Thursday, April 16, 2009

25 things for Men, 25 things for Women: The List

Posted by Michele Olson

Steven Stosny, PhD, the founder of CompassionPower, is widely published and featured as an expert on relationships and anger in the media, you may have seen him on many of the national talk shows.

In his book, co-authored with Patricia Love(How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It), and listed as resource on this blog, he talks about the fear factor for women and the shame factor for men. Here is a succinct list of 25 ways men promote fear and cause a woman to be anxious, and 25 ways women stimulate shame in a man.

25 ways to make a woman anxious

Ignore her*Tell her what to do*Be short with your answers*Tune out her feelings*Stonewall or give her the cold shoulder*Take her for granted* Limit or criticize her spending*Tell her to stop worrying *Tell her she's making too much of it *Tell her to get over it *Tell her she talks too much *Complain about her weight *Criticize her family *Withdraw or shut down *Yell or get angry *Pout or sulk *Threaten to quit your job *Flirt with other women *Don't know her dreams*Tell her she's just like her mother *Complain about her girlfriends *Give her the cold shoulder * Dismiss her ideas *Sound like you're trapped in the marriage *Buy a sports car

25 ways to stimulate shame in a man

*Exclude him from important decisions*Correct what he says*Question his judgment
*Give unsolicited advice*Dismiss his opinion*Imply inadequacy*Make unrealistic demands of his time and energy*Overreact*Ignore his desires*Focus on what you didn't get, rather than what you got*Withhold praise *Use a harsh tone*Be abrupt - spring things on him*Undermine his wishes*Condescend *Criticize his personality *Disrespect his work*Show little or no interest in his interests*Criticize his family*Interpret, psychoanalyze, or diagnose him*Make comparisons to other men* Focus on your unhappiness*Put friends before him*Value others' needs over his* Rob him of the opportunity to help

Steven notes:
The majority of lovers crash into each other's vulnerabilities accidentally.
But in the case of verbal abuse, intentional abusers seem to know intuitively where the jugular is. A verbally abusive man is likely to make his wife feel afraid of harm, isolation, or deprivation. A verbally abusive woman is likely to make her husband feel like a failure as a provider, protector, lover, or parent.

But lovers also know intuitively how to help and support one another. The primary regulators of both fear and shame are support and connection. That is what people provide for each other during courtship that makes them fall in love. It is what they must provide in marriage to keep the fear-shame dynamic from destroying it.

Here's Steven Stosney's full blog on this subject.

What are your thoughts on the list? Can you relate? Does this bring some insight into your relationship? Let us hear from you. Post a comment!

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