I want to think like a man!

How do I stop worrying about every, little, tiny thing?  How do I stop my constant fussing about what people say or do?  I want to quiet my mind and direct it back down the path of creativity, but I get side swiped by my worries, and my thoughts that stem from these worries.

Oh my God!  I’ve got it!  I need to think like a man!

I have a joke saved on my computer; it is one of my favourites, for it shows, very simply, the difference in thought patterns between men and women.  Both sexes find it amusing, it is an instant party chuckle.   We all, men and women alike, nod our heads, making polite noises of agreement, as we stare at the picture I have included below, but when we women walk away, we silently wish, that on some days, we could jump ship and head over to the men’s way of thinking.

Let’s face it; an on-off switch would work.

Let me give you an example…when a guy tells his friend he looks like doggy doo (please excuse the paraphrasing) in that top, they both laugh, have a little playful man shuffle, (you know the one, we’ve all seen it…the shove/punch/slap or elbow nudge) while the other guy explains away the bad colour choice, or simply says he likes the way he looks, so get used to it!  Some more man shuffle ensues, and the remark drops, a dead subject to the floor, and is promptly forgotten.

Now for women, it’s a very different story.  God forbid if anyone, man or woman, comes forward and makes the same kind of derogatory top comment, or perhaps takes it a step further, and insinuates that the outfit possibly, maybe, makes us look slightly…gasp!…chubby!  Well, get ready, batten down the hatches cuz there’s going to be an upset, and it’s not going to be pretty!  Why, I ask you, can we not laugh it off as easily as our male cohorts can?

I seriously believe we could live a happier life if we could do as they do.

Instead, we go through the process…I speak of the thorough examination process.  When a slightly ‘off’ statement of opinion is made to a woman, we take it in, we turn it this way and that, carefully examining every sentence, every word, every letter.  We analyze the tone, the look, the inflection that was assigned to particular words, and then back up the remark we go, re-analyzing in reverse, in order to catch what perhaps was missed on the way down.

After all has been reviewed, to the ninth degree, we call in backup…we talk to friends…let me be more specific…girlfriends, and we go through the process once again, together.   Finally, we decide, as a team, upon the appropriate primary or secondary reaction to the aforementioned comment.

It’s all so very exhausting.

Even in review, it is draining.

I want to learn how to do the man shuffle, so I too can let unfriendly commentaries drop, discarded and unwanted, to the floor.

Now, I could survive the clothes remark so much better (HA!…who am I kidding?!) than carelessly flung reviews of my writing.  Admittedly, I am over protective of my newly formed words, not a way to be if I am to learn to negotiate the path to publication, but…

And yes yes, I know I have to grow a thicker skin, learn to turn the other cheek, let’s welcome in all the other idioms that may fit the situation, but honestly, it will be difficult at times, a learning process if you will.

I was told recently my writing was…and there seriously was a mind numbing pause before the word bomb was dropped…nice.  I almost tripped and fell over this unsubstantial word.  I should have left it there to languish harmlessly on the floor, but nope, no way!  Instead, I had to pick at it like annoying gum stuck to my shoes, so that the comment glued itself to my thoughts, and became part of my worry bundle.

Now, when I am lacking the presence of a friend…which sometimes happens in life…I look for a stand in, a.k.a my husband.  I sit down across from him and go through the conversation, building up with an actor’s flourish to the offending word.

I stop, and look to him for a reaction.

Nothing.

I shorten the scenario, putting even more stress on the word.

He blinks, he seems somewhat nervous.  Is he expecting more?

Okay, he needs help.  “So, what do you think?” I ask.

“Tell her to poop off” (paraphrasing once again)

“I can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“It would be rude,” I explain.

“But she was rude to you.”

“Okay, let’s try this again.  Here are the cue cards.”  I shuffle out the cue cards with ease as we have played this game before many times.  Cue cards are sample scripts of appropriate friend responses for him to easily follow and execute.  “Now,” I continue.  “You have to play the role of friend for me today, as no others are available.”

I look at him; he looks down at the cue cards.  “Just tell her to poop off.”

I gather my cue cards together and leave the room.  He returns to his technical books.

Sigh.

An on-off switch would work.

Maybe nice is….well, just nice.

Maybe.

 

 

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14 Responses to I want to think like a man!

