Mary Loyer: Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.

Mary Loyer: Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.

Welcome Ladies! As a Speaker and Relationship Coach, I will show you a new perspective on how to be confident woman as bold as red lipstick! If you've ever been frustrated by the men in your life or felt overwhelmed trying to find your own balance and harmony, you have come to the right place for some answers!

Subscribe to my blog, and get ideas and tips for being your best self, and getting what you need from your man with a lot less effort. Perhaps you'll learn something new, or get a reminder to practice living in your fabulousness. Enjoy!

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Time really flies when one is distracted with work, and life, doesn’t it?? It’s been a while since I’ve written, and I yet I still talk with so many women who are heavy in their search to find a man, figure him out, and have a successful relationship. Just the other day, I was in a hair salon, and the woman next to me overheard me talking about men, and asked me several burning questions all in the same breath!

Her eagerness to figure it all out inspired me to offer my perspective on these masculine creatures once again. My advice to her was to simply be complete and happy with herself, rather than maneuver and strategize what she could do to hold on to a man. Once she truly accomplished that, then men would be attracted to the REAL her, and not the version she thought they wanted to be with.

As we spoke, I realized that this could be easier said then done–after all, I have days when I don’t feel like my most confident self. The worst days are when I feel fat, bloated, or I get a pimple, and no amount of makeup will cover it up! Luckily, I’ve learned that men are attracted to authentic women, and they seem to have a radar to know the difference. When I learned this, I was so relieved, and it encouraged me to let it all out–so to speak. I’m so inspired by comedian/actresses like Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey who are adored for their ability to let it all hang out in their authentic and real way. What if we all followed their example of letting our quirks be our assets?

These days, I do find my boyfriend giving me the most attention when I least expect it, which is usually when I’m hanging out with no make-up, being happy in my skin and speaking my mind. He always tells me how cute I am o-naturale, and seems to like when I express myself so he knows what I want. I now love when he calls me silly, cause I know I’m being my real self, and then he gets silly right back!

Do you expose the REAL you to the man in your life? If so, I bet it’s those seemingly quirky details about you that he likes the most ? Click on the link below for a fun read of the Top 13 Unexpected Things Men Love About Women. I’d also love your comments on what your funniest quirk is?

13 Unexpected Things Men Love About Women:
http://glo.msn.com/relationships/unexpected-things-men-love-about-women-7315.gallery?gt1=36010

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WeddingBells The hot pink table-clothes draped the tables with femininity while the spring flowers trickled the scent of beauty throughout the air.  The white folding chairs waited patiently for the ladies who all gathered on a Sunday afternoon to celebrate the coming union of a special woman named Molly and her fiancé, Adrian.  On Sunday, I was one of these ladies overflowing with happiness for my friend Molly at her bridal shower.  As we drank wine, shared a feast, and spoke of Molly’s exciting future, I couldn’t help but wonder—Should it really be exciting?  As a former bride, I now realize that it is really an adventure, and the quality of this amazing  adventure depends on what you put into it.  Marriage is as Marriage does…

I remember fantasizing about my wedding and forgetting all about building a life together.  How many of you have done the same thing and wondered why things didn’t fall into place after the wedding?  We might have viewed our parents, our married friends, or even married people on T.V as role models to know what marriage should be like.  We may have even thought it should be the best day of our life.  But then, if it’s the best, how does the rest of our life look after that?  It seems,  the only two people to consult  is you and your husband to be.  Why not start by being open with each other about what each of you needs in the relationship, and hearing each other out regarding the expectations for your life together after you’re married.

Imagine creating the adventure you want—not perfect, not fantasy—but rather an unexpected adventure filled with love, laughter, and many twists and turns along the way.  I’m so thrilled for Molly and Adrian, as they embark on this journey of discovery together.  Perhaps you too will think of marriage a little differently, and imagine creating your own adventure, beyond your own perfect wedding day.

