The cost a woman has to pay for telling the man the truth.
The cost a woman has to pay for telling the man the truth.
The truth is that women often, if not always, question whether they will tell the men in their lives the truth.
Women deliberate within themselves if you are safe enough for them to say, “hey this isn't working” or “hey you missed this” or “hey, you said you would do this and you didn't.”
Just about every woman that I know has moments whenever a man does something, whether good or bad, that needs some adjustment. Some are clarifying adjustments, where she pauses for a moment within herself and wonders what the cost will be to actually tell the man in her life the truth.
Whether it is her boyfriend, someone who is flirting with her, or a co-worker, and certainly a boss... She wonders; “what will happen? Will he be upset? Will he get angry? Will he withdraw his love and attention? Will he get defensive? Will he not hear the thing she is trying to ask for and immediately resort to excuses?”
How to tell if a woman is weighing the cost of telling you the truth
You can tell the woman is considering whether or not she should tell you the truth when she pauses.
I notice it a lot whenever I interact with a woman and I'm talking, flirting, or anything else...
And I’ve made a decision that whenever I notice the pause, I acknowledge that I did something that caused the pause... and ask what is going on. To be a man, is to get genuinely curious, to be gracious and grateful when a woman is willing to tell you the truth. And when she gives you a truth, a feedback, an adjustment, it means she is paying attention to you. And any woman that puts any amount of attention on you is a gift.
Hearing the truth from a woman can hit a certain place that is vulnerable and nerve wracking. It takes a lot of work for men to learn and distinguish that that vulnerability triggers stuff and to learn not turn it into meaning that it’s against us, that we are being emasculated. Rather, we can begin to believe that if a woman is telling the truth, that she trusts you. She is investing in you; to help you be a better man by giving you adjustments.
And when you ask her for the truth, she will spend less time wondering whether she can and you both have more time being connected and moving forward.
What happens when men hear the truth
Usually, in my experience, men get defensive and will often defend their position at the expense of the connection instead of hearing what she is referring to and acknowledging it so that the connection is maintained.
What most men do is get defensive and immediately start to justify or have a counterpoint to why they're not wrong. And that is the unfortunate thing... as men we tend to have this dynamic in the way we are that whenever we hear a criticism or feedback especially from a woman we tend to go to a place of "I did something wrong". This is a symptom of toxic masculinity; a crossed wire. When men hear women telling the truth, or having a better idea than us, or ask for something different from us than what we are doing, we feel emasculated instead of curious.
Even now, when a woman asks me to do something differently, I immediately go to "I did something wrong". I had it happen while I was making out with a woman recently where she asked me to slow down. And you'd think after 10 years of having an orgasmic meditation practice, something as simple as “slow down” wouldn't be such a big deal but instead what I found myself reacting, that I felt shakiness in me and then I withdrew...
And all she asked was for me to slow down.
I did slow down but I felt myself emotionally withdrawing and all of a sudden we had distance between us... and it was embarrassing. At BEST it is embarrassing. At worst, I withdraw and I get mean.
What a shitty thing to do to a woman who tells you the truth. Especially when it is something that will make her feel better, more connected, and more safe.
This is embarrassing to admit because the only way for me to resolve this was to go back and admit that I got embarrassed, that I thought I wasn’t doing something right, and I made her wrong for wanting something to be different.
Then as a man, when we admit this particular truth of our reaction, we risk her being really upset and the response might be that she can’t trust us anymore. That she can’t speak the truth without being punished for it. And that we no longer get to have a woman who is willing to tell the truth to us in our life anymore.
What not to do if you are reacting to a woman’s truth
The hard part is that we usually feel very alone if we take her truth and make it mean we are wrong, and then start to punish her for it. The tricky thing is that this isn't the thing that you should be fully processing in the relationship because it is not the woman’s job job to walk you through your reaction to her truth.
If she does that, she is doing twice the work. Not only was it a lot of work to tell you the truth but now we make her responsible for getting us out of the hole we fell into when she spoke. On top of that, she then does even more work to try to keep you connected to her. And is now carrying the heavy load of the relationship. I know because I have made this mistake in relationships and it is awful. It is embarrassing and I've had to go back and apologize more than once because I've expected it and have let her take responsibility for my shitty reaction to the truth.
When it is simple as “please slow down” and we react with making it about us, we have a long way to go as men. If this sounds like you, we have some work to do together so that we can have connected, turned on relationships that don’t turn into fights because we have fear we are being emasculated. Taking a woman’s adjustment and hearing her truth isn’t emasculation, it is the opposite. It is the measure of a safe, secure, and truth worthy man.
What to do if you find yourself having a reaction to a woman’s truth: calling on other men
It is not up to the woman to help us move through something if we feel emasculated.
We have an idea that in a relationship our partner is supposed to fix us or solve the problem we convince ourselves that "I don't know how this thing works and she's the one that has an issue with it therefore she is the one to help me move through it."
When we are in this spot, then there is an opportunity to exercise the muscle to help each other. Men can help other men move through these things so that when a man shows up in a relationship and is having these conversations, we carry our weight and responsibility to make things go well.
If you find yourself reacting, you can ask for a moment… and Call. A. Friend.
As men, we have to learn how to reach out to other men when we get pissed off that a woman in our life has said something and we think she is dead wrong. The truth is that you wouldn't be that upset if there wasn't something for you to learn, and we need other men to help us figure this out. This is key.
When we can be there for other men, showing up more fully for each other helps us to better relate with our woman. It is vulnerable to admit our flaws and insecurities to anyone, but I strive to be a source of that support for any man who is around me, or in my life - and I know that I also need it for myself. This means that you are willing to call a man out when he is talking shit, and with love and friendship; ask him what’s really bothering him, not what SHE did that is wrong.
So, seek resources and allies that help you move through the snag so that you can carry your part in the relationship. So that you can show up as a man she can trust to tell the truth to, and this is for YOUR benefit.
The payoff of being able to receive the truth from a woman
The gift of a woman’s love and attention is an incredible gift, and there is nothing more amazing than when a woman tells you the truth and she knows she can depend on you. When you receive the truth from a woman, she is polishing you to adjust and show up better so she can be more open and love you more. When she knows you are taking and making the adjustments she asks for, she can trust you and you get more truth in return, more of her. And that is gold! The more she can trust you, the more she will give her sex, her love, and her passion to your relationship. Try it out and see what happens.
We are individuals while we are in relationship and as an individual you take care of yourself. The embarrassment of 20 minutes or an hour and admitting your confusion about yourself to your buddy is a small price to pay for being able to have a woman fully in your life.
If you find yourself in this spot or want help thinking well about your relationship, please sign up here for an initial conversation!