I was just reading this thing on PJ Lifestyle, "5 Things women do that secretly annoy men" but might just as well have been titled, "5 Things men shouldn't let women get away with, but are probably too fed up to bother themselves over". We have a culture (well, the secular world has a culture) that says to men, "Just put up with all this crap, because eventually you'll get sex." Like the little scrap of cheese at the end of a behavioural psychologist's maze.
Every single one of the things that are presented as harmless little quirks of womanhood, are actually examples of why I can't stand women at all, and frankly, don't have much patience for the men who kow-tow to them. Who, in short, fail to correct them. Women, like children in our time, behave badly because no one has the guts to teach them any better, so we all suffer from the apathy of the men in their lives, either their fathers or their husbands/boyfriends.
Maybe most men just want a quiet life and don't want to go to the trouble of correcting their women. I can understand that. Maybe if there is no deeper character there to encourage, the best solution really is to just find someone more honest, more interesting, less whiny, neurotic and childish to hang out with.
But this little article, and the thousands of others like it, are not actually describing women. They are describing the bad habits, the character flaws to which women tend to be prone and which feminism has taught them nurture. Women, quite frankly, have been allowed by the feminist culture to develop their worst character traits, some of which are serious and harmful to herself and others, because men have allowed themselves to be bludgeoned into silence and passivity.
But if you're really with someone you care about and want her to stop, I can't really see how it is helpful to let her get away with it.
Every single one of these things is a trap, a no-win, particularly set for a man as a kind of game to see who gets control of a situation. And here's a tip, if you play along, you lose. If you "win" by following the rules, you lose because you have lost her respect, and honestly, failed to help either her or yourself. Women do these things to test men to see if they are strong enough to stand up to them and stop them from behaving badly.
But here's the kicker: women can't fix these problems by themselves and need your help to stop. They are, likely unconsciously, turning to the men in their lives and using these games to ask for help. It is an irony frequently commented upon that feminism has made women miserable. And here is a perfect illustration of how. And how it can be turned around by a man who is not afraid to be a man and take a leadership role in his relationships. Men who remain silent for the sake of short-term gain have only themselves to thank for ending up either alone, on the serial monogamy hamster-wheel, or married to a shrew. By all means, if those are the things you are after, keep on nodding and agreeing.
And let me tell you, all women try to play these games. Sometimes, if she understands what she's doing, it's harmless, and can be ignored or even briefly indulged (as long as you poke fun at it a bit, which will help her understand that there are limits). But most of the time it can be very damaging because it is has become a habit and a lifestyle and an unconscious method of manipulating the people in her life.
I do it and I've been lucky enough of late to have been surrounded by honest people who expect better. My mother did it and she wasn't and it ruined her, and eventually she lost all sense of moral or emotional honesty.
I will also risk the observation that honest behaviour from women is much more common in the believing, faithful Christian world than it is in the secular realm where emotional manipulation and game playing seems to be the rule of life, even among political conservatives. I suppose this is mostly because of the sex thing. If you watch sitcoms, it's all over. The reward for letting her behave badly is sex, which can be withheld or granted entirely according to her whim.
The question for a man should be, do you actually love her? Because if you're not just using her as a disposable human sex-toy, then you've got a job ahead of you.
Let's look at them one at a time:
1) If you don’t want us to fix it, why did you bring it up?
When men have a problem, we like to figure out how to deal with it so that it frees our thought processes up for debates about who the greatest home run hitter of all time is (Babe Ruth) or whether you’d be more likely to catch a venereal disease from Paris Hilton or Snooki (Snooki). So, if two men are talking and one says to the other, “My boss is being a real jerk. I’ve had a vacation on the schedule for three months, but he’s asking me to work next weekend. It’s not even an important job! Anybody could do it!” he’s hoping to get a solution to his problem.
Is there a way to save his vacation? Should he quit his job? What should he say to his boss?
This is why men tend to be mildly irritated when a woman talks about an issue and just seems to want him to commiserate. “Oh, I can’t BELIEVE she said that to you about your dress! Who does that ratty b*tch think she is?” Doesn’t get anything done. So, we can pretend to sympathize, but we’ll be biting our lip to keep from explaining what to do the whole time.
