I live and work in a world of men. Many women do, but few are successful in understanding the dynamics. I was once told by a man at work there are 3 types of women in construction: the bitchy butches, the cutesy flirts, and the ones with brains that don't have a look (i think he meant they were nothing to look at). As he continued to tell his story, seemingly unaware that he was talking to a woman in construction, I listened without interruption. I could not pick out any of the three that would be a positive label, but I knew which one I would prefer. My left eyebrow was paused in the upright position, wondering three things: Does he realize I am a woman? If so, is he about to verbalize into which of the 3 types I fit? Am I going to take it personal and cause him physical pain?
Men are magnificent creatures.
Men are very forgiving and quick to forget.
Another human can have an emotional outburst, cause harm, or royally screw up. The man will instantly wear a look of confusion, possibly respond with an equal or greater emotional outburst, and then masterfully choose words and set his thoughts to eliminate the other human's situation and return to his interesting thoughts and pleasant feelings that had just been interrupted. Unfortunately, many women see this as the man ignoring their feelings. I ask these women, why do you want to discuss your feelings? I hear men's discussions with each other all day long:
-did you get that email?
-i just sent it as i was asking you if you got it.
-huh, that is odd. it isn't here, it isn't showing up, maybe something is wrong with the internet, are you sure you sent it to me? maybe, you.....oh, here it is. i just got it.
-why did you say that?
-that he is a better welder than me.
-quit being a girl.
Then they immediately made plans to go hunting together.
Men have a healthy self-esteem.
When you tell a man he is smart and/or is doing a good job, his immediate thought, as he instantly has a taller posture and wears his boyhood smile, is "I know. My gosh, she is right! I am better than any superhero in all the universe." When women are given the same compliment, they unfortunately have a different response, "ugh, I could have done that better. Is he secretly making fun of me? I bet everyone thinks I am stupid. I wish I had a better body, better hair, that I was smart and funny, and......"
Men want simple praise, interest and acknowledgment about their life's work, about what they do 18 hours of their day, about what makes him,HIM. Without trying, I get the best smiles from men. These smiles are genuine, pure, clean, innocent, satisfied smiles that warm me as I get a tender moment of seconds in a man's hard life. While looking at rebar, boards, concrete, dirt, pipes, I honestly say, "wow, this is looking great. you all are doing a good job." I am instantly given the best smile in the world attached to the words, "thank you". Women, you know what our response would be. We would answer with complaints and comments that are subconsciously seeking more approval and destroying the original and genuine compliment.
I was never told which of the 3 types of women in construction describe me. It has been 4 years since I slowly lowered my raised eyebrow, chose to ignore the girly "what are you trying to say" argument starter, and redirected the conversation to the job before us. I have been exhausted ever since, as I have learned that Men are simple and easy, and this makes it hard for me to be the woman that I am. The modern day Eve.
-Look at this! This can make me smarter, make you get off your ass, make me look better, make you listen, and make everything run smoother!
-huh? this? It's an apple.
I raise my mug with the exact sentiment I have every moment of every day, in every situation.
oh good grief, i love these men