minutes, to chat with her. During this period, give her your full, undivided attention and try to not take over the conversation.
Men hoard power
In a romantic relationship, men typically have greater difficulty sharing power than women do. When a relationship suffers from a serious power imbalance, men are more likely to be on the receiving end of a lot of criticism from their partners, simply because feeling like her opinion doesn’t matter translates into anger. Curb her criticizing by taking small steps to share some of the power in your relationship. Start by giving in to one of her requests or, talk over a major decision together, doing your best to take her input into account before acting.
But logical as it may seem that women are naturally wired to nag their partners, sometimes, women do it just for the sake of it. If you can learn to tolerate and love your woman even in the midst of her nagging tantrums, then you are a ‘True Man’.