Here’s a great guest post from my friend Shana James:
Walking into a café, bar or party, my mind often buzzes with questions about myself. Am I dressed okay? Am I as radiant as the other women here? Will men pay attention to me? At this point, I don’t take these thoughts too seriously. A few years ago they sometimes paralyzed me. I felt nervous and anxious.
But guess what? The men I coached today told me the same thing happens for them! It is such a privilege to be let into hundreds of men’s insecurities and vulnerabilities. And so you know, I haven’t yet met a man who doesn’t have them. It’s so easy to think you’re the only one who is nervous, but it’s not true.
So, that’s the 1st thing to know about men.
1. Men are human too!
Men get scared. They have emotions. They doubt themselves. They wonder if they look okay. They compare themselves to the men around them.
There is a little boy inside every man, just as there is a little girl inside every woman, who has been hurt, disappointed, misunderstood and unseen.
Knowing this helps you stop putting men on pedestals. When you remember that men are human too, you can stop trying to hide your emotions and your nervousness.
One fear I often hear from women is – But if he saw that part of me, he wouldn’t want me. Well, no one is perfect. When you accept your idiosyncrasies, men will too! In fact, I’ve often seen men fall in love with women because of them.
So, rather than having your attention on hiding parts of you, be proud of who you are. I used to feel ashamed that I can be high-strung. I acted laid back and was afraid a man would run away if he saw the Type A side of my personality. Now I can laugh at it and we can laugh at it together!
Then, take your attention off yourself and get curious about him. Ask him questions about himself. When you ask with appreciation and respect, you make it safe for him to be vulnerable with you. Then you can be human together!
2. Men mean what they say – Read the lines rather than only between them
I’ve seen so many situations where a woman, after an extended length of time, is frustrated because a man isn’t willing to commit.
I often ask – what did he say he wanted in the beginning? And the reply is usually – “Nothing serious. He wanted to date, but didn’t want a committed relationship.”
Then that’s quickly followed by, “But he calls me every day.” Or “But he acts like he wants commitment. He always wants to spend time with me.”
Since relationship is of the utmost importance to me, I’ve changed my mind in the past when I said I wanted to be single and an amazing man came along. I’ve seen other women do this too! But It tends to be different for men.
When I asked an Authentic Man Program facilitator about this, he said, “Men are more consistent than you think. While there may be something between the lines, definitely read the lines!”
If a man tells you something that’s true for him, but you don’t want to believe it, and you continue to move ahead with that relationship, you are likely to get hurt. If a man tells you he’s not ready for relationship, believe him! Take care of yourself and don’t give your heart to a man who doesn’t want what you want!
There is an art to inspiring a man to commit to you, but you have to start from honoring his truth, rather than disregarding it and hoping it will change!
3. Men thrive on appreciation and wilt without it
When I appreciate men, I watch them light up. And the opposite is true too. If I go too long without appreciating my man, he feels unseen. (I can relate to this as a woman also!) It can even lead to arguments and resentment.
Start appreciating, out loud, what a man does for you, gives you, says to you, or even gives up for you. Tell him how it impacts you. Does it make your life easier or more enjoyable? It can feel a bit contrived at first, but you can do this authentically.
Just make sure what you’re saying is true. You may have to dig a bit if you’re used to complaining or seeing the negative. But I guarantee that appreciating a man (and you can do this from the very first time you meet) will have him feel inspired to be around you!
Women have a deep desire to know we’re loved. Men have a deep desire to know they’re useful and needed. So let men know how much you appreciate the time and energy he put into what he did for you or gave you, even if it’s not to your satisfaction! If you want it to be different, ask for that after, remembering to convey your gratitude, rather than disgust or frustration.
Okay, I said I’d give 3, but it’s hard to stop when there are about 20 more! Here’s a bonus:
4. Men love variety
A man I know told me a story about a woman he was dating with bright red hair. One day he picked her up and she’d dyed her hair black. He was shocked. He loved her fiery red hair. When he asked her why she did it, she said, “I saw you looking at women with black hair!” When he told me this I yelped, as though I was punched in the stomach. I realized she’d dyed her hair without knowing the whole truth.
Men love variety. If you have blonde hair, you’ll probably find your man looking at brunettes and red heads. If you’re a brunette, he’ll look at blondes and red heads. It’s important to remember that you can’t be everything to a man!
It can be frustrating when a man you’re with looks at other women. And of course there is a need for balance. If he can’t keep his eyes off other women that’s one thing. But most men find lots of women attractive. And it doesn’t always mean he doesn’t want you.
When you can be playful or vulnerable with this, rather than immediately making him wrong, he’ll feel closer to you and grateful that he doesn’t have to put a part of himself in a box. A man not looking at other women’s beauty is like a woman not looking at babies, puppies, or shoes!
Starting to play with your own variety – how you dress, walk, talk and dance – will keep a man enticed! I used to find myself saying “That’s not me,” when I went shopping. And while that can be true, I’m now willing to try things on and expand who I know myself to be!
Now, on some days I bring out my intellectual side. Other days I let my pole dancer come out and shake things up. Still other days I bring out my hippie, earthy side. I now have more facets than I ever thought possible!
To find Shana, go to www.authenticwomanexperience.com