I’ve been thinking about gender differences in Standers. We can learn from each other. My thoughts began a bit unfairly. I was thinking how male Standers seem to handle the crisis well. Not all, I’ve dealt with my share of angry male Standers who insisted on clinging to their anger until it infected them with hatred and rage. But there are skills and practiced-conditions within each gender that are beneficial to all of us. Presently the forum population is 25% men. Women may initiate the majority of divorces, but some of those are not the instigators of the divorce and women are more likely to join a support-group type of community and are probably more likely to consider being Standers. Women cope with the turmoil of the crisis by coming together, whereas men have a greater tendency to withdraw and may be more hesitant to participate.
I frequently read new men commenting about how amazed they are about you ladies, how they are amazed at our strength and convictions and how they doubt they could do what we are doing or have done. But to the guys: I am often amazed out how quickly you pick up on Self-Focus and what to do—faster than a lot of the women. Oh, everyone goes through the initial panic and anxiety and the feeling that the situation is hopeless. That is normal. But you have advantages too.
So what attributes common to each gender can help everyone? I’m really just brainstorming and guessing with this post. It’s meant as a conversation starter, not answers, so talk about these differences, your thoughts and how you men can help the women and how we women can help the men.
Women are relationship-oriented, creating bonds through shared experiences. Woman also tend to share intimate details of their lives as a part of relationship building. In teams and leaderships roles they are group and team-oriented toward equality.
Men are competitive and hierarchical. Rather than sharing intimate details, they compare experiences, often bigger, better, faster… They build relationships through active experience—completing tasks together.
Now please understand these are all generalizations and stereotypes. Some women will have more male attributes and some men will have more female attributes.
Loss of Self & Getting a Life (GAL)
Men may have an easier time with GAL. Some of the differences are based on culture and experience. Women are more likely than men to stay at home to care for children, while men work outside of the home. Both men and women may lose themselves in their roles. Women often lose themselves in their familial roles and men in their professional or career roles. In the circumstances of being a Stander there is a greater disadvantage to losing one’s Self in the familial roles. For many, work is a part of Getting a Life. Men already leave the home 5 days a week. Even when a woman works, she may still do a disproportionate amount of the household and childcare duties. Being relationship-oriented exacerbates this disadvantage.
So men: what advice can you give to the women about Getting a Life? What can we learn from you—your actions as well as your attitudes?
How is being task and goal-oriented advantageous and how can the rest of us incorporate that to our benefit?
Some people may misinterpret men and women by thinking men are solution-oriented and women problem-oriented. No. We have different ways of solving problems. As I said above, men are task-oriented. That means action! They make a goal and work to achieve it, so get going. Women want to solve the problem too, but we see understanding as a means to a solution. It is less direct and thus seems as though it is problem-focused because we first seek to understand the why’s.
Men ask why too, but often I find they are screaming the question to God or the universe—why me—rather than seeking to answer the question. Those who do not eventually seek to understand risk outward depression in the form of anger advancing to rage. The women who fall into this trap fall into an inward pity party of depression and may risk the doormat.
So women: what advice can you give to men about empathy and understanding? Why is it important? What are the hazards? How is being relationship-oriented advantageous and how can the men—and others—learn to relate emotionally rather than competitively?
Both GAL and Understanding are components of detachment. Both men and women struggle with that the most, but if we pool our skills, we can help each other.