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Great-Men-in-Womens-Eyes This seems a simple question doesn’t it?  It’s a small detail, and yet if our man doesn’t know the color of our eyes, it can have us think that he doesn’t care about us, and perhaps it can even feel like he’s not being present enough to notice even the little things about us.  This week, my friend Kimberly told me about her shock, when her boyfriend thought her eyes were hazel, when they are clearly brown.  She couldn’t understand how he could look into her eyes during their many soulful conversations, and not remember that she had brown eyes!

I could relate to Kimberly’s disappointment and frustration.  As women, we are so good at remembering the details about the people we love.  One would think we have a photographic memory that stores all the preferences– favorite foods, clothes, books, movies, songs, colors, and virtually all the details involving our loved ones, so that we can show how much we care by buying them their favorite cd, cooking their favorite meal, or taking them to their favorite place.

I often smile, when my boyfriend and I go to a restaurant, and he asks me, “Do you remember what I got the last time we were here?  Did I like it?”  By now, he knows that I remember many of those details and loves that I can provide that for him.  I think that reflex ability in me might be something that Gatherers used back in the cave man days when they needed to know exactly where the ripe berries were located in the meadow, and which ones were poisonous, or high in caloric value.  If they didn’t remember these details, the survival of the tribe was in danger.

For men, the survival of the tribe was dependent on their ability to hunt.  Even today, men use their single-focus to hunt “results” all day long.  Sometimes, I’ll notice when my boyfriend is so focused on getting us to a party or a movie on time, that he doesn’t notice my new outfit, and forgets to tell me how pretty I look.   The last time this happened, I remembered the fact that he was focused on getting us there.  That was his job, and he was committed to getting me their safely.  I also remembered that when a man is in hunt-mode, all other details that are not related to the hunt are tuned out.  When we got to restaurant, he arranged for us to sit right next to each other in the booth ( I looove sitting close to him), and when we got settled,  I knew he was done with his hunt, when he looked at me, and said, “Hi Pretty-girl”, and gave me a big kiss.  I told him in that moment how much I love when he notices me and tells me I’m pretty.  Since then, he seems to notice me, and tell me I’m pretty all the time, and when I least expect it.  Those are the best moments!

Perhaps, your man may be so single-focused on his hunt, that he doesn’t notice certain details that you think are important.  Rather than conclude that he doesn’t care about you, perhaps you’ll remember that he may be focused on a different result, like providing for you in some way.  Give him a clue about the certain details that are important to you—that show you that he cares.  Maybe even give him a hint by asking, “How do I look?  I just got my hair done today”  Then you might tell him how much you love when he notices that one thing that will have you smiling all day!  Enjoy those unexpected moments of yumminess that follow!

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In the last several weeks, I’ve outlined the four steps in the Harmony Process for all of you strong, confident women out there who may wonder why men seem so clueless sometimes.  These four steps have saved me much frustration and have helped me to achieve a state of Confident Harmony, in which I experience the men in my life being my heroes.  In the moments when they are doing something I might think is stupid, this process has helped me to always get what I need.  What a relief I have felt when I don’t have the burden of doing everything myself.  I admit it hasn’t always been easy to follow these four steps, especially when I’m in a stressful situation, and my patience is in short supply.

I finally found an easy way to remember these steps and a way for me to catch myself in these moments so that I can reveal the heroes in my life, rather than over-look them, and continue to be frustrated by their supposed acts of “stupidity.”  Use the acronym, H.E.R.O below to start using the Harmony Process in your own life, and watch all the heroes in your midst strive to give you what you ask for.

His Behavior: Identify the so-called “stupid” behavior without evaluating what it means.

Expectations: Get clear on your expectations.  What were you expecting him to know or do?

Request What You Need:  Clearly request what you need and how it will make you feel.

Offer Appreciation: Appreciate his efforts to give you what you need, and behold your hero rise up.

Recently, I remembered the steps in this process with my Dad, and I was so happy to have seen him be my hero, after feeling disappointed by him for much of my life.  Before dinner with my parents one day, my Dad was asking me twenty questions about my new job, and his questions were all about the facts, and detailed data about how each part of the company operates.  At first, I felt overwhelmed, and thought he was being clueless—even stupid to think that I should know all these facts.  After-all, I’m not the President of this company, and why does he need to know these details anyway?

