Communication Breakdown (Part 3): Badmouthing Another Woman

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From Glamour magazine, “11 Things Guys Just Don’t Understand About Women,” it seems that the biggest beef men have with women is that they can’t understand our style of communication. Seriously, six of the eleven things were about communication!

Men and women have very different styles of communication. I know, newsflash, right? Let me break it down and offer some tips to improve communication between the sexes. There are five major differences in communication between men and women, in my personal experience. 


The third thing that men just don’t understand about women is “cattiness” and talking about other women behind their back. 


Nothing shows a guy how insecure a woman is faster than talking badly about someone—especially another woman—behind their back. And nothing turns a guy off faster than an insecure woman. The only cure for this is maturity. Grow up, figure out the parts of yourself you really like, and make the most of them. Figure out the parts you don’t like and work on either improving or accepting them. 


I’ll give you a big hint. If a trait or behavior in someone really bothers you, look in the mirror. It’ll be something that you’re not willing to own in yourself. Hate women who dress sexy and have men drooling over them? What stories are buried in your subconscious about women like that? What would happen if you dressed sexy and had men drooling over you? What thoughts pop up for you when you imagine doing it? Maybe you have a poor body image (real or imagined), or maybe you come from a conservative religious background. What’s good about dressing sexy and having men drool? I can think of some things: you’d feel great about your body, it can be fun to be the center of attention, when you look sexy, you feel sexy, there’s a certain power in drawing men to you, and sometimes it’s just plain fun! There’s a saying, “What you don’t own, owns you.” Until and unless you’re willing to embrace all aspects of yourself, you won’t be a fully empowered person.


This was just one example of what is called your Shadow. According to C.G. Jung, the shadow is “a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts … The less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” (Wikipedia, Shadow Psychology) To identify a message, you first have to hear it with your conscious mind. This first step helps us reclaim our power because the messages we tell ourselves have the greatest power over us when we listen to them subconsciously. Once we shine the light of our consciousness on them, they begin to lose their power over us. In that way, we gain the ability to ask ourselves if we really want to believe the messages.  


The bad news is that uncovering all the aspects of your Shadow can be a lifelong process. The good news is that it gets easier every time you do it, and the clearer you become, the more centered and secure you’ll be with yourself. You’ll be a veritable man magnet! Debbie Ford has written several books about the Shadow, and I’d recommend you work with them (each book has a series of exercises to complete) to help you uncover the gifts within your own Shadow. 

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