Women are Emotional and Men are Pragmatic!

Women are Emotional and Men are Pragmatic!

By Hwaa Irfan

Women… how many times have you found yourself in a series of misunderstandings because the discussion was with a male who just did not seem to register your emotions? You might have even reached the point whereby you have had enough from what has become an exasperating scenario, because they just do not seem to get! An example is the character Khan played in the film “My Name is Khan”. However with Khan, he had a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome (occurs mainly in males), where he could not register emotions. The difference is, Khan knew that he could not register emotions, and he let everyone else know that.

Autism is one of those diseases that fall under the category of diseases which have a strong gender component. Some researchers have been focusing on this issue. A team from the Université de Montréal Centre de recherche en neuropsychologie et cognition (CERNEC) looked into the problem with physically and mentally able men and women. The aim was to establish whether women are better at distinguishing emotions than men.

To help assess the reaction of the volunteers, real people were used to demonstrate feelings through facial expression. The importance of facial expressions in the experiment was as described by one of the researchers, Olivier Collignon:

    “Facial movements have been shown to play an important role in the perception of an emotion’s intensity as well as stimulate different parts of the brain used in the treatment of such information.”

Auditory stimuli, visual stimuli, compatible audio-visual stimuli, and contradictory audi-visual stimuli were used. The emotions that were focused on were fear, and disgust, as these two emotions have been considered as prerequisites to human survival as they are protective, and cannot easily be supplanted by the nature or nurture reasoning.

The study proved conclusively that men are less efficient at distinguishing and expressing emotions than women, reaffirming previous studies. Women responded more quickly to expressions portrayed by a female than a male, and women were faster than men at responding to multisensory expressions.

Improving Husband and Wife Communication

How men communicate and how women communicate is not the same. In general, men use different parts of the brain to women. This may have something to do with genetics, but there are other factors involved including evolution, as women have always multi-tasked.

Men think mainly with the left brain although in schooling (factory education) the left brain of girls functions faster than boys in a coed environment. The left brain is seemingly logical and rational. Reasoning is linear, task orientated and holds the navigational skills.

The bundle of nerves between the left and right brain, the limbic system, is thicker in women; so women use both their left and right brain simultaneously.. The right brain is where memories are stored, were the skills are better for phonetic language (reading). The right brain is also where the communication and visual skills are located.

Women are more expressive and in touch with their feelings due to their larger limbic system. Women are raised to be in touch with their feelings and the feelings of others.

Women communicate multimodal in verbs (rapport speech), and men communicate in nouns and to the point (reported speech). Men tend to use only one side at a time for either logical thinking or for feeling. Asking one’s husband to focus on their feelings may preclude logic temporarily and the wife might be asking for more than she bargained for.

If you expect someone to do more than he is able to do, then expect him to fail you by as much as you have exceeded his capacity” – ‘Ali ibn ‘Abu Talib

Wife/Husband Scenarios

The wife wants her husband to do the little thing that show he has thought about her, and cares about her feelings. If the husband does not want to be misunderstood, he can show more of his himself in a way that his wife can understand. This will let the wife know that he is not trying to push her away, and that he does want to be close to her.

Men are more biologically reactive, focus on negative words, and criticism. They stay upset for longer following a conflict, and will withdraw to protect themselves in general. Men must feel that they can achieve their goals, in order that they may feel good about themselves.

Women tend to share with others through their feelings, and the quality of relationships to feel good about themselves and to negotiate closeness, but men tend to communicate to negotiate status. So how do the two get together!

“You just never listen!” might be a wife’s response, as the husband moves to a solution and problem solving right away, without her. He just jumps in with a solution before the wife has had a chance to process her options, when the wife wants to talk about the problem and solve it collaboratively. The husband may understand that processing is a way for women to include others and build relations, and the wife may know this so to override the problem the wife needs to be upfront. Say what you really need from your husband otherwise he might just feel manipulated.

“I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me process this problem by listening and asking questions”.

If the husband is really not sure what the wife wants from him he should ask upfront.

“Do you want my advice or just someone to listen to you?”

Women must learn that the kind of intimate talk they are used to with their girlfriends should remain just that. Trying to turn the husband into a girlfriend will usually fail because men, in general, do not create feelings of closeness in that way. Observe and listen rather than process out aloud.

“But he won’t let me help!” This is where the wife needs to understand that the husband is resisting help and support because to him, help may infer a lack of trust in his ability. The wife is preventing him from learning what he needs to learn for himself so do not be so quick to offer advice. But when the husband offers to help, this presents an opportunity to show support and care.

However, if a wife is doing what she wants the husband to do, or expects him to do it, one has to think consciously about what makes a spouse feel valued and cared about.

Ask yourself:

• What is the purpose or the goal of that communication?

• What do we mean when we say/feel we want to communicate?

What we really mean, way deep down inside, is that we want to feel good about ourselves. Both husband and wife want that! We want to love and be loved, be appreciated, be recognized, be honored, and to be respected and supported – don’t we?

{ If He pleases, He causes the wind to become still so that they lie motionless on its back; most surely there are signs in this for every patient, grateful one} (Ash Shura 42: 33)

True or False?

Someone might be saying, well, that’s not true of the women/men that I know. Well, I have to say, that the context of the above is western and/or secular. As we increasingly live in individualist societies, certain polarities are likely to develop where one is only responsible to one’s self or those one


to be responsible to/for. I grew up in a generation where men and women did share their concerns, and were sisters and brothers to each other, and I still come across types who do not fall under the above categories. In fact some women are becoming to pragmatic, and some are men overly emotional but disguise it with pragmatism – some would call this politics!

{And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer, and pay the poor rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle (as for these), Allah will show mercy to them} (Al-Baraat 9: 71)

Science Daily. Women Outperform Men When Identifying Emotions http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021125133.htm

Related Topics:
The Missing Link in the Education of Our Boys
The Tresses of Forgetfulness.
Discovering Your Emotional Intelligence
The Brain Says Men and Women are Different When It Comes to Stress