In that moment, I remembered, H.E.R.O, and reminded myself of the following:

His Behavior:  My Dad was asking a lot of fact-based questions.  Rather than evaluate the meaning, I remembered that by nature, men use facts and data-based information to form opinions about things.  He needed to know these facts in order to know his daughter found a good company to work for.

Expectations: I expected my Dad to know that I wouldn’t know all this information.  I also expected him to know that I just got home from work, and rather than interrogate me with questions, I might just want to relax, and tell him what I liked about my new job.  It made me feel like he didn’t care about me, and that he wasn’t listening when I exclaimed how tired I was after work that day.  I reminded myself that he had no idea I had these expectations of him.

Request What You Need:  I took a deep breath and smiled as I told my dad, “I know you are interested in all the details in my job and want to make sure I am working for a great company.  However, It makes me feel interrogated when you ask me so many questions at once.  It would really help me relax, if I could have thirty minutes to unwind from my busy day, and then I’d love it if you would just ask me, “How was your day at work?”  That one question will have me share everything with you.  If you forget to ask, is it okay if I ask you, “Can I tell you about my day?”  At first my Dad didn’t seem to understand how I could be overwhelmed by all the questions.  To him, they were essential.  He still agreed to my request, because I clearly explained how it would help me.  He said, “Oh, I don’t want you to feel interrogated!”

Offer Appreciation:  The next time we had dinner, I was so delighted when my Dad came to me about thirty minutes after my arrival, and asked, “So, how was your day at work?”  You can only imagine the smile on my face!  I felt so free to share what I wanted to share about my day.  I saw a huge smile on my Dad’s face too, as I continued to talk and give details—even some facts about the company I work for.   Thirty minutes later, I thanked him for asking about my day, and for helping me relax after work.

After that experience with my Dad, he continued being my hero!   The next time I saw my Dad, he was on his way to the drugstore.  He asked me, “Do you need anything from the store?”  At first I thought, “I need facial cleanser, but he may not get the right one.”  I just gave him a list, and let him get it for me.  I thanked him later for thinking of me and for saving me the trip to the store.

This might seem small and trivial act, but since then, my Dad has approached me many times wanting to help and provide for me in various ways. I encourage you to continue practicing the Harmony Process with the men in your life.  Behold the Confident Harmony you feel, when you have faith in the different strengths of those around you, and get what you need with a lot less effort!  Enjoy!

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Doesn’t it feel amazing when someone you love appreciates you?  As women, we are naturally so nurturing as we adapt to the needs of our family, our friends, that we may even put ourselves last.  Many women I’ve talked to have expressed heartfelt sadness when they don’t feel appreciated for all they do for their family, and even the company they work for.  It can then feel like a burden to continue to give to people who we don’t feel appreciate us.  Believe it or not, the same is true for men!   In fact, this is often the secret ingredient to getting what we need from men.  However, It seems appreciation may be under-rated and sometimes forgotten when stress takes us over.  The amazing thing about this last step in the Harmony Process, is that it can be as simple as one moment, and one smile.  Review all four steps below, and complete your journey to Confident Harmony with appreciation!  Who knows—perhaps you’ll find yourself feeling more appreciated too!!  Enjoy!!

 

Step 1:  Identify the so-called “Stupid” Behavior without Evaluation
Rather than see the behavior for what you think it means, try observing the actions only.

Step 2:  Get Clear with Your Expectations
Ask yourself: What were you expecting him to know or do in that situation? Is it possible that he had no idea you had this expectation? How did it make you feel when he didn’t do it?  Do you think he was purposely trying to make you feel that way? 

Step 3: Clearly Requesting What You Need & Getting it!
Specifically Request what you need—even if you think it’s obvious.   Clearly state why it is important to you, what it really gives you, and give him a clear result to shoot for.

