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Where Are the Blokes?

Where Are the Blokes?

Today’s post is not so much a personal development ‘lesson’ as it is a discussion and exploration into how men and women are wired; a look at something which interests me. As always, I don’t have all the answers but I do have plenty of questions and thoughts. Being as I’m not a female (mostly), I may be completely off track… so feel free to enlighten me, ladies.

    As a scientist, personal development bloke and fascinated observer of people, I love to see what people do (and don’t do) and then try to figure why they do (or don’t do) whatever it is that they’re doing. Or not doing. As the case may be. Or not be. If you know what I mean. Hey, don’t you complain… I’m confused and I’m writing it!

    Anyway, there’s two interesting observations I’ve made lately.

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    Observation 1
    In most of my open-to-the-public workshops (as opposed to my corporate gigs) the vast majority of my audience is typically women. The weekend just past we ran a ‘Renovate Your Life’ workshop and over eighty percent of the attendees were of the more attractive and sweeter smelling gender. A couple of weeks ago I gave an open-to-the-public keynote presentation (health, fitness, lifestyle, psychology stuff) in a large fitness centre and nearly ninety percent(!) of the audience were women. These kinds of percentages are pretty common for my presentations. Now, if I was a young, good-looking, stud-muffin with a six-pack and a severe case of Brad-Pitt-itis that might give us some insight into the skewed numbers, but clearly I’m not, and clearly, people are coming along for the information, the motivation and the education. Even when I do a presentation where many of the people in the audience don’t really know who I am, we still have a much higher percentage of women book in and attend.

    Observation 2
    The vast majority of commentors on personal development sites are women. While it varies a little from article to article, the ratio of female to male contributors is quite amazing. Recently I took a stroll through some of my past posts and the percentage of female commentors is regularly up around the ninety percent mark.

    So the obvious question is, “why does this happen and what does it tell us?”

    You’re right; that’s actually two questions.

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    Well, I’m not really sure but I’ll throw around a few possibilities…

      1. All the men are out hunting.
      2. Only a very small percentage of men can read and write.
      3. What I write or speak about isn’t applicable to the males of the species.
      4. I’m not manly enough to connect with the blokes.
      5. Women need more help than men.
      6. I don’t write enough articles about monster trucks or cage fighting.

      Naaah, probably not.

      Perhaps…

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      1. A higher percentage of blokes (higher than ten percent that is) actually read my stuff but they are not as comfortable commenting as the ladies.
      2. Growing up, blokes are not ‘trained’ to talk about relationships, feelings, emotions, fears, weaknesses, problems.. etc.
      3. Perhaps some guys consider having a need for ‘personal development’ to be a sign of weakness (which would make me… pathetic).
      4. Blokes don’t have the same level of emotional intelligence or awareness as the girls. Or maybe they just don’t show it.

      Or possibly…

      1. Women are simply more aware and more in touch with their emotional selves.
      2. Women are more prepared to admit (and deal with) flaws, weaknesses and destructive habits and behaviours.
      3. Women are more proactive (about creating positive change) while blokes are more reactive – they wait for the catastrophe to happen and then slip into their Superman outfit.
      4. One of my (female) staff suggested that women ‘search’ more because overall they’re not as happy as men. Don’t yell at me – a woman told me that.

      Maybe…

        1. The way I communicate resonates more with women.
        2. Perhaps the site needs less photos of sunsets and more images of blokes and their power tools.
        3. Women just like talking.

        A final thought…

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        Maybe some of us alpha-male-warriors need to climb down from the security of our monster trucks and go and see Sex and the City tonight.

        Or perhaps give another bloke a hug.

        Help a confused male out; let me know your thoughts on this perplexing issue.

        I’m off to hunt.

        Er, I mean do Yoga.

        More by this author

        Craig Harper

        Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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        Last Updated on September 18, 2020

        13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

        “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

        Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

        You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

        Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

        1. Take a step back and evaluate

        When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

        1. What is the problem?
        2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
        3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
        4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
        5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

        Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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        2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

        If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

        At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

        Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

        3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

        Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

        4. Process your thoughts/emotions

        Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

        1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
        2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
        3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
        4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

        5. Acknowledge your thoughts

        Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

        By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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        Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

        6. Give yourself a break

        If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

        7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

        A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

        Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

        After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

        8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

        As Helen Keller once said,

        “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

        Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

        9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

        In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

        1. What’s the situation?
        2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
        3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
        4. Take action on your next steps!

        After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

        10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

        A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

        Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

        For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

        11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

        No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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        12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

        No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

        13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

        There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

        After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

        Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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