Well, I'll tell you: this is one of the worst traps. What she's looking for is affirmation that it's OK to keep gossiping and feeling sorry for herself. Very few women look upon problems as anything more than an excuse to gather and nurse their petty resentments.
Don't play along. Don't take the role of "understanding female friend". If you play along, nodding politely and making the kind of noises women are supposedly hoping for, she will never learn to deal with her life in a realistic way. Here's a hint fellows, she doesn't want you to be the woman in her life. If you try to be, she will never stop, she will never learn that moaning and whining, while failing to do anything about her problems, is actually making her feel worse. And it will never improve either her situation or her character. She will never learn the pleasures of honesty, what it feels like to be in charge of her own life and to deal forthrightly with difficulties. If she is in this habit, it means that absolutely no one else in her life has ever called her on this, so it's up to you. Sorry.
If there really is a big, huge problem, and you are both doing whatever can be done to deal with it, then, and only then is it time for emotional sympathy. And I mean only real things. Things that are so scary and awful that the fear, depression, sadness and grief are a huge part of the actual real problem. Cancer. Death of a loved one. Loss of a job.
Or if they are less devastating things that don't actually have any solution, but make you feel legitimately bad anyway. I would certainly expect loads of sympathy when Winnie dies, for example. It's not the end of the world, and there's nothing to be done about it, but it's perfectly OK to be sad or angry about it.
But it's an unfortunate fact that women are prone to being whiny, backstabbing gossips, concerned with meaningless trivia, who love nothing more than to blow this stupid stuff up into a huge deal in order to manipulate a lot of sympathy. Women often don't actually want to resolve their problems or interpersonal difficulties. The culture has endorsed this behaviour and called it "sensitivity" and "nurturing" and told women that it is some kind of virtue. There is a kind of sickening, soul-deadening pleasure in complaining and being "commiserated" with, much like the nauseating thrill of a drug fix. And if you play along, you're only offering her more of the drug, when she's looking for a lot more from you.
The feminized culture has taught her that there is nothing in the world more important than how she feels about a situation, and has emptied her head of anything else; everything in her life revolves around her personal soap opera. She is, in short, addicted to a kind of emotional drug, and she's looking to you for a fix. You are helping neither her nor yourself if you give it to her.
If you were to do something as honest as helping to solve the problem, she would be obliged to do what a man does and solve it, forget about it and get on with her real life. The problem is, that the culture has left her without one, without anything real or substantial to think about. She hasn't got a real life to get back to once the problem is solved. She and the entire feminized culture has made the soap opera into the only life she has.
When you turn around and calmly say to her, "I can either help you solve this problem, and then it will go away and you will feel better, or I can commiserate, but understand that this is your choice, not mine, and I am not going to spend the rest of the evening doing it. My commiseration will not be natural or voluntary, and it will make neither of us feel better," she will be forced to, well, man-up and face the reality of her own behaviour and expectations. She will also, if she is the kind of woman you want to continue to be with, begin to recognise and alter her manipulative behaviour.
She probably needs to be instructed in the kind of game she is playing, how it is hurting her and how it is hurting your relationship with her.
2) Tell us how hard women have it.
Maybe 100 years ago, when they couldn’t vote and were expected to stay in the house away from books lest it throw their underpowered feminine brains into a tizzy, women had it harder than men. However, it’s just not true anymore. There are more women graduating from college than men. A woman can abort a man’s child and he has no legal say in the matter. Men are discriminated against in divorce court. Men can face sexual harassment charges over practically nothing. Our society has become much more feminized. This doesn’t mean men have it so bad that you should feel sorry for us; it just means that men roll their eyes when women talk about how good men have it.
Wrong. Stop rolling your eyes, and start helping her understand how harmful her unconscious feminist-trained assumptions are. Yes, just sitting there and taking it, failing to correct her asinine ideas, will probably get you sex in the short term, and if that's all you want, then fine. But if you want to be really in a relationship, you'll have the guts to (ahem) solve this problem. It's one of those delayed gratification things that grown-ups are expected to learn.
