“Men aren’t trained in emotions”

Not exactly a news flash.

But since this was uttered by a midlife male pal who I adore, I wanted to hear more on his perspective. He’s been dating about 3 years after his divorce from a long-term marriage. We were talking about why it’s so hard for a man to tell a woman he doesn’t want to date her anymore, so he just goes poof. Although I’ve covered this territory with other men, I was interested in his perspective.

“Men are taught to not let their emotions show, through messages like ‘Men don’t cry,’ ‘Be tough,’ ‘Just suck it up.’ Men learn to stuff their emotions and freak out when a woman shows hers. So they just disappear rather than having an adult conversation because they don’t want to face her potentially crying.”

children readingThen he said something that just hit me as brilliant: “Schools ought to have all sixth graders read an age-appropriate version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It would have a huge impact if men and women started understanding the genders’ differences early in life, rather than just making the other wrong.”

What would life be like if we all got that training early on? Heck, what would your dating life be like if you only dated men who had read and understood that book, or others like it? Would there be less judgment and more understanding? I think so.

Instead of always finding fault with the other gender, students would learn to appreciate what unique perspectives and attributes the other contributes. There would be less upset and fewer divorces.

Not that John Gray’s book is the panacea to peace between the genders. But it is a start. Or perhaps there are others that would be better choices.

Right now we depend on learning about the other gender all on our own. We may read books, talk to wise friends or therapists or take seminars from those who are willing to pass on their knowledge. But we know that many people don’t take the initiative to educate themselves. And unfortunately, they never learn and just continue to blame the other gender for being their worst selves.

If you were asked to suggest a book, seminar or resource to another who wanted to learn about gender differences, what would you recommend?

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3 responses to ““Men aren’t trained in emotions””

  1. Dave Avatar

    I feel that training for both sexes would be fantastic provided at an early age, say High School! I have read John Gray’s book and others and have grown from them all. Hey, would this suggestion pass the Conservatives in America?

  2. hw Avatar

    I have learned open honest communication is key. You never understand the other person unless you talk about it. I have had tons of guys go poof but unless they are willing to talk with me I can only assume why. I had a hard conversation recently but I also had to be willing to hear something that I might not want to hear. I heard an answer that I didn’t want but in the long run I am better off hearing it with out making any assumptions or placing any blame. The positive of the situation, we are moving forward because we were both open enough to to discuss things with out disappearing because things got awkward. If only we could all act like adults and discuss things with open minds and learn to understand the other person. This is rare on both sides of the fence.

  3. Ally Avatar

    The problem with a Gray-type book that early without adequate perspective is that it may steer assumptions to “All women do this, all men do that.” The next thing you know, women can only be nurses and teachers, and men aren’t allowed to cry.

    This is why I favor the “He’s Just Not That Into You” book, and “Be Honest – You’re not that into him either”. Act on behaviour, not on why.