Men, here's your mini-instruction manual for the woman in your life!
If you're like most men, there are times you wish your lady came with an instruction manual. Sometimes we are confusing and just plain bizarre. Right?
Well, I believe the reason you think this about us women is you’re assuming we think and feel exactly like you would in the same situation. And when we don’t, you’re left feeling shocked and confused.
Now I’ll bet you’re a really great guy who really wants to help when the woman in your life is having a bad day. You’ve probably tried solving her problems and even distracting her with presents or activities because that’s what works for you.
But instead of her being thankful, somehow all your efforts just seem to make things worse. And, to top it all off, you’re left feeling frustrated and lonely.
First, let me put your mind at ease. Chances are her bad day has nothing to do with you. (She would tell you if it did, right?)
So there’s no need to feel frustrated, hurt or even defensive when she’s just not her usual self despite all your efforts to make things better. She’ll be back to normal soon enough and even quicker if you offer her your genuine support and love.
Think that’s exactly what you’ve been doing? Well, you have if she was a guy. But she’s not. She’s 100% woman.
So let me tell you 4 things you can try the next time your honey is having a bad day that she will immediately interpret as you showing your genuine support and love.
- Ask if she’d like to talk about it. If she does, listen to her, empathize and for Heaven’s sake DO NOT try to solve the situation unless she specifically asks you to. And even then only gently offer suggestions of things she might consider. (Watch this video for a fun take on how a supportive, yet bumpy, conversation like this might go.)
- Ask if she’d like some me-time. Sometimes women just need a break from everything. Me-time may mean that she wants to take a bath, go get a massage or a mani/pedi, exercise, or just be left alone. But being left alone doesn’t mean you should leave the house (unless she specifically asks you to). It does mean that you’re in charge of whatever needs doing – taking care of the kids, making dinner, or feeding the dog. Whatever needs doing, do it all on your own.
- Give her a hug. Tenderness and support can go a long way to calming her frazzled nerves. Don’t be surprised if she’s stiff at first and then begins crying as she softens into the hug. Just continue holding her gently until she pulls away.
- Ask if there’s some way you can help. You may or may not get an actionable response when you ask this question. Whatever her answer is, do your best job of being supportive.
Don’t worry if she doesn’t take you up on any of your offers the first couple of times you try to help her through a bad day. Just be sure and let her know you’re there for her.
As she gets more and more used to the fact that you’re there to help, she’ll begin leaning on you when she could use your strength to get through a bad day.
You’ll feel better because you know you’re helping her. She’ll feel better because she’ll know you really care about and understand her.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of making one of the toughest decisions of your life - "Should I stay or should I go?" You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you're ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.
This article was originally published at Wingman Magazine.