And if she starts shrieking feminist slogans at you, then you've learned a valuable lesson about who not to date. If she stares at you open-mouthed because this is the first time she's ever heard anything like this, then you might have a winner on your hands and it's worth trying to educate her.
3) Then there’s the whole toilet seat thing.
The average man could not care less whether the toilet seat is up or down. It means nothing to him and if women simply said, “The toilet seat is down for me all the time and I’m not used to it being up! I would be SOOOOOOO grateful if you left it down when you finished...
Instead, we get, “The toilet seat is always supposed to be down! You left it up! You’re doing it wrong!” Well, no, that’s not “wrong.” There is no arbitrarily correct way to leave the toilet seat and it’s no more trouble for a woman to put it down than it is for a man. If you want the toilet seat down, just ask nicely and then be patient until we can form a habit.
It may sound silly, but apparently this and things like it, are real problems. And I can tell you why: because she's making it one. She is looking for a way to control you with her rage. By facing her down and making the calm suggestion that she help you by reasonable reminders to develop a habit that would be more convenient and pleasant for her, is not going to work if you have established a pattern of passivity. She is going to go in assuming that she has to start shrill and move from there to shrieky if you have allowed her to deal with you this way on other issues. If you start by using the calm and authoritative tone, she will respond in kind. Two mistakes to make are to rise to the shrieking, to lose your cool, to concede the fight to her, to fail to be the one in charge of the situation; or to ignore her and hope it goes away.
4) We’re expected to talk way too much.
There’s this stereotype that says women love to talk and men don’t. There’s probably a little truth to that, but the real problem in that area between men and women tends to come from the topics women want to talk about. As a general rule, most men aren’t very interested in talking about their feelings. Also, the mundane details of their day? Where they went to lunch? Who said what to whom? Not only are men not interested in discussing these things, they’re afraid if they do, it might prompt the woman to spend 15 minutes telling him all the details of her day.
Also, because many women tend to over-analyze, they assign all sorts of deep meaning to trivial gestures and then demand explanations. Sometimes a rose is just a rose and five minutes of silence is just a man thinking about what he has to do at work tomorrow. You want to get a man to talk? It’s not hard. Ask him to explain what’s going on in a UFC fight or what his favorite sexual fantasy is and you’ll have trouble getting him to shut up.
OK, let's break this one up.
1) We have said above that a woman doesn't really want to "talk about her feelings," she wants to enjoy feeling bad and will be annoyed with you for insisting that she stop it. You have a choice before you, either to indulge her, to set limits, or simply change the subject to something that interests you both. I had a boyfriend once who got fed up with me complaining about my job. He finally said, "I think this is just making you more miserable. How about a rule that says you get 15 minutes of sympathetic complaining and then you have to either finds something positive about work to talk about, or we change the subject and talk about movies or something." Because he was honest about it, it worked like a charm, and I realised that he was right. It helped me cheer up at the end of every work day and in the long run discover that I wasn't happy with what I was doing and make a change.
An even longer time ago, I had a close friend who was also sort of feeling around the world and trying to figure out how it worked. He also would worry that long silences were an indication of something bad. Maybe I was mad, or he had said some Wrong Thing. But, being a man, he solved the problem by simply asking, "Is this the kind of silence that means something bad, or is it just because we're hanging out and don't feel the need to fill the space?" And he expected me to answer as forthrightly. Over the years, it got to be one of the most trustworthy friendships I've ever known, because we both knew that if there was a problem, it could simply be addressed by asking. We're still friends today, and it's been ... good grief! it's been 30 years!
2) "The mundane details of the day." Once again, either suck it up or set limits. And you don't have to be blunt. You can be clever and steer the conversation to deeper and more interesting topics. Women tend to focus on trivia, but it's just a tendency, a temptation if you will, and can be defeated through effort and application. Maybe give her ten minutes to run through the whole thing, asking specific questions when it gets too dull. Then take ten minutes to run through yours, and then you can talk about movies. But find a gentle way to remind her that trivia is just that, and isn't very interesting.
