Imagine being in a romantic relationship where you always win every argument, but you crush your partner’s dreams in the process. (I am guessing you know that crushing your partner’s dreams does not serve you.)
Now imagine that you’re in a kind of relationship in which you support each other‘s dreams.
Which one do you think both of you would prefer?
When people feel empowered they do not stand for bad relationships. (Some people know this and make sure that their partner is not empowered, so that they stay in this relationship, despite the yuck.)
Men who have the emotional intelligence to accept influence from women are way ahead of the game in the world of relationships and parenting.
It’s also a wonderful way to get your kids ahead of the game in emotional, social development but also in terms of cognitive development.
Fathers have great potential for doing good and also great potential for doing harm.
There needs to be give and take on both sides.
The sharing of power needs to be a two-way street.
What matters here is respecting both points of view. Historically, one group tends to accept influence and one group tends not to. There are individual differences, obviously, but as a group, one accepts influence at far higher rates.
Relationships fare much better when a man accepts influence from his female partner.
Developmental psychologists have observed that little girls accept influence in their play from both boys and girls, but boys almost never accept influence from girls.
In preschool, 35% of best friends are boy girl friendships, the percentage drops to 0% by age 7. The guy who can accept influence is a pretty smart guy.
By adolescence, when boys and girls turn toward another with emotional ups and downs of relationships, it is a girl who is likely to be more expert about navigating emotional waters.
Do you want to win this battle to lose the war?
Both people need to feel respected and consulted in the process of deciding things.
It’s you and me versus the problem not you versus me or me versus you. Both of us are working together against the problem.
When your children are troubled, do they feel comfortable turning toward you?
How about your spouse?
When your children are joyous do they look forward to sharing it with you?
Same thing for your spouse?
If you have a solid emotional base you can create and work effectively with your partner. You can lead a rich and meaningful life.
People who matter will care about you when you are alive and will be warm to you when you are dying.
This still relates to gridlock versus perpetual problems. Can you see the paradox that the person who accepts influence has influence? In our society, there is a gender gap and it might be helpful to understand it than just change behaviorally.
Women have been conditioned with a much lower sense of entitlement about having and developing their own dreams unless those dreams pertain to relationships.
They are all too willing to give up their dreams for the sake of the relationship.
But no one wants a close relationship with a woman who is defeated, beaten, and depressed. Everyone (making the assumption of non pathology) wants a woman who is a partner and true teammate, someone who is alive loves their life, who feels loved honored and respected.
In our history, unfortunately, it’s typical where it has been the woman’s dreams that have not been taken seriously by both.
We are not suggesting that the man’s dreams are not to be honored, but that usually gets taken for granted and is absent but implicit.
Honoring their own dreams- and women feel bad for having these dreams, unless they’re about being a daughter, mother, sister, wife, honoring their own dreams- will help their relationship.
When you notice that you’re in gridlock, the goal is simply dialogue not to fix the problem.
Let me say this again the goal is not to fix the problem. Yet…
Work more deeply to understand one another.
What are the feelings, beliefs, and dreams behind the issue?
Next blog will continue with perpetual problem explanation and gridlock resolution.