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He needs solutions, not sympathy

By - | November 17th 2012 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

When your man is faced with a problem, he would rather you help get a solution than sympathise, writes, ANTHONY KAGIRI

Men deal with issues by getting solutions; women, on the other hand, value empathy.

When a man is facing challenges, he is looking for answers and not empathy. Women, on the contrary, want to hear about it, identify with the man and talk about it. Men, over time, get tired of this, and will often keep to themselves when confronted with issues.

“Many times I feel I should tell her about what I’m going through, but when I think about how it is going to turn into an emotional affair and all the sympathy, I prefer to stay with it,” says Kim Njoka, a financial advisor, who often experiences downtimes at his work place.

For many women, how men opt to keep to themselves makes them feel helpless. It hurts when men lock them out of their lives whereas they really ‘want to help’.

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“It is frustrating when my husband is troubled, but he insists it is nothing and yet I can see through him,” says Jane of her husband of three years.

“To many men, emotional considerations are superfluous,” notes Cris Evatt, author of the book Opposite Sides Of The Bed.

Mars vs Venus

The mistake women make is wanting to love their men the way they would want to be loved.

“I always thought hugging him and telling him to talk about it was what he needed until I discovered it was not working’’ says Abura Maryanne.

Many men want to save their women from the strain of the issues. They fear that when they tell their women about their problems, most will worry excessively. This is informed by the popular belief that women involve their emotions in everything.

“My girlfriend gets so sad when I talk to her about something that I’m dealing with. You would think she is the one at the centre of it. I usually prefer telling her what I must tell her,” explains Daudi Mwaura.

Another group of men confess that one reason they prefer not to talk about their problems is because they don’t want to feel vulnerable. Men love winning and hate it when they have to confess defeat. This, combined with their ego, will make many hate feeling vulnerable. This is the reason most men are enthusiastic talking about a challenge they just conquered than a problem they are currently dealing with.

 “As a businessman, I face many challenges on a daily basis and I think it is defeatist talking about them every time. I would seem a failure everyday,” says Tim Nyaboke, a supplier of building materials.

In many instances most men withdraw when faced with challenges to reflect and re-strategise.

It is important to study your man and see what works for him during his grumpy times. For some, they want you to think with them for a solution and not to be sympathetic. Others want you to give them space to figure it out.

Cris advises women to appreciate that what matters most for men when they are dealing with a problem is facts and solution, not emotions.  “Focusing on the facts allows them to create solutions that can be implemented without considering each and every emotional consequence,” says Cris.

Some women confess that learning how to give their men some space has saved the strain of feeling helpless. Maryanne confirms that after years of frustrations and observing her man, she learnt to give him the space at his down times.

Losing self

“Funny enough, he comes along after sometime and talks to me about what he is going through. I have, however, had to learn to stop sympathising,” says Maryanne.

While a woman is encouraged to get into her husband’s world, it doesn’t mean losing herself. A woman needs to let her man know that she prefers empathy when it is her turn to deal with issues. 

Tell your lover, “Honey, your solutions are terrific. But right now, I need to talk about the problem and express my feelings,” writes Cris.

Men relationships problems
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