Step 4: Offer Him Your Appreciation and Reveal the Hero!

As simple as it is to show appreciation, I remember moments when I didn’t always feel so generous with it.  I’ve talked to some women who also found it difficult to offer it, especially if THEY didn’t feel appreciated for what they do.  One woman said, “Why should I appreciate every little thing he does, when I do so much more, and I hardly ever get a – thank you!”  I could understand the burden she felt, as she was overwhelmed by her to-do list and responsibilities as a wife and mother.  She explained to me that she didn’t have the luxury of waiting for appreciation to get things done.  I couldn’t help but think of the saying I’ve heard to “Give the thing you most want.”

When we are tired and exhausted, it might be difficult to even think about having gratitude when we just need the trash to be taken out, or help with the groceries.  What would happen if we decided to offer our appreciation anyway?  This is one those situations when we might ask, “Which came first—the chicken, or the egg?”  In this case, which came first– the hero or the appreciation?  The amazing thing I realized is that even in our most exhausted state, appreciation can be as simple as a smile, and that smile can be enough to have a man want to move mountains for us.

The other night, my friend Danielle told me about how amazed she was when she showed her husband appreciation for helping her with tasks around the house.  The next day, she said he was asking her what else she needed, and what else he could do for her! Appreciation is really like “fuel” for men—even more so than we think.  This is especially true when we are requesting the things we need and want.  As step 4 in the harmony process, it’s the key to revealing the Hero in the men around you.  Even when he doesn’t do something exactly the way you needed it done, appreciating him for his efforts and desire to give you what you need will have him want to try harder next time, and he will likely come to your rescue more often! 

This week, practice your appreciation for even the smallest things you ask men to do for you, and see what happens!  Behold the power of your smile, your thank you-s, and your hugs of gratitude.  You may find Heroes coming to life all around you!

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thumbnailCAQUMSOYCalling all Confident Women! I know you are out there, and as much faith as you have in yourself, and as good as you are at getting things done, do you ever have a moment of feeling over-whelmed? Do you ever just wish that the man in your life would SEE how over-whelmed you are and rescue you once in a while? I have had many, many moments like that, and I even thought the men in my life were clueless, until I finally learned this next step in the harmony process. Try it, and enjoy getting what you need instead of always having to do it yourself for change!

Step 3: Clearly Request What You Need
This step might seem simple to do– and you might even think you are really good at it. Think about how many times you’ve asked your man do do something, and after the third or fourth time, you finally gave up when he didn’t do it. He may have even complained that you keep nagging him, right? I added the word “Clearly” in this step, because I noticed that as clear as I always thought I was being, given that men and women think differently, I found that my requests were not being received and understood in a way that would have them act.

Clearly requesting what you need means, stating even what YOU think is obvious. Remember, last week, we talked about our expectations? Well, knowing exactly what you’re expecting will help you ask for what you need specifically. One woman I interviewed named Betty told me about the time she sent her husband to the store for some parmesan cheese. She assumed he would get the same brand she always got- to her it was obvious. When he got back, she couldn’t believe–he bought the first parmesan cheese he saw–which turned out to be an imported brand that cost twenty dollars. She mentioned that he had this proud look on his face that he got the right type of cheese that she didn’t have the heart to tell him it was not the kind she really wanted.

Even this simple example of the cheese illustrates the importance of being specific and clear with what you need. Men are so good at being single-focused on a RESULT like: Get the cheese– that they are not destracted by the details. I remember Betty saying, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to buy the parmesan cheese from now on.” I suggested that she use her husband’s strength of single focus to her advantage. So she took my advice and gave him a different result, by writing down the name and price of the cheese she likes before he went to the store the next time.

This week, try “Clearly Requesting What You Need.” If it is something like taking out the trash, or doing something around the house that you think obviously needs to be done, honor the fact that it’s not obvious to him, since he is probably single-focused on a different result. You can clearly ask by saying : “I know you’re busy with work during the week, and you may not notice the trash when it’s full. If I let you know when it’s full, would you be willing take it out FOR ME? It makes me so happy when the kitchen smells clean.” Be sure you let him know how it will make you feel. When he knows that he can win with you by doing this for you, you may find him asking you what else you need. Practice this step, and stay tuned for the final step in the Harmony Process next week!

