Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Affirmation and emotional testosterone

About men

“Our surface understanding is that ‘men are insecure’. What this means in practice is that despite their ‘in control’ exteriors, men often feel like imposters and are insecure that their inadequacies will be discovered.”

Although many men may appear confident on the outside, they are hiding feelings of inadequacy. “The idea of someone thinking he can’t cut it is humiliating – a feeling every man wants to avoid at all costs”.

Shaunti’s research revealed that 44% of men felt unappreciated at home. The author urges wives not to tear their husbands down - our words and actions speak volumes and many men who don’t feel affirmed at home will look for affirmation elsewhere. One of the lures of pornography is that the women are giving out the message “I want you and you are the most desirable man in the world”. We can encourage and affirm our husbands through supportive sex lives and ensuring that home is a place of retreat. One man said: “The role of sex cannot be underestimated. A great sex life will overshadow and overcome a multitude of imposter messages from the world.”

About women

“Our surface understanding is that ‘women are emotional’. What this means in practice is that women deal with multiple thoughts and emotions from their past and present all the time, at the same time - and these can’t be easily dismissed.”

I found this chapter helpful to explain the difference between the working of men’s and women’s minds. The illustration of the ‘invasion of the pop-ups’ was particularly helpful. These pop-ups also carry a far higher emotional weighting for women than emotions do for men. The best parallel for helping men to understand the impact of emotions on women is that it is similar to the effect of testosterone through your body, for women it is emotional testosterone that drives them.