  1. Gwen Hannaford says:

    Well Done..!!!!!!!! I love the role play with Den…. I can see it all now hahahaha

  2. Shane Young says:

    Melinda wants me to use cue cards as well. But I would only get two, “yes dear” and “no dear”. To the person who referred to your writing as “nice”, I would also tell her to “poop off”. The way I (a one-switch man) see it, is that life is short. It can take too much time to dissect words and actions, and when you do, you can drive yourself crazy and possibly have turned it into something more than what the person said or did. You can’t please everyone and should view it as a take it or leave it attitude, it’s a lot less stressful and you don’t have to think too much.

    • Carole-Ann says:

      Excellent point Shane!….that is exactly what can happen sometimes, over analyzing can create more problems! Less thought is most certainly the way to go in some situations. I ask Melinda about giving you more cue cards!

  3. Melinda Young says:

    As a woman I do get what you mean, however I have learned from both my parents not to take life too seriously and have a sense of humor. Life seems so much better when you can laugh about things. I surround myself with funny…my friends, the television I watch, and my father (you know what I mean). Even Shane is really funny (ever since he met me of course). Not much phases me except rude people I guess. If someone makes a stupid comment to me, I usually set them straight without too much confrontation, but enough for them to never say stupid things again. I am generally a respectful, kind person and I guess I expect that from everyone, but I know that is not realistic.

    I can see your frustration with talking to a man though. Shane is pretty good but sometimes I have to ask him to repeat what I’ve said just to see if he is listening. Most if the time he can, but he really isn’t truly listening. I then go to work and shed my problem to my woman friends…where I feel like I am a part of a club…free therapy! Women love gossip and love to pick at every problem, I know because I am one of them. I am lucky though that I don’t dwell on small things. My short attention span couldn’t handle that!

    • Carole-Ann says:

      Yes you’re right Mel, the free therapy does work also, although it can, at times, stir the situation to a boiling point, I guess it’s always a learning game! Surrounding yourself with happy people is the best solution, I think laughing more is for sure the way to go! Maybe you should give Shane a couple more cue cards…maybe lol

  4. Sharon Clare says:

    This story had me smiling at the way we do over-analyze these things to death at times. I know I’m guilty.

    I think Shane made a good point. Sometimes that analyzing make takes things to a place the ‘nice’ person never intended. She may be the kind of person that never has a nice thing to say, so to her nice may be pretty darn good.

    You have a beautiful voice, Carole-Ann and perspective. I don’t mean to sound cliche, but when I read your writing, I always think your words are like poetry and the kind of classical music that gives your goose bumps.

    Yes, you will need a thicker skin because there’s no way you can stop putting your words out there.

    • Carole-Ann says:

      Sharon that is so true, I have to learn to not jump so quickly on to the back of any presumed ngegativity. I think I shall do exactly as Elaine suggested and post your words near my workstation!…thank you, once again, for your support, it means alot!!

  5. Carole-Ann, I think your points are bang on. The button joke is a propos but there is another way to look at it. Perhaps women are better able to negotiate all of these buttons! Just kidding. Now we get the thing where people talk about reincarnation and say they want to come back as a caterpiller, or a dog.
    For what it’s worth, your writing makes me happy, like a cosy comforter in a chilly room. Write what you love, learn lots of ways to make it better, but never lose who you are. Sharon said it well so print out her words, paste them up and read them over and over. BTW I believe in keeping the nice things people say about what I’ve done in all aspects of my life. When I need a lift I can reread them and always end up feeling great. Accentuate the positive!

  6. Carole-Ann says:

    Hi Elaine! I am indeed going to print out Sharon’s words and will add yours as well, making someone happy with my words is a wonderful compliment thank you!
    In one of the books I am reading by Richard Carlson he stated “Common sense will tell you that the more you think about something, the more those thoughts will grow in your mind and become real.” Positive thinking can indeed be contagious!

  7. Laurie Bernard says:

    Haha! I love that deer caught in headlights look a guy gets when you try to have a conversation with them that doesn’t involve sport scores!! Cue cards would work but then there’s the times you just want someone to listen, not to fix things! Sometimes “nice’ really is just “nice.” Not everyone has an imagination….or a vocabulary! L

    • Carole-Ann says:

      Can always tell when guys get that glaze over their eyes…ya know you’ve lost them then! Yes, that is true, nice could just be nice…and I actually caught myself using that very same word just the other day so there you go!

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