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Expectations Last week, I spoke of being an unstoppable woman by cultivating a state of Confident Harmony.  I outlined the first step in the Harmony Process to help you on the road to getting what you need from the men in your life.  So how’d you do this week with Step 1?  Did you Identify lots of so-called “Stupid” Behavior in the men around you?  When I first started observing this, as you can imagine there was no shortage of actions by men that I assumed were evidence of stupidity.  I  know your list may be just as long, and detailed… so for Step 2, you can simply use one “stupid” action to focus on to continue the Harmony Process.

Step 1:  Identify the so-called “Stupid” Behavior without Evaluation
Rather than see the behavior for what you think it means, try observing the actions only.

Step 2:  Get Clear with Your Expectations

This one is tricky, as sometimes we think we don’t have an expectation, because we just assume that everyone does something the way we do it.  I use to have the belief that, “Everyone knows that you shake a person’s hand when you meet them, therefore its not my expectation and if someone doesn’t shake my hand, they are clearly being rude on purpose.”

I’ve come to learn that EVERYTHING I assume is going to happen with people around me– is simply an expectation.  I assume that all women like pedicures because I do.  I assume that all women like wearing lipstick, because I do.  I assume that all women like chic flicks because I do.  I admit that in the past when I met women who didn’t fit some of my assumptions, I thought they were very odd, and again assumed something must be wrong with them.  My expectations were definitely getting the best of me in those moments.  These expectations even effected the men in my life.  Years ago, I really thought my Dad was stupid, because he didn’t seem to express love the way I did .  I expected a certain type of behavior from him, because that is how I would have expressed my love and care.

I lived for eight years, ignoring my father’s existence.  I was so hurt—thinking he was stupid, and incapable of loving me—that I decided to reject him instead.  Later, I realized that my expectations were based on how I express my love, and the whole time my Dad had no idea why I was so hurt.   I was able to open up with curiosity, and I asked him, “ How do you like to express love and care?”  He mentioned that he likes to inquire about people to show interest, do nice things for them, and offer advice to show he cares.  Then I remembered that a big difference between men and women is that men judge each other by their actions, so they are used to taking action and solving problems, rather than using words, or emotion to express themselves.  After that new revelation about my Dad, I started to see the ways he cared for me all the time, and I began learning how to request the kind of care that I needed. 

Using one stupid action on your list, try this step for yourself.  Regarding the man who committed this so-called “stupid” action, ask yourself: What were you expecting him to know or do in that situation? How did it make you feel when he didn’t do it?  Do you think he was purposely trying to make you feel that way?

After answering these questions, you might find that you have some expectations that this man has no idea about.  He may simply be reacting or behaving in a way that is natural to the hunter-single-focused ways of men.  To be sure, try asking him, “What had you do that, or not do that?”    What had you make that decision, or say what you said?  How do you like to give_________ create___________, do _________, clean__________?  Fill in the blank with whatever action or behavior caused you to think he was being stupid.  Most likely, his answer won’t be anything you expected!  Try to be open to being surprised, and be curious without making his answer wrong.  It will be worth it when you get what YOU need from him in step 3!  Stay tuned next week for step 3:  Clearly Requesting What You Need, and GETTING it! 

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Remember last week I spoke of finding Confident Harmony with the men in my life?  Well, a few of you wrote back asking what that actually looks like, and curious if it is something you might even want in your life?  

As I thought more about how to describe this state of Confident Harmony, I remembered that every woman I’ve ever talked to would love to be more confident.  We even have our own role models for confidence.  I look up to Arianna Huffington as a great example of a confident woman.  I love her elegant way of always speaking her mind.

So what happens when you add harmony into the mix?

