Men, do you ever feel like you don’t know what to do next when it comes to conflict?
You know what I mean... you don’t want to fight. You don’t want to guess at what is going to make her happy. And, if you just jump to try to fix the problem, you can feel emasculated or get angry because of it.
Maybe you feel the tension rising and you are not sure what to do. Perhaps you have done something wrong. It is possible you have done nothing wrong. And sometimes you might have NO idea what is wrong but you know things just aren’t right. With me?
Men are often considered fixers. While I think this can sometimes be true, I also think men don’t know what to do in certain situations so they default to making the uncomfortable emotions go away, which can also look like “fixing”. If the man does not understand what is needed in the conflict, the situation, or whatever, he might just want the feelings to go away. This can often seem dismissive.
I don’t believe that men are uncaring about the emotions and needs of the women in their lives. So, what is the disconnect?
Knowing what to do… When men don’t know what to do, they may result to fixing or disconnecting.
So, what can make it better?
Ask, “What do you need from me?”
Not “What do you want from me?” That makes it seem that you are frustrated with the woman’s emotions and communication, which might have the connotation that the woman’s emotions are irrational.
That one word change from “want” to “need” matters.
This requires eye contact and being on the same level (sitting together).
Most of the men I know would do anything for the women they love. They will buy it, fix it, kill it, build it or whatever it takes. Saying it might be harder, but most will try.
But it can be hard to know what to do! So… ask.
Simple, I know.
Simple but powerful.
This simple question does 3 things.
1. It puts you on the same team. This makes the problem the problem, not each other the problem.
2. It shows that you care about what they need. You are letting the woman know that you are not just trying to make it about you but are showing a real interest in her needs and feelings.
3. It deescalates most situations. It is difficult to be mad at someone who looks you in the eye and genuinely asks you want you need from them.
I am not claiming this to be the “fix” for all relationships, but from my personal experience and work with couples it can be a huge help to move a connection forward.
The next time you don’t know what direction to take things and don’t think you are connecting the way you need to, just ask...
What do you need from me?
I would love to hear from you! What you are doing to get better at relationships?