Women being overly negative about men can often come from your early experiences.
Digging into this is revealing. Creating a great relationship with your parents can set up relationship success. I’ve joked with the women in my life that men are simple creatures and that women are complicated.
Stereotypes abound: women remember everything; men have one-track minds; women talk about everything; men bottle up emotions and can’t communicate. These are simplifications of the human experience.
Not all men are…
Ending up negative about men is usually a result of bad experiences. It doesn’t mean all men are <insert your opinion here>. However, if those experiences keep happening, then maybe there’s something else going on.
When I was a teenager, I really liked someone. It was the first flush of young love. Except, I went to a boys’ school. I didn’t have much opportunity to meet with members of the opposite sex. As I got older, I then became a romantic at heart – although I would never have said that to any of my friends. It meant that my first experience of rejection was at aged 18. I’d built up my fantasy about her to such a level, that when I asked her out on date over the phone, and she said “you’re really nice but we can only be friends” it was absolutely devastating. As a formative experience, avoiding those feelings ever happening again became a priority. So I became a nice guy and consistent inhabitant of the ‘friend-zone’.
I suggest that we all have experiences like this. We bring them to our interactions with the opposite sex. But perhaps it goes even deeper. Attachment is a psychological concept that describes the close bond between caregiver and child. Most psychologists agree that we are hardwired to form attachments because it supports survival, growth, brain development and all those wonderful things. Freud and Jung (amongst others) suggested that our relationships with our parents are fundamental to our relationships with others – male and female. The interesting part that Freud proposed – and changed the course of psychology – was the influence of the subconscious. Past events, thoughts, and decisions are stored in our subconscious and inform our current actions – but this is hidden.
Hidden thoughts and decisions
When I first heard about this, it did make me think about the state of my relationship with my mum (pretty good at the time) and dad (pretty bad at the time). It was only much later when doing some self-development training that I connected it all: sorting it out with my mum would support my relationships with women – and men. Equally, sorting it out with my dad would support my relationships with men – and women.
Applying this idea to my experience, the first time I asked out a girl over the phone, and she said no, that was stored in my subconscious. I then carried it around to all my future interactions with women. But going deeper, I didn’t ever remember my mum telling me she loved me as I was growing up. Of course her actions demonstrated her love and caring – but in my mind her not telling me was something I stored away in my subconscious. It plays out with me being very nice – perhaps too nice – to get women to like me. Taken further, it did become a desperation to be with someone as I went into my twenties.
Perhaps the reason why some women are so negative about men, is simply down to experiences, thoughts and decisions kept hidden in the subconscious. Maybe women then unknowingly bring these ideas to their interactions with men?
If this is the case, how can it be dealt with?
It’s about your parents
I’m no therapist, but creating a great relationship with our parents is essential. But also, being willing to examine our own opinions about the opposite sex, and identifying the hidden decisions we made. This is no mean feat. I think telling the truth is a great place to start, but spending time with our parents and talking about formative experiences can help.
No number of tactics can deal with this. Learning when to text, or what words to use; how to dress or smiling in a particular way; applying a particular set of rules to an interaction – none of these things will deal with a subconscious opinion. I’m suggesting that without being willing to dig into those early experiences; without discussing the background to our current actions; without admitting the influence of the subconscious (by whatever method) – we are doomed to repeat the same patterns. Bringing self-awareness to our hidden opinions about the opposite sex shifts the foundations on which our actions take place.
“Why am I so negative about men?” It’s all about your parents.
- If you they’re still around, call your mum and dad and have a conversation with them. Listen and express your gratitude and love for everything they’ve done for you.
- Notice if you want to avoid doing that. What are your thoughts?
- “I don’t need to do that, they know.”
- “That’s stupid – my life and my relationship commitment is down to me.”
- “What happened in the past doesn’t affect me now.”
- Write down all your thoughts – if you want to avoid calling your mum or dad. These are what bounce around your head.
- Put a note in your diary for three months time. Re-read the thoughts you wrote down. Re-consider calling your parents and expressing your love and gratitude for everything they’ve done for you.
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