Just For Her Conference

September 24, 2007 — 1 Comment

I had such a wonderful time at the ââ?¬Å?Just for Herââ?¬Â Conference at Weber State! Thank you to those who were able to attend and my apologies to those who were turned away due to space constraints. Here is the truncated version of that dayââ?¬â?¢s presentation and my personal notes on the matter of how to connect best with those we love: and itââ?¬â?¢s NOT more communication. To many women, communication means talking MORE. To men, the worst five words they could possibly hear are, ââ?¬Å?Honey, we need to talk!ââ?¬Â When men hear that you need to ââ?¬Å?talk,ââ?¬Â it usually means that you are ââ?¬Å?unhappy.ââ?¬Â Unhappy with who? Him?

The chronic stress that can afflict most relationships stems from the way men and women experience fear and shame. Guess how early these differences in the gender become evident? According to social research, shortly after birth! Baby girls, from day one, are more sensitive to isolation and lack of contact. When a woman feels close, she can relax. When she feels distant, she gets anxious. This is why a baby girl can hold a gaze for a longer period of time. The closeness comforts her. It�s also why a baby girl will fuss faster and louder than a baby boy when left alone for a period of time. It is more frightening for a female to be out of contact than it is for a male. It�s not that men prefer isolation, it�s that women feel more discomfort when there is no contact.

According to the research, the single largest gender difference in emotions is the frequency and intensity of fear. Newborn girls are more easily frightened than boys. Girls and women are more likely to feel fear in response to loud noises and sudden changes in the environment. They have more anxiety and worry a lot more than boys and men. Women have a higher fear of crime, suffer more phobias, and fear medical and dental care, which may be why we go to the doctor more often; to abate our fears. Women also tend to feel more pain. Baby girls cry louder and more vigorously than boys in response to mild pain stimulus. Itââ?¬â?¢s also interesting to note thta 90% of chronic pain disorders afflict women. (No wonder men have a hard time understanding a womanââ?¬â?¢s pain: when men experience pain, society teaches them to ââ?¬Å?buck-up,ââ?¬Â AND their pain simply isnââ?¬â?¢t as painful!)

Hereââ?¬â?¢s the bottom line: Behind every withdrawn, silent man, is often a critical womanââ?¬Â¦..even if itââ?¬â?¢s the last thing a woman means to be! Be truthful with the survey Iââ?¬â?¢ve attached, and get your partnerââ?¬â?¢s perspective on your ââ?¬Å?criticism,ââ?¬Â as well. There are many ââ?¬Å?ahaââ?¬â?¢sââ?¬Â within the 40 questions. When a man feels criticized, it evokes greater feelings of shame and inadequacy, which causes him to withdraw and become silent ââ?¬â?? the very thing that evokes feelings of abandonment and isolation in woman.

Keep in mind what men and women need more from each other. (Let�s stop doing what doesn�t work, and do more of what does!) Both genders want to feel connected; and when men do, they talk just as much as women!

Use the acronym ROCK STAR: STAR relates to men; ROCK relates to women.

Here�s the male way of connecting:

ââ?¬Å?Sââ?¬Â is for sex, which floods the body with oxytocin; it takes much to feel bonded!
ââ?¬Å?Tââ?¬Â is for touch; men need three more times to feel the effects of touch!
ââ?¬Å?Aââ?¬Â is for appreciation; how it pleases a man to please a woman!
ââ?¬Å?Rââ?¬Â is for routine. Respect his routine and donââ?¬â?¢t look for a deep conversation in the middle of his routine watching the evening news.

Here�s the female way of connecting:

ââ?¬Å?Rââ?¬Â is for routinely return to her; pour your orange juice, pour Her orange juice; brush your teeth, kiss Her; sit down on the couch, reach out and touch Her, etc.
ââ?¬Å?Oââ?¬Â is for open your heart to your partner. Let her know what youââ?¬â?¢re thinking & feeling. Remember, she is sensitive to fear, isolation, and deprivation. (Literally, uncross your arms, open your chest center, and turn towards her!)
ââ?¬Å?Cââ?¬Â is for contact. Consciously keep contact with her in your mind. (Phone calls, e-mails, notes, text messaging, etc.)
ââ?¬Å?Kââ?¬Â is for keeping it positive. A maleââ?¬â?¢s voice is designed for roaring, and they donââ?¬â?¢tââ?¬â?¢ realize just how frightening that is for women.

Last two points: Men, be aware that your silence scares her!
Women ââ?¬Å?tend and befriend.ââ?¬Â When stressed, they reach out. If youââ?¬â?¢re too busy, even though youââ?¬â?¢re making money to provide for her and the family, it evokes fear and pain in your sweetheart, leaving her feel incredibly anxious.

Women, know that your man is deathly afraid of looking weak!
Men are sensitive to feeling inadequate and disappointing you. It evokes so much cortisol that it�s literally intolerable for them to withstand, and they withdraw and turn silent.

The best way to improve your relationship? Honor each other�s natural vulnerabilities.

Choose to feel connected to your partner. Here are four steps to get you started:

1) Fix your parter firmly in your heart during 4 crucial times throughout the day.

2) Hug your partner six times a day for six seconds; a full-on body hug!

3) Hold positive thoughts about your relationship at least for 10 seconds every day.

4) Contract to love with compassion and generosity. “If I loved him I would _____________.”

My new favorite book of the week: ââ?¬Å?How to Improve your Marriage Without Talking About it,ââ?¬Â by Pat Love, Ed.D. and Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

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Dr. Liz Hale

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One response to Just For Her Conference

  1. Thank-you for coming to the conference. The things you said have really made me rethink some of the ways I’ve been connecting with my husband. When taking your quiz I probably could say yes to 95% of the questions. That’s not very comforting. But I guess now I know where I can start to improve.
    Right at the end of your presentation you told the story of a old Cheerekee talking to his son about two wolves. Could you post that story for us! I thought it was really good and wanted to share it with my husband and kids.
    Thank-You!

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