A lot of you ladies have done a wonderful job writing from the man’s point of view. You’ve shown great insight. I am betting, however, that a few of you would be interested in a greater understanding of men for your -ahem- “Writing purposes.”*Grins *
Well, here’s a little information for you. Remember, these are generalities and will apply in varying degrees and there will be exceptions. However, I think you’ll find these things hold true for most men. I must warn you, I ramble a bit. Don’t hold it against me. Please do comment. Tell me how wrong I am or what a revelation this is for you. I love that!
On to the details.
MEN ARE TESTOSTERONE DRIVEN. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But think about what this really means. Testosterone is what makes us men. It controls our sex drive. It causes our aggressive, predatory natures. It makes us notice you ladies and respond in the childish manner that we do. You wonder why we like sports so much? Because it’s an outlet for our testosterone driven aggressiveness. Why are we always looking at women (or in some cases, other women)? We are responding to a hormone inspired reaction. Yes, we can control it to some degree, but not entirely. If you want to understand better, ladies, try taking steroids for a while (Joke! Don’t do it! Really, I’m kidding!).
I must admit, I’m no biologist, so this part was pretty bare bones.
MEN ARE TERRITORIAL. You probably already knew this. We are the masters of all that we survey in our minds. Testosterone makes us “hunt” women. This little detail makes us protect them. Often in ways you would not expect. Have you ever seen 2 men getting territorial over pretty much anything? (Hey! That’s my chair/woman/remote control!) Ever notice how there’s a lot of bluster but little actual violence (if any at all)? That’s because it’s all about dominance. We don’t want to hurt our rival. We want him to acknowledge that he’s lower in the pecking order than we are. Ever notice a man will keep fighting over something long after it is plain he has lost? That’s because men respect tenacity. Keep fighting against all odds and it shows you are worthy of respect and you will be higher in the pecking order than if you went down with one punch/insult/challenge. This is also why men can get along together after a big fight, physical, verbal or otherwise. We have established our place and acknowledge it for the moment. The issue is over and we move on. This does not mean that the resolution of the challenge will be quick. It could take days, weeks, months or years. It simply means that once it is over, it is really over. If it’s quick, that’s a good thing, though.
This is also why we don’t ask for directions. We are masters of all we survey. We don’t need no stinkin’ directions!
MEN ARE PROBLEM SOLVERS. This means we are analytical and logical in nature. We like things we can measure, quantify and control. This causes some interesting effects. Should you come to us with a problem you have just given us a big compliment. You have just said, “Hey, you’re a smart, capable person. I can’t fix this, but I think you can.” Now, if you come to us with a problem and want us to “just listen,” you have a problem. If you tell us of a problem then we want to solve it. If you’re upset, then there must be a problem and we want to solve it. Especially if you’re upset. If we solve the problem for you, in our minds, then there is no longer a need to be upset and you can get back to being happy. Plus, we have just demonstrated competence, which makes our testosterone happy.
Problems arise when you just want to vent. If all you want is for us to listen and have no interest in our opinion or expertise on how to solve your problem then you have just given us a big time insult. You have taken back the compliment and in effect said, “You are not competent to help me with my problem. I’ll go find someone else who can.” NOT good. Ever notice your male friends hate it when you do this? This is why. This makes us upset and makes us want to defeat whoever it is you do get to help us. Thank our testosterone for this.
Now, if we cannot solve a problem, we minimize it. “That’s not a big problem,” we’ll say. In men’s language this is us paying you a compliment. We are saying, “You’re competent. You can deal with this.” Trust me, to a man this is a huge compliment.
So, if you have a big problem and want to vent, men are not the ideal sounding board. Why would you tell us of a problem you don’t want solved? To us this does not make sense. Thus, it must be a challenge to our domain.
If we don’t understand something, we fear it. How do you control something you don’t understand? This makes it a threat and it must be defeated so that we can feel safe and comfortable again. This causes problems with women, since we don’t understand you and our testosterone driven, territorial nature makes us want you around. You don’t act like men and we don’t understand why. Alright, LOGICALLY we understand you’re no men and that you are going to perceive and act upon things differently than us. However, if you do so in a manner that defies our version of logic then you are a threat to our security. We must destroy that threat in order to show competence and keep our place in the pecking order. But we want you around still. The more women we have around, the higher we are in the pecking order. Our instincts are at war. See the problem?
This is also another reason men don’t ask for directions. We can find our own way! We ARE competent, dammit! Maps are for people who don’t know what they are doing! Stop telling us to ask for help and admit that we are incompetent! Grrrr! 😛
MEN ARE LAZY. We want to put out the least effort and get the greatest result. A logical desire, eh? Basically, this means if it’s not an immediate need or a hormone driven desire then it’s not important. Why didn’t we take out the garbage when you asked us to? Because it wasn’t an immediate need. So, why bother?
MEN DON’T HANDLE EMOTIONS WELL. Probably because they are not logical. Tell me if you’ve seen this one. A man comes home and plops down in front of the T.V. or the computer or whatever and proceeds to vegetate. You ask how his day was and he grunts out a 1 word answer while consuming some kind of snack or drink. He’s not being lazy. He’s processing the events of the day, putting everything into context and ordering his emotions that every event of the day caused. DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCEDURE! This is a very important process, very delicate and easily contaminated. Do so at your own risk. We can get quite snippy when processing. This is because we have to start all over again if interrupted. We HATE having to start all over again! You ladies probably process emotions at the time you have them. Us men are less likely to do so. We’ll be looking for the logical thing first.
Finally, MEN FOCUS. We do not multitask well. We see you ladies driving while putting on make-up and listening to the radio while chatting with your pals on your cell phone and we are in awe (and in fear for our lives). We can only do one thing at a time and it amazes us how you can do many. We don’t understand how you do it, which vexes us to no end. You are showing a sign of competence of which we are just not capable and it makes us nervous. Especially that driving part. Seriously, for our sanity, when you’re driving, limit your multitasking to listening to the radio or talking to the other passengers. Otherwise you will find us becoming agitated and hard to deal with.
That said, when we focus on something, our attention is undivided and making us finish whatever it is we are focusing on quickly and completely. At least as far as that individual process is concerned. Don’t ask us to see the bigger picture. Our focusing brains lock onto one detail at a time. We can lose ourselves in minutia! Sometimes it’s good to remind us that other things need to be accomplished, even though doing so might annoy us. In general, though, let us play with the minutia. We’re happy while we think we’re accomplishing something.
I hope this little essay has helped you understand the nature of men better. It’s not perfect. I’m no scholar and I was basing it all on life experience, which, at 32, is not so great as many of you have. Still, if it provokes discussion and potential understanding, then I have accomplished my goal.