How to (Not) Deal Logically with Emotional Women

A friend recently gave me a great idea. He thought I should post on the idea that men sometimes don’t know what to do or say when women get upset. He thought that men who do not consider themselves emotional have a hard time empathizing or dealing with women who are upset emotionally, especially if they are in a relationship with those women.

I can say two things about this phenomenon: practice deep listening, and don’t try to fix anything yet. Try to not be logical for once.

Men are notorious in their desire to fix a situation, and when this happens, deep listening cannot happen. We are fixers by nature, and this trait is good, when it comes to hunting big game, fixing a car engine, or making everyday decisions. It is a hinderance when it comes to connecting with the women in our life.

We run from, try to fix, avoid, lack empathy or do a thousand others things when the women in our lives get “emotional” because we are not in touch with those similar places within ourselves. The more we, as men, can get in touch with those emotional places (no, you won’t be crying or overly sensitive from now on), the quicker we will be able to connect and empathize with what women are experiencing emotionally.

Issues that come up for women in the context of a relationship will require the skill of both deep listening and suspending trying to fix anything. What is ideal is to listen and reflect back what you are hearing from the women as she is having her emotional experience. If she is crying, or upset, it might help to just be silent and be aware of your tendency to fix anything. When she starts to talk, simply reflect back what you are hearing, without fixing her problem, diagnosing it or getting defensive. This is hard stuff that requires practice, so don’t give up the first time you stumble. Use statements like, “You must be feeling…” or “It sounds like that really upset you when I….” You are just mirroring and stating back what you see and hear – that’s it. Maintaining that position will help. If you don’t know what to say or do, then say that. At least it’s being honest, and present, instead of trying the myriad other ways to deal with the situation.

If you disagree with her upset state, or what it is that she is upset about, that’s fine, but I would encourage you to keep those disagreements to yourself for the time being. Her upset-ness doesn’t need you to disagree with it, or else it’ll just become worse. She may be an overly emotional person in general, but when we try to figure it out, stamp out her experience or generally try to exert ourselves on it, the outcome is worse. We don’t give our women the experience that they are trying to have in the moment.

These steps will help you to become a better friend, family member, or relationship partner. These are the first few basic steps in a series of ways to engage with her in a healthy way. Most guys don’t do this. Really. You’ll be serving both of you really well if you can learn how to deal with a situation like this in the future.

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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2 Responses to How to (Not) Deal Logically with Emotional Women

  1. afv says:

    I’m in an emotionally insecure relationship. I’ve made mistakes in my current relationship, including not listening and lying. I apologized and took the brunt of my indiscretions (I did not cheat on her, by the way). But it seems so difficult to get my girlfriend to be level headed when problems arise. I try to listen really hard and intently to her and been working to be a better partner. But she uses words that are harsh and picture me as a person who would never learn. It seems that even as I try to change, my “inactions,” as she has pointed out, would only result in fights. While i try to mirror what she throws at me whenever we fight, she ends up complaining that I don’t listen and don’t understand.

    I’ve tried to resolve our issues by just letting her emotions run amok but I have a hard time taking in her manner of speaking to me — a barbaric, irresponsible person.

    I don’t know if this is the kind of relationship I would want to be in the long run. I always believed that I am a nice person who can be easy to deal with. But my girlfriend is always “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Help.

  2. Ah, Man, if YOU, are dealing WITH, an Emotional WOMAN, like a REALLY, EMOTIONAL Woman.

    Then, AS, a MAN, it IS, unfortunately, we are dealing with a CHILD, and NOT AN ADULT, when it comes to dealing with an OVERLY, EMOTIONAL, Woman.

    They ARE, expecting US, to be their Father Figure, AND, their Doctor, for NOT, dealing with their OVERLY, EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS.

    TRUE, some Woman ARE, EMOTIONAL, BUT, there are WOMAN, who ARE,OVERLY EMOTIONAL. And, those WOMAN, who ARE, OVERLY EMOTIONAL, then I DO NOT, want ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM, NOTHING.

    Because, THEY ARE, TOO MUCH LIKE A CHILD, in an ADULT BODY, NO THANKS.

    And with THAT, being the CASE, I WOULD be a WHOLE LOT BETTER,OFF, to be SAFE, and SINGLE, then BE, connected WITH a CHILD LIKE, OVERLY EMOTIONAL WOMAN, in an ADULT BODY.

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