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For Women Series: How Your Men Think

Recently, I have had a wave of connections with women who want to gain some insight about the men in their lives. Of course, in my practice, I deal with women as well as men. However, usually it is from a standpoint of wanting to understand a male person in their life. This can take the form of a father, brother, spouse, partner or even son.

In twenty years of learning about interpersonal dynamics, I have gained a lot of insight into how men and women differ concerning their approaches and thought patterns in various situations. So, I thought for the benefit of my followers, I would break down some of the top observations regarding how men process information, and how they might choose to communicate that information to somebody.

This is the first of a series of articles I’ll be posting about how men and women differ, so please let me know if there are any specific topics you want to hear about.

Let’s begin with a very obvious one, but not to everyone:

Men Have Difficulty with Emotional Behavior.

Being raised as a man is quite different from being raised as a woman. We are typically taught that everything we do that is male oriented is wrong. Think about it: if you are letting out physical aggression, you’re violent and are told to control it — or are drugged so that you don’t do it. If you cry because you’re hurt or upset, you are told to suck it up. Men are also typically raised by women, stretching from households with distant or absent fathers to the fact that over 75% of primary and elementary school teachers are female.

We are told from a young age that having an emotional response is not something we should do. You’re taught to take those emotions and bottle them up. Sometimes, especially if done at an early enough age, this leads to an inability to express emotion healthily, or also a fear of doing so because as soon as you express an emotion, you are criticized for it.

This can sometimes be called logic, stoicism, or something else negative by society, but to be blunt, this is how men are trained to interact with the world. In fact, often if men are over emotional in relationships, they are seen as weak and women will instinctively avoid them, which is why in today’s emotionally oriented society a lot of men have trouble finding relationships.

Pushing a man to talk about their feelings can be something they dread. If you have a spouse, partner or relative that you want to have a conversation with about something difficult, approach it by making sure they have a safe space to express themselves without judgement. This will allow them to feel secure in really communicating.

Men Do Not Form Attachments Like Women

When my first daughter came along, I honestly didn’t understand the entire thing. Women obviously have a child growing inside them and form a bond with that child, both physically and mentally, quickly. However, what I remember vividly is that as soon as my daughter came out (and I was there watching), the nurses grabbed her to weigh her and my first instinct was to protect her from them. That bond has continued to this day, and there’s not a lot I wouldn’t do to protect my kids ten years later.

In situations like friendships and social bonds, men are usually much less open and willing to share things with other men, even if we feel that we really need to. Ask any male in your life when the last time they had a real talk about emotions with a buddy or a relative and they’ll look at you like you have two heads. It simply doesn’t happen. This is also why men have a harder time establishing or maintaining friendships unless they are bonded in some other extrinsic way, like a child or a spouse.

Often women will flip through friendships and bonds with other women depending on a situation or environment, whereas men have a harder time doing so, especially long term. If you’re worried about the fact your male partner doesn’t have a lot of guy friends, encourage them to do male oriented activities that surround them with other men. And be patient — this may take some time.

Men concentrate on the Physical.

I have two friends who recently fixed up an old VW bus and have been enjoying themselves taking it around to car shows. When they are there, the two of them get slightly different things out of it. Guys love to look at shiny things and talk about them. Women love to interact socially. This situation is the best of both worlds for both of them and they both enjoy it for that reason.

If you break it down, you can look at many facets of men’s behavior in this light and get an understanding about it. Why do women wear makeup and bright coloured clothing when they go out? To attract attention — typically from men. There’s a billion-dollar industries based around the fact that men focus more on physical things than anything else.

This holds true for physical attraction, but also material things. Men love toys. Men love tangible things they can hold. Men love to look at things that are perceived as cool or something that attracts their physical sensibilities. They take pride in certain things that are visual, such as carpentry or putting a new floor into their house. Something like shopping, just looking around and trying on things for the sake of doing it just doesn’t make sense.

There’s a reason that men love cooking, cars, video games and porn. They are all physically based things that provide stimulation. So, if you are having trouble figuring out how to motivate a man in your life, focus on whatever physical aspect you can in order to give them something they will consciously want.

If you’re having trouble understanding the man in your life, I hope that reading these three things provided some insights. As always, my door is open to any partner, spouse, mother, or daughter (or anyone else) that needs to know more about the men in their life. Head to and contact me directly to address it.

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