Confidence is defined as: to have, or show faith.  So when a woman is described as confident, it may seem that she has faith in herself.  She makes decisions well, she is clear about what she wants, and has faith in her abilities.  When you add harmony to the mix (a pleasing combination of elements in a whole), imagine a woman who has faith in herself, and faith in the pleasing combination of people with different abilities around her. What you will notice, is a woman who is strong, uncompromising in her values, and alert to the strengths in the people around her, so that she can accomplish what she needs and wants.  I call that woman unstoppable!

I often experience this state of “Confident Harmony” as a result of practicing something I call the Harmony Process.  I say “often” because as imperfect human beings, we may have our moments when our fear, anger, and frustration can take over, and all our faith goes out the window.  When those moments happen to me, this Harmony Process helps bring me back to where I wanna be to get what I need with grace.  It consists of four steps to follow any time you encounter a frustrating situation with a man behaving in a way you might think is “stupid,“ or just plain wrong in your opinion.  This week, I’ve outlined step one for you to practice!

Step 1:  Identify the so-called “Stupid” Behavior without Evaluation

This might seem to be an easy thing to do, but in the heat of the moment, when we are frustrated, our observation skills may not be as accessible, and it can be easy to jump to conclusions about what a man just did, and how he possibly could have done it, especially if it really hurt us or someone else.  My friend Nathali really thought her husband leaving his socks on the floor was his way of saying, “He didn’t care about how much work it took for her to clean the house.”  In this case she was able to see that the only thing he was ACTUALLY doing was leaving his socks on the floor. Acknowledging this was the first step for her to get what she needed from her husband John.  She realized that this action of leaving socks on the floor was merely that—one action she didn’t understand or agree with.  By not taking it personal, she became free to see what was really going on, and deal with it.  She realized that he was so single-focused on his other tasks (a strength of men), that he didn’t even see the socks!

Be easy on yourself this week as you practice this step of “identifying” the behavior of men that is standing in the way of you getting what you need.  Remember how different men are from women.  They have twenty times more testosterone than we do, and that changes how their brains are designed and the strengths they’ve developed.  Rather than see the behavior for what you think it means, try observing the actions only.  If your man brings his laptop to the table at dinner, he didn’t insult your cooking and your hard-work, he simply brought the laptop to the table, period. Practicing this step this week will help you ease into Step 2 of gaining Confident Harmony:  Getting Clear on Your Expectations.  Stay tuned for that next week!

P.S.   I’d love to hear about the biggest thing your man did that you thought was stupid!  Please do send them my way, by commenting on this post, or sending me a question on my site: www.redlipstickinc.com

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Last week, I spoke of how frustrating it can be when we, as women, find ourselves in one of those moments when we encounter a man we think is being “stupid.”  I often become painfully aware that they don’t think like us, and therefore, what we think is the obvious way to do things is not obvious to them.  It can be especially frustrating when we don’t have time to explain it in what we think is layman’s terms.

Does this mean that we are destined to be frustrated and not get what we want or need from men?

That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for many years.  I’ve heard many other men and women ask questions like “Why do relationships have to be so hard?” or “Why can’t we just get along?”  With so many differences between us, it can seem virtually impossible to achieve harmony without one person submitting to what the other person wants, ignoring their own needs, or just keeping quiet when they get upset.  Some people even call that– being a “push-over.”

Some might think that to have harmony in a relationship, one person must be a “push-over,” and neglect what they need.  In researching harmony, I’ve found a different way of looking at it that has made all the difference in my life!

The dictionary, describes harmony as:  a pleasing combination of elements in a whole.  In music, harmony is used to describe the process of playing or singing two or more different notes at the same time to form chords. So really, it’s not about being a “pushover,” and diminishing what you want.   Rather, it’s about being numberswiki.com

completely different and combining those differences to create something amazing.  Imagine being celebrated for your unique set of strengths at work, and being called upon to use those strengths for the gain of the team, similar to the way each instrument in an orchestra has a different strength of equal importance to help create the amazing sound of a symphony.  The symphony just wouldn’t sound the same without the different sounds of the trumpet, or the piano.  It’s also impossible for the trumpet to sound anything like the piano.

