A Taste of What Do Women Really Want

From Unsubscribe From The Drama.

Don’t ever think anyone else has it all worked out, this is rarely true. Many mask their true feelings. Everyone has their own set of stresses and is dealing with them in their own way. A trend that is opposite of masking feelings has emerged: women competing about having more drama and challenges than their peers. It’s not a competition you would want to win is it? “My problems are more dramatic than yours…” Over-dramatizing takes you away from being effective in solving problems and getting on with your life.

My family are always caught up in some drama. Whether it’s my little sister’s bad attitude girlfriends, or my Mother’s menopause, or Dad working too hard. It’s all about drama, they feed off it.

‘If I am not careful I get caught up in it too and I never get any study done if I just listen to my sister all the time. She never seems to talk about anything good. She’s always bitching about her so-called friends or our family. It’s like watching bad TV every night.’

Brooke, age 22, student.

The healthier alternative is to develop the ability to be calm and centered in the midst of others’ problems or dramas. Exercise self-discipline to stay focused on goals and how you want to feel and act, rather than indulging in other peoples’ dramas. Don’t let someone else’s negative energy unbalance you to the point of joining in the game.

‘I’m a junior chef and my job is to order in stock at work. In the food business it is very hard to get it right, but I’m learning. The problem for me is our executive chef, she is a drama queen. If she can’t find something or if there is a shortage or whatever she cracks up. Throws things and screams. The end result is always the same, she calms down, we solve the problem and life goes on. I just wish she could do it without the drama queen stuff.

‘When I’m working alone with the apprentices without her looking over my shoulder I apply the rules I learned from a friend of mine, he says stick to four golden rules. He is a glider pilot and trainer, so he teaches people to fly gliders. His four rules are: don’t yell; people can hear you well enough and they don’t think clearly when you yell; introduce your subject (don’t start yapping on, make sure the other person knows what you’re talking about); let the trainee experience some reasonable risk (otherwise how will they ever learn about what’s safe and what isn’t); encourage the trainee to visualize gliding and feeling the grace of it (rehearsing the mind).

‘When we follow these guidelines we all learn quickly and the apprentices learn to be responsible for what they do. I’m hoping to influence the way chef acts eventually. When she does her drama queen stuff we all try to stick to the rules amongst ourselves and this helps us to stay sane. It really works for us.’

Salina, age 27, chef.

Next time you are caught up in someone else’s drama take long, deep-diaphragm breaths to calm and centre yourself. Bring yourself back to what you can do right now.

Think about what it is you do want and ask yourself, “What do I need to do now to move forward?”

From To Leave The Past Behind.

If you have recently come out of a relationship, give yourself time to adjust and absorb the past relationship’s experiences – get in touch with yourself and your values. Settle yourself down as a first priority. Don’t even think of starting a new relationship when you are carrying forward unhappiness from the past.

‘A friend of ours is depressed and alone, he is always re-living the past. He says, “I can pick in 15 seconds whether a person might be alright for me”. He has very specific standards – a certain height, certain features. This is ridiculous, how could he pick a life partner in 15 seconds? Some people are consummate performers so at 15 seconds it might only be a great performance.

‘He has set up this 15 second appraisal that will never work and thus absolutely consigns himself to failure and depression. And he calls these his values. If you are over-evaluative in getting to know someone it will most likely never get off the ground. He isn’t prepared to start really living his life by getting into a new relationship unless it is with the “perfect” partner. He wants to have a partner but constantly undermines himself.’

Lindsay, age 35, marketing manager.

It’s difficult to go forward if you are locked into thinking about the past. It’s unfair to judge a new person in your life against a person from the past; leave emotional distance between your relationships. Judging another person against a past relationship that you have not digested well, reflected on and come to terms with is a precondition which never gives another person a chance. It can lead to sadness, stress and depression. There will always be differences between people, learn to respect these rather than trying to argue with these differences.

From Fighting Fair.