3) "Over-analysing". OK, this one may be a genuine indicator of a problem. Women over-analyse the things you do and say when they are insecure and don't believe you are trustworthy. She wants you to talk because she's scared of what you might be thinking and not telling her.
This can be a really big one and very hard to break if she has had a lot of disappointment in life. Sorry, but this one may take a lot of patience. But that does not mean "sympathy" or pattings-on-the-head. You need to do it the Man Way, and tell her, forthrightly, that you do in fact understand her fears, but that she has no actual concrete reason to fear. A big part of this will be to coax her out of herself. With this kind of anxiety, it gets worse and worse the more her universe revolves around it. Fear makes a person selfish and the more you help her to undo the knot of fearsome thoughts, the happier she will be and the more she will be able to focus her attention on you, instead of herself.
Also, women in a certain segment of the culture have been taught to look at everything in (pseudo, pop-)psychoanalytical terms, but not being trained by anything other than Oprahism, don't know how to tell when they are being told the truth. You are going to have to be patient and teach her how to think with her head, and not out of her fears. Fears will tell her things that aren't true, and if you don't learn to counter these lies, she will believe them and not you. (A good resource here would be books about cognitive therapy, which teaches people to undo the knot of lies they have taught themselves to believe, and which are making them miserable.) She will eventually come to trust you, and to prefer living in The Real to living in the awful Fantasy of her anxieties.
Also, also, we have a very frightening culture, and feminism has made things a lot worse by whispering the poison into her ear that men are the enemy and lie and then abandon. Ultimately, she's scared you're going to leave. This fear will be worse and harder to deal with if she was raised by a single mother. She has learned a lot of very bad lessons from her own experience, particularly if she has lived in the general sleeping-around culture. Remember, if she's been with other men and is now with you, it means they've all left and she's really thinking that it's only a matter of time for you.
A big thing you can do to help this is to stop "having sex" with her until you are willing to marry her. I once confronted a friend of mine about this who was complaining about the increasing tension in his "relationship" with a woman whom he lived with but was not married to. Eventually, they "broke up" and she left and never spoke to him again, and he was rather battered by the whole thing.
I told him something he said no one had ever said to him before. "Of course she was angry with you. You were stealing something precious from her. You were pretending to a commitment that you had no intention of living up to in order to get something from her that was not yours to take. You were asking her to play a game, and live a lie, a counterfeit and a sham, of something that is enormously precious." Sex before marriage makes people miserable because it is a kind of theft. And it is theft of something irreplacable. Moreover, you are making her complicit in the destruction of her own happiness.
An even simpler thing to do is, when she asks you (anxiously) during that five minutes of silence, let her into your brain. As I mentioned, she's scared. She doesn't know what you're thinking and I can guarantee that she is sitting there worrying it's something bad, like "I'm so fed up with this, I'm leaving you." And even if she isn't scared, she isn't asking you for no reason. She wants to be included in your inner life. So, don't say, "Nothing." Tell her about your thoughts about your job, even if you think it's too dull. She's really just looking to get let inside your life.
5) Expect us to be mind readers.
Men are not subtle creatures. We tend to be blunt and say what we mean. This is why at some point in his life, every man finds it to be a revelation that women who say they’re “fine” don’t really mean it.
They’re actually upset!
It’s like cracking some ancient code for the first time. This experience tends to be repeated again and again because women are constantly sending out signals that go right past men. When women get indirect, they might as well be talking Chinese mixed with German, “Wang Chung, achtung, Fu-mu hackenderhitzel!” Then it’s, “I’m not telling you what’s wrong! You should already know!”
Then teach her to be blunt and say what she means. You can start by reassuring her that you will be able to take whatever she is thinking about. That you're not made of glass.
All this stuff is about teaching her a better, frankly more masculine, more honest way of communicating. Women do these manipulative things because they think they have to. You will not believe how much happier she will be if you break her of these fear-induced habits and teach her that she is actually free to say, out loud, using words, what she is thinking and worrying about. Her pall of anxiety will lift and you will both be a great deal happier.
Basically, man up and be the leader in the situation. It's really not as hard as you think, and she will love you for it all the more.