The other day, while in my fourth week of being on the road, I found myself in the Singapore St. Regis enjoying a FaceTime chat with my girlfriend. We have discovered it’s a great way to close the distance when I’m in foreign lands; and since she is invariably naked during these sessions, I fully enjoy the time.
As we discussed the banal and trite topics of what happened that day, what our plans were for the weekend, etc., the conversation took an interesting turn. One moment I’m telling her all women think they’re special (while she, of course, insists she’s special), and the next we’re discussing the relevance of the Bill of Rights and general freedoms in America.
Now, this girl is extremely bright and generally holds up under scrutiny of her ability to piece together a logical argument. But, she is also a Millennial, and thus suffers from the expected lack of perspective that comes from being young. She is also very attractive, so I sense she has rarely, if ever, been directly challenged by a man. I am often lauded for my listening skills, and people regularly comment on how they feel comfortable telling me things they don’t usually tell others. While I do not consider myself a tolerant person, I excel at stepping back from any given topic in order to gain a wider perspective. This allows me to think about the bigger picture, and is a skill I shall dedicate a specific article to in the near future.
The conversation specifically turns towards the topic of gun control in America, and she immediately spouts off the usual memes fed to the public via mass media: (1) the Bill of Rights is no longer relevant, (2) everyone is safer when no one has guns, (3) America is the only country that experiences mass shootings, and on and on. My first response was to acknowledge these are interesting topics for discussion, but then I asked the following:
Did you form your own opinion or are you just regurgitating what you hear from the mainstream media (MSM)?
At that point, the nature of the conversation changed somewhat. I noticed a chill had crept in to her voice, and the previously rational conversation began to degrade somewhat. It appeared that a direct challenge of her thought process resulted in an immediate emotional response.
She was clearly taken aback by the question, and quickly came to her defense. Simultaneously, she was unable to provide alternate sources of influence over her thoughts and opinions. It was just “coincidence” she agreed with how the MSM framed the conversation, and their associated conclusions (never mind that our media no longer reports on facts, but consistently parrots a specific opinion/position).
Our conversation continued and meandered across a broad swath of topics, ranging across government control of the media, income inequality, the relevance of America’s founding fathers, global warming, the war on drugs, and more. Each time, I probed and challenged her to justify her opinions. I didn’t pretend to have answers to all the problems, but made clear my ability to look beyond the well-orchestrated messaging provided by MSM, as well as dig deeper in to the foundational issues that manifest themselves in isolated events. I continued to challenge her to step back from the simplistic topics and look at the bigger picture. Her response was to call me “condescending.”
And this guys, is an example of one of the many difference between men and women. In the midst of a meaningful conversation about topics highly relevant to our lives in America (and possibly the world), she quickly let emotion get the better of her.
We were no longer really discussing the potential benefits of requiring everyone to attend gun safety classes. Instead, everything I said that did not align with her position was internalized as a personal attack on her. My questions were viewed as subversive attempts to make her feel dumb, and attempts to encourage her to look at the big picture translated to me thinking I’m smarter than her.
Having experienced this with women in the past, I quickly identified what was happening, and verbally acknowledged my awareness. She admitted I was correct in my assessment and we quickly wound the discussion down.
As men, it is critically important you understand this fundamental principle: women are incapable of keeping emotion out of the equation.
In the right context, there are considerable merits to this, often giving women a sort of sixth sense we often refer to as “intuition.” Being emotionally attuned is a useful skill, and something we as men should look to control and use to our advantage.
But, because women are biologically hardwired to be emotional, they find it incredibly difficult to control that aspect of themselves. One moment you’re rationally debating the merits of the government forcing everyone to immunize their children, and the next you’re defending yourself against the accusation you hate children and think she would be a terrible mother.
Internalizing this basic principle, and learning to apply that knowledge to your everyday conversations with women, will give you a much deeper level of understanding of the softer sex. Often referred to as holding frame, this technique can save you from a world of frustration and anger. Strive to be a calming force among then chaos. Why does she struggle to understand your need to spend time with the guys and your wish women couldn’t go in to bars? Because she takes it as a personal attack on her character, internalizing and interpreting your comments to mean she is inferior and should have restricted freedoms.
Do not let her emotional state break your control over yourself and the situation.
This does not mean you should avoid deep, meaningful conversations with women. But, remember how quickly your words can be twisted, leading her to feel a certain way about you, dramatically twisting the nature of your conversation, and resulting in a woman no longer capable of rational conversation. When that moment arrives (and it always does), take a break, step back from the proverbial cliff, and move on to lighter fare. I guarantee you’ll be happier as a result.