If your life is a symphony, imagine utilizing the gifts and strengths of the people around you to help you get what you need and create your amazing tune of happiness.  The more I learn about men, the more aware I am that perhaps they were created to compliment the tune of our melody as women.  I can see my frustration always comes when I don’t understand their strengths and how their tune fits into my symphony.  Although, I’m used to my own instrument, and the way it sounds on its own– I’ve grown to appreciate when my boyfriend’s different tune can make my own a lot sweeter, especially when it saves me a lot of time, effort, and precious energy.

Studying harmony amongst men and women for the last few years has led me to create my Harmony Process.  Using this process, I have found a “Confident Harmony” in my life, as it has helped me handle those frustrating “stupid” moments so that I still get to be my confident self, uncompromising in my values as a strong women, and getting what I need from the men in my life.  If you want a taste of this “Confident Harmony,” stay tuned next week, as I outline 4 steps to master your own symphony.

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Bosom-Buddies-tv-03 Have you ever caught yourself saying to yourself, “If I were him, I would have done it the smarter way.  Why did he do that so backwards?”  In my research, it seems this can be a common thought in our minds when our husband, boyfriend, or male colleague does something we don’t agree with.  We try to make sense of it in our mind, and when it doesn’t match up to what we would have done, it can be an easy conclusion for us to think he was just being “stupid.”  I’ve been guilty of thinking this many times.

I wonder though, what if by the act of expecting men to do and think the way we do, we are really looking at  them as “hairy women,” who should know all the right ways to do things like we do.  Remember Tom Hanks portrayed a woman on the sitcom, Bosom Buddies?  He could dress like a woman, but he couldn’t help thinking like a man which often got him into trouble.  It sure made for great laughs, right!  On the other side, men can often make the same mistake by perceiving women as softer men who should do things and think the way they do.

So the big question is: How do we change this perception, and stop our frustration when the men in our lives do things that we perceive as being “stupid?”

Well, perhaps we can start with the idea that men and women were designed differently for a reason.  Maybe there are strengths or skills that one has that can benefit the other?  When I came upon this realization several years ago, it gave me a huge relief.  I suddenly didn’t feel the burden to have to do everything myself.  The next trick seemed to be in learning how to engage my man to help me benefit from all the great skills and strengths bestowed to him as a “Man.”  After all—now that I wasn’t seeing him as a hairy woman, I was aware that maybe he wasn’t going to be able to read my mind and know what I needed from him all the time.

Sometimes, it seems as simple as being aware that what we think is obvious to us, is NOT obvious to him.  That doesn’t mean it’s easy to handle those moments of misunderstanding.  It can be very frustrating, none the less.  I often find myself reminding the men in my life about this when I don’t quickly understand something they think is obvious—like how plumbing works.  My friend Nathali use to get so upset about the socks her husband, John always left on the floor.  She said,” He obviously expects me to pick them up, because they’ve been on the floor for a week.  He can obviously see them—he just refuses to pick them up.”  When she finally brought it to his attention, he said, “What socks?” 

I taught Nathali that men are really good at focusing on only one task at a time, and how it can have them tune out everything unrelated to their current task—even if it’s socks on the floor.  She was very relieved to know that he wasn’t purposely trying to upset her.  She later explained to him how happy it would make her, if he put his socks in the hamper, and helped her keep the floor clean.   He agreed, and simply asked if she could give him a friendly reminder, as he doesn’t always notice them.

The next time you notice the men in your life doing something that you think might be “stupid,” because the “correct” way is obvious to you, perhaps you’ll remember that he’s not a hairy woman, who thinks the way you do.  Try asking him why he did something with curiosity, rather than an attitude of disdain.  You may find that he had a good reason, and it may give you room to ask for what you need differently next time.  Stay tuned next week for details on my Harmony Process—four easy steps to help you get what you need with a lot less frustration.

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