What’s a Fella to do?

One of the things I love about men is also the thing that bugs me about them. I know that no one is perfect, and certainly not we women. The simple fact of our imperfection tells me that we must be annoying to men at times. But they almost never tell us what they don’t like about us.

I love that about them. They just accept us.

Emma & Her Mr. Knightley

Or do they? Do they not critique us because they’re so crazy about us? Or is it because they don’t want to hurt our feelings? Or is it because they don’t want to suffer the fall-out if they say anything negative about us or our behavior?

Their silence can result in a different problem. Without their feedback, we’re left to our own self-evaluations. That can be a dangerous thing. Some of us will assume that there’s nothing about us that’s unpleasant to our fella. Other women – me included – will watch for signs of his displeasure and try to adjust accordingly.

But what are we adjusting to?

The problem with that is our perception of his nonverbal behavior. Something so ambiguous as nonverbal behavior is wrought with potential for misinterpretation. So what’s a woman to do?

But I also have to wonder, what’s a fella to do if he is displeased with his gal? If he says something to her, she will probably get her feelings hurt. And when that happens, she’ll get defensive. And in her defensiveness, she’ll lash out or withdraw. So there’s a very good reason (or two) why men don’t give us feedback.

But maybe there’s more to learn from men on this!

What if he’s treating you the way he wants to be treated? What if he would like you to focus on his strengths and avoid the criticism? What if you only told him what he is doing right?

Criticism never changes their behavior.[/callout]

Now there’s some valuable information to hang on to!