LY 47: How to Treat Women
Today’s episode is a dedication to one of our dear listeners, Andrew. He had written me and asked to me address this question on the podcast:
How do women most want to be supported?
I grew up in a sort of feminist family. I’m not sure how to describe it. My dad always stressed that women go through so much pain, the least that men can do is to do everything for them as much as possible. So my mom was Queen of the household, anything she says, goes, no matter what. And I was the Princess. My brother’s job was to be like my dad, predict how the two women are feeling and do his best to give us what we need before we ask for it.
As I got older and tried out a few different relationships of my own, I realize how awful this is. I think it’s very sweet for some men and some women, but the whole “predict how they feel and give them what they want before they ask for it” just created this belief in me that “if my guy truly loves me, he’ll KNOW what I need and I should never have to ask for it.” Even my brother dated a girl who was like this too.
But doing what I do now, I think one of the most powerful things you could ever do as a human being is to express yourself and use your voice. Why assume things when you can just ask? Why expect someone to know something and then get disappointed over and over again when you can speak up for yourself?
Andrew shared this concept of relationship anarchy with me. I got into more detail about it in the episode, but the basic premise is to treat each individual in the relationship (whether romantic or not) as an individual. Not as a woman or as a man. Just as an individual. And if you have certain likes or dislikes or wants or desires, it’s your responsibility to share it with the other person, SO THAT the other person can make a decision whether it is aligned for them to respect your boundaries.
I love this idea so much!!! I truly believe that if everyone communicated this way, many of the world’s problems will be reduced.
Being a “Gentleman”
Growing up, I was taught that a real man is a gentleman. He’s a chivalrous person who opens doors, slides out chairs, and is very respectful towards women.
What Andrew and I have found interesting is that in today’s world, especially (at least in my experience) in the big cities where women are very much caught up in masculine energy (no one’s fault - that’s just the cumulative energy of big cities) and asserting independence and “equality,” some women get very upset when a man steps in to help with a door.
“Why the heck did this man feel like he needed to open the door? I could clearly do it myself!”
And I think this is one of the reasons why women struggle today in finding meaningful relationships. We all want a chivalrous gentleman in theory, but when we see it applied in real life, some of us feel deeply offended (based on our own past experience, stories, and beliefs).
So I go back to relationship anarchy. Whether you are a man or a women, whether you are helping someone smaller, weaker, or disabled, use your voice and ASK for permission before helping. Because your version of helping may not even be helpful for them. Understand that your desire to help is just as much about wanting to help someone else as it is about your own fulfillment of It’s just a simple question. If they say no, respect their courage for saying no and move on. No need to take it personally.
Asking for Emotional and Physical Consent
Back in January, Melo and I talked to a relationship coach (shout out to Gina Senarighi -https://ginasenarighi.com/) and she taught us how to ask for emotional and physical consent. So in wanting to be more helpful to other people, we talked about asking for physical consent. May I do this or that for you?
But it’s also important to ask for emotional consent. May I give you a suggestion? May I help you problem solve this? (And sometimes, the answer is no! We - men and women alike - often just want to be heard and validated!) How can I best support you right now?
I’d love to hear from you!
Let me know in the comments what you think I missed. How do you think men should treat women?
Other resources mentioned:
The Five Love Languages Book: https://amzn.to/2EDqz9U
The Five Love Languages Quiz: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
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