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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.

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        The Gentle Art of Saying No

        The Gentle Art of Saying No

        No!

        It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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        But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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        What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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        But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

        1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
        2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
        3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
        4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
        5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
        6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
        7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
        8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
        9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
        10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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