Not long ago, I asked this question of my Facebook friends, “Wondering…what have you done today to elevate your relationships both at home and work? Did you make a Relationship Bank Deposit today?”
A particular response I enjoyed was:
“My best reply after countless cups of coffee and the entire day off is…to elevate one’s own self-awareness is indeed to make the best deposit possible in another’s emotional bank! Self-awareness is highly effective in our attempts to be tolerant and accepting of others, regardless of our own agenda or ability to comply.”
I believe that it is safe to say that most would agree on the idea that women are hard-wired to nurture. However, few would say the same for men. As such, nurturing for men must be learned. Nurturing was generally not part of a boy’s elementary and secondary school education. Add the complications of young woman’s expectations of young men, and we have plenty of “defective” guys running around out there.
First, nurturing for men tends not to come naturally and takes quite some time to learn. Women, here is the cruel truth; deal with it. I could go into great detail, but suffice it to say…this is one that not likely to change any time soon.
Second, women are accountable to help men learn to nurture–yep, I said it! Women must put an effort into helping men learn that which society kept from them. And men are accountable to make an effort to learn the odd concept of nurturing others.
Third, both men and women must be accountable to themselves to tell their partner of their needs–rather than to keep those needs bottled up inside and hope the other will somehow just know what they want–like that’s gonna happen? If you are not receiving what you need, you will not particularly feel like nurturing your partner so it is important that both partners get what they need from the other.
Fourth, guys have to get their heads out of their rear end and realize that it is okay to be loving and nurturing and still be masculine. Based on all the feedback I receive, few women really embrace the bad boy for any length of time, and certainly not in the long-term.
Fifth, gals…let me say this as plainly as I can. Guys don’t like games! Do not wonder what he meant, for God’s sake, ask him! Most likely, he meant exactly what he said. Most likely, there was no hidden meaning in, “Honey, I’m exhausted.” If women will start taking a man’s words on face value, we will all live so much more happily.
Sixth, enjoy each other; the differences, the similarities, and all that comes with being in a relationship with another human being. We humans are wired to connect.
Ed is the Founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, Cigar PEG Philanthropy through Fun, and president at Rigsbee Research which conducts qualitative member ROI research and consulting for associations and societies. He has been called “the dynamite that broke up our log jam” by association executives—rarely politically correct and almost always provocative—and from a dozen years as a United States Soccer Federation referee, Ed calls it the way he sees it. Exceptional resources at www.rigsbee.com.
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