If fighting has becoming a habit, carefully and honestly look at the part you play in the pattern and the part your partner plays. Separate them out. Take responsibility for your part, rather than putting all the responsibility onto your partner.

‘Every time I had an argument with my husband Bill, I felt like I was stuck in the movie Groundhog Day, the same problem over and over again. He would say something that I thought was hurtful or mean and I would react. Even if he apologized to me straight away I wouldn’t let go of his thoughtlessness. I sometimes would retreat into myself, cutting off any love for him or from him for days whilst I was so unhappy; unreachable and totally unforgiving. It would be way out of proportion to the incident; the things he’d say might have been a bit thoughtless or careless but never as appalling as my reaction to it. I’d have enormous difficulty letting go of the feeling that it was his fault entirely and that he was disapproving of me or critical of me.

I had spoken to a counsellor about it so many times I was sick of talking about it. I would resolve it short term then he would say something and I would react way out of proportion to the incident. It was tragic.

‘I think I have found a way into what has triggered it now though, touch wood. When I was a little girl one of my first memories I had was Mum telling me that Dad had an illness and may not live very long. It was a manageable illness but there were a high proportion of people who died as a result of it.

‘I didn’t know what effect that had on me but now when I look back I think that my reaction was a four year old girl protecting herself against not having her Dad’s love any more. I protected myself by pulling back from his love because I was told he wasn’t going to be around long.

‘My Dad and I always got along well and I love my Dad very much so it was surprising to me when I realized that I may have had an issue with my love for him. The way I reacted when I was so young resonated with me very strongly. It’s now 35 years later and he is still very much alive! But maybe I protect myself when I feel love for a man because I have an old program that men I love might leave me.

‘It suddenly occurred to me that these fights with Bill often happened during a period when I was expressing and feeling lots of love for him. When my heart was at its most open to him.

‘I don’t know for sure if that’s the answer to my current situation with my husband but I am working with that at the moment. I think about it from time to time and raise my consciousness of my thoughts and try not to withdraw from Bill and not react with aggression and fighting when I think he has said something harsh to me.

‘He really is a very kind, thoughtful person and not mean-spirited, in fact most of the time he is the complete opposite. I really think I am making progress and that’s all I can do at this point.’

Charlotte, age 39, systems analyst.

Charlotte’s checklist:

  • Am I really being treated badly?
  • Have I over-reacted?
  • Was there some perceived criticism that got me going?
  • Is it real criticism or just my sensitivity; am I conditioned to take some things badly?
  • Does anger just well up and get me going?
  • How can I react differently, more kindly to myself and to Bill?

‘I’ve got to the point where I have to take the responsibility for the way I react to what Bill does and why he says hurtful things to me from time to time. I have decided if he does say harsh thing to me that’s his issue, I can’t get to the bottom of why he does what he does, he has to work that out. Or it might be that I over-react to something perfectly normal he says.

‘For me I need to learn how not to react and I am working with him to try to talk through my feelings about what has happened. I want to understand and build our love instead of completely withdrawing from him, fighting with him and hurting myself in the process.’

Charlotte, age 39, systems analyst.

People in a relationship can readily develop the habit of recurring fighting or arguing each person “trains” the other, and themselves, into a pattern of conflict. Perhaps both came from families where there was a constant undercurrent of tension. Perhaps they have a basic feeling of insecurity which generates an aggressive response. Perhaps they come from a background of strong assertion, of always wanting to make the decisions.

To unlearn negative patterns is not easy but it’s more important to try to understand how to come out of the pattern, preferably together, and cooperate in moving forward with love and affection. Every interchange has two contributors. There is a usually a pattern of behaviour between the two of you that results in arguments, think about the root causes. What part do you contribute and where does it come from? Why do you feel those feelings that flare up?

Identify any old patterns or ingrained resentments that are the origins of your feelings that can lead to fights. Constant low-level bickering and needling can quickly become an established pattern. When you feel yourself moving towards a fight, look for ways to break the pattern through discussion and listening.