Why Men Feel They Always Have to Be Right ? Why Do Men Hate to Be Wrong ?
Men hate to be wrong. They hate being told they are wrong. They hate even to suspect that they might have been wrong. And most of all, they hate it when a woman knows that they are wrong before they know it themselves. And the most interesting of all is this : Men feel that they are being “made wrong” or told they did something wrong when you are not telling them at all.
To understand this mystery of men, we need to look back to men’s upbringing. Men were trained to feel that their role is to accomplish and master the action around him. His inner world of thought and feeling are often neglected. Since little boys, he is taught that their value is determined from his action and achievement. So the boy is brought up with the conclusion that “in order to be good, I have to do it right all the time”.
Little girl are taught as women – to make things better in life, to improve for better. Her job is to make herself more beautiful, to make the house neater, to make a friend more comfortable. Making mistakes is acceptable. She will feel upset when she gets negative feedbacks; but she will work on improving herself as soon as possible. Suggestion and advice are welcomed. That is why so many women like to get involve in self-improvement activities such as reading self-help books, going for counselling, attending seminars and so on. Man, on the other hand, finding the self-improvement activities as admitting that he is not doing something right, and therefore is not good enough.
Men often equate their self-esteem with accomplishment.
When a woman challenge a man’s ability to do something well, it switches on his defensive mode. He interprets her feedback as criticism and judgement, no matter how innocently a woman offers suggestion to him.
Woman asks :
“Why don’t you stop and ask for directions?”
Man hears :
“You are not good. You have lost your way. I can’t depend on you at all.”
Men often have problem apologizing. To them saying “I’m sorry” implies that he has done something wrong and is bad.
Since men often should know what to do, they interpret woman’s feedback or advice as indication that he doesn’t know what he is doing and therefore she doesn’t trust him.
To overcome such misunderstanding, man and woman should sit down and be honest about their feelings. The woman needs to be careful with what she said and re-assure the man that she is not judging him like he thought.
1) Avoid using words that makes a man feel wrong.
Don’t blame, don’t condemn, don’t name call, don’t generalize, don’t make value judgements on his characters or abilities. Just tell him how you are feeling.
Avoid saying something like :
This always happens ! You never know where we are going.
Say something like :
Honey, it makes me nervous when we drive around like this. I know you are doing a good job, but the street address is confusing. I would feel much better if we stopped to ask for some directions.
Don’t say :
You are bad for doing this.
Instead, say :
I feel sad (or hurt etc) when you do this.
2) Sit down and talk
Men love to feel understood. Give him chance to express his feelings about the issue. Let him know that you are not judging him or correcting him, and you want to work together with him.
3) Give him plenty of encouragement and praise
Man likes to be acknowledged and appreciated, much more than we expected. He may deny that he needs it, he might act that he doesn’t care, but he actually secretly likes it.
Questions & Answers
© 2011 Ingenira