I recently saw a TEDx talk by John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It was a reminder that there are very many things most women have in common, and men don’t, and vice versa. There is actually an amazing example in a YouTube video (I’ll post the link at the bottom), which addresses women’s desire to be listened to, and men’s desire to fix things. Many couples clash on this, as in the video.
As it turns out, my own wife tends to jump to the solution, even when I’m just venting. She’s also much more driven by competition than I am, etc. We challenge some of the stereotypes, if not the rules. This gives us the chance to have our own, unique clashes. None of these are the subject of this post, however.
So, one generally female characteristic that I’ve observed relates to how to manage what I’ll call lotion overdeal. Hand lotion, suntan lotion, bug repellant lotion–whatever, when more comes out than what you need, what do you do with the overdeal, or extra? Women often offer it to a friend or to their husband. Men don’t usually do this. They might not even accept the overdeal from their wives. This is just the way men are; don’t try to understand the rational.
Years ago, my wife and I attended a “one-man-play” (a/k/a monologue) called Defending the Caveman, in which Rob Becker explained many differences between adult men and women as the result of girls growing up with girls and boys growing up with boys. By the time we’re old enough to be interested in each other, our expectations are pretty firm, and men act like they would act with other men, and women with other women. Thus, your husband doesn’t compliment (or notice) your new clothes. And your wife will never understand why it’s inappropriate for you to hold her purse in the mall while she walks off to the restroom.
As for lotion overdeal, women can continue sharing it with other women, and they will all be happy and well moisturized. Men, however may engage the side of a chair or the inside of a shirt. But the very best option would be to pat a friend on the back, “Hey man, how you been?” Just like when we were kids.
By the way, let me know in the comments about something you find different between the way men and women respond to things. I’d love to hear about it. Or maybe you disagree. Tell me.
“Mars brain, Venus brain” TEDx Talk
“It’s Not About the Nail”
“Defending the Caveman”