I think Mother Teresa was brilliant when she responded to a question by saying “I’m not against war. I’m for peace.”
Whatever you are against becomes a bigger part of your life. If you are against your irritating boss, he takes up more space in your mind.
If you are against cold weather, you focus more on the snow and biting winds and less on the warm, cozy retreats where we can escape from the weather.
When you fill your mind with things you want, you experience a more satisfying life.
Nowhere is that more true than in romantic relationships.
As an example, let’s take a look at one of the most common frustrations between men and women.
Men try to fix things. It makes us bad listeners. We offer advice too quickly.
You have a rough day. You start to tell him about it.
All you really wanted was a companion. Someone to be a witness to the frustrations you are experiencing in your life right now. You wanted to bond with him by sharing a frustration you were facing.
But his brain is wired differently.
From early childhood, we guys learn to bond with each other by identifying a problem or goal. Then we join forces to beat the problem or accomplish the goal.
In our joint attack, we show no mercy. And when it’s all over, we revel in the glory of what we shared together. The battle against a shared enemy forges a stronger bond between us.
Very different approaches to bonding, right?
Given this situation, it’s natural that you might be against his knee-jerk “fix-it” response.
On the other hand, you like him. So you don’t want to push him away. You don’t want to belittle his listening skills. Or point out the ways he is inferior at bonding and connecting with you compared with your girlfriends.
This is where Mother Teresa’s way of thinking comes to our aid. It shines a light down a new corridor, revealing a path we had not seen before.
Rather than being against his masculine habits, look for a way to flip the problem on its head.
We can state the problem as a positive desire rather than something negative we are against. Suddenly, our creativity comes to life. Our deeper wisdom begins to surface.
It’s no panacea. Mother Teresa did not put an end to war. But she shifted her own mental energy toward something, instead of drawing battle lines.
She retained the power to give her own mental space to the things she valued.
In the same way, I do not have a solution for you today. Just one alternative. One way to focus on the underlying desire to connect with your man.
With that introduction, let’s take a look at…
A Sneaky Way to Connect with Your Man
It’s a method for creating the feeling that you’re both on the same team. It gets him rooting for you.
And the idea is quite simple. Just ask him for some advice.
As Lawrence J Peter said, “You don’t have to take a person’s advice to make him feel good–just ask for it.”
Asking for advice is enough. So don’t think you have to take his advice just because he offers it.
It’s the request for advice that does the trick. It makes him feel respected. It makes him feel like an important person in your life. And men love that feeling.
At the same time, he starts to look at the world from your perspective. It happens automatically when he tries to think of something useful to offer.
That’s because when people ask for advice, there’s a hidden double message.
In seeking advice, we are typically looking for an accomplice. A collaborator. A partner. Someone to help us accomplish an end goal.
And men love to work on things. That’s why he’s always trying to fix you instead of just listening.
But here’s the twist. Your request for advice can go something like this:
“Sweetie, I had a rough day and I just feel like venting about it. Because you care about me, I know you’re instinct is to try to fix the things that bother me.
But since I just want to vent, do you have any advice on how I can share my frustrations right now without triggering your desire to fix it?”
He’ll love it.
He doesn’t have to read your mind to know what you want. You’ve offered him a way to bond with you by striving for a goal. Only this time, the goal is for him to offer nothing more than silent comfort and understanding.