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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Emotional Ninjas

Comedian Whitney Cummings refers to women as "Emotional Ninjas."  Sadly, I wish I could take credit for such a remarkable accurate description.  She writes "our favorite fighting tactic is the silent treatment."

True. True. And True.

All women love to simply ignore a guy they're bothered by. Rather than confront us directly they just freeze us out, hoping either we just go away or figure out what we did wrong and what we need to do to correct it. Now, here's where Whitney loses me...since she's a comedian she makes a joke out of it by saying "The silent treatment is not a punishment, it's a reward. He's like, 'Oh thank God she's giving me the silent treatment. I get to watch SportsCenter again today."

Yes and No.

We do want to watch SportsCenter or the last few minutes of the game or an entire episode of Family Guy without interruption. However, we'd rather you just tell us what's really bothering you. Ignoring us only makes us more angry with you. Not less. It also makes us more determined to get you to speak.  Say Something. Say Anything (great movie btw).

Men naturally want to fix things. Ignoring may be in a woman's DNA, but a man's DNA is designed to fix..maybe break first...but ultimately fix. Tell us what's wrong and we'll do our best to fix it. Men are problem solvers. Even if we're the ones who broke it, we still want the chance to fix it.  Now we may not know how to fix it or perhaps we're just too stupid or proud to figure out how...but goddam it, we're sure going to give it our best shot. Give us a shot.

The following advice is universal...not just intended for women, but men alike. 

Ignoring another human who's trying to communicate with you is possibly the worst, coldest, rudest and most inconsiderate thing you can do to someone. It's simply heartless, selfish and incredibly immature.

Of course, there's varying degrees of silence. There's the kind of silence that exists during the relationship and then there's the silence that's emitted after a break-up.

If you're just arguing according to Whitney, "You can't defeat a woman in an argument. It's never happened because women never express the emotions we're actually feeling. When we're our most pissed off at you, what do we say? 'I'm fine.' 'I'm fine' means I'm going to stab you in the neck."

Silence may be golden in the movie theatre, but between a man and woman....Honest communication is the golden ticket.

However, the break-up silence is a different animal.  After a break-up, men do not seem to have the same kind of all powerful lock down On/Off switch that women possess. When it's "over" for a woman it's really over. She'll ignore your emails, texts, calls, letters, whatever...she has no interest anymore. No matter how much she loved you at one point, today...she's that emotional ninja.  Done. Whereas a guy still holds out some hope that maybe one day you'll flip that switch back on.  And why is that? A man's heart never really heals. No matter how little you think of us now, we'll always think about how you once were. It's absolutely easier for a woman to move on than it is for a man. We're raised to never quit. Defeat is not an option. Anyone who's played sports knows this line of thinking and it carries over into life and to our relationships with women.

A past lover of mine shared a story about one of her exes who's been trying to get back with her for nearly 10 years. They previously dated for several years.  The guy's continued to stay in touch for years even after she got married and then eventually divorced. Always checking in to see how things were. It drove her nuts. And he's still trying today.  He even said he'd move to the city where she lives now just to start dating her again. I asked her if she thinks he's sincere and maybe a different person than when they went out. She says, "Absolutely he's sincere. And I have no doubt he's changed and probably would be a great boyfriend now. But, I can't go there again. I won't. I can't turn the switch back on. It's gone."  And that ladies is an Emotional Ninja.

All of this talk of fighting tactics and emotional responses makes me think of another sensitive area.

Rational Emotion vs Irrational Emotion.

If a woman gets emotional about something and says "I don't want to talk about it." That's an irrational emotion. What do you mean you don't want to talk about? If somehting's bothering you we need to talk about. Men don't walk away from a problem that needs fixing. They may ultimately call someone else in, but they're not just going to ignore it.

I ask you ladies this....Is being an Emotional Ninja a badge of honor that you wear proudly on your cold dark sleeve? Ninjas are sneeky, devious, cunning...and cut throat.  Wouldn't you rather be known as a kind, loving, caring, rational woman who shares and communicates honorably and effectively?

In the end, I'm going to suggest Less Ninja. More Emotion. It's okay to let us inside your self made protective armour. I'm not saying your switch needs to be like silly putty, but maybe it could be a little more flexible. And never be afraid to communicate with us....decently and humanely.  Be a better person. You have it in you.