“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”
– George Carlin
Ok, so I have to admit it. I have learned so much from this recent argument with my husband. I guess I can even say that I appreciated the argument!
Yes absolutely men’s and women’s brains work differently.
There are fundamental variations between male and female brains that mean we communicate and respond to situations differently. In a relationship, these differences can unintentionally cause misunderstanding and conflict. It’s generally accepted now that women tend to be wired towards empathy, whereas men develop stronger interest in systems, or how things work and that impacts on how we speak and deal with people.
Neuropsychologist Dr Anne Moir, who featured in the video I posted about men and women being wired differently, believes that a better understanding of how we are wired differently will help us argue less. Well it certainly helped me move to a place of compassion. After doing research and having a better understanding of how our brains differ, I was able to soften toward Jeff and better understand where he was coming from.
It also helped incredibly having a wonderfully rich and fascinating discussion with my dear friends, Jan and Trev. They are both interested in neuroscience. Jan with her background in Psychosynthesis; and Trev with an eclectic background and a wide range of studies, both helped me untangle and look at this stuff in a new way.
But actually the experience that really catapulted me into understanding was a situation I had with my own sister. We had a disagreement about something, and she pointed out accurately that I went straight to my head about the situation, while she went to her heart, and emotionally she did not feel met. I felt judged by her (as Jeff had said that he felt judged by me) and my sister said she felt like we were in completely different places while trying to communicate (the same thing that I had said to Jeff.) It was fascinating, and yes, rather uncomfortable. I had to really back-pedal on so much that I had laid on Jeff! What an incredible learning experience.
I have several videos that I found educational and enlightening that I would like to share:
There is an educational one just describing an fMRI and how it works.
Then there is an intersting video from animal planet about male and female brains
There are also two interesting videos from talk shows, Jane and The View that feature the Neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Amen, where he describes fMRIs of men and women and points out the differences.
Maybe you’ll find all of these videos overload, too much information. But I found it incredibly helpful. And navigating relationships is tough in the best of times. I can use all the help I can get!
I’d love to hear what helps you navigate your relationship. And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.
Thanx for sharing this one Patti. I have also heard studies that claim that men who are ambidextrous use more of both sides of the brain than men who aren’t. I have always felt fortunate that I am and have been given a little more sensitivity along these lines than most guys.Even with the wisdom of middle age on my side I can still find myself at a loss when it comes to the emotions of the opposite sex. According to the one video, in the not to distant future when the “Y” chroma zone disappears, it will be a moot point anyway when no one but women walk the earth! Love ya…
A planet of women only – I don’t think I like the sound of that!
Love you back Doug.
Thanks for writing.
Patti, I’m thrilled to discover your blog! I really appreciate your thoughtful commentary. AND I appreciate your willingness to dive into this particular thorny thicket!
Yes, there are differences between women and men. And I’ve dedicated my career to understanding some very important ones, in particular, those related to our health and the differences in our health attitudes and behaviors.
But the truth is, men and women are FAR more similar than we are different. We know this from decades and decades of research measuring all kinds of personality traits and characteristics. But that’s a truth that’s hard to accept. We seem hell bent on believing that we’re more different than we actually are. (And, for the most part, that’s given the social advantage to men.)
In a word or two, Carlin was right.
Will – so thrilled that you discovered my blog. Ah yes, men and women – decades and decades of research . . . Sigh. Ultimately Unity and Love are the answer. But yes we seem hell bent on believing we are ALL more different than we actually are.
Thank you Will for commenting – I really appreciate it. And thank you for all the work you do – you are making a difference!
Love the post here! Carlin is right, all this stuff about how different men and women are may be true. However, bottom line, we’re all in this life together and it would be a lot easier on all if we just “deal with it” and get along!
Have a great weekend,
Totally agree Jeff 2. But sometimes I have to admit, communicating with “the other sex” is laborious, yes we have to deal with it, but wish it could be more straight-forward at times!
No doubt we must live together, men and women that is. But we do have communication gaps which have to do with how we perceive and process information.
It happens in the best of relationships, yet making a sincere effort to listen and understand HOW our mate expresses him or herself really helps!
BTW…who sang “don’t sleep in the subway, darling, don’t sleep in the pouring rain…?” No fair peeking now!
Don’t sleep in subway darling . . . the night is long . . . forget your foolish pride . . . la la la
Too easy Jeff! Petula Clark (almost my namesake)
I find the whole subject of processing info differently fascinating (* as I said in
But you’re right a sincere effort to listen and understand not only helps but is essential.
Okay you’re turn – no peeking:
“I saw her sitting in the rain, raindrops falling on her, but she didn’t care, she sat there and smiled at me . . .”