Women are also pretty sensitive. Their feelings can get hurt easily. For her, it becomes a mini-crisis. We see ourselves in relationship to others, and hurt feelings means something’s wrong. Then everything revolves around getting our feelings back in line. Everything else is secondary.
What most women don’t know, however, is how sensitive men are. In fact, they are more emotionally and socially sensitive than females are from the moment of birth (or before) and throughout the remainder of life.
According to research, baby boys cry more than baby girls, and they are harder to soothe. But they also coo and laugh more than their female counterparts.
Although the facial and verbal expression of emotions is greatly diminished by the time a boy enters kindergarten (we tend to shame them to extinguish this “girlish” behavior, he is still very emotionally and socially sensitive.
Dr. John Gottman’s research in marital relationships confirms that adult males are still really, really sensitive – toward their mates in particular. However, the expression of emotions tends to be more physical than verbal. In short, a guy’s heartbeat speeds up – often to more than 95 beats per minute if he’s feeling anxious (or hurt?). Makes sense in light of the fight-or-flight response. You gotta get the blood pumping if you need to do either of those!
What does he do with his emotions?
Well, men are designed to protect. So when a man feels an emotion, his heart beats faster and he is empowered to take action. Emotion – yours or his – means there’s a problem to be solved. And he has to figure out what’s wrong and what he needs to do about it. Sometimes that means he’s quiet for a while. Sometimes a long while. While he figures out his next move.
That can be a very good thing. A man is very powerful, and we want him to be thoughtful about his actions. We want him to protect us. But sometimes, he has to protect himself first – from our stinging comments and/or actions.
Have you seen this happen? Have you been able to identify whether he’s protecting you or himself? Women who fully grasp this truth about men are the ones who really know how to be the best partners for their men.