Too many men panic when their woman becomes overwhelmed and they don’t know how to handle the situation in a supportive manner.
Instead, they instinctively do the opposite and make the situation worse.
I know this first hand because I used to go into panic mode, and the fixer-guy was there quicker than any emergency response unit.
I would frantically keep asking, “are you ok?” “what’s wrong?” “are you ok?” “what’s wrong?” “are you ok?”
Can you imagine how irritating that would be?
Her emotional engulfment was too much for my nervous system to handle. I still struggle to understand and manage my own emotions, let alone anyone else’s.
This panic reaction is a very common issue for men I coach.
Emotions weren’t the highest priority for hunters in the caveman days; being effective was. You can’t BBQ emotions; therefore, getting the hunt mattered or your tribe would starve.
For the cavewomen, raising kids, nurturing, and connection were their priorities, and emotional intelligence aided the bonding process.
These differences don’t mean we cannot bridge the gap between our default modes to connect better and understand each other.
Men can be invited to understand the importance of emotions in the feminine world. Women can be invited to understand the importance of logic in the masculine world. And all the in-between factors too.
Here are 5 simple masculine steps men can follow to better support women when they feel emotional, overwhelmed, and need a man’s support.
1️⃣ Ground Yourself. She will not feel safe or trust you if you are weak, unstable or turbulent. Remember how calm and composed Captain Sully was when both his engines failed, and he calmly landed the plane on the Hudson River? Do This!
2️⃣ Become Present. No distractions, phone or work. Good eye contact and embrace a welcoming, warm and protective body language. Connection is the feminine’s primary need, and disconnection is her biggest fear.
3️⃣ Use The Power Of Silence. Men and women are both poor listeners. In our rush to end the uncomfortable interaction and to be seen, we keep interrupting with solutions and our opinions or experiences. Let her emotions flow without judgement, this is very healing for her. Remember, there is nothing to fix in the moment, stay present and grounded.
4️⃣ Don’t Take It Personally. Emotional expression sometimes can be raw, harsh and nonsensical, it’s not usually personal. If she becomes abusive, calmly draw a boundary and let her know the consequences if she oversteps the mark.
5️⃣ Lead Her. She’ll feel lighter and thankful when her pent-up pressure has been depleted with you holding space. Sometimes, she may get stuck in the emotional quicksand. Lead her out of it in a timely manner with tasteful humour, comforting words and a boundary. Otherwise, she’ll keep sinking into the ‘victim vomit pit.’ We all need rescuing from this from time to time.
When these 5 steps are executed well, she’ll feel supported, you’ll feel accomplished, and your intimacy will flourish.
However, don’t expect to get this right 100% of the time or do it every time for it to have the same impact in a relationship.
There will be days you won’t be able to provide her with the support as you’ll have your own struggles and life pressures to deal with.
That’s ok and you can communicate this in a well-articulated manner. If you need some guidance on this, send me a message.
Remember, your own welfare is your priority as much as her welfare is hers.
Relying heavily on each other for our happiness and wellness is an underlining co-dependency problem.
We all must have our support network so we are not putting all our eggs in one basket and expecting our partner to meet all our needs.
A healthy woman will have supportive female friends and possibly professional support such as a therapist, coach or a group to help her in her difficult times.
A healthy man will have his own team, especially a masculine tribe, to help him overcome life’s struggles and evolve.
If she’s reaching out more often to her male friends than her female friends for emotional support, something is lurking that you should get professional advice on.
If a man seeks support and guidance prominently from women, again, there is something there that needs addressing. I suggest he seeks professional help from books, coaches or groups specialising in the male space.
The book that dramatically changed my life was “No More Mr Nice Guy” by Dr Robert Glover. This is a great starting point to becoming a secure man.