It can be frustrating attempting to meet a great guy when so many of your experiences are uninspiring.
It can be disheartening over time. It can seem like Men Won’t Change. Perhaps it’s possible to start to alter the way we look at this problem. Perhaps Men are not the problem.
This is a confronting realisation. It means taking responsibility for our experience of life. Maybe my life has nothing to do with the circumstances and everything to do with my choices. This is annoying because I’m no longer let off the hook.
Perhaps there’s something deeper to consider.
This idea of our perceptions limiting us is mentioned all over psychology, and self-help literature. It was reading Stephen Covey that I first discovered the phrase “the way we see the problem is the problem”. If I perceive the world in a particular way, it gives me a particular view of life. Think about how this applies to relationships. If I perceive women in a particular way, it gives me a particular view of women. It becomes my frame of reference for creating a relationship.
What happens then, if I alter my frame of reference for women? The entire view alters. It’s as if I see things in a whole new way. There’s a dramatic shift in my entire experience.
There Are No Shortcuts
It’s possible to do this intentionally. How? By consciously examining the ways we see the world. In this area – the ways we see the opposite sex. This is not easy because it can require letting go of our fundamental opinions. For example:
men are only after one thing
men don’t like to talk about feelings
men should make the first move
Being willing to let go of our fundamental opinions requires strength of character and trust in ourselves. It also requires a willingness to trust our commitment to make something happen – in this case – making something happen on a relationship journey.
An easier way to start to observe the fundamental ways we perceive the world is by taking a personality test – such as Gallup’s CliftonStrengths tool. This is one possible way you can identify the unique ways you perceive the world around you, and start to apply them in positive ways.
if you want to have a happy marriage, be the kind of person who generates positive energy and sidesteps negative energy rather than empowering it. If you want to have a more pleasant, cooperative teenager, be a more understanding, empathic, consistent, loving parent. If you want to have more freedom, more latitude in your job, be a more responsible, a more helpful, a more contributing employee. If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy. If you want the secondary greatness of recognized talent, focus first on primary greatness of character. – Stephen Covey
There are no shortcuts to shifting our perceptions. Identifying our deepest principles and committing to expressing them in our chosen ways – that provides the basis for living a wonderful life.
My experience is down to me. Men may never change – but you can.
- Think about your paradigms about men. Examine what you really think. Challenge your own ideas. Maybe it’s not the truth. Maybe it’s just your paradigm.
- Take the CliftonStrengths test, (it costs around £15/ $20) and start to explore and practise your Top Five Strengths. This is the foundation on which you can create. It’s just the beginning – you can take it in any direction you choose.
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