We have a fun filled day planned on MW today, and I am thrilled to introduce our newest guest blogger this am. Susan Jensen, a workshop leader for PAX Programs, is going to be joining us every month to help Maharani readers better understand the one thing we love more than our engagement rings : our men! PAX Programs is in the business of educating women about men. Through my short time with PAX, and speaking with Susan, I have learned to understand why my husband does all those annoying little “guy things!” Making our time together closer and stronger!
Do you ever wonder if the man in your life finds the television more important than you? Doesn’t he hear you banging dishes around in the kitchen and realize that you need some help? These are questions that frustrate women throughout relationships, but seem to become intensified as we move in together and start creating a home. I would like to share with you one of the main differences between men and women. This will help explain and make sense of some of his behaviors.
Men are Single Focused
One of the differences between men and women is that men are Single Focused. They pay attention to one thing at a time. They are internally focused on producing a result. He will complete the result he is working on before he can take on a new result. Women often view men’s thinking as limited because we can focus on several things at once that do not have to be related. We have something called Diffuse Awareness. Our awareness is pouring out in every direction, causing multi-tasking. We are externally focused and are called by the needs of our environment. It is why we experience things like the pillows talking to us, telling us they need to get straightened. No matter what we are in the middle of, the pillows are just as important and need to get straightened immediately.
Because we have not understood single focus, we do things that do not work for men and give us very poor results. For example, we interrupt men by getting in the way of his focus and expect him to shift to paying attention to us. Because we are so frequently interrupted by our environment, we interrupt men when they are doing just about anything. Then, we get upset because he either does not pay attention to us, or we do not get the man we thought we were in relationship with. This happens when he is watching TV, working, reading a magazine, driving, eating, and the list goes on.
Single focus does not mean limited, simple, or slow. It applies to very complex things. When I first learned about single focus, I was a flight attendant. I walked into the cockpit of a plane and saw the many things pilots are focused on. There is a whole ceiling full of buttons, hand controls, foot controls, air traffic control, co-pilot, maps, and communication with their crew, and with the passengers. While it may look like a pilot is multi-tasking, it is very different. All of the things a pilot is focused on pertain to one result – flying the plane safely.
Great news about Single Focus :
He is never ignoring you. Yes, NEVER! When he is working, watching television, cheering for his favorite team, surfing the internet, driving, eating, playing video games, doing just about anything, he is never ignoring you. That would be doing – 2 THINGS! Remember, he is focused on one thing at a time. All those times you thought you were being ignored, he was just focused on something else. Maybe you thought he would pay more attention to you if he loved you more or if you were more or less of some quality. The good news is that he was never ignoring you. No matter how much he loves you, he will still be single focused. Look at him next time he is watching his favorite team and see if it is actually possible to watch and ignore you at the same time. You will observe his intense focus and realize that him watching the game is not personal, has nothing to do with you, and he still loves you just as much as he always did.
Asking him for a time to talk will solve many of your problems and will also help you to feel heard. You have to be patient because he may need to complete what he is focused on. This can be painful for a person with Diffuse Awareness because everything seems urgent. This stems from the fact that we have many things going on that all seem of equal importance. After 9 years of marriage, each time my husband Mort does not remember something I have told him, I try to remember what he was doing when I spoke to him. Most of the time, he was focused on something else and I forgot to ask for a time to talk. I give him a break and repeat whatever it was I already told him without any punishment. The greatest, and I mean greatest, part about this tool is when “talk time” comes, he is single focused on you!
Coming Next Month: Transition Time – one of the greatest gifts you can give the men in your life!