Why Trying to Fix It Is Showing Love

February 26, 2014

in Uncategorized

Most of us do not need a study to tell us women as a whole are far more empathetic than men. However, studies have shown the difference is a result of different brain wiring. 

Women are twice as good as men are at interpreting a woman’s emotions by looking her in the eyes. Women have more activity in the parts of the brain related to emotion and memory when looking into another woman’s eyes. Men show far less activity in those parts of the brain.

Looking into her eyes © Jstudio | Dreamstime.com

Women are generally better at recognising and appropriately responding to emotions, while men have other strengths. Men are wired to understand how things work. They excel at analysing how a system works and how to fix it. This shows up in men’s love of fixing mechanical things, but it goes further. This gender difference is part of the reason he always wants to help you fix things when you just want him to hear you. Whatever empathy he feels is quickly drowned out by the part of his brain designed to analyse and fix things. His desire to help you fix things (even when you are not looking for a fix) is his way of showing he cares about you.

As with most gender brain differences, there are exceptions. One study found about 17% of women are more male like, good at analysing systems, while about 17% of men are better at empathy. Still other men and women have a balance of the two – doing each less well than one gender but better than the other gender.

Resource Links:

BBC – Science & Nature – Sex ID – Empathising and systemising 
Are Women More Emotionally Intelligent Than Men?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr Richard Norris February 26, 2014 at 2:29 am

Whilst the wiring may say fix it, I’m less sure it is our way of saying “I love you!” For many men (83% or less according to your data) it’s easier to fix a perceived or real problem than to tackle an emotional / heart / spirit matter with our spouse.

From all the people I’ve coached and trained I always have the women and men laugh around this issue. I always inform the guys (many of whom it is a revelation) that just because a woman is sharing a problem does not mean she wants them to fix it. More often than not she already knows the answer. She just needs to air it so she can hear her own reasoning, with occasional input from us guys (when asked!).

The best way a man can show he loves her in such situations is to listen attentively.
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Paul Byerly February 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm

“The best way a man can show he loves her in such situations is to listen attentively.”

So true!

What works for us is for me to listen, really listen, and wait for her to be done. Then I offer my thoughts. She feels heard, and I get to offer a fix. I don’t get upset if she does not go with my fix, and she does not get upset I offered. On occasion what I share actually helps.

It is actually easier for me to listen when I know I will get to offer a fix.

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